Friday, December 17, 2010

Prepare: NYT - Nuclear Strike is survivable

I woke up today in a different world. Dogs and cats were friends. People liked New Coke. Heck had frozen over.

There in the New York Times was this article about nuclear war and how people could survive it or at least increase their survivability by simply staying put and taking shelter rather than fleeing.

Since the 1970's, the mainstream media has marched the public to the drumbeat of the repeated message - "Nuclear war, no matter how large or small, will result in the complete destruction of the earth and the death of all people. The world will end and there is no point in attempting to prepare for or survive a nuclear war as the resulting world will be worse than death".

Now this.

Administration officials argue that the cold war created an unrealistic sense of fatalism about a terrorist nuclear attack. “It’s more survivable than most people think,” said an official deeply involved in the planning, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “The key is avoiding nuclear fallout.”

The only sense of fatalism came from the media. Ordinary citizens built home fallout shelters and stocked their basements. The government, especially under Kennedy, planned and stocked thousands of public shelters across the country. It was the news media who propogated the myth that all would die horrible deaths regardless of their preparations.

“We have to get past the mental block that says it’s too terrible to think about,” W. Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said in an interview. “We have to be ready to deal with it” and help people learn how to “best protect themselves.”

Good gravy. They actually want us to do something about it ourselves rather than wait for Uncle Sugar and his merry band of FEMA friends to show up, hand out bottled water and debit cards and make the problems all go away?

What is sad about this is that in the 1980's, Cresson Kearney produced a book which outlined research from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory about surviving nuclear war. The media and several prominent politicians quickly dismissed it as their own conventional wisdom maintained that nobody would survive a nuclear war and that nuclear disarmament, by the USA, only of course, was the only option to avoiding nuclear destruction.

Now this.

It could be that the administration, pushing for a new START treaty with Russia, wants to frame the nuclear war thing again in the media as a way to get approval for their efforts.  Everything is politics of course.

And other than producing the pamphlet outlined in the NYT article, I doubt the federal government will revive the public shelter program, Civil Defense or shelter stocking.

However, let's not forget that there are now more nations with nuclear weapons and nuclear weapon manufacturing capability than there was as late as the 1980's and more nations will soon join them. We are in an arms race not between two nations, but between thirty or forty.

It's great the government wants to talk about nuclear war preparedness again, but remember, they only want to have a conversation. Talk is cheap. Real preparedness starts with you right now.

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