U.S.


Landfill Garbage Methane Gas Counterpoint

One of the biomass fuels that have been given little attention is methane gas generated from garbage in Waste Management dumps. Waste Management is converting methane gas from rotting trash into electricity power. The gas powers turbines that turn generators, producing electricity for a power grid. In the U.S. the number of methane gas projects has grown to 510 and generate more than 1.563 megawatts per year, or supply energy to power 1.6 million homes. A landfill will produce gas for 20 to 30 years, and is a reliable consistent source. Economics, energy legislation mandates, and technology advancements are the reason for the fuels development. At the present, landfill gas power cost is about the same as from wind, but is still more expensive than from coal-generated power (Cents per kilowatt-hour: Coal=3 to 8, Landfill gas=7 to 10, Wind=5 to 11).

Methane is the second most important green house gas after carbon dioxide. Reducing its emissions in the atmosphere, and using it for energy power generation and a component of natural gas are good reasons landfill methane-electricity projects made up 10.8% of the country’s renewable energy output. The EPA says, landfill methane becomes a greenhouse gas at least 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, the principle greenhouse gas, when it rises in the atmosphere.

The 1.6 billion tons of garbage, 550 lbs per person, is a growing potential source for clean energy. The methane generated in the landfills should be used for energy power instead of being released to the atmosphere.

Other Reference info:

EPA Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP)

A look at Waste Management and landfill gas energy resources

Sources of Energy-the fossil fuels

FEC harnesses methane gas to create energy

Garbage to gas

Fun Facts about Fungi

California garbage trucks fueled by…

Premature Births and Infant Mortality Counterpoint

After reading several recent articles on US premature births and infant mortality in reference to the US health care, I decided to research the facts and data. The US ranks 33rd in the world in infant mortality, an indicator of the health of a nation.

Approximately 13 million worldwide are born premature and 56 million infants die within one year of birth, of which 1 million are premature. The US has 475,000 born premature and 27,000 infants die annually. Premature births occur when the infant is born before the completion of the 37th week of pregnancy.  The question is why the US has the premature birth and infant mortality rates for a nation with advanced health care?

The following are among the factors that could increase the risk of premature birth:

I have tabulated the data collected by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CIA, however it is very spotty (especially on preterm births) and needs more consistent collection (some does not make sense).

Data of Population, Annul Births, Premature Births, Infant Mortality
Premat Premat Infant Infant
Popul. Births Births Births Births Mortal Mortal
Annul Annul Annul Annul Annul Annul
(millions) (1000s) Pop/1000 (1000s) Birth/1000 (1000s) Birth/1000
China 1338.6 18740 14.0 2101 112.1 431 23.0
India 1156.9 25220 21.8 1723 68.3 1387 55.0
U.S. 307.2 4239 13.8 475 112.1 27 6.3
Indonesia 240.3 4518 18.8 386 85.4 120 26.6
Brazil 190.0 3496 18.4 298 85.2 83 23.6
Pakistan 174.6 4819 27.6 258 53.4 325 67.5
Banglad 156.0 3853 24.7 229 59.3 202 52.5
Nigeria 149.2 5476 36.7 29 5.2 600 109.5
Russia 140.0 1554 11.1 233 149.9 26 16.6
Japan 127.1 966 7.6 206 213.2 3 3.2
Germany 82.4 676 8.2 133 197.3 3 4.3
Britan 60.3 645 10.7 97 151.1 3 4.8
Canada 32.5 335 10.3 53 157.1 2 4.8
Afghanist 28.5 1297 45.5 46 35.6 204 157.0
Uganda 26.4 1262 47.8 43 33.8 97 76.9
Australia 19.9 249 12.5 32 129.5 1 4.4
Sum 4229.9 77345 6341 3512.9
World 6796.0 137959 20.3 13000 94.2 56356 40.9
Africa 4047 119
N America 480 106
Asia 6907 91
L America 933 81
Oceania 20 64
Europe 466 62

The data considered are taken from:

It is concluded that the US still rates high for health care, and there is not much that can be changed for preterm births and infant mortality without more societal changes.

Other articles of interest:

Spending of 2009 US Tax Dollars Counterpoint

I recently read an interesting article “So Here’s What Your Tax Dollars Buy”, by Brian Riedl. In particular, the statement “Washington will spend $33,880 per household in 2009…nearly $8000 more than last year.” A research of the approximate number of US households was estimated to be 112,900 for 2009. That calculates to 3.825 trillion dollars spent; a lot of money, so-what. But spending $33,880 dollars per household registers with me as a lot of money.

I decided to look at some facts that resulted in the following (a lot of numbers):

Estimate Estimate Article
Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

US Budget Tot ($B) 2700 2800 2900 3100 3550 3825
Soc Sec/Medicare (%) 42.9 43.8 41.5 41.1 40.5 27.8
Int on Debt (%) 7.8 8.7 9 8.4 4.6 3.6
Defense (%) 19 19.6 16.6 16.6 18.6 17.3
Health (%) 2.4 2.3 2.2 2.1
Transportation (%) 2.6 2.8 0.4 0.4 2 1.6
Vets Benefits (%) 2.5 2.6 1.4 1.4 1.5 2.4
Education (%) 3.3 3.2 1.9 1.9 1.3 1.2
Justice (%) 1.1 1.6 0.7 0.7 0.7 1.3
Fed Ret. Benefits (%) 2.9
Unemploy Befits (%) 2.7
Financial Bailout (%) 18.7
Anti-poverty (%) 14
All Other (%) 20.8 16.7 22.8 27.2 28.6 4.4
Financial Bailout ($B) 787 746
Anti-poverty ($GDP) 3 3 3 3 4 4
Tot Tax Recepts (%) 81.5 85.7 91.7 87.1 67.1 54
Tot Tax Receipts ($B) 2200 2400 2660 2700 2381 2063
Indiv Income Tax (%) 44 45.8 47 44.8 44.6
Soc Security Tax (%) 37.2 36.2 34.9 35.2 39.8
Corpaorate Tax (%) 10 15.4 11.8 12.6 9.3
Excise Tax (%) 3.4 2.7 2.6 2.6 3.2
Estate & Gift Tax (%) 1.2 1.1 1 1 0.8
Custom Duties (%) 1.3 1.1 1.1 1.1 1
Other (%) 2.9 2 1.9 1.8 1.5
Social Security (%) 20.2 19.9 21 20.8 19.5
Medicare (%) 12.8 14.1 13.3 13.2 12.8
Medicaid (%) 9.9 9.9 7.2 7.2 8.2

What is tabulated is the US total budget dollars for the years 2006-to-2010 with a listing of the category where spent, as given in the article by Riedl. The last column compares the article with the US government facts. The facts came from:

2006 United States Federal Budget

2007 United States Federal Budget

2008 United States Federal Budget

2009 United States Federal Budget

2010 United States Federal Budget

Items to notice:

The financial cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan war are not part of the defense budget.

The financial bailout and anti-poverty funding are separate funding.

The Total Tax Receipts have been shown broken out to show our total taxes.

The Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid funding has been broken out for each fund.

The Total Tax Receipts are given as billion dollars and as per-cent US budget.

It’s difficult to get a good uniform listing of actual US Tax dollar spending by category.

80% to 85% of US Taxes come from individual’s (Income and Social security) taxes.

The percentage corporate taxes doesn’t appear to be going up.

It is concluded that the detailed numbers given by the article tax dollar categories are suspect (not much), however the $33,880 spent per household may be conservative. Can you believe it?

Reference other info:

United States Federal Budget-wikipedia

2008 US Federal Budget-Kevin Colby news

USA Spending 2009

Projection of number of US Households

 

Click here to see other Counterpoint articles

U.S. Population Growth Counterpoint

Since 1960 to 2050 the U.S. Population Growth is expected to go from 179 to 438 million. I have always considered it to be around 200 million until recently I saw it was 306 million. Where did the 100 million come from? And now I find out by the year 2050 there will be another 150 million. As of 2008, the U.S. comprises 4.5% of the World’s population.

The U.S. population distribution by race in 2006, of  299 million, as:

White-66% or 198.1 million

Hispanic-14.3% or 44.3 million

Black-13.4% or 40.9 million

Asian-4.4% or 13.1 million

American Indian or Alaskan native-.68% or 2 million

Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander-.14% or .43 million

The expected U.S. population by race in 2050, of  438 million, as:

White-47% or 206 million

Hispanic- 29% or 127 million

Black-13% or 57 million

Asian-9% or 39 million

What does this all mean, and how is the U.S. changing?

Additional Info:

  1. Immigration to Play a Lead Role
  2. U.S population by State
  3. Black population by State
  4. Asian population statistics
  5. U.S. Hispanic population to triple by 2050

Click here to see other Counterpoint articles