My [Joseph Friedlander] new Sun Explosion paper is out with Professor A.A. Bolonkin. Long term existential risk in case of a resumption of nuclear arms races with crazy dictators over the next thousand years.
If you ever wondered why someone would want to go to the Oort Cloud rather than the Kuiper belt to locate their space colony, this might explain it.
The reader naturally asks: Why even contemplate such a horrible scenario? It is necessary because as thermonuclear and space technology spreads to even the least powerful nations in the centuries ahead, a dying dictator having thermonuclear missile weapons can produce (with some considerable mobilization of his military/industrial complex)—an artificial explosion of the Sun and take into his grave the whole of humanity. It might take tens of thousands of people to make and launch the hardware, but only a very few need know the final targeting data of what might be otherwise a weapon purely thought of (within the dictator’s defense industry) as being built for peaceful, deterrent use. Those concerned about Man’s future must know about this possibility and create some protective system—or ascertain on theoretical grounds that it is entirely impossible.