Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Steven Starr — Nuclear War, Nuclear Winter, and Human Extinction

Nuclear winter would cause average global surface temperatures to become colder than they were at the height of the last Ice Age. Such extreme cold would eliminate growing seasons for many years, probably for a decade or longer. Can you imagine a winter that lasts for ten years?
The results of such a scenario are obvious. Temperatures would be much too cold to grow food, and they would remain this way long enough to cause most humans and animals to starve to death.
Global nuclear famine would ensue in a setting in which the infrastructure of the combatant nations has been totally destroyed, resulting in massive amounts of chemical and radioactive toxins being released into the biosphere. We don’t need a sophisticated study to tell us that no food and Ice Age temperatures for a decade would kill most people and animals on the planet. Would the few remaining survivors be able to survive in a radioactive, toxic environment?
It is, of course, debatable whether or not nuclear winter could cause human extinction. There is essentially no way to truly “know” without fighting a strategic nuclear war. Yet while it is crucial that we all understand the mortal peril that we face, it is not necessary to engage in an unwinnable academic debate as to whether anyhumans will survive.
What is of the utmost importance is that this entire subject –the catastrophic environmental consequences of nuclear war – has been effectively dropped from the global discussion of nuclear weaponry. The focus is instead upon “nuclear terrorism”, a subject that fits official narratives and centers upon the danger of one nuclear weapon being detonated – yet the scientifically predicted consequences of nuclear war are never publically acknowledged or discussed.
Why has the existential threat of nuclear war been effectively omitted from public debate? Perhaps the leaders of the nuclear weapon states do not want the public to understand that their nuclear arsenals represent a self-destruct mechanism for the human race? Such an understanding could lead to a demand that nuclear weapons be banned and abolished.
Consequently, the nuclear weapon states continue to maintain and modernize their nuclear arsenals, as their leaders remain silent about the ultimate threat that nuclear war poses to the human species.
Federation of American Scientists
Nuclear War, Nuclear Winter, and Human Extinction
Steven Starr | Director of the University of Missouri’s Clinical Laboratory Science Program, as well as a senior scientist at the Physicians for Social Responsibility


Peter Pan said...

Nothing we can do about it, this situation is out of our hands. Right?

StevenStarr said...

There are things you can do, as this war has not yet happened. You think it is worth preventing, right?

First on the list is to demand that our political and military leaders publicly acknowledge and discuss the existential threat posed by US and Russian nuclear arsenals. The peer-reviewed studies I reference in my article (See original for links) have been published now for almost 9 years, yet they have essentially been ignored by those who run our nation. (The scientists who authored these studies have made multiple requests for an interview with Obama's scientific advisers, and have been turned down.)

The basic understanding that nuclear war threatens human existence seems to have been lost in the US. It was this understanding that caused the leaders of the US and the Soviet Union to make arms control and arms reduction agreements.

I suggest you consider taking some time to spread the information in this article and contact your political representatives to discuss it.