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The Atomic Origins of Climate Science


Science & Tech  (tags: science, nuclear, weapons, nuclear winter, deterrant, Carl Sagan, environment, science, global warming, Climate Change, debates )

Evelyn
- 722 days ago - newyorker.com
How arguments about nuclear weapons shaped the debate over global warming. Theories that involve the end of the world are not amenable to experimental verification - at least, not more than once.



   

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Comments

Donna T (0)
Wednesday January 25, 2017, 7:11 am
thank you
 

Darren Woolsey (218)
Wednesday January 25, 2017, 11:49 am
The strutting bullsh$t of power-possessors without a conscience, compassion or empathy:

The new President’s vision is unclear. “We have to be extremely vigilant and extremely careful when it comes to nuclear,” Donald Trump said during the campaign. But he also refused to rule out conducting a first strike, even on Europe (“Europe is a big place”); suggested that it might be a good thing for more countries to acquire nuclear weapons; and argued that it was pointless to manufacture weapons that could never be used, asking, “Then why are we making them?” In December, Vladimir Putin told military leaders in Moscow that he intended to bolster Russia’s nuclear arsenal. “Let it be an arms race,” Trump said in response. “We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”
 

Evelyn B (63)
Wednesday January 25, 2017, 12:10 pm
Darren - take your thinking a little further, in the light of the full article.

The argument moved from nuclear weapons as a deterrent as such
To nuclear winter as the danger ...

Because awareness of climate change grew out of the research on impact of the atomic arms, nuclear tests etc.

But now we're faced with a denier of climate change who doesn't think "deterrent" is sufficient argument for holding nuclear weapons. And there's the dangerous flashpoint

One thing is for sure - as Sagan said ... "Theories that involve the end of the world are not amenable to experimental verification - at least, not more than once."
 

Darren Woolsey (218)
Wednesday January 25, 2017, 2:14 pm
Well, I DON'T think deterrent is a sufficient argument either, actually.

The amount of money WASTED on nuclear technology that none of these power possessors has any immediate intention of using, is, quite frankly, stunningly irresponsible, and arrogantly facile.

I've had this argument with my own family members, who voted for BREXIT, and basically, the amount of money wasted on arming to prove might is right, is ridiculous.

ALL nuclear WEAPONS need to be removed from the face of the earth, and a completely different strategy requirement for engagement with/in each country, ALSO required.
 

Evelyn B (63)
Wednesday January 25, 2017, 2:45 pm
What I'm getting at, Darren - he dismisses BOTH arguments - which leaves NO "reason" for keeping nuclear weapons unused. With the climate science argument, there's good reason to drop the "deterrent" justification for continuing to maintain nuclear weapons ... it contributed to the disarmament drive (except that the US, Israel, Russia, Pakistan, India haven't followed suit and justify this because of other countries that have/ might be developing nuclear power so they need to be able to "defend" - keeping "deterrent" in their narrative. And using suspicion stories to keep their nuclear status justified - especially when "officially" they don't have those weapons which are stocked around the country ...)

I wish we'd reach the stage where these countries would take the (huge) step of destroying their nuclear capacity. The climate science has extensive data that supports this - so we have the active deniers of climate change.
 

Darren Woolsey (218)
Wednesday January 25, 2017, 2:58 pm
One of the few ways forward here, is to have lots of meetings, between ALL the major world powers, and talk and discuss issues, and not bar anyone because they might be considered a "threat"

The major power possessors, currently, are reverting back to type and hype of strutting their stuff in negotiations or simply releasing press statements, or more provocatively, carrying out testing of nuclear technology, to just make the others aware that military capability is being flexed.

Again, communication is the key. . . proper communication.
 

Evelyn B (63)
Wednesday January 25, 2017, 3:15 pm
Communication - yes

BUT - combined with good will.
And that is lacking in some key cases. Countries that don't even admit to their (illegal under international conventions) development of nuclear capacity during the period while other countries are being pushed into DESTROYING nuclear. If they're allowed to get away with it, how can one expect others to comply with agreed destruction of their nuclear weapons?

If the weather experts communicate to you that it will be sunny & warm - and through the window you see snow falling - will you go outside in shorts & T-shirt?

To be effective, the communication has to be combined with TRUST (in the good will of all participants).
 

Darren Woolsey (218)
Thursday January 26, 2017, 1:19 am
Yep. . . trust and verification, gut instinct, etc.. . .

Even experimenting with nuclear in a NON-combative mode is highly questionable, given the current lack of ability of humankind to be able to recycle, and/or get rid of the waste responsibly. UNTIL one can figure that out, nuclear technology should be a no-no.
 

Evelyn B (63)
Thursday January 26, 2017, 1:34 am
The problem is, the experimenting in NON-combative mode has already largely taken place, & the results are part of our infrastructure (not only for power stations in many countries, but also in medicine. And there'd need to be massive investment (money & time) in research if the instruments depending on nuclear were to be replaced effectively & safely in medicine. (But at least the "waste" aspect is a smaller problem in medicine).

Very difficult to walk back to "no-no" once civil infrastructure leans on a particular technology.

What we really need is far more stringent systems of testing potential risks before launching into "new" technologies. Because we should perhaps also have avoided becoming so widely dependent on micro radio wave technology & related ... cellphone communications infrastructure & handsets may be bad for health, judging by research ... But making them "no-no" would be exceedingly difficult! (Ah! But imagine a world where DT couldn't tweet!!! :>D ...)
 

Peggy B (43)
Thursday January 26, 2017, 7:25 am
Interesting article. TYFS
 

Darren Woolsey (218)
Thursday January 26, 2017, 1:02 pm
What America and Britain AND the rest of the word's power-possessors needs now, urgently is a healthy does of ethics, morality, some compassion, empathy and conscience bolted onto their beings.

Without most of those components, I cannot see how the next 4 years unfolds, except badly for most of us.
 

Colleen L (3)
Thursday January 26, 2017, 11:01 pm
Interesting. Thanks Evelyn
 

Roro l (0)
Friday January 27, 2017, 10:11 am
Thanks
 

Danuta W (1251)
Saturday January 28, 2017, 2:36 am
Noted
 

George L (0)
Saturday January 28, 2017, 6:24 am
thanks for posting.
 

Hartson Doak (39)
Sunday January 29, 2017, 1:32 pm
The Pentagon has stated that all they NEED is 300 nuclear missiles. Let us then reduce the old, out dated and possibly self destructive missiles to that number. These systems were made 50 years ago. They use systems that are so old that they could easily malfunction. Like nuclear power plants of the same era, they are WAY past their design life.
 

Margie FOURIE (148)
Monday January 30, 2017, 1:52 am
Thank you
 

Chen Boon Fook (0)
Monday January 30, 2017, 6:33 am
thanks
 

Darren Woolsey (218)
Tuesday January 31, 2017, 2:27 pm
If Trump's recent arrogant assertion that he wants America's military and nuclear capability to be the best in the world, so that no one messes with the $tates, then I reckon the Pentagon will get all their requirements satisfied, and more besides.
 

Darren Woolsey (218)
Tuesday January 31, 2017, 2:29 pm
BTW, ANYONE talking Military and War like, and, as exemplified by right-wing machine Theresa May's assertion that she would WITHOUT HESITATION press "the button" indicates they're a mixture of sociopath and psychopath, lost touch with their humanity, humility, lack compassion and have almost no conscience at all.
 

George L (0)
Thursday February 2, 2017, 5:52 am
Thank you
 

Leong S (0)
Saturday February 4, 2017, 7:08 am
thanks for posting
 
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