This talk was given some time ago but remains relevant.
This book addresses the incentives to develop nuclear weapons, what it takes to do so, and some of the technical aspects of nuclear and ballistic missile programs. It uses the North Korean program as an example. It also addresses the associated policy issues.
To read the front matter through Chapter 1, click on the link below.
This book is an attempt to show the majesty of the immense journey from the coming into being of the universe to the emergence and evolution of life. While it begins with the birth of the universe and the subsequent formation of the matter making up the stars and planets, it is the four and a half billion years since the formation of our sun and its planets that are the main focus of the book.
Part I covers the coming into existence of the universe; Part II the beginning of life on the early Earth; Part III the emergence of consciousness and intelligence; and Part IV, the immense journey of the universe beyond Earth. Part V addresses the problems raised by the emergence of higher-order consciousness in human beings as captured by the phrase “the human condition”.
If the US and Japan could make it clear to China that the consequence of inaction would be a nuclear armed Japan that might be an adequate incentive.
USA TODAY MAGAZINE (September 2017)
“What is happening as the average citizen looks on in disbelief is that an outworn, patched politico-economic system is cracking, while no serious steps are taken to ascertain the causes and remedies.”
USA TODAY MAGAZINE (JANUARY 2017):
Weinberg’s lament is the rather gloomy conclusion that the existence of the universe, and of intelligence in particular, appears to have no meaning. This essay explores the epistemological basis of this lament.
Science, Religion & Culture Vol. 3 Issue 1 pp.49-54 (2016)
The climate modeling community is confident that its models are adequate to be a basis for public policy decisions, despite the illegitimacy of ensemble averaging and the deficiencies with regard to the second law of thermodynamics.
USA TODAY MAGAZINE climate-shenanigans
The 8 August 2016 lead editorial of the New York Times made a financial argument against modernization of the nuclear arsenal — including the land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles. They then noted that former Defense Secretary William Perry had argued that land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles are no longer needed. Concluding that, “the time has come to think seriously about whether that leg of the traditional air-sea-land triad should be gradually retired”. Only one letter was published on 15 August that partly addressed the real problem associated with this leg of the triad. Here is the letter I wrote that addresses the issue:
To the Editor:
William Perry, as you report in your editorial of 8 August, is correct that land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles are no longer needed. What was not said is that their mere existence increases the probability of accidental war. As former defense secretary Perry well knows, these missiles are not survivable under nuclear attack. Historically, and no doubt currently, the lack of survivability drives national policy to a launch-on-warning posture. What this means is that when satellite and radar systems both indicate a massive ballistic missile attack, the President is given barely enough time to make a couple of phone calls before he must make the decision to launch the missiles or lose them. It has happened in the past that both satellite and radar systems have falsely indicated a nuclear attack. The nation went to the highest defense readiness condition but luckily the indication of an attack was found to be a false alert before the President was called.
At one time land-based ballistic missiles had a greater accuracy than survivable sea-based systems, but this hasn’t been the case for many years. The country would be well served by taking this opportunity to unilaterally eliminate them.
The late 19th and 20th centuries brought a revolution in the scientific understanding of the universe around us, one whose effects are still being felt around the world as it forces people to change their conception of the universe and the place of human beings within it. Perhaps the greatest remaining mystery is the nature of consciousness itself, which has been a subject of human inquiry for at least the last several millennia. In this essay, I discuss the nature of thought and consciousness and argue that that consciousness and thought are natural biological phenomena.
Updated version (4 April 2016)
(with S. Fred Singer)
Many people believe that wind and solar energy are essential for replacing nonrenewable fossil fuels. They also believe that wind and solar are unique in providing energy that’s carbon-free and inexhaustible. A closer look shows that such beliefs are based on illusions and wishful thinking.
Op-Ed in The Bridge: Linking Engineering and Society (Winter 2015)
Published quarterly by the National Academy of Engineering