Science-related excerpts from President Obama’s State of the Union address
It includes strong words on combating human-caused climate disruption.
Steven T. Corneliussen
Physics Today, January 2015
The following excerpts, which cover numerous issues, are from a White House transcript of the remarks as prepared for delivery and released before the speech:
We believed we could reduce our dependence on foreign oil and protect our planet. And today, America is number one in oil and gas. America is number one in wind power. Every three weeks, we bring online as much solar power as we did in all of 2008. And thanks to lower gas prices and higher fuel standards, the typical family this year should save $750 at the pump.
- Educational progress.
We believed we could prepare our kids for a more competitive world. And today, our younger students have earned the highest math and reading scores on record. Our high school graduation rate has hit an all-time high. And more Americans finish college than ever before.
- Extension of free schooling from high school through community college.
By the end of this decade, two in three job openings will require some higher education. Two in three. And yet, we still live in a country where too many bright, striving Americans are priced out of the education they need. It’s not fair to them, and it’s not smart for our future.
That’s why I am sending this Congress a bold new plan to lower the cost of community college—to zero.
Forty percent of our college students choose community college. Some are young and starting out. Some are older and looking for a better job. Some are veterans and single parents trying to transition back into the job market. Whoever you are, this plan is your chance to graduate ready for the new economy, without a load of debt. Understand, you’ve got to earn it—you’ve got to keep your grades up and graduate on time. Tennessee, a state with Republican leadership, and Chicago, a city with Democratic leadership, are showing that free community college is possible. I want to spread that idea all across America, so that two years of college becomes as free and universal in America as high school is today. And I want to work with this Congress, to make sure Americans already burdened with student loans can reduce their monthly payments, so that student debt doesn’t derail anyone’s dreams.
Thanks to Vice President Biden’s great work to update our job training system, we’re connecting community colleges with local employers to train workers to fill high-paying jobs like coding, and nursing, and robotics. Tonight, I’m also asking more businesses to follow the lead of companies like CVS and UPS, and offer more educational benefits and paid apprenticeships—opportunities that give workers the chance to earn higher-paying jobs even if they don’t have a higher education.
- Science-related issues.
21st century businesses will rely on American science, technology, research and development. I want the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to lead a new era of medicine—one that delivers the right treatment at the right time. In some patients with cystic fibrosis, this approach has reversed a disease once thought unstoppable. Tonight, I’m launching a new Precision Medicine Initiative to bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes—and to give all of us access to the personalized information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthier.
I intend to protect a free and open internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community, and help folks build the fastest networks, so that the next generation of digital innovators and entrepreneurs have the platform to keep reshaping our world.
I want Americans to win the race for the kinds of discoveries that unleash new jobs—converting sunlight into liquid fuel; creating revolutionary prosthetics, so that a veteran who gave his arms for his country can play catch with his kid; pushing out into the Solar System not just to visit, but to stay. Last month, we launched a new spacecraft as part of a re-energized space program that will send American astronauts to Mars. In two months, to prepare us for those missions, Scott Kelly will begin a year-long stay in space. Good luck, Captain—and make sure to Instagram it.
Now, the truth is, when it comes to issues like infrastructure and basic research, I know there’s bipartisan support in this chamber. Members of both parties have told me so. Where we too often run onto the rocks is how to pay for these investments.
- Nuclear weapons and Iran.
Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran, where, for the first time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material. Between now and this spring, we have a chance to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that prevents a nuclear-armed Iran; secures America and our allies—including Israel; while avoiding yet another Middle East conflict. There are no guarantees that negotiations will succeed, and I keep all options on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran. But new sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails—alienating America from its allies; and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again. It doesn’t make sense. That is why I will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress. The American people expect us to only go to war as a last resort, and I intend to stay true to that wisdom.
- Ebola and disease prevention.
In West Africa, our troops, our scientists, our doctors, our nurses and healthcare workers are rolling back Ebola—saving countless lives and stopping the spread of disease. I couldn’t be prouder of them, and I thank this Congress for your bipartisan support of their efforts. But the job is not yet done—and the world needs to use this lesson to build a more effective global effort to prevent the spread of future pandemics, invest in smart development, and eradicate extreme poverty.
- Human-caused climate disruption.
In the Asia Pacific, we are modernizing alliances while making sure that other nations play by the rules—in how they trade, how they resolve maritime disputes, and how they participate in meeting common international challenges like nonproliferation and disaster relief. And no challenge—no challenge—poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.
2014 was the planet’s warmest year on record. Now, one year doesn’t make a trend, but this does—14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century.
I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what—I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe. The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it.
That’s why, over the past six years, we’ve done more than ever before to combat climate change, from the way we produce energy, to the way we use it. That’s why we’ve set aside more public lands and waters than any administration in history. And that’s why I will not let this Congress endanger the health of our children by turning back the clock on our efforts. I am determined to make sure American leadership drives international action. In Beijing, we made an historic announcement—the United States will double the pace at which we cut carbon pollution, and China committed, for the first time, to limiting their emissions. And because the world’s two largest economies came together, other nations are now stepping up, and offering hope that, this year, the world will finally reach an agreement to protect the one planet we’ve got.
Steven T. Corneliussen, a media analyst for the American Institute of Physics, monitors three national newspapers, the weeklies Nature and Science, and occasionally other publications. He has published op-eds in the Washington Post and other newspapers, has written for NASA’s history program, and is a science writer at a particle-accelerator laboratory.
KELUD MOUNTAIN AL HIKMAH
My big families are living just 20 km in the south of Kelud volcano, which has been erupted since 13 February 2014 at 22.50. This active volcano statistically erupts in every 8 – 15 years. It has a typical eruption, which shows tremendous and terrible massive eruption but usually occur in a short time. Just few hours after the eruptions, there are 4 international airport closed, and hundreds of flight schedules are cancelled. The ash cover the western and northern areas of the mountain and reach more than 700 km in distance. Sahara is now moving to Java island. The Java island is connected into the Pacific ring of fire and get the top number of active volcanos in the earth. This made the living is so risky, but on the other side, it made the land fertile. So that’s why, in the past time the island is known as Java Dwipa, a Sankrit term, which means the paddy island. It is easier to grow anything on the land and yet it become the most dense population place in ….the world. Yeah, sure.
Who made this big disaster?
Just to let you know about some messages behind the disaster, which based on my religion, Islam. In Arabic reading, it starts from the right to the left. Everything in the universe can be controlled by the Mighty Creator, that is Allah. See the number of the year, month, date and the time of the volcano eruption.
The number 20:14 means Surah At Taa-Haa sub 14. It is translated that ” Verily, I am Allah! Laa ilaaha illa Ana (none has the right to the worshiped but I), so worship Me, and perform As-Salaat (Iqamat-as-Salaat) for My Remembrance”.
The date and month is 13: 02, it is Surrah Ar-Ra’d (The Thunder), which means “Allah is He Who raised the heaven without any pillars that you can see. Then, He rose above (Istawaa) the Throne (really in a manner that suits His majesty). He has subjected the sun and the moon (to continue going round), each running (its course) for the term appointed. He manages and regulate all affairs; He explains the Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons) in detail, that you may believe with certainty in the Meeting with your Lord.
What happen we twist the order, the month and date is 02:13. This is Surrah Al Baqarah sub 13, that is, ” And when it is said to them (hypocrites:” Believe as the people (followers of Muhammad Al-AnAnsaar and Al Muhajiruun) have believed,” they say” Shall we believe as the fools have believed?” Verily, they are the fools, but they know not”
Next is about the number of the time 0f 22: 49 and 22: 50; that is Surah Al-Hajj, ….:” Say (o Muhammad): O mankind! I am (sent) to you only as aplain warner” … ” “so those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah — Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, for them is forgiveness and Rizqun Kariim (generous provision, i.e. Paradise)”.
So, brothers and Sisters, this is a kind of warning from God. Let’s see the following figures which shows Kelud eruption and relates them with Al-Quran. See Surrah Ar-Ra’d bud 13″ And Ar-Ra’d (thunder) glorifies and praises Him, and so do the angels because of His Awe. He sends the thunderbolts, and therewith He strikes whom He wills, yet they (disbelievers) dispute about Allah. And He is Mighty in strength and Severe in punishment”.
Once more, the volcano eruption lessons are explained in Surah Al Waaqi’ah (The Event) 56: 4-6; Surah Al Maa’arijj 70:9 and Surah At-Thaa-Haa 20:105. Those are as follows:
Al Waaqi’ah (The Event) 56: 4-6–> “4. When the earth will be shaken with a terrible shake, 5. And the pountains will be powdered to dust, 6. So that they will become floating dust particles”
Surah Al Maa’arijj 70:9 –> ” And the mountain s will be like a flakes of wool”
Surah At-Thaa-Haa 20:105–> “And they ask you concerning the mountain: say “My Lord will blast them and scatter them as particles of dust” ”
OPENING WINDOWS SYNDROME
My children has been growing up, so it is the right time to pack the Bobo and I think one more packet left is still waiting for the social NGO’s order. Well, this is not about the used children books, but tend to the character of one the cute rabbits, “BiBi Tutup Pintu”. She is always angry whenever the door is opened. She wants the door normally closed at anytime. On the contrary cases, recently I realize that I always want to have the windows are opened in order to get breathing in a fresh air, except in the night time. I feel that my brain will stop thinking due to lack of the oxygen supply while staying in closed rooms. So, that’s why since the first time the eyes open, I constantly open the windows wherever they are. I ask my sons to open the windows before leaving the bedrooms, as well. And I even deny the fixed window design for the new house. It’s such a living in a box.
Bring this feeling wherever I am, it includes at the place where I work. The mixture of the musty air, bad citrus floor cleaner, damp mop aroma, and also sprayed air freshener, are the main reasons that have made me to open the windows. And of course, I turn off the air conditions, the artificial freshness ones. Instead, I open widely the narrow side of the mechanical closed twin door. This invites the real fresh air to come in to my room, to have deep breath, and go on working vivaciously.
Feeling so selfish when the day get hot, then allowing the air condition machine turns on to drive out the hot temperature until to get a pleasant place to continue the work again. And certainly, I still keep the windows are opened. This is a kind of energy scattering to chill the atmosphere! May oh may …what a life!
(02 Feb 2014)
RENOVASI RUMAH IMPIAN
Saat ini sedang merenov rumah yang sudah ditempat sejak 19 tahun lalu. Konsep yang diusung adalah natural home, artinya bangunan akan tampak seperti country look bahasa kerennya alias ‘ndeso’ bahasa awamnya. Rumah impian ini akan menjadi:
1. rumah sehat karena semua ruang dapat mengakses cahaya matahari;
2. sejuk alami karena aerasi udara lancar;
3. hemat energi , karena pencahayaan banyak memanfaatkan LED dan cahaya matahari;
4. udara segar, pasokan oksigen diperbanyak karena ada vertical garden didalam rumah;
5. kebun di atap rumah untuk menyalurkan hobi;
6. laboratorium pangan organik dan hidroponik.
Semoga Allah meridhloi rencana ini, amien.
(26 Desember 2013)