What are Trees Good for

February 26, 2020

Trees are vital. As the biggest plants on the planet, they give us oxygen, store carbon, stabilize the soil and give life to the world’s wildlife. They also provide us with the materials for tools and shelter.

The UN’s 2006 Billion Tree Campaign was inspired by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement. When an executive in the United States told Professor Maathai their corporation was planning to plant a million trees, her response was: “That’s great, but what we really need is to plant a billion trees.” The campaign was carried out under the patronage of Prince Albert II of Monaco.

As of November 2019, 13 years since the campaign’s launch, its website The Trillion Tree Campaign registered over 13.6 billion trees planted across 193 countries.

China planted 2.8 billion of those trees, after already planting 63.2 billion before 2006. India was in 2nd place with 2.5 billion trees and Ethiopia was third with 1.7 billion. The United States, a distant 12th place, only planted 315 million.

While China has been planting trees for “the past 40 years, the Earth has lost a third of its arable land to erosion and degradation.” – National Geographic

You might ask, “What is arable land?” Arable land is any land capable of being plowed and used to grow crops. That means in the last 40 years, our planet has lost thirty-three percent of the land capable of growing the food we need to keep from starving and dying off.

National Geographic reports, “in 1978, the Chinese government implemented the Three-North Shelterbelt Project, a national ecological engineering effort that called for the planting of millions of trees along the 2,800-mile border of northern China’s encroaching desert, while increasing the world’s forest by 10 percent. Also known as the ‘Great Green Wall,’ the project’s end date isn’t until 2050; so far, more than 66 billion trees have been planted.” …

“Beyond the Great Green Wall, China has taken other measures against encroaching deserts. A series of laws starting in the early 2000s also targeted the problem, including efforts to return some farm and grazing lands to a more natural state of forests or grasslands.”

Since China’s Great Green Wall is being planted in an arid desert without enough water, Chinese engineers are planning to build a 1,000km tunnel, the longest in the world, to carry 10 – 15 billion tonnes of water each year from the Yarlung Tsangpo River to the Taklimakan Desert in the north.

“The proposed tunnel, which would drop down from the world’s highest plateau in multiple sections connected by waterfalls, would ‘turn Xinjiang into California”, one geotechnical engineer said.” – South China Morning Post

China currently leads the world in planting trees, photovoltaic solar power use, the most wind energy produced, the most hydroelectric power, and Lithium-Ion battery production. Ancient China also built The Great Wall (13,170 miles long) and the longest canal in the world.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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It takes Faith to believe in something Science cannot explain

February 12, 2020

It takes faith to believe in God because there is no hard evidence that He exists. Belief in astrology also takes faith. Berkeley.Edu’s Understanding Science reports, “Although astrologers seek to explain the natural world, they don’t usually attempt to critically evaluate whether those explanations are valid — and this is a key part of science.”

Astrology: East vs West

In the East, the Chinese Zodiac, known as Sheng Xiao, is based on a twelve-year cycle, each year in that cycle relates to an animal sign. These signs are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig, and first appeared in the Zhan Guo period [5th century B.C.].

The Chinese zodiac was officially identified during the Han Dynasty [206 B.C.–9 A.D.]. “The zodiac was based on Chinese astrology and was used as a way to count years, months, days, and hours in the calendar. It was formed from two components: the Celestial Stem and the Terrestrial Branch. Each of the 12 animals stands for a year in a 12-year cycle, a day in a 12-day cycle, and for every two hours in a 24-hour day. These were used to name each year along with the animal signs, but now they mainly just use the dates.” – The Chinese Zodiac Washington.edu

My Chinese Zodiac Sign is the Rooster.

As a Rooster, it is alleged that I am “foresighted, ambitious, meticulous, and independent. The Rooster is the representative of confidence and intelligence. People who are born in the Years of the Rooster usually share lots of common personality traits such as being responsive, distinctive, smart, and earnest.”

In the West, the twelve astrological signs are Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. These signs are based on the twelve 30° sectors of the ecliptic, starting at the vernal equinox (one of the intersections of the ecliptic with the celestial equator), also known as the First Point of Aries.

Alexander the Great [356 BC – 323 BC] is attributed with the spread of astrology to Egypt and India. He is known to have consulted astrologers and to have them counted among his entourage during his campaigns. Alexander is responsible for the cross-fertilization of Greek, Persian, Mesopotamian and Indian astrologies. He founded the city of Alexandria to become the ancient world’s center of learning and housed, among many things, the astrological knowledge of antiquity.

Popular astrology could be said to have had its beginnings in ancient Rome. The early Roman astrologers were commonly referred to as Chaldeans, as it was the Chaldeans coming into the Empire that promoted and practiced the art. Astrology immediately appealed to the general public and the priests and intellectuals alike. – Astrology House.com

Western astrology says I am a LEO.

It is alleged that “those born under the Western Zodiac sign of Leo have much to say about everything. Leos are strong, confident, and majestic. They are highly social individuals who are often heavily involved in pursuits that interest them.”

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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China, the Enemy of your Enemy is NOT always your Friend

December 18, 2019

According to Global Research, “The ancient idea that ‘The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend’ originated in the 4th century B.C. in India.  Kautilya –  the ‘Indian Machiavelli’ – wrote about the idea in the Sanskrit military book, the ‘Arthashastra’.”

I have experienced and witnessed how “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” works.

Have you ever played or seen a game of four-way chess? When I was a faculty co-sponsor for a high school student chess club for several years, I often played four-way chess with three students, who thought I was the better player, formed an alliance to clear as many of my chess pieces off the board as possible until I was no longer a threat. Once that was achieved, two of the other three players would then form an alliance to take out the strongest remaining player. The smartest/sneakiest player was the one that used “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” to his/her best advantage and almost always won in the end.

I think Putin is that type of player, the sneakiest one that will manipulate the other players to help him win the game. To win, Putin will even turn countries against each other.

China must not forget that its history with Russia has not always been friendly.

Before 1600, China and Russia were on opposite ends of Siberia, which was populated by independent nomadic tribes.

But by 1640, Russian settlers reached the Amur River basin and settled in territory that belonged to China.

From 1652 to 1689, China’s armies drove the Russian settlers out, and after 1689 China and Russia made peace and established trade agreements. By the mid-1800s China’s economy and military power were no longer a match for Russia and Europe’s colonial powers. Taking advantage of the situation, Russia annexed the Amur basin and Vladivostok and stole that area from China.

During Russia’s 1917 Communist Revolution, there were two factions, the Reds vs the Whites. The Reds won. China-backed the Whites, and to punish China, in 1923, the USSR supported the Kuomintang (the Chinese Nationalists) and its leader Chiang Kai-shek instead of the Chinese Communist Party. It should be noted that Chiang Kai-shek also had the support of the United States.

China and Russia fought two border wars in the next ten years, and Joseph Stalin the leader of the USSR continued to give support to Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang government. Stalin also told Mao Zedong to cooperate with Chiang Kai-shek. Instead, Mao attacked the Chiang’s Nationalist government.

After World War II, the Soviets no longer needed to be friends with the United States and switched sides and backed the Chinese Communist Party under Mao. With this help, Mao won the Civil War in 1949. The U.S. was still supporting Chiang Kai-shek and his Nationalist Party, the Kuomintang.

Political tension between China and Russia emerged after Stalin’s death in 1953. In 1961, the unstable alliance ended when Mao accused the Soviets of revisionism. Then the two countries started to compete for control over foreign communist states and political movements around the world.

In 1969, there was a brief border war between the two countries, and President Nixon’s intervention saved China from a Soviet nuclear attack.

In 1979 China invaded Vietnam, which was an ally of the USSR. China also sent aid to the anti-Soviet Mujahedeen in the USSR’s war in Afghanistan.

In two-way or four-way chess, the players cannot trust each other even when they are allies. Every player must keep their eyes on the board because some players cheat.

Russia’s leaders have a long history of Anti-Americanism, dating back to the early days of the Cold War. In some of the latest Russian population polls, the United States and its allies consistently top the list of Russia’s greatest enemies.

Because President Donald Trump started a trade war with China, he destroyed the goodwill that President Nixon created by stopping Russia from destroying China with nuclear weapons. Trump’s trade war turned China into an enemy of the U.S., and Russia’s Putin is using that to his advantage until the United States is no longer a global threat.

Can China trust Putin after Donald Trump is gone and hopefully in prison?

Did Trump start his trade war with China because Putin told him to do it?

The Moscow Project reveals “12 Ways Trump has Supported Putin’s Foreign Policy Agenda”.

The Washington Post reports, “Amid trade war, Trump drops the pretense of friendship with China’s Xi Jinping, calls him an ‘enemy’”

When the next U.S. president ends the Trump (Putin) trade war with China, what will Putin do next?

Will Putin turn against China?

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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Does Impeach mean “to Remove from office”

December 11, 2019

Britannica says, “In the United States the impeachment process has rarely been employed, largely because it is so cumbersome. It can occupy Congress for a lengthy period of time, fill thousands of pages of testimony, and involve conflicting and troublesome political pressures. Repeated attempts in the U.S. Congress to amend the procedure, however, have been unsuccessful, partly because impeachment is regarded as an integral part of the system of checks and balances in the U.S. government.”

The U.S. House of Representatives has impeached 19 individuals since 1798, but only eight were found guilty and removed from office.  Click the link to learn who the guilty were.

What about China?

In China’s Constitution, removal from office is mentioned 15 times. For instance: “The National People’s Congress (NPC) has the power to remove from office the following persons: (1) the President and the Vice President of the People’s Republic of China …” China’s Constitution goes on to mention many other positions where individuals can be removed from office.

After a long Google search, I found one example of a CCP official being removed from office. “On April 10, 2012, the Communist Party suspended one of its top leaders, Bo Xilai, from his posts on the Party’s Politburo and Central Committee, and announced that the Party’s graft-fighting arm, the Central Discipline Inspection Commission, would be investigating him for alleged ‘serious discipline violations.’ The Party had removed Bo from his post as Party Secretary of powerful Chongqing Municipality just weeks earlier, on March 15.”

It wasn’t easy finding information about CCP Officials that were removed from office due to corruption/crimes until I changed the search terms I was using. Then I found the following information.

May 2018, the Guardian reported, “China sentences former political rising star to life in prison for corruption. Sun Zhengcai is one of the most powerful officials to be toppled under President Xi Jinping’s anti-graft campaign. …

“He became the first politburo member to be investigated since Bo, who was charged with corruption and sentenced to jail in 2013. Sun was expelled from the CCP in September after the party accused him of taking bribes and trading power for sex.”

In addition, The South China Morning Post reports that “Xi Jinping’s anti-graft drive has caught so many officials that Beijing’s elite prison is running out of cells. …

“It looks like being a particularly grim Lunar New Year in the ‘tigers cage’ this week. The notorious Qincheng maximum-security prison houses many disgraced senior Communist Party officials …

“The source said the prison was packed to the gills with inmates – a product of President Xi Jinping’s ferocious anti-corruption drive that has netted more than 1.3 million officials at various levels.” – February 2018

The score for impeachment and/or removal from office:

China: millions since 1949

United States: eight since 1798

Maybe the United States should transfer President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial to China where the American people might get a fair verdict. And if found guilty in China, let Donald Trump serve his prison sentence there, too. At least in China, Donald Trump would not have access to Twitter from his prison cell.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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China Unleashed, Again

November 27, 2019

While the United States is struggling to survive the arrogant, corruption, lies, ignorance and incompetence of President Donald Trump, Wharton warns us, “China and the U.S. are battling to be the leader in 5G technology, a fight it seems that Chinese tech companies are winning.”

While Donald Trump’s followers obsess about abortion while keeping a quarter of America’s children in crushing poverty, Kara Swisher warns us in the next video that, “Next tech innovation will come from China, not the U.S.”

While Trump’s Republicans are spreading the fear of socialism, American farmers are going bankrupt thanks to Trump’s infamous trade war with China and the world, in the next video, Richard Aguilar warns us, “China (a socialist-capitalist country) is innovating advanced technology in farming.”

“China has been continuously advancing in the field of technology and … you will see how China is transforming agricultural production in their country with the use and help of their technological advancement.”

While Donald Trump’s arrogant, ignorant, and corrupt Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is doing all she can to destroy the U.S. public education system, the same schools that helped make America the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world after World War II, Rebecca Fanning, the author of Tech Titans of China, says, “U.S. awareness of China’s tech industry as a whole is limited, and this oversight could ultimately prove costly to the U.S., if it persists.”

Fanning’s new book reveals “How China’s tech sector is challenging the world by innovating faster, working harder, and going global.”

If you don’t believe China is capable of racing past the United States because it is not a democracy like the United States, learn from Joseph Needham by reading The Man Who Loved China.

For more than fifteen-hundred years starting with the Han Dynasty in 206 BC, China was the most innovative and wealthiest country in the world up to 1644 AD’s Qing Dynasty. For instance, during those centuries, the Chinese invented paper, the stirrup, the crossbow, silk, tea, gunpowder, the printing press, the development of canal locks (that make the Suez and Panama canals work), and hundreds of other innovations.

I think the reason the United States is falling behind China is because the U.S. is no longer a Constitutional Republic and democracy with a clear separation of church and state. Instead, the United States is fast becoming a theocratic kleptocracy thanks to Citizens United and corrupt, manipulating liars like Donald Trump, the kleptocrat, and Betsy DeVos, the theocrat.

Meanwhile, China throws thieves and liars like Donald Trump in prison, and does not allow religions to have political power.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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Thanks to Donald Trump’s GUT, US farmers lost the Thanksgiving market in China

November 20, 2019

CNBC reports, “The duties in large part target U.S. farmers, who largely supported Trump in 2016 but suffered from previous shots in the Trump administration’s trade war with China. The thousands of products include peanuts, sugar, wheat, chicken and turkey.”

According to USDA.gov’s internal trade data for chickens, turkeys and eggs exported to China, in 2015, U.S farmers sold 260,102,000 pounds to China. Fast forward to 2018, and those exports fell dramatically to 122,000 pounds. If that is welcome news, send the Real Donald Trump a thank you tweet.

According to The Poultry Site.com, “Most of the world’s turkey meat is produced in just five countries: US, Brazil, Germany, France and Italy.”

Before Donald Trump, China bought most of its turkey meat from the United States.  My guess is that China is now buying its turkey from Brazil. “Although one-fifth of the size of the US industry, turkey production in Brazil rocketed by 220 per cent between 2000 and 2008. Without a doubt, this has been the most dynamic industry in the current decade with output likely to come close to 500,000 tonnes this year making this country the second largest producer in the world.”

By the time Trump arrived and declared his tariff war with most of the world, I think Brazil’s turkey producers were ready.

According to CNBC, “Struggling (U.S.) farmers are losing a huge customer to the (Trump’s) trade war – China.”

And if you think the Chinese do not eat Turkey, you are wrong. Mentalfloss.com tells us that China is #1 among the top five importers of turkey meat. According to Mentalfloss, China imported 82.8 million pounds, and that was back in 2012.

Conclusion, if you are one of the 72,000 American expatriates living and working in China and you want to eat turkey to celebrate Thanksgiving (a U.S. holiday), that turkey probably came from Brazil, Germany, France, or Italy, but not the United States where the farmers that produce turkey are probably facing failure if not already bankrupt.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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Do people or countries pollute, that is the question

November 13, 2019

Recently, I heard someone accuse China of being the world’s worst polluter based on its total carbon dioxide emissions (CO2). When I pointed out that per capita (per person) was more important than the total and mentioned that per capita in the United States was 15.53 tons of CO2 per person vs 6.59 tons for China, he refused to back down. To him, China was guilty of being the worst CO2 polluter on the planet, because of its total, not its per person number.

Saudi Arabia is the worst polluter on the planet because its population of 34.2 million produces 16.85 tons of CO2 per person (per capita).

If Saudi Arabia had China’s population, how much CO2 would its people produce?

The United States is ranked #3 for per capita (per person) CO2 emissions behind Saudi Arabia (#1) and Australia (#2).  China is ranked #12.

There are 195 countries in the world and if you click globalcarbonatlas.org, you will easily discover the population of each country and how much total CO2 pollution each country produces.

For instance, the United States has a population of 324,459,463 and it’s per capita CO2 emissions are 15.53 tones per person. China’s per capita (per person) emissions are 42.4-percent of the United States, but because China’s population is more than four times larger, the total amount of C02 is higher. China’s population is 1,409,517,317, and it’s per capita CO2 emissions are 6.59 tons per person.

If we got rid of all the people in a country, would that country still produce CO2 emissions?

U.S. 15.53 tons of CO2 per person vs China’s 6.59 tons


Watch the video and answer this question: what country has produced the most CO2 since 1960?

If you are interested, The Union of Concerned Scientists ranks the top 20 highest emitters of cumulative carbon dioxide emissions based on each country’s total and its per capita (per person) amount. The first chart is ranked by the total CO2 emission per country. Scroll down for the second chart that ranks the top twenty by individual (per capita) CO2 emissions. … The world’s per capita average is 4 tons of CO2 per person.  That means the population of the United States produces 3.88 times more CO2 than the global average vs China at 1.62 times.

Science Daily reports, “students conducted detailed interviews or made detailed estimates of the energy usage of 18 lifestyles (in the United States), spanning the gamut from a vegetarian college student and a 5-year-old up to the ultra-rich: Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates. The energy impact for the rich was estimated from published sources, while all the others were based on direct interviews. The average annual carbon dioxide emissions per person, they found (for the ultra-rich) was 20 metric tons …

“But the ‘floor’ below which nobody in the U.S. can reach, no matter a person’s energy choices, turned out to be 8.5 tons …. That was the emissions calculated for a homeless person who ate in soup kitchens and slept in homeless shelters.”

Just in case you did not understand what Science Daily was saying: The ultra-rich in the United States produce 20 metric tons per person (per capita) and even a homeless individual in the U.S. still produces 8.5 tons of CO2 vs China’s per capita average of 6.59 tons, but to the individual I went all Rambo on, none of that matters, because China is guilty due to its country total. Since CO2 emissions are caused by individuals instead of countries, I wonder what his solution would be … to execute one billion Chinese to get China’s total CO2 emissions down. How many American’s would have to die to get that country’s per person CO2 emissions down to 4 tons per capita?

What is China doing to lower its per capita (per person) number?

Well, USG.gov says, “China is the largest producer of (clean) hydroelectricity, followed by Canada, Brazil, and the United States.”

China is cleaning up coal production by renovating old coal-burning facilities, and some Chinese sources estimate that China will possess the world’s largest high-efficiency coal power system by 2020. … Over the last decade, China’s investment in renewable energy and natural gas has surged. In 2017, almost half of global renewable energy investment came from China, totaling $125.9 billion.” – China power.org

What about the United States under illegitimate President Donald Trump? Politifact.com says, “Emissions did fall slightly between 2016 and 2017. But the rate of decline slowed under Trump and the month-to-month changes have been modest. Whatever decline has occurred on Trump’s watch is unlikely to stem from his own policies. Changes to emissions levels tend to come either from changing economic incentives, government policy over the long term, and factors beyond human control, such as the weather.”

The New York Times reports, “How Trump Is Ensuring That Greenhouse Gas Emissions Will Rise”

Yes or No – is China the worst CO2 emitter in the world?

Your answer will depend on rational logic vs confirmation bias. If your thinking is ruled by bias, you will say yes, if your thinking is based on rational logic, you will say no.

Science Daily says, “In psychology and cognitive science, confirmation bias (or confirmatory bias) is a tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions, leading to statistical errors.”

What about you: do you make judgments and decisions based on confirmation bias or logic and facts?

Oh, and if you are one of “those” climate change denialists like Dumb-Dumb Donald Trump, and do not think CO2 emissions are a problem, I want you to know that exposure to CO2 can produce a variety of health effects. These may include headaches, dizziness, restlessness, a tingling or pins or needles feeling, difficulty breathing, sweating, tiredness, increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, coma, asphyxia, and convulsions. In fact, ToxTown says, “Breathing in high amounts of carbon dioxide may be life-threatening.”

Also consider that there are more than 7.7 billion humans living on this planet and when we average CO2 emissions per person, The World Bank says it is almost five tons each. However, that average is not accurate because some countries produce more CO2 per person than others. For the United States, that average per person is 16.5 tons (according to The World Bank). For China, it is 7.5 tons per person, and in India, it is 1.7 tons per person, way below the global average.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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