MD PHYSICIAN - AUTHOR – SPEAKER
America still thinks it can win a nuclear war
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
I just attended the 31st annual national Veterans for Peace convention here in Berkeley and was truly inspired by the hundreds of vets who attended it, and by their organization’s heroic stand for peace. As one vet put it, “Been there, done that – war doesn’t work.”
And while wandering around the grounds of the convention center before the festivities began, I ran into Helen Caldicott, an Australian doctor who has bravely spoken out against the use of nuclear weapons ever since the terrible days of America’s Cold War. I’m not sure what I was expecting that she would look like – perhaps Super Girl in a cape? But she was just an ordinary-looking person, like someone you would meet on the street. Until she started speaking to an audience of 300-plus veterans. And then her eyes flashed, her voice rang out like a warning bell and her passion came alive.
“I am a pediatrician,” she told us, “and if you love this planet, if you love the next generation of babies, you will change the priority of your lives – because right now, America’s top priority seems to be for us to come as close to nuclear war as we possibly can.”
“A baby is a baby is a baby – born with that beautiful purity of soul. We have to tap into that. But instead our political representatives have become corporate prostitutes. Americans hold the golden key to the future. But instead, Americans are holding the world for ransom with their guns and their bombs.” And according to Caldecott, what a lot of bombs we do have!
And as if all those mega-stockpiles of bombs we have now aren’t enough, “the government is currently planning to spend one trillion dollars more on replacing every single bomb, tank and missile we own.” http://www.smirkingchimp.com/node/68527 And if that’s not scary enough for yor, America still thinks it can fight and win a nuclear war. No no no and no!The powers that be think that dropping 100 nuclear bombs on 100 cities will win the current war-de-jour for us. “But all that will do is end life on earth.”
And the most scary part of all is that, “It could happen tonight. It could happen right now. We are closer now to nuclear annihilation than ever, even closer than we were during the Cold War. North Korea and Iran cannot end the world. But the sociopaths in charge of our nuclear weapons can. For instance, Clinton has never seen a war that she doesn’t like.”
And Americans don’t clearly understand what a nuclear war will be like either. “Everything throughout the world will be vaporized and burned.” If we understood this, we would all be taking to the streets in protest right now. Perhaps we think that American exceptionalism will save us? “What exactly are Americans exceptional at? Nothing. They don't even have kangaroos.»
Every single city in America is targeted by the Russians right now. “Twelve H-bombs are targeted on New York City alone. Every city in America is targeted with at least one nuclear missile. And Russian cities are targeted the same way by America. And all this insanity is at the mercy of human fallibility too.”
And fighting with Russia is crazy. Continuing to stock Europe with nuclear weapons pointed at Russia is like waving a red flag at a bull. It would be as if Russia was arming Canada with nuclear missiles aimed straight at Washington DC. Not cool at all. “The Russians will fight to the last person to defend themselves, just like they did against Hitler. Putin is being set up as the evil one in this scenario, but it is the USA that is the evil one,” by even thinking that they can actually win a nuclear war.
Caldicott spoke passionately about her motivation for trying to stop nuclear war – motivated by her love of our babies who will grow up to be our next generation. And we can only hope that these babies will grow up to be wiser than us. Or at least that they will even get a chance to grow up!
Next up to speak at the convention? Andrew Bracevich, Oliver Stone, Roy Scranton, Rhodessa Jones, Ann Jones, Antonia Juhasz, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Patrick McCann, Gerry Condon, Col. Ann Wright, David Cobb, Brian Willson, Kathy Kelly, Zahra Billoo, Jonathan Hutto and Daniel Ellsberg – among others. Dr. Caldicott is a hard act to follow but let’s see what they have to say.
Jane Stillwater’s Web Log
Jane Stillwater is a freelance journalist, war correspondent, blogger, political Cassandra and author of “Bring Your Own Flak Jacket: Helpful Tips for Touring Today’s Middle East,” now available on Amazon.com. Her latest motto is
“Stop Wall Street and War Street from destroying our world.”
The Helen Caldicott
The US and Russia possess 93% of the world’s approximately 16,300 nuclear weapons. While about 6,300 await dismantlement around the world, 4000 are operationally available. An estimated 1800 remain on high alert, ready to launch on short notice. The US nuclear fleet rests not only at 12 sites in 11 US states, but also at 6 sites in 5 different European countries. Russia is more opaque about the locations of its nuclear weapons but is estimated to have permanent storage at 40 locations within the country.
Nuclear weapons can never be used. There is no such thing as a limited nuclear war. A full scale nuclear war between the US and Russia would lead to nuclear winter — a new ice age, killing most humans and and other complex life forms on earth. A nuclear war fought with just 1% of deployed, operational, nuclear weapons could lead to the deaths of close to 1 billion people from nuclear famine.
NUCLEAR DARKNESS, GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE & NUCLEAR FAMINE
THE DEADLY CONSEQUENCES OF NUCLEAR WAR
Global Warming vs. Global Cooling
Smoke Surrounding the Earth after Large Nuclear War
Smoke from India-Pakistan nuclear war
Low-Yield vs. High-Yield Nuclear Weapons
Global Nuclear Arsenal
Mushroom Cloud Size vs. Yields
Nuclear Weapons in Size
Smoke Surrounding the Earth after Nuclear War
Reproduced/modified by permission of Drs. Robock, Oman and Stenchikov of Rutgers University
Following a large nuclear war, enormous fires created by nuclear explosions in cities cause 150 million tons of smoke to be lofted high above cloud level, into the stratosphere. The smoke quickly spreads around the world and forms a dense smoke layer which will remain in the stratosphere for many years and act to block sunlight from reaching the surface of the Earth.
Nuclear War threatens human existence
If 1% of the nuclear weapons now ready for war were detonated in large cities, they would utterly devastate the environment, climate, ecosystems and inhabitants of Earth. A war fought with thousands of strategic nuclear weapons would leave the Earth uninhabitable.
In a nuclear war, immense nuclear firestorms in burning cities would create millions of tons of thick, black, radioactive smoke. This smoke would rise above cloud level and quickly surround and engulf the entire Earth. The smoke would form a stratospheric smoke layer that would block sunlight from reaching the surface of Earth for a period of about ten years.
Heated smoke in the stratosphere would cause massive destruction of the protective ozone layer. Huge amounts of harmful Ultraviolet light would penetrate the smoke and reach the surface of the Earth.
Warming sunlight would be blocked by the smoke layer and cause the Earth to rapidly cool. In a matter of days, Ice Age weather conditions would descend upon all peoples and nations.
Prolonged cold, decreased sunlight and rainfall, and massive increases in harmful UV light would shorten or eliminate growing seasons for a decade or longer. Nuclear famine would result for the 800 million people who already suffering from hunger and malnutrition.
A war fought with 1% of the deployed and operational nuclear weapons could cause up to a billion people to die from nuclear famine. A large nuclear war, fought with the nuclear arsenals of the U.S. and Russia, would surely kill most humans and many other complex forms of life on Earth.
Nuclear war between India and Pakistan could put 5 million tons of smoke in the stratosphere and produce a global Nuclear Haze that would block 7-10% of warming sunlight from reaching the surface of Earth and cause the blue skies of Earth to appear grey.
Nuclear Twilight & Nuclear Darkness
The U.S and Russia keep more than 2000 strategic nuclear weapons on high-alert. These weapons are 7 to 85 times more powerful than the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. They are mounted on many hundreds of missiles that can be launched with 30 seconds to 3 minutes warning.
Scientists predict that urban firestorms ignited by a nuclear war fought with 4400 US and Russian strategic nuclear weapons could loft 180 million tons of smoke into the stratosphere. The resulting global smoke layer would block 35% of sunlight from reaching the surface of the Southern Hemisphere, creating a Nuclear Twilight on Earth. In the Northern Hemisphere, 70% of sunlight would be absorbed by the stratospheric smoke layer. Beneath the smoke there would be Nuclear Darkness.
Nuclear arsenals must be eliminated, because if they are left intact, they will eventually be used. Nuclear weapons must be outlawed, dismantled and abolished. A draft treaty, or Model Nuclear Weapons Convention, has been prepared by civil society organizations and submitted to the United Nations. Nuclear weapon states are obligated (under the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) to negotiate in good faith to achieve such a treaty to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.
Read more about nuclear darkness
Deadly Climate Change from Nuclear War