(Before It's News)
Thirty-seven years ago, the United States Congress commissioned and published a work of fiction, an account of what life in Charlottesville, Virginia, might be like during a nuclear war. It's contained in a longer report called The Effects of Nuclear War which came out in May of 1979. It's widely available online.
I take an interest for 15 pretty solid reasons:
- I live in Charlottesville.
- The world still has enough nuclear weapons with which to destroy itself many times over.
- We pay a lot less attention to preventing such a disaster now than we did 37 years ago.
- More nations have nukes now and many more are close to having them.
- We know more now about the numerous nuclear accidents and misunderstandings that have nearly killed us all over the decades.
- India and Pakistan are actually at war.
- The United States and Russia are as close to war as they've been in 98 years.
- The United States is investing in newer and smaller, “more usable” nukes.
- This Congressional best case scenario for a U.S. city during a nuclear war is deeply disturbing.
- We now know that even a limited nuclear war would produce a nuclear winter, preventing the production of crops depicted in this tale.
- It's not so clear to me that Charlottesville would still rank last on a list of targets for nuclear missiles. It is, after all, home to the Army JAG school, the National Ground Intelligence Center, various weapon makers, a heavily militarized university, and the CIA's underground hideout.
- The United Nations has just set up negotiations for the coming year of a global treaty to ban nuclear weapons, and it's worth trying to understand why.
- If we survive our possession of nuclear knowledge, we still have climate catastrophe to quickly and miraculously evade or prepare for.
- The Republican candidate for U.S. president.
- The Democratic candidate for U.S. president.
So, here are a few excerpts that I encourage you to consider:
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