I think so. It’s certainly the case in the US, where people protest the imposition of mask-wearing over the corpses of a million dead Americans, but this is something else. It’s a post from Adam Something, whose work I normally appreciate, but this is insane.
Let’s talk a bit about nuclear war.
As the invasion falters, Putin will be making more and more nuclear threats – the only thing he has left. These will most likely be just that: threats. I doubt him, or the Russian elite is suicidal.
If it came to nuclear war, Russia would essentially be deleted from the face of the planet, while the West would generally survive in some form or another.
A nuclear war right now would not be the end of humanity. Sure, it would suck, and by that I mean a LOT of people dying, at least a billion plus. However, it wouldn’t erase life from the planet.
Our goal must never be the ‘deletion’ of Russia. There are 140+ million Russian people who deserve as much right to survival, and peace and happiness, as everyone else in the world. Incinerating them in a nuclear war is not a desirable result, ever, under any circumstances. That the West would “survive” does not excuse the act, and “survival” has a wide range of meanings. How many of these Western people would die? If one hundred survive, is that a victory?
Humanity not going extinct is an awfully low standard to meet. A “mere” billion dead is not a trivial number, and I think he’s lowballing it. A limited tactical strike on some battlefields, sure, casualties could be limited, but if we trigger a world-wide spasm of major powers targeting the civilian populations of their opponents, that billion is only what dies immediately…then the collapse of civilian infrastructure follows, killing more, and the riots and wars that break out kill even more, and then the world famine destroys yet more.
Consider how most of our media (movies, games, etc) dealing with nuclear war takes place during the cold war, or its fictional continuation. At that point we did have enough nukes to format the planet. However, since then we have decommissioned 80% of our total nuclear arsenal, meaning a nuclear war would be fought with only a fifth of the firepower.
Also, not all our (as in: humanity’s) nukes are ICBMs. Many of them can’ t even be deployed unless you haul it above a city with a plane. Many are “just” warheads sitting in warehouses, and couldn’t immediately be launched. This is especially true to Russia, as they would be deleted long before any of those warheads could be used.
Another thing to consider is how those strikes would be distributed. Russia has to blanket the whole of Europe and US, possibly more, while the West only has to strike Russian strategic targets. This is a guaranteed death sentence for the Russian elite, including Putin. Hence I don’t think he’ll press the button, or even if he tried, he’d end up with a hole in his head.
Yes, we have gradually reduced the size of nuclear arsenals. But one-fifth of overkill is still mass murder.
Also, assassinating Putin and his cronies sounds like the most desirable outcome of such a war…but this is the crudest, clumsiest, ugliest way of achieving that end. It requires killing tens of millions (at the least) ordinary, innocent Russians to stop a handful of criminals.
Then the following is pollyannaish nonsense:
Otherwise radiation from nuclear bombs dissipates very quickly. You know how in Fallout games everything is still radioactive after 200 years? As far as I know that’s bullshit.
48 hours after the strike, the radiation will have already gone down by 99%, and at 72 hours it should be safe to come out. The tricky part is to not be in the blast radius, or at least be in a basement when a strike happens near you. That, or a sturdy enough building, in which case you should stay in the middle, on the lowest floor. Don’t go to upper floors, as fallout will accumulate on the roof.
Food and drink in closed containers that were inside during the strike should be generally safe to consume, so chances are you won’t die of hunger or dehydration.
To sum up, Putin will threaten with nukes, but it’s unlikely he will actually use them. Even if he does though, the world won’t end, plus your chances of survival aren’t bad if the bomb wasn’t dropped directly on you, and you can stick it out in a basement for 3 days.
Pure madness. Just avoid being in the blast radius! You’re safe as long as you stay in the basement! Fallout will only accumulate on the roof! Also on all the acreage dedicated to growing your food, and on all the reservoirs that supply your drinking water. You won’t die of hunger or dehydration right away, that’s true, but how long will the canned food and bottled water in your house last? Haven’t we learned already about how supply chains can be disrupted? This is a survivalist fantasy, and I hate it.
It is true that biology is remarkably resilient, and we won’t get that video game/syfy movie nonsense of monstrous mutants roaming a radioactive wasteland. Even in the best of circumstances, where the victims are an isolated population that can be supported by the remainder of society, you’re going to see a surge in cancer incidence over many years, and even longer term effects on mental health and social interactions. People have studied these things in great detail. You can look up the long-term consequences of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima, for instance, and it wasn’t over after 3 days.
This paper examines long-term consequences of one of the most serious catastrophes ever inflicted on humankind: the atomic bombing that occurred in Hiroshima in 1945. While many victims died immediately or within a few years of the bombing, there were many negative effects on survivors in terms of both health and social/economic aspects that could last many years. Of these two life factors, health and social/economic aspects, the latter has largely been ignored by researchers. We investigate possible long-lasting effects using a new dataset covering the middle and older generations in Hiroshima some 60 years after the tragedy. Our empirical results show that Atomic Bomb Survivors did not necessarily suffer unfavorable life experiences in terms of the average marriage status or educational attainment but did experience significant disadvantages some aspects including the husband/wife combination of married couples, work status, mental health, and expectations for the future. Thus, survivors have suffered for many years after the catastrophe itself.
That’s an analysis of the survivors, and doesn’t include the 200,000 dead, obviously. We’re talking decades of suffering from a single relatively small and primitive nuclear bomb.
Don’t downplay the threat and dangers of nuclear war. Keep it up and you’ll find Jim Bakker running advertisements for his food buckets on your YouTube channel.
One other thing I have to mention: my views on this subject are a product of the 1960s-1980s. In particular, a big influence was George Streisinger, who most of you might have heard of for his essential work as a pioneer of zebrafish research. But also, at the same time, he was a major activist working against nuclear war and for disarmament. There was a whole cadre of biologists at that time who started out as physicists during WWII who then switched to genetics and molecular biology; George was a Hungarian Jew who fled that country to escape the Nazis, and studied viral genetics. He would be shocked to learn that some people now regard nuclear war as a minor setback in their goal of exterminating their enemies.
He was one of the good guys. I’ll always be on his side.