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Rolla Peace News

June 7, 2016


Dear Friends:

          In this newsletter is:

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) A Year of Climate-Induced Extremes (With More to Come)
          b) Exit the Professor
          c) Extinction



We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office THIS THURSDAY, JUNE 9, 2016, (and all subsequent Thursdays until peace is established) from Noon to 1:00 PM. Please try to join us. The temperature is predicted to be in the high 80s. If you do not feel comfortable standing with us in front of the Post Office, please consider driving by and showing your support for our message by honking your horn and flashing a peace sign.


By the time you read this, the last presidential primary elections will be over, and we will most likely have the results. All the mainstream media have proclaimed Hillary the winner before the voting even began today, perhaps with intent to discourage Sanders supporters, or perhaps not — who can tell? Even many of those who have supported Bernie all along are now considering the race lost, and are focusing on the influence his movement may have on Clinton's policies (assuming she can win the presidency, which is far from a done deal). However, I would not rule out an upset at the convention, even if Clinton wins a majority of pledged delegates. Superdelegates have been known to change their minds, and the many polls showing Bernie a much better matchup against Trump than Hillary may convince them. It's not over until it's over.

The only thing I would add to the articles referenced above is that Hillary may promise the moon to get the support of Sanders voters, but given the many times she has changed her stand according to what she thinks voters want to hear, I wouldn't bet on her keeping her word, if once she gets the bit in her teeth.

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) A Year of Climate-Induced Extremes (With More to Come)
          b) Exit the Professor
          c) Extinction


2016 is on track to be the hottest year in recorded history by a long shot (as was 2015 and 2014 before it).

2016 started with a bang in January. Much of the East Coast of the United States was paralyzed in a record-setting category-five blizzard.

February saw a monster category-five cyclone in the South Pacific that devastated the Fiji Islands.

Winter 2016 never arrived in the arctic. In March, snow had to be hauled to Anchorage in order to run the iconic Iditarod dogsled race.

April saw a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Ecuador. Hold on, you say. What does climate change have to do with earthquakes? Turns out that all the melting of glaciers and all that water running off the glaciers into the oceans, trillions of tons of it, is causing movement in the Earth's crust, hence earthquakes and tsunamis, like the monster tsunami that caused multiple meltdowns at the Fukushimi Daiichi nuclear complex.

May: Last month was a doozy. The Fort McMurray, Canada fire burned out of control most of the month and is still burning out of control today. The wildfire caused the evacuation of a city of 70,000 inhabitants and has burned almost 1.5 million acres of boreal forest.

Phalodi, India experienced a record-breaking temperature of 124 F. Much of India sweltered in May, and after a brief respite, the heat is back in June.

We are seven days into June now, with flooding in Paris and much of Europe, not to mention Texas and the Gulf Coast.

June also saw the derailment of an oil train in the Columbia River Gorge, causing an oil spill in the Columbia River and the burning of highly flammable tar sands oil in the Gorge. But what does that have to do with Global Warming?

One way or another the days of fossil fuels are numbered. Either governments will start listening to the people and shut the industry down, or Nature will put an end to it in its own way — and the oil magnates have known this for years. So the name of the game is get it out of the ground as quickly as possible and sell it while it is still possible to do so, and the hell with health, safety and the environment. (Ever wonder why gas has become so cheap at the pump?)

Did climate change cause the above? You can give a lot of weasel answers if you like; but statistically, a warming climate makes all of the above types of disasters both more likely and more intense. They might have happened anyway: but fewer of them and less intensely.

And what's to come? Very likely, arctic sea ice will be totally gone by the end of the summer. Then you will really begin seeing temperature and weather anomalies.

Here's a high school physics experiment you can do. Put ice water in a pan on the stove and put a thermometer in the water. The thermometer holds steady at 32 F, until the ice is melted. Then the water temperature rises quickly. What happened to the heat while there was ice in the pan? It went into melting the ice.

The arctic moderates the climate for the entire hemisphere. So what can we expect to happen as soon as the arctic sea ice has all melted?

The bottom line: You ain't seen nothing yet. Here's what the Prophet Isaiah foresaw:
“Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word.

“The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.” —Isaiah 24:1-6 (KJV)

The key word in the last sentence is “few.” We can only pray that there will, indeed, be a few of us left after the collapse.


Professors Kim Hill (Arizona State) and Robert Walker (Mizzou) have been trying to get permission to contact the few indigenous tribes that have so far avoided contact with outsiders (meaning us). Now we have a video of the chief of the Guajajara tribe which, in the absence of effective action by governments, has set itself up as protector of neighboring uncontacted Amazonian Awa tribes (see embedded video in article above).

The Guajajara know from first hand experience what happens when indigenous tribes come into contact with the outside world. 45 years ago as a result of outside contact the Guajajara population plummeted 50%.

Hill and Walker believe that contact is necessary to protect these tribes from illegal loggers and drug dealers. Hill and Walker, who come from the same outside population as the illegal loggers and drug dealers, obviously don't consider themselves “illegal.” But that is a matter of opinion. Consider the short video embedded in this article, (You're All Illegal).

Hill and Walker also believe that uncontacted tribes want contact with the outside world; but given the sad history of contact between indigenous tribes and European culture, this is unlikely.

Here is a short story from my childhood: “Exit the Professor” by Henry Kuttner and CL Moore, 1947. A “perfesser” contacts a family of mutants living in the hills of “Kaintuck” and wants to study them. The family does not wish to be studied, and in the end it is the perfesser, and not the mutant family, that gets studied. You can read part of this delightful story here. For the rest of the story, you will have to buy it or borrow it from a library.

Harping back to the previous snippet. Who, if any, will be the “few” that are left after the collapse? It may well be that these uncontacted tribes are humanity's best chance to avoid extinction. Let's leave them alone.


Last weekend, I visited Guy McPherson's website and reread his Monster Essay, Climate Change Summary and Update. I do this about twice a year. This is the most complete compendium on climate change that I have been able to find anywhere, and Guy updates it regularly. There is a lot of new stuff posted since my last visit. I recommend this essay to anyone who is seriously interested in the subject of climate change. Here's a short article I wrote 18 months ago about Guy McPherson.

While I totally disagree with Guy, who believes that human extinction is assured, I thank him for this wonderful ongoing essay. The link to the connection between climate change and earthquakes and tsunamis came to me from Guy's monster essay, and led me eventually to Bill McGuire's book, Waking the Giant.

In an email exchange last year with Guy, I suggested:
“One possible argument you might make, is that with rising temperatures and increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations, atmospheric oxygen concentrations would fall below the threshold where humans could successfully give birth; but then I've never seen any predictions as to possible concentrations of atmospheric oxygen in a 5C or higher world — and I'm not a physiologist.”
Guy's essay now contains a link to the following abstract in which the authors surmise that “Our results indicate that the depletion of atmospheric oxygen on global scale (which, if happens, obviously can kill most of life on Earth) is another possible catastrophic consequence of the global warming, a global ecological disaster that has been overlooked.”

Here is an interesting graph showing atmospheric oxygen and carbon dioxide concentrations over time. Note that oxygen and carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere have fluctuated considerably over the past 500 million years. Also note that CO2 concentrations (and temperatures) have often been much higher than they are now.

The bottom line: Extinction is not necessarily assured; so “make prayer, do your best, and leave the rest to God.”


Rolla Peace News is distributed by email once a week on Tuesday evenings (except on rare occasions) and is posted on the web at http://tomsager.org (click on Grassroots Rolla: top of rightmost column).

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Wage peace,

helenm (at) fidnet.com