Arms Races Increase Atomic Arsenals, Raising the Risk of Nuclear Winter
For the Real News, I speak to Professor Alan Robock, a climate scientist who specializes in the climactic effects of nuclear weapons.
As Professor Robock explains, nuclear blasts produce massive fires, and the smoke from those fires blocks sunlight and can thereby precipitate a “nuclear winter” that would have catastrophic effects on agriculture and cause mass starvation.
Professor Robock’s view is that even a limited nuclear war has a high potential to precipitate a nuclear winter, yet his interactions with the Pentagon lead him to believe that Pentagon planners are utterly ignorant of the potential for a nuclear conflict to precipitate mass starvation.
As he states, “I have no evidence that anybody in the Pentagon knows anything about nuclear winter. I’ve never seen them state that this is a concern of theirs. I went to a meeting last year and talked to some military people, and they said, ‘Look, we understand the effects of blast from nuclear weapons, we understand the effects of radio activity, but we don’t understand the effect of fires, and so in our current planning, we just ignore them.’”
My discussion with Professor Robock can be seen and heard here: