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Good: Nuclear Doomsday Clock Turned Back; Bad: Board Didn’t Factor In Iran

Stupid: The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists thinks we are now further from annihilation because of ... progress on "climate stabilization."

by
William M. Briggs

Bio

January 24, 2010 - 12:00 am
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The word more is revealing. It is taken for granted that the reader knows who was less pragmatic. Yet you-know-who’s name is never mentioned.

It is true that the Obama administration has put out feelers to the Russian plutocracy, and that discussions about how to reduce aged stockpiles of nuclear weapons have been held. But even progressives agree that Copenhagen was no more than Mr. Obama playing hide-n-seek with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

And even with Mr. Obama’s heroic efforts, the BAS still admitted: “We can no longer prevent global warming — it is upon us. … Without vigorous and immediate follow-up to the Copenhagen conference and well-conceived action we are all threatened by accelerating and irreversible changes to our planet.” To fix the devastating global warming we see all around us (shut up; of course you see it), the BAS wants to “to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through tax incentives, harmonized domestic regulation and practice.”

Can governments harmonize?

Never mind. Because we haven’t come to the weirdest portion of BAS’s announcement: the strange, empty silence about Iran. “We may be at a turning point, where major powers no longer see the value of nuclear weapons for war-fighting or even for deterrence.” They don’t?

Iranian President Mahmoud “Nyah-Nyah-Nyah” Ahmadinejad’s definition of the word “value” is different. He is busy clearing the streets of Tehran with bullets while beavering away on weapons work in Natanz. And Iran has just spurned — great word — another deal that would have helped them avoid further sanctions.

According to the New York Times, Iran would have been forced to ship its stock of low-enriched uranium “below the quantity needed for the fissile core of a nuclear weapon.” To this polite request from its betters, Iran said: “Nah.”

They want to keep their radioactive clay, which will be squeezed into the shape of a bomb or two. And won’t that be fun. But these events do not worry the atomic scientists, who are more interested in scolding the “coal power sector of the world economy.”

The BAS has outlived their usefulness. It is time for them to take their hands off the clock.

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William M. Briggs is a statistical consultant in New York and San Francisco. He is an American Meteorological Society member and serves on their Probability & Statistics Committee. His specialty is on the philosophy of evidence, forecast evaluation, and marketing.
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