My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Alternative Energy and Rare Earth Metals - Allan Quatermain and King Solomon's Mines

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Alternative Energy and Rare Earth Metals - Allan Quatermain and King Solomon's Mines

The poetry of the Earth is never dead…
The poetry of the earth is ceasing never.

Keats, On the Grasshopper and Cricket

Many people criticized the Obama Administration for pulling out of Iraq, stating that the American people owed it to themselves to keep the fight going. But fight for what? Oil?

Surely this plan failed a long time ago, as the American/British adventure has turned against its original planners in the previous Bush Administration, as per the observation of Senator Barack Obama, President of the United States of America as stated in the article “Obama hails US operation in Iraq”, published Wednesday 1 September 2010 Last updated at 15:11 GMT, BBC News.

A refocus on fixing the American Economy instead of wasting countless millions on a needless war, especially after the death of Pat Tillman, a quarterback with a promising future, killed under suspicious circumstances yet to be full explained to the still grieving families. If something good has come out of the troop withdrawal, it has been the fact that the Americans, despite conspiracy theorists claims, needed to focus on Afghanistan and its myriad landscape that is a perfect hiding place for Taliban insurgents and Al-Qaeda.

I say “conspiracy theorists”, as the disclosure in the New York Times on Sunday June 13, 2010 AD of vast quantities of mineral wealth, particularly Rare Earth Metals, means that, if developed in an environmentally responsible way, preferably in partnership with the Americans, could become a huge financial windfall for the Afghan people and a boon to the America Economy as stated in the article “U.S. identifies vast mineral riches in Afghanistan”, Published June 13, 2010 By JAMES RISEN, The New York Times.

I am sure this has been discussed before, so what harm can I do if I introduce a new angle? John Public gets his pipe going, covered from head to foot in Muslim garb, eyes shielded from the rising heat that is the Kandahar Desert as I discuss the American All-Electric Vehicle adventure.

I am sure that with the news of previous months, one can now see the reasoning behind the recent actions of Senator Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, lending to his description as a “Venture Capitalist-in-Chief”, going down a road that appears to be a rather tumultuous one for the Government of Jamaica as it relates to Venture Capital investment in Silicon Valley as stated in the article “Obama: Clean energy's Venture Capitalist-in-Chief”, published August 5, 2010, 5:00PM EST By Mike Dorning, POLITICS & POLICY, BusinessWeek.

A return to manufacturing, putting pride in the statement “Made in the USA” by ensuring Research and Development is no longer an export to the People’s Republic of China is a noble aspiration as stated in the article “The Other U.S. Energy Crisis: Lack of R&D”, published June 17, 2010, 12:01AM EST by Peter Coy, POLITICS & POLICY, BusinessWeek and in the prior article “America's Green innovation Problem”, published May 3, 2010, 4:41PM EST By Rob Atkinson and Devon Swezey, BusinessWeek – VIEWPOINT.

Manufacturing of the future of the American economy, probably the ultimate expression of the American pastime: Automobiles. He has also, in the same breath, committed taxpayers money to likes of Silicon Valley Venture capital firms focused on Clean Energy technology as stated in the article “Obama commits billions to solar firms”, published July 4, 2010 11:34 AM PDT by Reuters, CNET News - Green Tech with the hopes of stimulating the Solar Power Industry, a more firm commitment towards a natural sustainable environment and more importantly, beating the People’s Republic of China in the race to develop All-Electric Vehicles

This time around though, it is not gas guzzlers of the 1960’s, when oil was cheap and everyone had money to burn, before the Saudis showed them that they too could cause a crisis. Revisiting arguments as it relates to the possibility of a mass adoption of All-Electric Vehicles if prices are on par with those of regular vehicles as opined in the article “Will electric cars spread like cell phones or washing machines?”, published May 14, 2010 11:49 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech.

Much in the same way gadget centric Japanese and Americans have adopted smart phones, vacuum cleaners and washing machines does little to assuage the fear of US Automakers, wary of a big investment going the way of the Bubble.

Analysts Deloitte Consulting predicted an adoption of All-Electric Vehicles in the United States of America of 2% to 5.6% by 2020, numbering between 285,000 and 840,000 units. The other limitation to rapid adoption in 2011, the Year of the All-Electric Vehicle, is the availability of rapid charging outlets.

This is akin to the Industry standardized Electric Charging Station by Coulomb Electric being installed in the Big Apple otherwise known as NYC (New York City) with plans to install 4,600 such chargers in Austin, Texas, Detroit; Los Angeles, New York; Orlando, Florida, Sacramento, California, the San Jose/San Francisco Bay Area, Redmond, Washington and Washington, D.C.

These recharging stations, strategically located, are locatable using an app downloadable on a Apple iPhone, Blackberry or Google android powered smart phones as stated in the article “Network Web-Savvy EV-charging stations on tap”, published June 2, 2010 7:57 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech.

Thus, Automakers, still worried about these issues as suggested in the articles “Auto industry pros counter electric-car hype”, published October 13, 2010 10:03 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech. Also as stated in the article “Automakers push ahead on plug-ins despite unknowns”, published October 14, 2010 11:10 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech can take some comfort for a recent analysts J.D. Power and Associates.

The analyst, is projecting a modest 7% of the total number of vehicles in the United States of America being All-Electric Vehicles by 2020, which, depending on how you look at the glass of water at the midway mark, can be an omen of short term popularity driven good fortune or a bubble that at least grows slowly and is steady and not a fad as stated in the article “Report: Hybrid and EV sales to grow but remain small”, published October 27, 2010 7:26 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech.

The outlook for All-Electric Vehicles in Jamaica, if  Kent LaCroix, President of the Automobile Dealers Association (ADA) were to be believed, would be bleak and unlikely as stated in the article “Is Jamaica ready for Electric vehicles ?”, published Friday, October 01, 2010, The Jamaica Observer.

But this outlook is too heavily tied to a past based on Fossil fuels, which eats away on average approximately US$2.8 billion per annum from our GDP (Gross Domestic Product), especially as the Japanese are moving away from the Otto Cycle engine and towards the All-Electric Vehicles in a rapid adoption curve accelerated by the hefty Japanese tax on motorists that is older than four (4) year

Manifesting now as a shortage of spare parts, forcing many local auto parts dealers out of the used parts trade as stated in the article “Spare Parts shortage hits used-car Trade”, published Friday October 22 2010, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Japan and not the People’s Republic of China, as the analyst J.D. Power and Associates opines, may be the real driving force that may actually inspire and spur a rapid transition to All-Electric Vehicles

These All-Electric Vehicles use batteries made using lithium, hence in one single sentence, the significance of the Afghanistan discovery. Also explains why investor Warren Buffett is investing so heavily in Chinese battery turned All-Electric Vehicle manufacturer BYD as stated in the article “BYD Dreams of Electric Cars”, published June 28, 2010, 3:10PM EST by Inder Sidhu, BOOK EXCERPT - BusinessWeek.

Whether of not it is a coincidence, like the oil spill and the delinquent taxpayers in the form of the cousins of the bacteria Oleispirea antarctica and Oceaniserpentilla haliotis eating up a suspended plume of oil as stated in the article “Microbes may be to thank for BP oil spill cleanup”, published August 25, 2010 10:42 AM PDT by Candace Lombardi, CNET News- Green Tech.

The Obama Administration’s blind luck in stumbling across this geological goldmine after deciding to refocus on Afghanistan is of great economic significance both to Afghanistan and the United States of America  

It tips the balance of the future of All-Electric Vehicles in favour of the Americans, as the People’s Republic of China already has an advantage in terms of large deposits of Rare Earth Metals within People’s Republic of China as stated in the article “China clean tech's rare-earth advantage”, published August 12, 2010 5:37 AM PDT by Reuters, CNET News - Green Tech.

A separation from Fossil Fuels is not only a push for vehicle efficiency as stated in the article “Autos would have to get 62mpg under new plan”, published October 2, 2010 6:00 AM PDT, by Reuters, CNET News - Green Tech or creating jobs.

But Homeland as well as an International Security issue relating directly to United States of America purchase of oil, which may be indirectly fuelling terrorism against themselves and their Allies as stated in the article “U.S. Navy buys 20,000 gallons of algae fuel”, published September 15, 2010 10:36 AM PDT by Candace Lombardi, CNET News - Green Tech.

Silicon Valley, what is not to love?

This is probably the main driving force behind the push towards Renewable Energy, as Oil, being the US Army’s Achilles Heel, needs to be removed from the battlefield.  The published 2009 Report by the Center for Naval Analyses signed by twelve (12) former US Generals and Admirals.

Effectively this markets the idea that America purchase of Foreign Oil is a transfer of wealth that, albeit going to a sovereign nation, may inadvertently be fuelling not only terrorism but possibly nuclear proliferation and recommends that the US Military go Green to reduce this flow of money out of the America Economy into the hands of its enemies.

The fact that the People’s Republic of China has expressed concern over suggestions of their advantage as a major supplier of Rare Earth minerals such as Lithium, crucial to making the lithium-ion Batteries needed for All-Electric Vehicles, being used as a bargaining chip, as per the assertions of Wen, China's top economic official as stated in the article “Premier: China won't block rare earth exports”, published Friday October 8 2010 4:41 am ET, By ELAINE KURTENBACH, AP Business Writer, Yahoo! News should not be taken lightly.

Thus, I would strongly recommend to the Government of the United States of America to remove the Red Tape and have American owned Mining companies or companies friendly to American interests such as BHP Billington quickly set up shop in Afghanistan.

In the meantime, developing an active National Strategy for recycling electronics, a chief source of Rare Earth metals as stated in the article “Rare-Earth metal recycling needed to power Green Tech”, published May 17, 2010 7:31 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech.

A fact that, ironically, the Japanese have figured out, is more profitable as it relates to Gold.

This is because wastewater coming out of the Japanese Industrial area is rich in Gold in concentrations higher than being extracted from their goldmines as stated in the article “Japan's sewers paved with gold”, published 2:59AM GMT 02 Feb 2009 by Danielle Demetriou in Tokyo, The UK Telegraph.

Jamaica is already in on the Cash-for-Gold trade, but how many Jamaicans are aware that their old, non-functional electronic gadgets such as Television sets, computer CRT monitors, laptops, etc, may be laden with mineral wealth that may be on par with that of Allan Quatermain King Solomon's Mines (1985), as per the book and the movie?

Perhaps Jamaica needs to seriously look into recycling in general, a source of significant economic savings during this Recessionary Period.

More Time.
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