Sunday, September 24, 2017

Nuclear Proliferation - Duck and Cover! May Not Work

Nuclear Blast Survival 101 - Don't Look At The Light! / By: Bruce Wilds

Recent talk about war with North Korea highlights the problem of nuclear proliferation. Lurking in the back of our minds is the idea someone may someday unleash a nuclear bomb that may kill hundreds of thousands or more people. The way we cope is by realizing if we are lucky the odds favor us and it will land on someone else. The problem with this theory of survival is that a huge number of deaths will come not at the time of detonation but later. The radioactive fallout created as the explosion gathers up tremendous quantities of dust and ocean water and spits them into the atmosphere which then represents a secondary grave risk, especially in the first hours after an attack but one that remains for many years.

In an article recently published by Project Syndicate, Joschka Fischer, German Foreign Minister, and Vice-Chancellor from 1998-2005 writes;
In this new environment, the “rationality of deterrence” maintained by the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War has eroded. Now, if nuclear proliferation increases, the threshold for using nuclear weapons will likely fall. 
I agree with Fischer that today a great number of people have come to accept the idea of a "small or limited' nuclear war as acceptable. The reason they feel this way may center around the fact they have not given it enough thought.
"Duck and Cover" Is A Poor Strategy For Survival!
If enough damage is done to the world those surviving will face lives that are greatly diminished in quality. Those of us growing up during the Cold War and during the Cuban missile crisis should remember the U.S. government’s civil defense film titled, Duck and Cover, that was aired in schools. The film, created a year before, was part of the government’s campaign that reiterated the fact that nuclear war could happen at any moment and people needed to prepare themselves – especially children.You can view the film by using the following link,  The fact is the film did little to reassure us because adults also made it very clear that in the case of a nuclear war we should run directly home so that we could "die with our family."

Fischer, who grew up under the shadow of the nuclear threat, points out that a growing problem we face today is the danger from an increasing number of smaller countries ruled by unstable or dictatorial regimes might acquire the nuclear weapons they so badly want. By becoming a nuclear power, such regimes not only ensure their own survival and promote their local or regional geopolitical interests but can even pursue an expansionist agenda. A problem with a limited war is that anyone who feels they can start such a thing may lack the imagination or brains to throttle it back before it expands out of control.

Over the years as we have learned more about these weapons we have become more concerned about the electromagnetic pulse that is likely to knock out electronic systems including phones and computers. We also can expect pile-ups on the freeways as drivers are blinded by the flash of the explosion. In the complicated world of today, it is frightening to imagine the rush for food, water, and gasoline as millions of people attempt to drive out of an area under attack or threat or try to distance themselves and their loved ones from the terror generated by the possibility of a second, follow-up attack.

Ironically, while people know this might happen little real preparation for such an event has taken place. One of the few places to make an effort is Ventura County, located just northwest of Los Angeles, they have taken the unusual step of prepping a 250-page plan on how to respond to the humanitarian crisis that would result from a nuclear attack in Los Angeles. Their efforts even include a truly bizarre and some people might say, frightening public service announcement that instructs folks to shelter in place and cover windows with plastic.

On a more positive note, while a global nuclear confrontation is generally viewed as a bad thing, for Ron Hubbard, President of Atlas Survival Shelters in Los Angeles, it has resulted in an economic windfall as a staggering number of Californians and people even as far away as Japan have suddenly turned into doomsday preppers. The company, based in Montebello in eastern Los Angeles, sells shelters priced from $10,000 to $100,000. The shelters are designed to be buried 20 feet below ground and can sustain survivors for up to one year, depending on the size and model. This means they should give you more protection than simply ducking and covering up, that is, of course, providing you can get there in the few minutes you may have.

Footnote; Below are the links to two other articles on the related subject of nuclear war.

Footnote #2; Seriously, if caught by surprise I have to question how many of us might forget "not to look at the light" or do that "duck and cover" thingy.

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