Each January since 1947 the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has updated their “Doomsday Clock”, summarizing how close they think the world is to the destruction of civilization in terms of minutes to midnight. The clock’s original setting in 1947 was 7 minutes to midnight. Since 2020, after the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was terminated in 2019, the clock was set to 100 seconds to midnight. This morning they set it to 90 seconds to midnight. They said that they believe that humanity is the closest it has ever been to an existential crisis and over 10 times closer than it was after the end of the Cold War, when they set the clock at 17 minutes (1020 seconds) to midnight. They noted that Russian President Putin had mentioned last year that the US had initiated the nuclear age by bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. If Russia uses nuclear weapons, it will NOT be unprecedented.
A research report on Wikiversity discusses, “Responding to a nuclear attack“: If Russia uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine — or even incinerates Washington, DC and other US cities — the WORST response would be nuclear. Why? Because it would make a bad situation worse. If we cross that that nuclear threshold, it would be extremely difficult to stop while either side still had unexploded nuclear weapons. Firestorms would likely form from the incineration of major cities. The US and Russia each have over 5,000 nuclear weapons, with over 1,500 each listed as “deployed”. Lots of smoke would be lofted to the stratosphere, where rain clouds rarely form. It would remain for years, depressing crop yields worldwide. An estimated 5 billion people — over 60 percent of humanity — would starve to death if they do not die of something else sooner.
Dave Pack and Ann Suellentrop of PeaceWorks Kansas City discuss this and their plans for 2023. That includes a protest on Memorial Day at the Kansas City National Security Campus and the PeaceWorks Kansas City Local Art Fair, September 23 and 24.
SHAMELESS PLUG: Spencer is scheduled to speak on “Expertise and national security” at All Souls Forum next Sunday, to be broadcasted on KKFI February 9.