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science and math 1

The threat of nuclear weapons and of climate change to the survival of organized life on Earth bring us to the following sources from the fields of Science, Math, and Technology. Please select one (1) document to review, analyze, and relate to the threats posed by nuclear weapons and climate change. Please discuss and share your work with classmates friends, teachers, family, fellow students, co-workers, and so on. As you do this, please prepare your own document with one or two figures (if sources have them), one or two tables (if sources have them), and around 800 words in which you present the results of your work, making sure to cite the sources from which you draw and to acknowledge those people who provided you with insights, discussion, and ideas. Sources are organized by topic in the folder “Midterm_Stuff” in “Files,” available on course reserves at the CSU Dominguez Hills Library, or on-line at link provided.

1. Forced Savings (OASDI Trust Fund Report 2018 Summary, social_security_summary2018.pdf, 34 pages)

The main way we build cash to build stuff we need but do not yet have is forced savings. Every rich country has some form of it, as do many poor ones. The idea is that we pay into the system when we have more cash than we need during our peak earning years and then cash out when we have more needs than cash during our later years. In between we have a pile of cash to pay for the things that change the way we live and work so that our potential as human beings to create and inquire is fully developed.

Each year in the United States the Trustees of the system of forced savings (and the system to take of health bills those out of the workforce) report on the size of the pile of cash. The report for 2018 runs to hundreds of pages. Here we have a summary which concludes that the forced savings system is fully paid at least until 2034 with modest demographic and economic assumptions. The pile of cash is roughly $3 trillion high. Here is a link to find more information on the full report, along with summaries of these assumptions, tables, and figures

https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TR/2018/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

2. Housing (J. J. McConnell and S. Buser, Annu. Rev. Finance Econ.(2011) 3, 173, mortgage_finance2011.pdf, 22 pages).

The second way people build a sense of place and wealth in rich countries is by owning a home. McConnell and Buser look at the way that banks shift the risks of lending to home buyers on to the tax payer while keeping the profit: mortgage-backed securities. The authors who favor such a scheme conclude that the revolving pile of cash moving through housing was only about $2 trillion in 2011, much less than the amount of cash we have in our system of forced savings.

3. Off-the-Shelf: We drive a lot and much of it is senseless from the point of view of social and economic life. Here is a look at how we can plan our cities so we live more and drive less.

Peter G. Rowe, China’s urban communities: concepts, contexts, and well-being” (2016) chapter 3. (rowe2016.pdf)

For the full book by Peter G. Rowe on China and Urban Design please follow the link at the CSU Dominguez Hills Library website found here:


4. In-the-Oven: These are technologies at different stages of research and development related to mitigating climate change.

(a) Y. Chang “Integral Fast Reactor” chang1988.pdf (8 pages) Nuclear engineer Yoon Chang at the Argonne National Lab of the United States Department of Energy summarizes the benefits of the “Integral Fast Reactor.” Climate scientist James Hansen writes about this work as a good way to get energy from nuclear power without the usual down-sides.

(b) H. Kim et al., Chem. Rev. 2013, 113, 3, 2075-2099 (kim2013.pdf, 25 pages). The group centered on Don Sadoway, professor of Materials Science at MIT, review their work on a liquid metal battery for grid-scale energy storage.

5. Nukes: The main study of the origins and character of United States policy on nuclear weapons is by political economist and historian Gar Alperovitz. Here is an updated version of that original work from 1965.

G. Alperovitz The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb (1995, Vintage, New York)

University Library Reserve Desk 2nd Floor D769.2 .A5 1995


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