One of the issues that arise in the novels is the aftermath of a massive nuclear exchange. There are some things that would happen if too many atomic weapons were used.
It seems evident that first, we would have large areas that are cratered and burned. Dirt and dust that has been irradiated would be tossed into the air and come back down, usually in rain or dust clouds. This is known as fallout and would kill a little more slowly with radiation poisoning, cancers, stillbirths, etc. Some of this dirt and dust would make it into the higher atmosphere and the Jetstream, eventually leaking down into the southern hemisphere. No place on earth would be free of the poison in the air. And, the more bombs that were set off, the deathlier the pollution the wind would carry. There’s more.
People would, naturally, leave their jobs to be with loved ones or seek a safe-haven. This includes the people who operate the nuclear power plants, oil derricks and refineries, mining operations and a million other industries that produce chemical waste generally kept contained or neutralized. What happens when all of the people who operate the safeguards are gone?
This nightmare scenario isn’t as far-fetched as you might think. In 1986 \the Chernobyl reactor meltdown in the Ukraine caused the establishment of an ‘exclusion area’ of about 1,000 square miles. Here we are, over thirty years later and human habitation and access are still restricted in that area. That was with people on-site to help handle the crisis.
The problem is, we can’t go back. We are a world dependent upon energy use, and fossil fuels are not going to last forever. As much as we would like to believe that we can solve the problem with solar and wind power, it just isn’t feasible and likely won’t be for another century. Even then, those sources have their own issues and consequences.
In the past, wars were fought over territory and resources. Today, we edge closer to war because of ego. The question of who would win a nuclear war has one simple answer, it was decided long ago, and you can find it in an old movie, ‘War Games.’ There are no winners, everyone loses.
Just because something may be survivable, doesn’t make it desirable.