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Rolla Peace News

October 29, 2019
Dear Friends:

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          In this newsletter is:

2. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) California Burning — Again
          b) Good News! Earth May Be More Resilient Than Previously Thought
          c) And What Happened Last Month?



We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office, THIS THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, FROM NOON TO 1:00 PM (and most subsequent Thursdays until Peace is established). Please try to join us. The temperature is predicted to be in the 30s. 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.

2. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) California Burning — Again
          b) Good News! Earth May Be More Resilient Than Previously Thought
          c) And What Happened Last Month?

California Burning — Again
“The fire is important to our people and to the telling of tales. The light, the heat, and the sound of burning wood speak to our spirits more deeply than any words. Winter is a time for stories, and one should call upon the fire to join in the telling of the tale.” —Jeffrey Prusski (Bring Back the Deer)
This is getting to be a very predictable yearly occurrence — devastating wildfires in California. The Kincade Fire in Sonoma County is threatening some of the same areas laid waste two years ago by the Tubbs Fire that wiped out parts of Santa Rosa, a city of 175,000 inhabitants. So far 200,000 people have had to evacuate as the dry Santa Ana winds sweep in off the desert and fan the flames. As of the time of writing, the Kincade Fire has burned 75,000 acres and is only 15% contained. California, like much of Australia and many island nations are fast becoming unlivable — at least not in the sense of what we used to think of as a “civilized” existence.

When I was a kid in primary school, I recall a teacher informing us that our early Ice-Age ancestors had “tamed” fire. What a joke! More accurate would be that fire is taming us.

Fire historian Steve Pyne discusses how Fire and Mankind evolved together in symbiosis. Fire gave us big heads and small guts. Mankind gave fire the ability to reach places it could have never colonized on its own. But, sadly, our love affair with fire seems to have taken a violent turn; and fire has assumed the dominant role.

And here Leonard Cohen sings a haunting ballad of the love affair between Sainte Joan of Arc and the Fire.
“I saw her wince; I saw her cry;
I saw the glory in her eye.
Myself, I long for love and light;
But must it come so cruel, and oh so bright?”

Good News! Earth May Be More Resilient Than Previously Thought

Paleontologists studying the Corral Bluffs, south of Denver, have reconstructed evolutionary events following the asteroid strike 66 million years ago that killed off 75% of living species including the dinosaurs. It seems that after the holocaust temperatures rose about 5°C and the largest mammal remaining weighed little more than a pound. Corral Bluffs bounced back quickly. After 100,000 years Corral Bluffs boasted mammals 10 times as large and within a million years, mammals weighing over 100 pounds were roamed the site. This recovery is far faster than paleontologists previously thought possible.

There is a lesson here: While Earth seems very likely to recover quickly from the human-induced die-off currently under way, there is no reason to suspect that large land animals like man are any more likely to survive the die-off then the dinosaurs were 66 million years ago.

By way of comparison: Estimating the life-span of the Earth as nine billion years and assuming an average human life-span of 80 years, one million years of geological time equals 3.25 days in a human life. That's a phenomenally fast recovery from almost complete devastation.

And What Happened Last Month?

All eyes are now on Syria and the current US re-invasion to retake Syrian oil for the United States. But last month, September 2019 tied with September 2015 as the warmest September on record and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased by 3 ppm over September 2018.

From the Bahamas to Asia, September 2019 was marked by numerous record-setting climactic events. Some are listed here.

It seems that we would be wise to leave Syrian oil in the ground, and concentrate on the near-term survival of our species before it is too late.


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: at the top of rightmost column).

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Wage peace,

helenm (at) fidnet.com