The Fear Of Nuclear War
The threat and fear of nuclear war has been around since the two A- bombs were dropped on Japan in 1945. The horror that resulted convinced the world we were dealing with a force that would cause mutually assured destruction. Therefore, up to now no nation has dared use them again. Their presence has been an excellent deterrent to a nuclear exchange.
The idea of nuclear war has been standard fodder for sci-fi movie producers and entertained the masses for decades. But on a more serious note, scientists, governments and concerned civilians discussed its possibility throughout the cold war with Russia. Although there is no longer a Soviet Union, the specter of a limited nuclear war between India and Pakistan still exists. Not to mention other all the other bush league dictatorships clamoring to join the exclusive nuclear club.
Many different scenarios have been proposed predicting what the results would be. The mayhem produced would depend on various factors. Would it be a limited strike or an all out war? How many warheads would be detonated and so on? A limited nuclear war is generally defined as a nominal use of a nuclear arsenal to attack chiefly military targets. An all out, full scale nuclear war would be an attack intended to annihilate an entire country.
The question is in what way the inhabitants of a targeted region would end their lives. Of course those in close proximity to a blast would be instantly vaporized. But that would account for only a small percentage of fatalities. What would cause the rest? Of course there would be radiation casualties. What most people don’t realize is once a nuclear device is detonated the resulting immediate deaths is not the end…just the beginning.
The environmental impact alone would be incalculable. Radioactivity aside, although that would be destructive in its own right, the detonations would create great fires producing enough smoke to block out the sun. This would rapidly cool surface temperatures and increase precipitation rates. Agricultural crops would then disappear and cause famines. Bear in mind this is what would occur in a limited nuclear exchange. In a full-scale nuclear no holds barred confrontation, mankind could very well become extinct.
The nuclear super powers have engaged in various types of deterrence strategies to keep that from happening. However, with so many existing stockpiles of nuclear weapons out there what’s to stop some power mad, extremist nut job from “pushing the button”?
In the 1980s, Russian and American scientists concluded an all-out nuclear war between the superpowers would result in a nuclear winter. Smoke would darken the sky and temperatures would plunge below freezing. Crops would perish starving those fortunate enough to survive the attack.