-Food & water isn't contaminated unless fallout particles enter into it. Thus any food/water stored in airtight containers is safe to consume.
-The US & Russia likely don't have enough nuclear firepower to kill every human being on earth (a commonly cited "fact"). This is based off of misleading calculations.
-Within a couple of weeks, fallout radiation would be reduced to the point that most people could leave their shelters.
-A bomb said to be 1,000x more powerful than the one used on Hiroshima is not 1,000x more deadly or destructive (16x more deadly is apparently more accurate)
-"Nuclear winter" is a discredited myth propagated by de-nuclearization supporters.
-Airburst nuclear weapons produce basically 0 fallout. The bomb has to burst on the surface to pick up particles of earth and debris to create fallout.
Nuclear war doesn't seem so bad now! :D
The results are something more akin to nuclear autumn, but it results in decreased agricultural production between 5-20% in year 5 after the war. The decrease is due primarily to soot in the atmosphere. Recall that nuclear weapons are hot and this causes air to rise. There is a suction effect immediately after the blast and firestorms can form.
Here's a link to a summary of results: http://ippnw.org/nuclear-famine.html
Simulations of a US-Russian war are more dire, and recent simulations are more in line with TAPPS. TAPPS was never discredited, its results were only somewhat moderated.
Interesting trivia: the largest volcanic explosion of the 20th century is a volcano in the US that most people have never heard of, Novarupta in 1912.
A limited nuclear exchange between RF/USA could extend to all large munitions stores, rocket stores, and petrochemical stores. All stores of nuclear launchers, warheads, and supplies intended for strategic war could be targeted.
Imagine all significant above-ground petroleum storage in RF/USA - large petroleum producers - is ignited. All counterforce sorties against targets near wooded areas will result in large forest fires.
During the First Gulf War, the uncontrolled oil fires in Kuwait were burning at a rate equivalent to 30% of all US consumption. Nothing remotely resembling a climate apocalypse occurred; major volcanic eruptions have far greater effects. Empirically, it seems highly improbable that repeating that experiment on modestly larger scale will unleash a global apocalypse. It isn't a convincing argument based on the evidence.
The above-ground petroleum storage facilities only hold days worth of oil that we are going to burn anyway.
But from what I understand, the crucial difference between the two models was how high the smoke would go, and as such the gap between the two models is actually a lot closer than the outcomes would imply. Had the conditions (weather, geography, etc) been ripe for more "self-lofting" of particulates, far more of them may have made it as far as the stratosphere, at which point they would stay in the atmosphere for far longer and would spread much further, without any weather patterns at that altitude to accelerate their return to the surface.
Seems from the petroleum front it's likely to actually reduce particulate matter over the course of months due to the lack of human industrial activity on the planet.
In one article in the New York Times from the 1980s (http://www.nytimes.com/1984/12/14/opinion/in-the-nation-tamb...) the estimate used for exploding half of the world's nuclear arsenals is equivalent to 6,500 megatons of TNT.
Mount Tambora, in contrast, a much more powerful explosion than any 20th century eruption, is widely quoted from various sources as being equivalent to 800 megatons of TNT (example: https://books.google.com/books?id=NuFfCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA15&lpg=P...). And Mount Tambora definitely had climate effects (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Without_a_Summer).
Climate cause and effect is difficult to nail down, but it seems with that much firepower back then a "nuclear winter" scenario was much more plausible. We have dismantled a lot of the nuclear arsenal since the 1980s these days -- estimates I see of current firepower vary by quite a bit, but I'm not even sure there's 6,500 megatons of nuclear weapon firepower in service globally anymore.
So, the theory of nuclear winter depends on bombs detonating over cities and forests, causing massive amounts of debris, and also inducing firestorms that would act as chimneys for even more smoke and particles to be funneled up into the troposphere and stratosphere.
It has been discredited. Even Sagan admitted as much. The idea that all humanity/life would end has been discredited.
Billions would surely die, but millions of humans would survive.
Air bursts produce minimal localized fallout, but they have long-term global consequences, especially detonating many powerful fusion bombs. The fallout produces atmospheric carbon-14 and strontium-90, among other dangerous isotopes, that can have consequences for many future generations. This is part of the reason why the nuclear test ban treaty was created.
Edit: apparently people do not know how vast the amount of water that goes in a typical swimming pool is..
We learned from Hiroshima and Nagasaki that a very large proportion of deaths and the majority of injuries in a nuclear attack are caused by flying glass fragments and flash burns. The effects of both injuries are greatly exacerbated by the relative paucity of medical care - an injury that might be completely survivable in peacetime could prove fatal if medical care is unavailable.
People at the hypocenter would be killed instantly, but a far greater number of people at the edge of the blast radius could be protected by remarkably simple means. Covering yourself with coat or blanket could be the difference between being completely incinerated and surviving unharmed. Crouching under a desk offers remarkably good protection from falling and flying debris.
Many people were injured when they were standing next to windows watching the spectacle, not realizing the shock wave was on its way.
> ...about 1,500 people were injured seriously enough to seek medical treatment. All of the injuries were due to indirect effects rather than the meteor itself, mainly from broken glass from windows that were blown in when the shock wave arrived, minutes after the superbolide's flash.
I don't think this can be right. Surely it takes far less energy to vaporise a blanket than a whole person.
It might protect you from surface burns caused by the infrared pulse, though. And flying shards of glass.
The absolute best outcome would be lower burn rates in the outer rings of the heat zone.
But in a full exchange fallout levels would kill those people regardless, and even if fallout didn't, they'd still starve.
I've seen maps from the 1950s - before the huge warhead build-up - which showed most of the UK being reduced to desert by fallout.
In reality, in a full exchange the larger cities would be hit multiple times, so the short-term odds of survival for anyone within 10-15 miles of a large city would be essentially zero.
I'd rather not find out how inaccurate these models are. I also find your expressions of joy about this quite troublesome.
Why can't we just all agree to ban nuclear weapons? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Campaign_to_Abol...
Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control."
I agree. But make the same point about the effects of AGW and people lose their cool.
It's a valid point of discussion, but unfortunately almost everyone opposed to climate action is anti-scientific and political in their motivations, and usually duplicitous about it. Which causes people to lose their cool.
Most actual climate scientists, on the other hand, are more than happy to entertain honest skepticism. It's integral to science.
I'd say that motivations are economic. And skeptical scientists and politicians are bought. It's the same strategy that tobacco firms used. Including the astroturfing.
In summary - models of the effects of AGW have proved largely useless in terms of predicting the impact of same, or even the existence of net negative impact.
So why are we proposing to spend vast sums of money, not to mention increasing the price of energy, to address this issue?
Your thesis is that an instant global economic collapse, destruction of all advanced agricultural systems, transportation systems, waste management systems, water purification systems, etc. won't result in >= 20M deaths.
You really have no idea what the effects of a significant nuclear exchange would be.
The Tsar Bomba was a 50MT detonation and no such thing happened.
There certainly are more electronics around today, but the EMP from a 20MT blasts, or even many 20MT blasts, would not be global, and even many electronics in range would be fine.
Rhubarb springs to mind, grows well in cool climates and denying sunlight produces a better crop.
Edit: the book recommends stocking up on rice, beans & grains.
The collapse would not only be instant, but within days there would be mass starvation and chaos.
From the description at the top of the thread it's as if we'll just come out of our shelters after a week and everything will go back to normal, we'll just drive down to Arby's for dinner, maybe catch a movie.
More people need to watch Threads.
Also, it's not like the christians have a monopoly on disaster relief, nor is it like christians are always helpful in a disaster. Remember the megachurch that had to be socially shamed into opening its doors for victims of Harvey?
And Joel Osteen is a tool and a fraud.
I don't remember saying that Christians have a monopoly on disaster relief either.
Christians in general are fine, but a certain subset of American Christians is hell-bent on forcing their religion on the rest of us, and they have a lot of power.
To be clear, my perspective is from a society where circumcision is not the norm. I'd say the norm here is not to remove parts of the body unless there's very good reason to do so. Wisdom death probably come closest. But circumcision for health reasons would be akin to removing the appendix in every newborn.
Again, I'm honestly curious. I assumed circumcision (for reasons other than religion) was a fringe position in these circles.
And this makes him "not a christian"? This is a 'no true Scotsman' argument. If you're going to provide a litany of 'good things', then you shouldn't gloss over the 'bad things' either. Osteen isn't the only minister out there that's fleecing his flock.
And what about the largest christian denomination, a powerful organisation which has a long history of covering up pedophiles in its ranks? Using its political clout to prevent government investigations? And even ignoring the pedophile issue, the standard doctrine of that denomination is making people feel guilty about their actions. 'Original Sin' is one of the most disgusting core components of any major religion; that you owe an unpayable debt from even before you take your first breath, and that you are sinful and should feel guilty about it if you don't constantly try to absolve that debt throughout your life.
And as mikeash says, there's plenty of christian morality forced into our laws. Here in Australia, we've just wasted $120M on a stupid national plebiscite on same-sex marriage (that's non-binding!) because it was forced through by conservative christian powerbrokers - despite long and consistent public support around 70% on the issue. There have only been two plebiscites before here, once for conscription in WWI, and once for the national anthem in the 70s, both of which were nation-defining things. The only reason why this is happening for same-sex marriage is christian morality trying to further force its way into our laws.
Yes, christians do good. Good christians do good. Good people do good. Bad christians do bad. The mafia is a classic example; plenty religious, plenty bad. Fact of the matter is that the proportion of christians helping out in those disaster zones is a miniscule proportion of total christians - if you're going to dismiss the Osteens of the world as being non-representative, why should we also not dismiss christian efforts in disaster zones?
Clearly there are people of all groups who are good/bad etc. The reason I entered into the conversation was to address the bigoted nature of above poster's assessment of what Christian people would do in a hypothetical nuclear war scenario. I suggest that you look at what Christian groups are doing in Texas right now as an example.
And, there is many sects with very hard and strict interpretations of the biblie, so yes... there is many christian versions of sharia law. If, tell to any one that live on Switzerland when John Calvin grab the power. Tell it to Michael Servetus...
Those appear to be the most vocal. You and I know they aren't the majority, but perception matters a lot. I have absolutely no problem with Christians, though I don't share their faith. I'm just aware that the most vocal people professing to be Christians are everything from White Nationalists to the Westboro Baptist Church.
We can probably agree that they aren't the best Christians to represent the faith, but they certainly are the most vocal and are the public face that many people see. For better or worse, you end up with virtual caricatures being the representatives.
Those appear to be the most vocal. You and I know they aren't the majority, but perception matters a lot. I have absolutely no problem with democrats/labor, though I don't share their politics. I'm just aware that the most vocal people professing to be on the left are everything from Antifa to Black Lives Matter.
We can probably agree that they aren't the best people to represent the left, but they certainly are the most vocal and are the public face that many people see. For better or worse, you end up with virtual caricatures being the representatives.
Do you see how that passage totally misrepresents the whole left and casts it in a bad light? It borders on concern trolling. Can somebody come up with a better name for this than 'the bigotry of hand wringing?' If not, that's what I'm going with.
You only see Antifa or Westboro as representative of the groups they pervert if you only consume news from people who want to make you emotional and then show you ads.
Example from Barna, an evangelical survey and research group: https://www.barna.com/research/five-trends-among-the-unchurc...
"Unchurched Americans" have been a growing trend for quite some time. Nearly half of millenials are "post-Christian" in this survey from a few years back.
In this study, half of the post-Christians could not identify a single favorable impact of the Christian community.
The top things people complained about regarding American churches were violence in the name of Christ, the position on gay marriage, sexual abuse scandals, and involvement in politics.
Perhaps more tellingly, in another survey (http://www.christianpost.com/news/how-do-unchurched-american...), a full 72 percent of the people interviewed said they think the church is full of hypocrites.
Note that "unchurched" does not mean "not Christian", but I think there is plenty of evidence though that says a large portion of Americans believe, at minimum, that the institution of American Christianity is fundamentally broken.
I don't think the clickbait-ization of news is the entire story here either. "Nones" have been growing rapidly since the 1990s.
In fact, I'm not sure why you'd think I'm trolling? I live in a very rural area where attending church is mostly the default, and not the exception. I know the majority of Christians aren't like WBC and that they aren't White Nationalists. However, it's the WBC and White Nationalists that people see assembling in public and standing behind the banner of the cross.
I'm not sure how you'd think I see only that when I was really careful to point out that I see much more than that. I see the lady pastor who comes by with a pan of lasagna whenever she hears of trouble. I see people who make sure not one person here is hungry, homeless, or more alone than they want to be. I see them stop to shovel the snow of a grumpy old man who is distinctly not very Christian in his behavior. I see them practicing what they preach.
At the same time, I see the online comments from the people who believe the WBC actually represents all Christians, or at least the majority. I see a sibling comment who pointed out just that, a comment about them needing to actually adhere to their professed doctrine.
I'm not sure why you'd attack me, the messenger. It's not like I control public perception. It's not like I made the sibling comment. Perhaps you're reading things into my comment that weren't stated or intended? Perhaps you're making broad assumptions about me that aren't based on anything I said but are based on your own biases?
As I said, I see the Christians and they are usually wonderful people. Unfortunately, many people don't and you end up with the loudest being considered representatives of the whole. You end up with things like the sibling comment. The sibling comment is a fine example of exactly what I mean, and is wonderfully timely.
You can feel free to attack me, or you can acknowledge that there is a PR problem and try to resolve it. You can acknowledge that someone already even likened it to Sharia law and wonder why that is. Or, of course, you can attack the guy who points it out and accuse them of trolling. That's fine, I don't mind, but it's not very productive or helpful.
Edit: Sorry you're being downvoted, but I had nothing to do with that either. Maybe they are as baffled as I am as to why you'd attack me when I did nothing more than make an observation - an observation handily backed up by some of the comments in this very thread.
I was recently reading about Russia's new ICBM, RS-28 Sarmat 2 (Satan 2). It is said that one could wipe out Texas or France.  I'm not as optimistic about our prospects.
(OTOH, just hitting the top population centers of Texas or France would be devastating enough, so nuclear war is terrifying even after discarding the hyperbole.)
EDIT: and the warhead mass is 10 tons, not 100. 100 tons is the mass of the whole vehicle. That makes a lot more sense, given that this is not a Saturn V-sized launch vehicle. It can carry up to 24 MIRVed warheads: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RS-28_Sarmat
It's plausible a single rocket could launch warheads at multiple Texas cities all at once. So most of the population vs most of the landmass.
So no, one rocket won't reduce Texas to a smoking crater, but will have a 50/50 chance of killing you in the explosions and subsequent firestorms.
Yeah, but not in the way you think. Cities are densest in the center; as blast radius grows, the amount of things inside it does not grow at the same rate.
Even the largest tsunami ever wouldn't make it past the Appalacan Mountains, so I really don't know what they are thinking about there. My guess is that even our biggest nuclear weapons are puny compared to a modest earthquake, so the Taunami plan probably won't work very well.
I've read that the impactor that created the Chicxulub caused a megatsunami that washed over the Rocky Mountains, although I can't find the article now. Instead, I found one that talked about a tsunami 305 meters tall, and a wiki page about megatsunamis that talks about it being just 100 meters tall.
Interestingly, further down it claims that, had the impactor struck deep ocean, the tsunami would have been 4600 meters tall. That's about the straight-line distance from my home to my work.
Neat, and utterly horrifying: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megatsunami#List_of_megatsunam...
A 500 KT air burst will kill probably half of the people in Dallas proper. Three will kill most of them. Ten will kill most of those 7 million people.
It would be able to do enormous damage to 10 or 20 population centers.
While I agree that people have overstated the effects of nuclear war, he was IMHO excessively dismissive of the long term exposure risks from even low level fallout.
That it's been discredited is the myth actually. Most models indicate some level of global environmental impact. And a large scale exchange of thermo nuclear weapons (hydrogen bombs, not just atomic) would be pretty severe, probably leading to large scale global starvation.
Is that right? I had always thought objects absorb radiation, so it's actually inside the thing.
Does this really mean If I have a bunch of apples in air tight plastic bags and plastic water bottles and things like that, I can just leave them outside during a nuclear blast and then eat them later?
(Assume the plastic remains air-tight?)
That... sits badly with me.
Does that mean I can put an apple in am air-tight plastic container into an x-ray for a year then take it out and eat it... ?
The story would be different if you exposed the apple to neutron bombardment. During a nuclear explosion, a lot of neutrons are released, but the intensity of the neutron bombardment decreases with the square of the radius, so if you are far enough for the apples to not be physically destroyed, they'll most likely be safe to eat.
Or on zero fallout from airbursts?
And, a good item not generally available locally - but is a simple, inexpensive and important remedy after an attack (keep in mind fallout may travel by wind hundreds of miles) is having some potassium iodide pills. Edit: get one pack per person you're trying to protect - each person needs 10 pills (1 per 24 hours for 10 days) -- http://a.co/eOmNJ8Z
"Iosat Potassium Iodide has been FDA approved since 1982. Stockpiling of potassium iodide (KI) is highly recommended by health officials worldwide to prevent thyroid cancer of those exposed to radioactive iodine following a nuclear reactor accident or detonation of a nuclear weapon. Radioactive iodine can travel hundreds of miles downwind, such as it did after the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters. The thyroid is the only part of the body that absorbs and stores iodine. By taking FDA approved potassium iodide prior to exposure of radioactive iodine, your thyroid will become saturated with safe, stable iodine. This will prevent your thyroid's absorption of any additional iodine (radioactive or not) long enough for the radioactive iodine inhaled or ingested to be safely dispersed through the kidneys."
(Amazon links above are NOT affiliate links, but please sign up for Amazon Smile so Amazon will donate a portion of your product purchases to a charity that you choose!)
(In case of real emergency, maybe the paper version :- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nuclear-War-Survival-Skills-Instruc...)
If you can put aside my prepper-paranoia then I suggest it's a good practical and insightful read. There are many tips in there that would serve you well during any disaster, man made or otherwise.
Don't forget to buy your geiger counter while stocks last :-)
Oh and get your copy of SAS Survival Handbook, a timeless read :- https://www.amazon.co.uk/SAS-Survival-Handbook-Definitive-Gu...
Put that next to the convincing arguments Steven Pinker makes in 'The Better Angels of Our Nature' about this being the safest times ever. Makes it sound a bit cheap.
> The upshot is that each of the following two
assertions can be true: (1) the chances of war are lower than they were before, and (2) the damage
caused by the most severe imaginable war is greater than it was before. That makes it meaningless—an
issue of semantics—to speculate about whether the world is “safer” overall; in one sense it may be
safer, in another sense, less safe. That is exactly why Better Angels does not claim, contra Taleb, that the
world is “safer” across the board.
Optimist: pays 20 bucks to pessimist now.
Pessimist: pays 40 bucks to pessimist, if world hasn't ended in 2020.
I will bet you my house and land against your car. If I'm right, and the world doesn't end, you owe me your car. If I'm wrong, you can have my house and land.
I had a book once that seemed very nice. I had it as a kid and would thumb through it. Good to know about wind patterns, how to build emergency shelters, and such.
One emergency shelter type seemed a good plan. Did a trench 3 or four feet wide, and so deep. Then drive a vehicle over the trench for a roof to protect against radiation and fallout.
Edit: assuming you're talking about fallout protection rather than the initial gamma burst. For that, yeah, get as many feet of earth between you and the source as possible; a trench will do that even without a vehicle over top.
The "distance" part is interesting. Being in the middle of a tall building can work, because you're far enough from both the ground and the roof.
Apologies if this isn't the most recent version.
Also, hungry humans will have bullets. It's America.
I was just highlighting the point that some people are exceptionally over prepared for just about any scenario, not trying to argue the merits or morality of it.
My original point was only to highlight that certain people really are almost hilariously over prepared for just about any eventuality, and any assumptions made should probably take this into account. I wasn't suggesting they were right, or wrong.
I told him my plan was to go in the flash.
I have no desire to die, certainly not in nuclear holocaust. I also don't think anyone really knows how best to survive or even prepare for such a world. "I'll go in the flash" is really just my way of saying that doesn't enter into my decision to live in a populated area or own an RV.
We don't really know what the world would look like if the bombs did drop so I don't go out of my way to avoid such a world by not surviving the first moments. I would rather avoid it by stabilizing the geopolitical landscape. That's probably going to take more than a Thursday though.
Having said all this just prepare like you would for anything else. We're much more likely to face hurricanes, earthquakes or volcanic eruptions anyway. If we look at those environments the world post-WWIII may not be so bad actually. Sure our iPhones probably wont work and the cancer rate will be high but that doesn't mean it will go full mad-max either. We have human civilization because that's our natural state, I think there is reason to be optimistic even in the face of nuclear annihilation.
One's life could still be made quite miserable by even a mid-size disaster, yet so many people are unprepared, sometimes even proudly and deliberately so.
We were rather morbid kids and I think our leading child-theory was that they made us do that so that it would be easier to count the bodies.
This would have been in the sixties. I'd later go to a boarding school that was really remote, and they didn't make us do the exercise. In hindsight, getting under the desk while being that far from any likely blast might actually have afforded us some protection from falling debris.
(Also, for nuclear bombs specifically, hiding under the desks keeps kids out of view of windows, and hence not vulnerable to being blinded/burned by a flash.)
Like the saying goes, "almost doesn't count except horseshoes, hand grenades and nuclear warheads."
But most schools aren't, and they aren't going to roll out those procedures unevenly.
Growing up through the Cold War was definitely interesting. It's probably a hell of a thing growing up under the constant reminder that, at any second, we'd be gone and probably wouldn't even know it. I don't know any different though. It certainly puts the small stuff into perspective. Thankfully the Cold War was anticlimactic!
Yet, I don't think it really bothered us. I'm not a psychologist but I know that children still laugh, play, and sing while they are in a war zone. We were not in a war zone, obviously. But, we were pretty normal children and did pretty normal children things. We were just aware that we'd all die if they dropped bombs or missiles on us.
There's probably an actual psychological term for it, but I don't know it. Children are remarkably resilient. Other than the drills, the PSAs, and the silly educational videos they made us watch, we weren't that concerned. We were kids, it's not like we had the power to change anything.
I'm pretty sure there's a psych term for it.
Atomic explosions filmed at 3000 frames/sec,
collected by Greg Spriggs, a weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory