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Ross: The whole world in their hands (and a finger on the button)

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) during their second summit meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel on February 28, 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam. (Photo by Vietnam News Agency/Handout/Getty Images)

How many times over the years have we seen that shot of two famous men, sitting in arm chairs in a room decorated with flags and potted plants, smiling for the cameras after having a friendly chat about whether it would make sense to press their red buttons and destroy each other’s cities someday?

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The whole idea of course is never to actually press your button. But the only way to be sure the other guy never presses their button is to be ready to press yours first even though you would never do it.

I know the system has actually worked pretty well, except for the two times the buttons were almost pressed…

But do we really want to continue this? I can accept that an asteroid might do us all in, or even Thanos, (although I hear there might be a way to turn the clock back on that). But a circular firing squad – that would be embarrassing, right?

Which is why I’m suggesting a new project for the billionaire super friends. Something they can do under the radar, in between their space launches and global health initiatives.

I want them to train up an elite cadre of international saboteurs to simultaneously and discreetly disconnect all the red buttons. All the leaders will think they still work, so you still have deterrence, but if one of them were to press a button by mistake, nothing happens – so nobody else has to press theirs.

And that way we can go back to being afraid of global warming instead of global barbecuing.

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