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In principle a cold war scenario Mk2 is not only on the cards, I don't believe cold war one ever ended, though that's a debate within itself.
Do you remember the Stuxnet incident from several months ago?
60 Minutes made a program of the incident where an Iranian nuclear facility was attacked with a computer virus that imperceptibly sped up heavy water centrifuge, putting back their nuclear program by several years:
Unfortunately, and whoever it was that created the virus, it can also be turned against the United States, Europe, Canada, anywhere.
Imagine a few of the one-hundred and four nuclear facilities of the United States taking in a similar virus to do specific things?
The close proximity of roughly ninety nuclear facilities in an area running from the eastern seaboard through Minnesota and Louisiana could make a hell of a mess.
What with electrical power system disruption at the very least, you could go on upward to having not just one or two chemical incidents similar to the Bhopal gas tragedy – where Union Carbide Ltd, a pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, leaked out methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals resulting in the exposure of hundreds of thousands of people.
As speculative as it would seem at present, we could have tens of chemical companies attacked either in sequence or at the very same time.
Along with a couple of billion people who were dependent on food imports from America who could be left to fend for themselves for a time in the worse case scenario, it'd be a given that there could be tens of millions of countless deaths as collateral damage.
Is this the new face of war?
A two-faced war?
As faceless as a drone attack.
Cheap, explicit, without accountability or consequence.
I don't understand. You write on a forum written by a doctor of neurotoxicology who writes about economics. Yet you won't see the light of day with a physician, Doctor Helen Caldicott, a health care provider who practised the profession of medicine with more than just passing understanding of nuclear war?
Worse, that the pdf you source has the exact outcome as Helen Caldicott stated above?
If you treat people like this who agree, what do you do with those who don't?
Biological Consequences of Nuclear Winter
George J. and Elizabeth Schueler
Recent analyses have suggested that the immediate mortality during a nuclear attack may be greater than the CRP predictions and that the long-term consequences of a large-scale nuclear war are more severe and life threatening to those who do survive the blast itself. A nuclear exchange would threaten the health of the people both directly, from the impact of the blast and radioactive fallout, and indirectly, from the explosion’s impact on the physical and biotic environment and on the economic and psycho-social well-being of the people.
Abrams and VonKaenell have identified four periods during and after the nuclear attack, when specific deleterious health patterns are likely to occur. The first stage of their scenario is the “barrage period, ’with populations subjected to trauma from initial explosion and injuries due to radiation.
The most affected will be those adjacent to the blast areas. They have calculated that, moments after attack, 86,000,000 people (40 percent of the population) will be dead; 34,000,000 will be severely injured (and thats 27 percent of the survivors).
The length of the “shelter period” will depend on the intensity of the attack but could range from one to many weeks. Survivors will be restricted to fallout shelters during this period, in which 50,000,000 additional fatalities can be anticipated, resulting in a total mortality of 133,000,000 deaths. In the post-nuclear period which follows, the radioactive fallout will eventually decrease, and survivors will be permitted to leave their shelters for limited periods of time.
The survivors will find a world in which there is scarcity of food and shelter, a contaminated environment with an abundance of corpses, and an infrastructure in ruins. Abrams and VonKaenel estimate that 60,000,000 Americans will survive the first three stages of the attack (a figure significantly lower than that
prepared by the FEMA studies).
Those who do survive the recovery period will find only a rudimentary social structure and a nonexistent
food procurement system, and will face short-term and long-term consequences to their health which will further challenge their ability to survive. Unfortunately, these effects will not be restricted to the northern hemisphere, for populations in the southern hemisphere will also face serious consequences.
Harwell provides an excellent summary of these short and long-term effects in both the northern and southern hemispheres. We will examine the biocultural impacts of the post-shelter period in which a deteriorating environment will provide for a nuclear winter. And I think the point of this is that [in] the plans that have been proposed and which the public sees, this aspect is not discussed, and I think that was the point of what we are trying to discuss today.
Many have argued that the climatic conditions after a largescale nuclear attack will result in such deterioration of the environment that we will experience a "nuclearwinter”, a term which we have already discussed. Research in this hypothesis is based on a 5000-megaton exchange between superpowers and, for the purpose of this paper, this is what we are going to evaluate.
While it is difficult to predict the extent and severity of nuclear winter (due to unknown targets~ doses, and so forth) realistic models of the biological impact have been produced. There will be numerous immediate detrimental effects on the physical well-being of the people who survive the actual nuclear blast, the emitted ionizing radiation, and the thermal radiation. The blast will physically alter the environment from its tremendous force, which can be expected to cause buildings to fall, avalanches, dam bursts, and landslides, which obviously are going to have a high fatality.
Ionizing radiation would alter the immune systems of individuals. Coupled with difficult and extenuating living conditions the individuals will be faced with a post-attack period, the individual’s immune system deficiencies would give rise to an increase in viral infections. Radioactive fallout (emitting gamma radiation) would produce vomiting and diarrhea. Water is likely to be contaminated from radioactive fallout and from a deterioration of the sanitary system; dehydration from this lack of water and an increase in diarrhea could pose serious problems. And these things are actually life threatening in these conditions.
Tremendous clouds of nuclear dust will be in the atmosphere and will have the greatest impact on the population, and as a result, the risk of respiratory troubles will be expected to be great. The dust will also result in the cooling of the earth’s surface, and dramatic decreases in temperature will in turn cause
frostbite, hypothermia, and perhaps death to those who are not protected from the harsh environments.
The short-term health effects on the surviving population will be further intensified by the destruction of an estimated 80 percent of the medical resources. Not only will there be fewer to care for the sick, but it can be expected there will be little, if any, remaining pharmaceutical industry.
The availability of food will be problematical, and it’s been estimated that 95 percent of the agricultural capacity, 60 percent of the US processing capacity, and 20 percent of the production capacity will be destroyed. Access to available food will be difficult, as transportation systems can be expected to be destroyed. Although malnutrition will not be an immediate threat, lack of food will cause an increase in tensions and panic amongst the survivors.
The long-term effects that a nuclear winter will have on the health of the population represent an even bleaker picture. Perhaps the biggest concern will be the ability to obtain food. The stored grain which will not be contaminated has been estimated to be available to sustain the population for 6 months, And I think that I have a little bit of a discussion in which we talk about that, but the previous individual [Dirks] had mentioned the impact of that.
There is also a high probability of an increase in infectious diseases during a nuclear winter because of decreased immunity of the population and unsanitary conditions. Dysentery, hepatitis, salmonella, and cholera have potential to being serious threats. Radiation will also cause genetic defects, cataracts, and, because it seriously harms cells responsible for the production of red and white blood cells and blood platelets, individuals will become more prone to fatal hemorrhaging and septicemia infection. Radiation
will also injure the bone marrow and depreciate the cells of the gastrointestinal tract, which could lead to fatal infections and death.
We should be reminded that these unfavorable health conditions will be intensified by the fact that medical resources will be scarce. It is also important to attempt to understand the psychological state that the survivors will be experiencing, which will inevitably affect their physical response to pathogens. It is
difficult to predict how a population may react to such trying conditions, yet if they could to some extent
act cooperatively in such a predicate it would enhance their ability to survive. Predictions on the psychological states, however, cannot be too positive due to such devastating impacts on the social infrastructure and health of the people.
The potential for future populations would be slim. Radioactive exposure would impair genes, and beta-emitting fallout has the potential for causing temporary, if not permanent sterility. The fetus-in-utero at the time of the attack would be most likely to be given some aspects of retardation in growth, and the babies that are born after the attack will most likely be malnourished, and there will be an increase in the probability of sterility in the reproductive segment of the population. I should point out that in one of the scenarios they talk about the impact of such diseases as plague, and the FEMA report suggests that (and this is a quote from William Chipman, who is in charge of the FEMA civil defense), "the bubonic plague would be observed as horrifying".
The impact of nuclear winter on the southern hemisphere should not be overlooked or underestimated. Radioactive dust will travel to the southern hemisphere and cause a cooler and darker atmosphere,
to which it will be difficult for the population to adjust. Perhaps, most importantly, all of the countries that are dependent on the United States and other areas for food and economic aid will face serious hardships. Famine would expect to flourish and the economic and political situation would be devastated.
In the event of a large-scale nuclear war, those who survived the blast would be faced with extremely marginal conditions. The ability for the remaining population to sustain their physical health is highly unlikely and suggests that perhaps humans would not be able to maintain their population. Those not affected directly from the blast would hardly escape the impact. In fact, they, too, would probably face starvation due to a heavy reliance on food products from the Western and superpowers who would still essentially be incapacitated and unable to help themselves or others survive in the other hemisphere.
It is instructive to remember President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s comment on a 1957 report (the Gaither Panel) which recommended a massive shelter building program in response to nuclear threat. He cryptically stated, “You can’t have that war–the living will envy the dead.”
it's spelled Condescension, not condescention, whoever VanityFox is.
Meet Dr. Helen Caldicott. The words above are a transcript of her award winning – Best Documentary Short Subject – 1982 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences :
If You Love This Planet
Released during the term of the Reagan administration and at the height of Cold War nuclear tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, If You Love This Planet was officially designated as "foreign political propaganda" by the U.S Department of Justice and suppressed in the United States.The subsequent uproar over that action gave the film a publicity boost.
She has a weekly radio program, and am sure would welcome a debate with you if asked. Here's a link:
Meanwhile, there's still a debate on the ethics of the bombings, backed by notable characters from history.
Early critics of the bombings were Albert Einstein, Eugene Wigner and Leo Szilard, who had together spurred the first bomb research in 1939 with a jointly written letter to President Roosevelt.
Szilard, who had gone on to play a major role in the Manhattan Project argued:
"Let me say only this much to the moral issue involved: Suppose Germany had developed two bombs before we had any bombs. And suppose Germany had dropped one bomb, say, on Rochester and the other on Buffalo, and then having run out of bombs she would have lost the war. Can anyone doubt that we would then have defined the dropping of atomic bombs on cities as a war crime, and that we would have sentenced the Germans who were guilty of this crime to death at Nuremberg and hanged them?"
The army had been told to spare two cities in Japan so they could scientifically test the results of these bombs.on human beings in cities.
How's that for thinking?
What happened was that at 8.15am a single plane appeared overhead in Hiroshima. A parachute appeared from the plane and the Japanese were pleased because they thought the plane had been shot down and the pilot was escaping. Another parachute opened adjacent to the first.
A little boy was reaching up to catch a red dragonfly on his hand against a blue sky. There was a blinding flash and he disappeared. So did tens of thousands of other human beings.
About a hundred thousand people were killed with that bomb. The second bomb was exploded three days later.
Some people who escaped Hiroshima migrated to the only christian center in Japan, thinking that would never be bombed. They arrived just three days later to Nagasaki, to receive the second bomb.
A lot of Japanese when you go there will say to you, "well, we sort of understand the first bomb", but they say, "why the second?"
The bomb dropped on Hiroshima was equivalent to about thirteen thousand tons of TNT. That's a small bomb, but let me describe how big that was.
The maximum payload the big planes carried during the Second World War was four tons of bombs. That's the most they could carry. So they exploded a bomb that was thirteen thousand tons in one millionth of a second.
The hydrogen bomb – some of them are twenty megatons – that's equivalent to twenty million tons of TNT in one bomb that's four times the size of all the bombs dropped during the Second World War.
Now, they once made a fifty megaton bomb which America blew up in the south pacific, and they got such a terrible shock they never did it again.
They could easily make a hundred megaton bomb – they're awfully easy to make. If you exploded that in space – increasing the diameter of destruction the higher up you go, you can wipe out six western states of the United States of America with one bomb.
You are all children of the atomic age. You have grown up with this – you probably have nightmares sometimes about nuclear war. Some of you when you were young practiced drills at school hiding under desks in case a bomb dropped – putting bits of paper on your heads to hide from the nuclear explosion, right?
Do you remember those days?
In 1982, America had thirty to thirty-five thousand nuclear weapons. That was enough the Pentagon said, to "overkill" – which is a Pentagon word not a medical term – over kill every Russian human being forty times.
Russia had twenty thousand bombs – enough to "overkill" every American human being twenty times.
So who was ahead or was behind?
If you think about this in medical terminology, how many times can you kill a human being?
And they said, "Oh, Russia's ahead".
The mentality was about at a level of a nine year old boy.
Has much really changed?
The super powers were like little boys playing in a sand box, arguing about who has the biggest biceps, or bow and arrow or truck or whatever.
So, o.k, America has all these bombs and so did Russia. Now, what would a nuclear war mean medically, and what's the probability of such a situation occurring?
Of course, its not going to be a war, you realize that.
A war means that you fight and you win and you rebuild yourself up out from the rubble.
This then is not a war. This is extermination. It's what you do to cockroaches. You exterminate them.
Let me describe a nuclear 'exchange' and what would be the medical consequences.
A twenty megaton bomb would do this – I'm now quoting from the New England Medical Journal of Medicine –
It would gouge out a Crater half a mile wide and three hundred feet deep so that everything in that volume would be converted to radioactive fallout.
Millions of tons of rock injected into the stratosphere and troposphere, where it would descend as radioactive fallout.
Every person up to a radius of six miles from the epicenter would be vaporised. Just turned into gas.
After a radius of twenty miles from the center, most persons would be dead or lethally injured. And when I say lethally injured, I mean tens of thousands of cases of the most severe burns.
A burn of this nature takes about three to six months to treat, requiring hundreds of units of fresh frozen plasma and blood – twenty-four hour intensive care nursing – operations every couple of days for months.
Even then, more often they still die.
There are only about two-thousand acute burn beds in the whole of the United States.
There would be shocking injuries you see, as people are sucked out of buildings and thrown against other buildings – buildings that are disintegrating, with concrete and steel thrown around like match-sticks – millions of shards flying about as windows disintegrate – people decapitated – organ injuries – ruptured lungs – compound fractures – compound fracture means the bone sticking out of the skin – and so on.
What was left of the buildings would be lying in what's left of the streets. If you looked at the blast or the flash from forty miles away – just glanced at it – you'd be instantly blinded as the flash burnt the retina or the back of the eye.
In the Dresden fire-storms the people who made it to the shelters died. They asphyxiated.
Now, you should know that every town and city in this country with a population of twenty-five thousand people or more is so targeted. Not necessarily with a twenty megaton bomb – it may be smaller – but all these bombs do an enormous amount of damage. Which means in effect that most population centers in this country will be gone.
Also, apparently, nuclear reactors are targeted. Inside each thousand megawatt reactor is as much radiation as that released by the explosion of one-thousand Hiroshima sized bombs. If you should drop a one megaton bomb on such a reactor – according to the Scientific America – you would contaminate permanently an area the size of West Germany, and that would obviously aggravate the fallout problem.
Oil refineries are targeted, large industry, and all airports.
Now say you weren't in a targeted area and you were in a rural area that was untargeted and you're not asleep. You're not asleep and are actually listening to the radio or watching television. You hear the warning that you have fifteen or twenty minutes or whatever to reach your nearest fallout shelter.
So you run fast, I mean very fast. You won't have time to collect your family with you or anyone you love almost certainly unless you're very lucky.
Now this is described in the New England Journal of Medicine. When you get down there you''ll be medically unable to re-emerge from that shelter for at least two weeks, to six to eight weeks because the short-lived radioactive isotopes in the fallout are so intensely radioactive you would die.
When you do eventually come out the world would be a different place because civilizations past that we've inherited from our ancestors will be totally obliterated.
All the architecture, the music – imagine the world without Handel and Beethoven and Brahms – the art, the literature – everything will be gone.
And you see, in Hiroshima there was an outside world to come and help. There'll be nobody.
And further, there will be millions of corpses. A twenty megaton bomb on Boston in 1962 was estimated to create 2.2 million corpses. As they rot and decay, bodies are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria to multiply rapidly. And then you mutate the radioactive environment to become even more lethal and virulent.
Our white blood cells which fight infection are depleted by the effects of radiation. We will be susceptible to all of thee diseases we now medically control like polio, typhoid, plague, dysentery – hundreds of them. So there'll be epidemics of diseases.
There'll be very few hospitals left if any. Very few doctors.
It is estimated that on the medical consequence of nuclear war, within about thirty days after such an exchange, 90% of Americans would be dead.
Remaining survivors would die of a synergistic combination of starvation, radiation sickness, blindness and grief.
Nikita Khrushchev one said, "in the event of a nuclear war, the living will envy the dead".