Bombs and rockets

There are several reasons to conclude that the world today is experiencing a nuclear arms race alongside conventional military buildup by many actors and a breakdown of multilateral cooperation. Partly driven by US ballistic missile defence development, Russia began deploying weapon systems meant to counter them like the Topol-M in the 1990s. Now they are […]

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Clearly one of the principal things we need to learn as part of dealing with climate change is how to get along with one another as an international community. For one thing, we cannot afford the inevitably vast and frantic fossil fuel use which any great-power conflict would involve. More optimistically, it will only by […]

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Spies tend to make extravagant claims for their craft, but the reality of espionage is that it frequently makes little lasting difference. Politicians treasure classified information because it is secret, which does not necessarily render it more reliable than openly accessible information, and frequently makes it less so. If the enemy has spies in your […]

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Reading is an honor and a gift from a warrior or historian who—a decade or a thousand decades ago—set aside time to write. He distilled a lifetime of campaigning in order to have a “conversation” with you. We have been fighting on this planet for ten thousand years; it would be idiotic and unethical to […]

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Among the immortal Simpsons lines (and the triumph of engineers over fighter jocks): “I might remind you both I did design that racer. The driver is essentially ballast.”

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It’s possible to perform orbital maneuvers which would normally require fuel using instead the momentum of sunlight. Via the incomparable Scott Manley: Lightsail 2 Sails On Sunlight At Last

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I have long been skeptical about the prospects for off-world human colonies. Given that the International Space Station is the most expensive thing we have ever built and it is entirely reliant on supplies from Earth, it would be a gigantic leap just to make a self-sustaining closed life support system. Beyond that are many […]

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Over the years I have written a variety of academic papers on various aspects of nuclear weapons and nuclear power: 1) Written for an undergrad international relations course at UBC and subsequently published in a journal and given an award: “The Space Race as ‘Primitive’ Warfare.” UBC Journal of International Affairs. 2005. p. 19-28. 2) […]

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This week’s Economist is reporting about the growing danger of armed conflict between the United States and Iran: The brewing conflict between America and Iran As America and Iran act tough, the risk of conflict is growing President Donald Trump’s fixation with undoing “Barack Obama’s signature diplomatic achievement” in the form of the Joint Comprehensive […]

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The first Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) was lost on the way to space because of fraudulent metal provided by a supplier. The OCO was rebuilt at OCO-2, which has since collected data on the spatial distribution of carbon dioxide on Earth. OCO-3 will be attached to the International Space Station, which will further fill in […]

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