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The Blue/Red Divide

An analysis of the presidential election results in the United States from 1964 to 2016 reveals just how persistent – and close – the Blue / Red divide has been over the last 50 years. In 2016, if one adds the votes of the two third-party candidates (Gary Johnson and Jill Stein) to the totals for Trump and Clinton, respectively, the difference between the two main candidates was a small fraction of 1%, out of 136 million votes cast. Trump earned his Electoral College victory through a 75,000-vote plurality (out of 136 million) in just three states (Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. it seems likely that the bitterness and sense of irreconcilable differences between the two sides are set to intensify no matter what the outcome of the 2020 presidential race turns out to be: President Trump’s “base” will be further energized whether he wins or loses. For the president has come to embody this divide, and therefore either one side or the other would enter the coming decade convinced that the Republic was doomed. How long will it take for a nation of citizens armed to the teeth with military-grade weapons to conclude that the time had come to employ them in the service of their political beliefs?

Our Nature

All of human civilization to date has taken place in the geological epoch known as the Holocene, beginning about 12,000 years ago, when temperatures were about 6°C (11°F) warmer than they had been just 7,000 years earlier. In this time, a relatively brief one in the earth’s history, the human population exploded, from a few million to seven billion and rising. In this sense, the nature we know could be said to have been “made for us.” With the rising global temperatures we have caused over the past two centuries, we are abandoning the stable Holocene climate in which we have flourished to date. Very little time remains to change course; there is good reason to think that we and our descendants will regret the consequences of bit doing so.

Black Holes of Risk: Volume 1

This volume contains a Preface by Ortwin Renn, followed by 10 short pieces and 16 full articles: Risk Management and Precaution (2003, with S. E. Hrudey); Men Having Sex with Men (2008, Update 2017); The Air-India Inquiry (2007, Update 2017); Ozone and Climate (2005); Why and When Decisions Fail (2005); Smart Regulation and Risk Management (2003); The Risk Amplification Framework (2003); “Down and Dirty” (1995); The Evolution of Risk Communication Practice (1996); Effective Risk Communication Practice (2004); A Tale of Two Food Risks (2006); Climate Change: A Guide for the Perplexed (2001); Labeling of Genetically-Modified Foods (2003); Carbon Capture and Storage (2009, Update 2017); BSE in Canada (2010, Update 2017)Chronic Wasting Disease (2017).

Black Holes of Risk: Volume 2

This volume is devoted exclusively to the issue of the Long-Term Storage of Nuclear Waste and includes the following chapters, a number of which were done with the collaboration of other authors: The Interface of Science and Policy; Three Papers on Community Engagement (Update 2017); Stigma and the Stigmatization of Place; Qualitative Risk Comparisons (1); Risk Perception Background Study; Risk Perceptions of Nuclear Waste Storage; Qualitative Risk Comparisons (2).

Hera: The Buddha

This is the third volume of The Herasaga, a work of utopian fiction.