Developing: Does Russia have a dirty bomb? Do they want the world to know about it? It looks to me like there are a number of messages being delivered between Russia and the United States more or less publicly. That would include the US’s Trident missile launch along California’s coast. Nuke-rattling via subtweets. Meanwhile, another competition, this one for clicks, continues. The Daily Beast summarizes a Twitter conversation about the Russian bomb that I participated in. Here’s a critique of that kind of journalism. Image from Arms Control Wonk, who says he intends to write more.
The Metrojet crash in the Sinai seems to have put the Kremlin in a quandry as to how to respond. It would be easy to use it as a justification for Russia’s involvement in Syria and to up the ante on a war against terrorists, but that hasn’t been done. Moscow is reported to have asked the FBI for help, then said no thanks. A sprinkling of the usual conspiracy theories have appeared on Russian television (The CIA did it!), but none seem to be getting wide distribution. More here. Also developing.
Safe and productive nuclear power plants are being closed down in the United States because the economics of cheap natural gas make this a sensible thing to do for the power companies. These plants produce energy with very low carbon emissions, but that doesn’t count in power company economics. If there were a carbon tax, it would.