+' Rolla Peace Newsletter, July 11, 2017

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Rolla Peace News

July 11, 2017


Dear Friends:

          In this newsletter is:

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) A Tale Of Two Meetings
          b) Military Superiority?
          c) Science Hath Taken Away, Science Giveth Back



We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office THIS THURSDAY, JULY 13, 2017, (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.


This article by Michael Mann is a reaction to a much longer article by David Wallace-Wells, published in New York Magazine early this week. The Wallace-Wells article is an important one in that it tells in detail just how bad it could get if we aren't able to reverse global warming:

“Could” is the word to note here. Wallace-Wells paints the worst-case scenario vividly, with a lot of supporting evidence. Mann debunks some of his conclusions and points out at least one inaccuracy, but fails to convince me that it couldn't get that bad. He also fails to convince me that we should not prepare for the worst, while hoping for the best. Mann feels that in presenting the case for climate change in this way, Wallace-Wells is encouraging people to feel hopeless and doomed, so they will be too paralyzed by fear to take action.

I agree with Mann that fear is not the preferred emotion when faced with an emergency situation, but neither is unrealistic optimism. I'd be more impressed with Mann's arguments if he had any suggestions about how to cope with a worst-case scenario, if it should come about. Perhaps some research on what kind of lifestyle could survive in a climate such as Wallace-Wells describes would be appropriate. Frank Herbert's science fiction novel, Dune, offers some ideas. It might not get that bad, but what if it does?

5. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) A Tale Of Two Meetings
          b) Military Superiority?
          c) Science Hath Taken Away, Science Giveth Back


122 nations met and approved the text for a treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. The text states in part:
“Each State Party undertakes never under any circumstances to: (a) Develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices;”
The nine nuclear weapon states boycotted the conference. The first five nuclear states, US, Russia, UK, France and China, are signatories to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty which went into force in 1970, and stated in part:
“Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.” (Article VI)
47 years later they have done no such thing. Matter of fact they are modernizing their nuclear arsenals as I write.

Japan which has suffered far more than any nation from both nuclear weapons (Hiroshima and Nagasaki) and nuclear energy (Fukushima) also boycotted the conference.

Iran, which some claim is developing nuclear weapons, agreed to the text of the treaty. Countries that refused to even attend the conference should stop trying to paint Iran as a nuclear wannabe.

If you want to know who the nuclear wannabes are: look to the non-nuclear weapon states that also boycotted the conference.

Instead of attending the conference on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, six nuclear weapons states, the original five plus India, attended the G20 conference, where the world's 20 largest economies agreed to do nothing to make the world a more peaceful and just place.

Other conference participants snubbed Donald Trump for not pretending that he wants to make the world a more just and peaceful place. This was rather disingenuous. Donald Trump is the bastard son of Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel. Without Putin, Merkel and the rest of that cabal, there would be no President Donald Trump.

Incidentally, no one elected the G20 to make decisions for the rest of the world. Some of these wealthy countries claim to be “democracies.”


Military superiority is very illusive. Nations that want military superiority can easily spend themselves into the poorhouse, with nothing to show for it.

A few months ago I pointed out that Russia has drone submarines that, at a fraction the cost, have neutralized the billions (maybe trillions.) that the United States has spent on missile defense systems.

North Korea, for a fraction the cost of the United States nuclear program, has developed nuclear weapons and missiles that can target Seoul, Tokyo, Alaska, Hawaii and maybe even the lower 48 states. Actually the missiles are just icing on the cake. To inflict unacceptable damage all they need do is wait for the wind to blow toward Seoul or Tokyo, and lob a nuclear bomb in that direction.

China appears to have developed quantum radar, which, at a fraction of the price, neutralizes all the billions (maybe trillions.) that the United States has spent on the B2 bomber and other stealth technology .

And the Islamic State, for almost nothing as world military expenditures go, continues to challenge the United States and its allies, in spite of their recent lose of Mosul.

Military superiority? Ha! What military superiority? And the Trump response? Gut the nation's infrastructure even more to spend even more lavishly on the military.

Better to study the fate of the Roman empire and all other empires that went down the superiority road.


One of the truly great triumphs of modern Science was the eradication of smallpox in the 1970s. Smallpox could be as much as 95% fatal in populations, such as many 18th Century Amerindian tribes, with no natural immunity. Soon after the eradication was complete, smallpox vaccinations became a thing of the past. Much of the population is no longer protected.

But, this dread disease could make a comeback. A group of virologists has synthesized horse pox, a close relative of small pox from commercially available DNA at the cost of a mere $100,000. If it can be done with horse pox, it can certainly be done with small pox too.

Are you scared? You should be. And who knows what other dread diseases, like for instance, Zika, lie on the horizon?

Science hath taken away, Science giveth back; blessed be the name of Science.


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