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DOOMED VIEW OF EARTH-THAT-IS
Monday, April 16, 2007 7:42:04 AM
Earth-that-is is safe from nuclear war for as long as we do not have a self sustaining colony somewhere else.
This rock of ours is doomed. It will be destroyed by nuclear war, make no mistake. It is however unlikely to occur within our lifetime, if for no other reason than that we have nowhere else to go. There is no shortage of crazy/misguided/desperate people willing to 'push the button', but so far none of them have more than a handful of nukes, and they know all the world is watching them, ready to glass their little bit of the globe should they ever disconnect from reality far enough to use them. Noone is willing to risk the entire human race over anything (Perhaps a few are, but they haven't figured out how to start a global conflagration yet).
The equation changes once there is a self sustaining colony somewhere (that somewhere may be a ship, station, asteroid, moon, planet, this solar system, interstellar space, another solar system, what the frak ever. It just has to be big enough to indefinitely sustain a genetically viable population.). Whomever started the colony may now believe themself to be able to 'win' a nuclear war, because 'their' people will survive.
Earth is doomed. Study hard, pass on what you learn, do what you can to get your descendants off this rock.
Don't kid yourself. Nuclear warheads are far too good at what they do to ever be gotten rid of. In terms of dollars per assured death, nothing compares. The bigger problem is this: Once there aren't enough nukes to ensure the complete destruction of the planet and all life on it, someone will think, "I can survive this, therefore it is a viable option." The number of nukes may be reduced (to say... 2x complete planetary destruction per armed country), but they wil never go away, and someday they will be used.
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