Trigger for WWIII?

Civil Defense Perspectives March 2013 Vo. 30 No. 3

“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Someone had blunder’d:

Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

“The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1854

Even small, seemingly insignificant places, like Sarajevo, can spark global conflicts. Crimea is not strategically insignificant.  The [First] Crimean War fundamentally altered the balance of power in Europe, which had kept the peace for three decades after the Treaty of Vienna ended the Napoleonic Wars. And the outcome set the stage for World War I. Continue reading

Climate Glasnost?

Civil Defense Perspectives November 2013 Vo. 30 No. 1 [published January 2014]

In its Fifth Assessment Report (AR-5), the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has to confront some inconvenient truths, such as the 16-year “pause” in global warming. Even Nature, “one of the most alarmist voices in the climate debate,” is having to “walk back its past predictions of climate apocalypse,” writes Joseph Bast of the Heartland Institute. Continue reading

War on Prosperity

Civil Defense Perspectives May 2013 Vol. 29 No. 4. [published January 2014]

On Jan 8, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty. Now, $20 trillion later, the poverty rate has barely budged, and welfare spending is up 375% in constant dollars.

In contrast, the war on prosperity is winnable. The U.S. government is waging this war against Americans on multiple fronts. Continue reading

War and Energy

Civil Defense Perspectives September 2013, Vol. 29 No. 6

Those who would dominate the world in the Industrial Age need to control access to abundant energy. They need to have energy themselves—and to keep others from challenging their monopoly over essential supplies. One type of weaponry is explosives and the means to deliver them. The other is fear, propaganda, and government regulation. Continue reading

Climate Extremism

Civil Defense Perspectives January 2013, Vol. 29 No. 2

The Happy New Year news is that Kyoto is dead. It expired at the end of 2012, leaving the world with 58% more greenhouse gases than in 1990, as opposed to the 5% reduction sought.

The second phase started Jan 1, 2013. Russia decided to discontinue its participation, and Ukraine and Belarus may follow suit. Canada is officially out. The U.S., China, and India have not committed to reducing emissions (Voice of Russia 12/31/12, quoted in CCNet 1/2/13). Continue reading

EPA v. Human Health

Civil Defense Perspectives November 2012, Vol. 29 No. 1

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is claiming authority to regulate virtually anything it chooses based on the linear no-threshold (LNT) theory, not just of radiation carcinogenesis, but of everything. If economist Frédéric Bastiat tried to construct a reductio ad absurdam on pollutants, like the one in The Candlemakers’ Petition to ban sunlight, he would find that what he proposed as absurd is taken seriously by the EPA. Continue reading

The Aftermath of Fukushima

Civil Defense Perspectives September 2012, Vol. 28 No. 6

After Fukushima, people are asking questions such as: Should Japan, and the world, totally give up on nuclear energy(Nature 6/7/12)? Casualties from radiation, from the worst nuclear accident in history, are still zero. But what about the projected later cancers?  What if an accident contaminates the environment forever? Should people be allowed to return home?

A rational discussion of evacuation policy must begin with the question: “What is the dose?” The follow-up: If we evacuate Fukushima, should Denver be evacuated? How about Finland?  Continue reading

Preparing for Economic Disaster

Civil Defense Perspectives July 2012, Vol. 28 No. 5

An obscure 1984 newsletter than I unearthed while cleaning out a filing cabinet predicted fiscal armageddon, followed by a world government, because of a Third World debt crisis.

It was said that a default would collapse the entire international banking system. At the time, the total debt of the four largest Latin American countries was: Argentina, $38 billion; Brazil, $88 billion; Mexico, $82 billion; and Venezuela, $31 billion. Continue reading

Healthcare Bankruptcy

Civil Defense Perspectives May 2012, Vol. 28 No. 4

To sell national or “universal” (that is, compulsory) health insurance,  “reformers” use individual hardship stories and statistical hype. Barack Obama claimed that medical costs cause a bankruptcy in America every 30 seconds. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren claimed that “at least” 46% of all bankruptcies had a medical cause in 2001, and that this represented a 23-fold increase over 20 years.

Although the statistics are flawed, the cost problem is real. The proposed solutions do not prevent bankruptcy, but rather assure it—for the existing medical system, and ultimately the whole economy. Continue reading