Silver Linings in a Mushroom Cloud?
Silver linings are hard to find these days and it is apparent that we really have no clue how to proceed under this administration.
What are we to do when we realize that our country has become a threat to the well-being of the entire planet? What would happen to the human race if only idiots like Donald Trump survive the blast and resulting 'winter'?
Climate Change and Nuclear Winter
Even a regional nuclear war could spark "unprecedented" global cooling and reduce rainfall for years, according to U.S. government computer models.
Scientist's models in recent decades have been based on a small regional conflict between nuclear armed countries (India and Pakistan) -- but this model has been overshadowed by a larger problem. The modeling is no longer viable, if the United States re-enters the nuclear arms race and is prepared to use them. (Hello, North Korea?)
At this time, with this administration, this has become a whole lot more than a 'thought experiment'. The United States has missiles on "high alert status", meaning the 'Commander-in-Chief' has them at his stubby little fingertip. (My condolences to North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska and Colorado, you all are just necessary 'targets').
In fact, there are approximately 450 silo-based nuclear weapons in North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Colorado that remain on high-alert status, a Cold-War relic that allows the President to fire nuclear weapons, each at least 20 times more powerful than Hiroshima, within minutes of a warning.
They argue that on-alert land-based missiles are necessary because, without them, there would be fewer targets for a nuclear-capable opponent.
In the event of a nuclear strike, the first thing we worry about is sheltering from the blast. It has been estimated that the death toll from a global nuclear war would be a half a billion people, but that does not take into account the resulting 'fallout' -- nuclear winter. The real problems will come after the initial blast(s) as the clouds rise into the atmosphere and block out the sun. The resulting crop failures would create widespread famine. All life on earth relies on carbon cycle, and all life on earth will be impacted.
In the Northern Hemisphere winter, when few land plants are growing and many are decaying, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations climb. During the spring, when plants begin growing again, concentrations drop. It is as if the Earth is breathing.
The good news is, the Earth will keep breathing (it make choke on the mushroom cloud) but it will eventually be okay. The bad news is, the human race may not keep breathing.
Cover image source: Pixabay