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Haliphron
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11 Feb 2009, 11:25 am

Sand wrote:
DeaconBlues wrote:
Actually, the "total psychotics" in the military are among those most reluctant to ever use nuclear weapons. We've seen the results - remember Bikini Atoll? We developed a measure of damage potential of nuclear weapons - "megadeaths", or the number of millions of people expected to be killed by the use of nukes.

If the people of the military were the "total psychotics" you think, just slavering to use these deadly toys, North Vietnam and Cuba would today be glassy deserts - those were two places where the politicos wanted to use nukes, but were dissuaded by the generals. For that matter, on the other side, if military folks in general were so anxious to nuke everything in sight, why didn't the Soviets cover their withdrawal from Afghanistan with a little tactical nuclear strike or two? Why haven't the Chinese nuked any centers of dissent in Tibet? (And if you tell me that the Chinese leadership is worried about public opinion, I'll laugh right in your face.)

No, those of us educated in the fearsome power of these weapons are/were extremely reluctant to ever bring them out to play. It's the politicians, who never seem to see a future beyond the next election cycle (or five-year plan, in places that aren't concerned with elections) that should keep you up at night..




The only thing that stopped a use of nuclear weapons in the Cuban crisis was a last minute decision by JFK. The military was ready to use nuclear weapons.


The same could easily be said of Soviet actions during the ABLE ARCHER excersize in november 1983. The Soviet military was on full alert and prepared to launch their ICBMs if they didnt hear back from Moscow-as they wouldve assumed that NATO had fired missiles from West Germany at the USSR.



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11 Feb 2009, 9:59 pm

Since the end of the Cold War, the likelihood of a global nuclear war has dropped to essentially zero. There might be a few crazies with nukes, but even they aren't crazy enough to actually use them (and even if they did it would result in just a few cities getting blown up, not the planet).

A bigger threat right now is the looming oil crisis. While this does not have the potential of causing an extinction, it could disrupt our society in ways we can hardly imagine. Even if there is technically a 100 years of oil left, if it requires more energy to pump it out of the ground then it actually contains, then the oil industry collapses. Prices would rapidly rise to unaffordable levels, and as a result anything else that is dependent on oil (even just for transport) would also increase to inane levels.

Eventually things will work out, alternative energy will slowly become more widespread (unable to piggy-back on oil, these will take a LONG time to reach necessary levels) and food supplies will be reestablished. We might never be able to resume our lifestyle of excess the western world has enjoyed, but at least no one will be starving.


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Sand
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11 Feb 2009, 10:12 pm

The_Cucumber wrote:
Since the end of the Cold War, the likelihood of a global nuclear war has dropped to essentially zero. There might be a few crazies with nukes, but even they aren't crazy enough to actually use them (and even if they did it would result in just a few cities getting blown up, not the planet).

A bigger threat right now is the looming oil crisis. While this does not have the potential of causing an extinction, it could disrupt our society in ways we can hardly imagine. Even if there is technically a 100 years of oil left, if it requires more energy to pump it out of the ground then it actually contains, then the oil industry collapses. Prices would rapidly rise to unaffordable levels, and as a result anything else that is dependent on oil (even just for transport) would also increase to inane levels.

Eventually things will work out, alternative energy will slowly become more widespread (unable to piggy-back on oil, these will take a LONG time to reach necessary levels) and food supplies will be reestablished. We might never be able to resume our lifestyle of excess the western world has enjoyed, but at least no one will be starving.


That final comment neatly defines the reality of your comment. There are thousands within the USA today that don't get enough to eat not to speak of hunger fatalities in Africa and the rest of the world. Anytime you expect power hunger crazies to behave rationally you are in big trouble and the human race is well laced with total nuts.



twoshots
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11 Feb 2009, 10:44 pm

Sand wrote:
That final comment neatly defines the reality of your comment. There are thousands within the USA today that don't get enough to eat not to speak of hunger fatalities in Africa and the rest of the world. Anytime you expect power hunger crazies to behave rationally you are in big trouble and the human race is well laced with total nuts.

I'd be interested to know who these people are and where they are. Obesity actually correlates with poverty in the United States because of how cheap food is.

Now, there is a certain poverty in the quality of their diets, but I live off soft drinks and fried chicken and I don't have a heart attack (yet...)

(although given that their are probably thousands of people in the united states who are clinically insane, lost in the woods trying not to get eaten by bears, etcetera, perhaps the stat isn't so implausible, but I'm not too sure about the class implications)


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Sand
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11 Feb 2009, 10:51 pm

twoshots wrote:
Sand wrote:
That final comment neatly defines the reality of your comment. There are thousands within the USA today that don't get enough to eat not to speak of hunger fatalities in Africa and the rest of the world. Anytime you expect power hunger crazies to behave rationally you are in big trouble and the human race is well laced with total nuts.

I'd be interested to know who these people are and where they are. Obesity actually correlates with poverty in the United States because of how cheap food is.

Now, there is a certain poverty in the quality of their diets, but I live off soft drinks and fried chicken and I don't have a heart attack (yet...)

(although given that their are probably thousands of people in the united states who are clinically insane, lost in the woods trying not to get eaten by bears, etcetera, perhaps the stat isn't so implausible, but I'm not too sure about the class implications)


See http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/29542434.html



--36.3 million people--including 13 million children--live in households that experience hunger or the risk of hunger. This represents more than one in ten 0households in the United States (11.2 percent). This is an increase of 1.4 million, from 34.9, million in 2002.

--3.5 percent of U.S. households experience hunger. Some people in these households frequently skip meals or eat too little, sometimes going without food for a whole day. 9.6 million people, including 3 million children, live in these homes.

--7.7 percent of U.S. households are at risk of hunger. Members of these households have lower quality diets or must resort to seeking emergency food because they cannot always afford the food they need. 26.6 million people, including 10.3 million children, live in these homes.



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12 Feb 2009, 3:15 am

Anubis wrote:
We will have some sort of wide scale nuke use, but full-scale nuclear war, I doubt it.


Did you know it would only take seven of the very powerful bombs in order to kill everybody?



ruveyn
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12 Feb 2009, 7:33 am

Atomsk wrote:
Anubis wrote:
We will have some sort of wide scale nuke use, but full-scale nuclear war, I doubt it.


Did you know it would only take seven of the very powerful bombs in order to kill everybody?


Did you know you are full of it? The most powerful transportable nuke is a 20 meg hydrogen bomb. When Mt. St. Helen blew it blew with the energy of thousands of megatons. The world did not end.

ruveyn



Sand
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12 Feb 2009, 9:18 am

ruveyn wrote:
Atomsk wrote:
Anubis wrote:
We will have some sort of wide scale nuke use, but full-scale nuclear war, I doubt it.


Did you know it would only take seven of the very powerful bombs in order to kill everybody?


Did you know you are full of it? The most powerful transportable nuke is a 20 meg hydrogen bomb. When Mt. St. Helen blew it blew with the energy of thousands of megatons. The world did not end.

ruveyn


You may be right, but St. Helena was not radioactive so I'm not sure.



twoshots
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12 Feb 2009, 11:30 am

Sand wrote:
twoshots wrote:
Sand wrote:
That final comment neatly defines the reality of your comment. There are thousands within the USA today that don't get enough to eat not to speak of hunger fatalities in Africa and the rest of the world. Anytime you expect power hunger crazies to behave rationally you are in big trouble and the human race is well laced with total nuts.

I'd be interested to know who these people are and where they are. Obesity actually correlates with poverty in the United States because of how cheap food is.

Now, there is a certain poverty in the quality of their diets, but I live off soft drinks and fried chicken and I don't have a heart attack (yet...)

(although given that their are probably thousands of people in the united states who are clinically insane, lost in the woods trying not to get eaten by bears, etcetera, perhaps the stat isn't so implausible, but I'm not too sure about the class implications)


See http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/29542434.html



--36.3 million people--including 13 million children--live in households that experience hunger or the risk of hunger. This represents more than one in ten 0households in the United States (11.2 percent). This is an increase of 1.4 million, from 34.9, million in 2002.

--3.5 percent of U.S. households experience hunger. Some people in these households frequently skip meals or eat too little, sometimes going without food for a whole day. 9.6 million people, including 3 million children, live in these homes.

--7.7 percent of U.S. households are at risk of hunger. Members of these households have lower quality diets or must resort to seeking emergency food because they cannot always afford the food they need. 26.6 million people, including 10.3 million children, live in these homes.

Just by way of clarity, a citation for quoted data so I can check up on the methodology would be good.


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12 Feb 2009, 1:33 pm

Atomsk wrote:
Anubis wrote:
We will have some sort of wide scale nuke use, but full-scale nuclear war, I doubt it.


Did you know it would only take seven of the very powerful bombs in order to kill everybody?

If you could get everybody on the planet to stand in the same area, sure. Other than that, I don't know who's feeding you your figures, but I'm afraid they're mistaken. And fallout just ain't all that impressive - even if you credit every single case of cancer in the footprint of Chernyobl to radiation from the accident, it's still not that big a dent in the planetary population. (You do know that we crossed the 6 billion mark a while back, right? And that we're on pace to break 7 billion by 2015?)


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13 Feb 2009, 12:47 am

parts wrote:
You are assuming an all out shoot them all off war. I don't think this will happen but think it will be more limited


Did the US military drop Mutually Assured Destruction ( MAD ) from it's nuclear policy?


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13 Feb 2009, 7:43 am

Yes. Nuclear war. The inevitable end to the first information era. Humanity will become an improved race through the sacrifice of many lives and the resulting change in ideology and demographics.


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Sand
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13 Feb 2009, 7:57 am

Anubis wrote:
Yes. Nuclear war. The inevitable end to the first information era. Humanity will become an improved race through the sacrifice of many lives and the resulting change in ideology and demographics.


There's nothing like mass murder to improve a species. After all, look what it did for the dodo and the passenger pigeon.



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13 Feb 2009, 8:00 am

Sand wrote:
Anubis wrote:
Yes. Nuclear war. The inevitable end to the first information era. Humanity will become an improved race through the sacrifice of many lives and the resulting change in ideology and demographics.


There's nothing like mass murder to improve a species. After all, look what it did for the dodo and the passenger pigeon.


We will survive, unlike the dodo and the passenger pigeon.


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13 Feb 2009, 8:27 am

Anubis wrote:
Sand wrote:
Anubis wrote:
Yes. Nuclear war. The inevitable end to the first information era. Humanity will become an improved race through the sacrifice of many lives and the resulting change in ideology and demographics.


There's nothing like mass murder to improve a species. After all, look what it did for the dodo and the passenger pigeon.


We will survive, unlike the dodo and the passenger pigeon.


There is nothing like hubris and ignorance to keep people happy.



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13 Feb 2009, 8:45 am

You underestimate the ability of humans to survive. This will be humanity's greatest challenge yet, and one that will bring it closer together as a species.


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