Friday, February 24, 2012

Extreme Contingency Planning

While we continue to hold this amazing (and in my opinion, almost frantic) level of optimism as expressed in markets, as well as in the rising of President Obama's popularity from the ashes, the nature of the coming decline has me very, very worried.  I especially worry about the next war, frankly.

As part of that, if you want to indulge in some worst-case planning, click over to Alex Wellerstein's NukeMap.  This is a tool that lets you use Google Maps to drop a variety of nuclear warheads, from an improvised terrorist nuke to the largest bombs ever tested or deployed, anywhere on the map and see the expected results.  Note that the blast pattern shown will not include effects of terrain and is an optimized air burst (in other words, the blast you will see is a worst-case type of scenario).

This is not really meant to be disaster porn, but if you are concerned that nuclear war could accompany the coming era a deep negative mass sentiment, then this tool may help you at least see what a nuclear strike could do to places of interest to you and yours.


David said...

In reading through the linked articles I reached the conclusion that my 1960's era grasp on nukes is woefully outdated.

Today's political and military "leaders" have "improved" nuclear weapons by making them smaller and less world-endingly powerful. Paradoxically, I believe this makes them significantly more likely to be used in coming conflict.

Just as the taser's theoretical non-lethality induces cops to use violence at a lower threshold than when the next step was lethal force, these smaller modern nukes lower the threshold for the clowns ruling us to rationalize their use against "enemy" population centers.

The eventual blowback of this demonic calculus makes my blood run cold. Truly will future historians accurately label the current USA as the Evil Empire, claiming to export freedom and democracy while in fact nakedly slaughtering all people in its path to complete physical domination of all resources and markets.

Flagg707 said...

@David: You and I worry about a similar outcome. You have a population in Europe and the U.S. that has been preached to for decades that nuclear war would end life as we know it. The reality is that, barring a full nuclear exchange that blankets the globe, nuclear weapons will be horrible, but the world will continue and a bunch of people thinking "it wasn't so bad" (as long as it wasn't their city that got nuked). This could lead to a lot more mushroom clouds down the road, especially in a negative mood world.

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