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Rolla Peace News

April 4, 2023
Dear Friends:
Editor's notes:

As I continue to recover from surgery, I hope to put out the Rolla Peace newsletter on an occasional basis (perhaps monthly).

Webperson's note:

If you are having trouble reading this, it is posted at
In this newsletter is:

1. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) Gas or Electric?
          b) Climate Catastrophe Updated
          c) Slouching Toward Nuclear WWIII
          d) How About Another Prisoner Swap?
          e) Shades of Monica Lewinsky
          f) Yet Another School Shooting

Gas or Electric?

Which is preferable, gas or electric? The answer depends on how your electricity is generated. Electricity generated from non-polluting renewable sources generates far less greenhouse gas than burning natural gas. But burning natural gas is far better for the climate than using electricity generated from coal.

Washington State generates most of its electricity from renewables and emits 55% less CO2 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) generated than burning natural gas. Missouri generates most of its electricity from coal and emits over four times as much CO2 per kWh generated as natural gas.

You can read some of the details in this short article.

The US electric power industry has reduced its CO2 emissions by 19% between 2015 (year of the Paris Accords) and 2021 (last year for which statistics are available). This is significant, although far from adequate given the looming climate catastrophe. It compares favorably with the Missouri electric power industry which reduced its CO2 emissions by 12% over the same period and the total for all sectors of the US economy which reduced its CO2 emissions by 7%.

By contrast, global CO2 emissions rose by 4% over the same period. We'll never limit global warming to 1.5°C that way. Maybe if we had exported climate saving technology instead of weapons of war things would be different. It's not too late to start.

Climate Catastrophe Updated

My ongoing climate catastrophe essay has been updated. Highlights for March include:

A host of records fell as Cyclone Freddy became the worlds longest living cyclone on record, making its way across the Indian Ocean from Australia to Africa, where it experienced multiple landfalls and devastated large parts of southern Africa. Freddy has taken over 500 lives. Malawi was particularly hard hit.

President Joe Biden has approved Conoco-Phillips' Willow Project. Willow Project seeks to develop Alaska's north shore oil and gas reserves on federal lands. Large banks are ecstatic about funding it. If completed, Willow Project will lock us into climate wrecking fossil fuels for decades to come.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produced yet another report issuing dire warnings if we don't cut our greenhouse gas emissions, while never once mentioning war as a driver of climate change.

Slouching Toward Nuclear WWIII

                    “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
                    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”
                    —William Butler Yeats (The Second Coming)

The UK has elected to send depleted uranium weapons to The Ukraine. Depleted Uranium is a radiological and chemical toxin, having caused widespread cancers and birth defects in places where it has been used such as Serbia and Iraq.

Russia has stated that it considers that DU weapons are nuclear weapons and would respond accordingly. In retaliation, Russia will be moving its nuclear weapons into Belarus. While NATO countries complain, they never mention that they have US nuclear weapons in five European countries: Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Italy and Türkiye, plus the UK and France have nuclear weapons of their own.

One aspect of nuclear warfare that is rarely, if ever, mentioned, is that a poor country can survive in today's world as an independent nation only by possessing nuclear weapons or some other means of inflicting unacceptable damage on an aggressor. While North Korea is the quintessential example, Russia is out-manned, out-gunned and out-spent by the West by a large margin. Libya is an excellent example of a country that gave up it's nuclear program, only to be destroyed by powerful Western nations.

How About Another Prisoner Swap?

Boy, we sure got the better of Russia when we traded Britney Griner, a widely acclaimed basketball star and two time Olympic gold medalist, for Viktor Bout, a wealthy Russian arms dealer, convicted in the United States of conspiring to kill US citizens. In his defense, “Bout claimed that if the same standards were applied to everyone, all American gun shop owners ‘who are sending arms and ending up killing Americans’ would be in prison.”

Now that Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reporter, Evan Gershkovich, has been detained in Russia for spying, I suggest another trade, Julian Assange for Evan Gershkovich. Russia would definitely get the better of this one — a journalist of worldwide acclaim for exposing US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan for a mostly unknown WSJ reporter; but maybe Russia would sweeten the pot by chipping in Paul Whelan, a former US marine serving 16 years in Russia for spying.

Shades of Monica Lewinsky

Why do these guys who have committed terrible crimes get charged only for acts in relation to their peculiar sexual peccadilloes?

Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about consensual sex in the White House with another adult. He should have been impeached for bombing Serbia and Sudan and for the sanctions of Iraq which caused the death of at least 1/2 million children.

Donald Trump has been indicted for paying hush money to Stormy Daniels not to talk about their brief consensual sexual encounter. He could have been charged for unilaterally withdrawing the US from important international treaties that enhanced the security of the entire world: the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the Iran Nuclear Deal and the Paris Climate Accords. — Or he could have been charged for separating young children from their parents at the border and keeping them in dog kennels.

The media likes to refer to Stormy Daniels as a “porn” star. I think she is a very brave woman. I like to refer to her as a movie star or an entertainer. If you want to see real “porn,” check out Bill Clinton or Donald Trump.

Incidentally, several years ago, I photo-collaged a cartoon and wrote a poem for Stormy and Donald. They appear to be pertinent in today's environment.

Note: The poem is a little “off-color.” The cartoon is not.

Yet Another School Shooting

                    “Behold, I will make thee a terror to thyself”
                    —Jeremiah 20:4 (KJV)

Last week, we witnessed yet another school shooting — three children and three grownups dead. That makes 376 school shootings since 1999

So what is to be done? Some say more guns. Others say less guns. Some say more laws. Others say less laws. Some say more police. Others say less police. Some say more background checks. Others say less background checks. Still others say do nothing.

I say stop going around the world terrorizing other people's children. Let's try it. What have we got to lose?

And one final thought: Does Vladimir Putin keep stolen Ukrainian children in dog kennels? Anyone out there know?

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