My generation was the first that grew up under the constant threat of nuclear war. What has come to be known as ‘the cold war’ was an everyday reality to me. It’s strange how things seem to come around time-after-time. In the Senses Novels, the world has a nuclear conflict. It is only through the miraculous sacrifice of a single individual that the world is saved (yes, it is a metaphor.)
The Russian Federation has been probing the defenses of the United States of America for years. They have been ‘testing’ us to see how far they can push before we will take some kind of action, any action at all. North Korea has armed ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads and constantly threatens and blusters. China is almost relentless in its cyber-attacks on our government institutions. Radical Islamists threaten jihad on our shores. Welcome to America in 2017.
Appeasement of these entities will not work. This course of action never works. Ask Neville Chamberlin; he can tell you the effectiveness of appeasement: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/resources/chamberlain-and-hitler/
That isn’t to say that mutually beneficial arrangements between the larger ‘superpowers’ wouldn’t be advisable. In a previous post, I outlined such an arrangement.
While I would not say that we are close to an exchange of atomic weapons as we were in 1962 with Soviet backed Cuba, we are close enough. I want to state for the record for those that believe such an exchange is not only survivable but could have a desirable outcome for any particular country, it is not and does not.
There are not enough nuclear weapons, by themselves, to destroy all of humanity. There don’t have to be. A small number of nuclear weapons detonated at key points either purposely or accidentally would do the job.
Let’s start with EMP or Electromagnetic Pulse. Any intelligent country is going to attempt to first knock out as much of their enemy’s infrastructure as possible. Even low-yield nuclear weapons detonated at the right height and in the right position would be enough to overpower many of our critical systems. Such an event would push the United States (and parts of Canada and Mexico) back to the 1700’s at a minimum. Next, if an atomic weapon were detonated at the Salton Sea in California, the effects would be devastating. The San Andreas fault would probably let loose killing untold numbers.
If such a weapon were detonated on Yellowstone, it could be the trigger to the eruption of a super-volcano and all humanity would suffer. The ejecta of fine ash and dust could be enough to block sunlight for a year or more. Plant life would have a massive die-off and starvation for all animals would become the norm. Yellowstone is not the only super-volcano on the planet.
Even if you could survive all of this, imagine the world that you would emerge into. Famine, plagues, and marauders are just a few of the new dangers that you’d face. Keep this in mind as well, if a particular side believes that it is ‘losing,' what will it do in its desperation?
We cannot, as a nation, allow ourselves to be intimidated by either the bullying of other countries or the challenges of finding a reasonable solution to our problems. We, all of humanity, has made the mistake of not spreading itself to other worlds more quickly and thereby increasing the odds of our species survival.
We have no choice but to come up with a way to back away from the brink. All of us, everywhere.