Blog Action Day: What Would Happen If a Nuclear War Breaks Out?

Blog Action Day

This post was written for Blog Action Day. A day when bloggers from all around the world unite to raise awareness for the environment. My topic for this post is not a conventional environmental issue, but a look at a more destructive trend that’ll destroy our environment as well as our existence.

Astronauts tell us that when they soar far higher than the last layer of earth’s atmosphere, they see the earth as a tiny dot, among countless other dots, that looks as though it would fade into the vastness of the cosmos anytime. Our religious, national, and tribal loyalties look so frivolous when the boundaries and belief systems that separate us lose significance. At the same time, the protection and comfort of our little home seems more important than anything else in the cold and dark cosmos.

We, who walk on earth, however, could care less about how to conduct ourselves on the earth to protect the future of our species. Looks like we have everything in place to wipe out the human species. We are only a few clicks away from the doomsday. What other conclusion can you derive from our obsession with building nuclear bombs?

What would happen in case nuclear war breaks out?

You don’t have to go very far to learn what would transpire after a nuclear war breakout. Let’s rewind the time to the moment when USA dropped nuclear bombs on Japan in the World War II. It was devastating. Nothing like this was seen by the humanity before. We truly proved that we were following the path to annihilation.

The bombs, that were called blockbusters, were filled with two million tons of TNT, and they destroyed the whole cities. People were roasted alive and building were flattened in the blast waves.

One little girl who survived the attack recounted her experience:

Through a darkness like the bottom of hell, I could hear the voices of the other students calling for their mothers. And at the base of the bridge, inside a big cistern that had been dug out there, was a mother weeping, holding above her head a naked baby that was burned red all over its body. And another mother was crying and sobbing as she gave her burned breast to her baby. In the cistern the students stood with only their heads above the water, and their two hands, which they clasped as they imploringly cried and screamed, calling for their parents. But every single person who passed was wounded, all of them, and there was no one, there was no one to turn to for help. And the singed hair on the heads of the people was frizzled and whitish and covered with dust. They did not appear to be human, not creatures of this world.

Later, in 1954, a thermonuclear test at Bikini in the Marshal Islands went wrong and emitted huge doses of radioactive waves. Since it wasn’t an explosion, not many deaths occurred. But among those who took in the radioactive ash fallout, developed thyroid abnormalities, growth retardation or malignant tumors

It’s important to note that the bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima contained thirteen kilotons of TNT, and the Bikini test yield was 15 megatons. Wonder how much more destructive the nukes have gotten now?

Considering the numbers of countries that are equipped with nukes, in case a nuclear world war breaks out, the destruction of humanity is inevitable. If there are any survivors, they’ll have to face unlivable circumstances. A full-blown nuclear war will destroy the nitrogen, that will destroy the ozone in the upper atmosphere, resulting in increased solar ultraviolet radiation. The increased radiation will destroy crops, kill microorganisms, and.. you get the drift.

So, even though environmental issues like ozone depletion and energy consumption are slowly eating away our chances to survive, a nuclear war would come as a big blow, out of nowhere, and catch us off guard. We’ll cease to exist just as the big and mighty dinosaurs did millions of years ago.

It’s time to look at our planet from an astronaut’s vantage point, and value the cozy lap of mother earth. What use are the advancements of modern civilization if we can’t overcome our primal urge to destroy the things we hate? Why don’t we realize that we have reached the point where completely destroying our enemies can result in the obliteration of the whole human species?

Thanks to Cosmos by Carl Sagan for information about the nuclear bombs.

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