Fallout: A Study of Superbombs, Strontium 90, and Survival

Fallout: A Study of Superbombs, Strontium 90, and Survival

Fallout: A Study of Superbombs, Strontium 90, and Survival

Fallout: A Study of Superbombs, Strontium 90, and Survival

Excerpt

"All men should strive to know before they die what they are running from, and to, and why."

James Thurber's moral from the tale of the lemmings and their confused dash into the sea seems singularly appropriate for atom-age man. The great advances we have made in weapons technology, coupled to the unchanging myopia of our several national visions, are accelerating us down the lemmings' path. If we are to stop short of nuclear annihilation, fear's closed eye and apathy's glazed eye must be cleared by knowledge.

The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki previewed a change in the nature of war. The radioactive ashes that fell on the Lucky Dragon and the Marshall Islanders early in 1954 underlined the magnitude of this change. Radiological weapons can now make entire countries the targets and continents the battlegrounds. But with this change in the size of wars has come no parallel growth in the statesmanship of nations. No improvement in international politics comparable to that made in weapons has appeared. Atomic and hydrogen bombs are, it seems, but bigger guns to the men who use them.

We shall be confronted more and more with issues vitally affecting mankind's chances of survival. Already we see the shape they will take: the policy of deterrence with its commitment to nuclear weapons, the building of "hardened" (H-bomb proof) . . .

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