“I don’t know what World War III will be fought with, but the next war will be fought with sticks and stones”
-Chilling warning about the consequences of nuclear war. Not an Einstein quote.
History is an interesting teacher. It proves the boundlessness of unpredictability. Prior to capturing fire, nothing about fires in nature hinted that humans would harness its energy. Nothing about seeing birds fly implied humans would conquer the skies. Nothing about a lightning strike gave clue to humanities electrified future.
Nuclear energy is not the last advance humans will make.
That being said, there is a power hungry moron tipping the world towards a nuclear conflict. As a born and bred Gen X’er who went to bed as a child having nightmares of such things, I think it needs to be talked about.
My childhood was bombarded (pun absolutely intended) with imagery both in entertainment and education, of nuclear annihilation.
(What are the odds of being born into the generation following humans just gaining the ability to end it all)?
The book Hiroshima was required reading when I was a CHILD!! I don’t remember the exact age I read this first hand account of 6 people who survived the nuclear attack on Japan, but I was very young. It contains storied from people who survived while others close to them were vaporized. They speak of seeing peoples shadows burned into the ground from being incinerated faster than they could fall. Blackened fingernails and rapidly growing tumors from the radiation poisoning. The skies raining radioactive ashes. This was all from a firecracker sized explosion compared to the weapons on ready today.
We did not have active shooter drills in my school. The necessity of which today are an absolute failure of our society. I do however remember air raid drills. Alarms would sound and they would have us get under our desks protecting the backs of our heads with our hands. Again I do not remember the specific age but I was young enough to fit under a desk, so it had to be the 1980’s. As I sat crouched under the desk happy I wasn’t suffering through the scratchy clacking of chalk on a giant green board, it dawned on me the technique was unlikely provide much protection from the blasts from the “educational videos” we had watched. When I asked the wise elder in the room, “would this save us from one of those blasts?”, the teacher replied with a most unreassuring “probably not”. It was Texas after all.
Nuclear annihilation was a top of mind concern for years and years, and eventually Gen X just grew numb to it. So numb we spared our proginy from traumatic stories of the nuclear boogie man that could fall from the sky and incinerate them at any moment. Letting them know getting vaporized in the flash is the best case scenario because the unlucky survivors were destined to become deformed feral predators.
And here we are 30 and more years later and the drums of war are pounding, and many people seem largely oblivious to the stakes. This may be a dick move but here is a simulation of how it could look. It is not good.
Whatever the outcome of this conflict I hope it reignites the awareness of the importance of denuclearization. A society with nuclear weapons is a temporary one.