2010 December 16 Thursday
Duck And Cover: Stay Inside After Nuclear Blast

Suppose you find yourself half buried under rubble after your city gets nuked. What to do? Flee? Nope. Find a stable building and go inside and stay there. Time spent outside fleeing will radiate you and get you killed. Of course, if you are really close to the center of the blast you have nothing to worry about except maybe the afterlife.

Suppose the unthinkable happened, and terrorists struck New York or another big city with an atom bomb. What should people there do? The government has a surprising new message: Do not flee. Get inside any stable building and donít come out till officials say itís safe.

Even staying inside a car will cut your mortality risk by 50%. But better to get into something more solid. This is the latest official thinking.

Decontamination may be necessary. Duck and cover! That flash means act fast!

"He did what we all must do. You and you and you and you. Duck and cover!"

Remember, radioactivity is "unseen, unheard, and odorless". Go in to 9:45 to watch buildings get knocked down. Best to be further from the epicenter so you can still find a building to enter for shelter.

If terrorist attacks with nukes ever become a substantial possibility then cities would need a bunch of mostly underground structures that can withstand blasts as long they aren't really close to the epicenter. Then people could have nearby places to flee to.

I'm still way way more concerned with natural aging processes as the most likely way the vast majority of us are going to die. I'd rather have rejuvenation therapies than a fall-out shelter in the back yard.

By Randall Parker    2010 December 16 11:21 PM   Entry Permalink | Comments (7)
2008 April 10 Thursday
Regional Nuclear Conflict Would Change Global Climate

A thermonuclear war would ruin your whole day and several years after that. "Heck, I reckon you wouldn't even be human beins if you didn't have some pretty strong personal feelings about nuclear combat."

"Our research supports that there would be worldwide destruction," said Michael Mills, co-author of the study and a research scientist at the University of Colorado at Boulder. "It demonstrates that a small-scale regional conflict is capable of triggering larger ozone losses globally than the ones that were previously predicted for a full-scale nuclear war."

Combined with the climatic impact of a regional nuclear war -- which could reduce crop yields and starve hundreds of millions -- Mills' modeling shows that the entire globe would feel the repercussions of a hundred nuclear detonations, a small fraction of just the U.S. stockpile.

Will we ever witness a nuclear war? If we do then start thinking about your food supply.

By Randall Parker    2008 April 10 10:43 PM   Entry Permalink | Comments (12)
2007 October 03 Wednesday
India-Pakistan Nuclear War Would Kill Over Billion People

A nuclear war between Pakistan and India would kill over a billion people just from starvation.

"An Assessment of the Extent of Projected Global Famine Resulting from Limited, Regional Nuclear War" by Dr Ira Helfand, an emergency medicine specialist from Massachusetts, projects "a total global death toll in the range of one billion from starvation alone."

So glad I do not live in one of the countries that would face massive starvation.

World grain stores are low and the planet would cool down.

Earlier studies have suggested that such a conflict would throw five million tonnes of black soot into the atmosphere, triggering a reduction of 1.25įC in the average temperature at the earth's surface for several years. As a result, the annual growing season in the world's most important grain-producing areas would shrink by between 10 and 20 days.

Helfand points out that the world is ill-prepared to cope with such a disaster. "Global grain stocks stand at 49 days, lower than at any point in the past five decades," he says. "These stocks would not provide any significant reserve in the event of a sharp decline in production. We would see hoarding on a global scale."

So if we implemented climate engineering projects to cool down the Earth by a similar amount we'd cause a lot of starvation.

Also, a bunch of small nukes would destroy a large fraction of the ozone layer.

Another study being unveiled at today's conference suggests that the smoke unleashed by 100, small, 15 kiloton nuclear warheads could destroy 30-40% of the world's ozone layer. This would kill off some food crops, according to the study's author, Brian Toon, an atmospheric scientist from the University of Colorado in Boulder, US.

I bet a lot of species would go extinct as well. Human hunger would lead to more hunting of animals.

So is it conceivable that India and Pakistan would ever duke it out with nuclear weapons?

By Randall Parker    2007 October 03 04:44 PM   Entry Permalink | Comments (27)
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