Tag Archives | Nuclear Weapons

Elon Musk Wants to Nuke Mars to Make it Habitable for Humans

Elon Musk talked about colonizing Mars with Colbert on Wednesday’s “The Late Show.”

When asked what he suggests be done to make Mars livable, Musk simply replied, “Drop thermonuclear weapons over the poles.”

So what do scientists have to say about this? Samantha Masunaga at the LA Times explains:

The average temperature on Mars is similar to that of Antarctica in the winter, said Brian Toon, professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who co-wrote a paper in 1991 about making the Red Planet habitable.

“It seems possible to make it earthlike, but there’s a lot of barriers to overcome,” Toon said. “Blowing up bombs is not a good one.”

Thermonuclear weapons could be used to warm the planet, but that might not be enough to warm it to “earthlike” levels, said Joshua Bandfield, an affiliate associate professor of earth and space sciences at the University of Washington and a senior research scientist at the Boulder-based Space Science Institute.

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Apocalypse Now: The Changing Face of Mass Destruction

Nora Khan via Hopes&Fears:

Living in the 21st-century global pantheon means we live alongside unprecedented existential risks, which can come from above and below, from outside and from within. Scientists, scholars, policymakers, defense strategists, risk analysts and experts in nearly every field have been organizing themselves around the issue of looming catastrophe. In this spirit, let’s take a clear-headed look at the nuclear, chemical, biological, and ecological perils that might befall us in the not-too-distant future.

The cover of The Boston Globe’s Business Section recently described think tanks devoted to predicting technological doomsday scenarios that might close out the Anthropocene. They included the Pardee Center for the Study for the Longer-Range Future at Boston University, which looks at global climate change, and the Future of Life Institute—funded in part by Elon Musk—which focuses on nuclear weaponization, biotechnology, and military AI. The Global Catastrophe Risk Institute, based in cities around the world, is comprised of a worldwide network of scholars and risk analysts thinking through threats to human civilization.… Read the rest

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We Stand to Lose Everything

Aaron Dames writes for Divided Core.


We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.
— Carl Sagan

As the 100th anniversary of World War I rolls around, dignitaries and diplomats are commemorating the costly victories and tragic losses of that brutal and gaseous four-year melee which resulted in the deaths of somewhere between ten to sixteen million people. World War I set the stage for its horrific sequel, World War II, which showcased another four years of agonizing mayhem, replicated genocides, and the creation of a Hell on Earth. Millions of people died on battlefields, in death camps, and of disease, starvation, and lack of sanitation in galactic pits of unfathomable misery and suffering. World War II then set the stage for the Cold War, in which the United States, the Soviet Union, and eventually other jingoistic nuclear powers, held humanity hostage through aggressive threats of apocalyptic war.… Read the rest

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Hawks Fume as World Celebrates ‘Victory for Diplomacy over War’

Jon Queally writes at Common Dreams:

Though a final deal won’t be sealed until later this year, the framework agreement announced in Lausanne, Switzerland on Thursday between Iran and the P5+1 nations is having reverberations across the world—offering hope of rapprochement, peace, and better days ahead for those who support it and heckles and frowns from those who appear to think that a continued stalemate and endless sanctions, or possibly war, are the better path.

As Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council, writes in an op-ed at The National Interest on Friday morning: “Peace won. War lost. It’s as simple as that.”

“Make no mistake,” Parsie continued, “the framework agreement that was announced yesterday is nothing short of historic. A cycle of escalation has been broken – for the first time, Iran’s nuclear program will roll back, as will the sanctions Iran has been subjected too.”

As regular Iranians were reportedly celebrating in the streets and in their homes and President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and the foreign ministers of the other nations were receiving widespread praise for the diplomatic accomplishment, hawkish forces were quickly—and unsurprisingly—making public their objections to the deal.

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The Next Impending Nuclear Crisis

Immersing oneself in the world of the unidentified flying object can be exciting, illuminating, stimulating, and enlightening. That very same world, however, is filled to the brim with cold-hearted killers that will not think twice about taking you out of circulation, if such action is deemed absolutely necessary. And not all of those cold-hearted killers are human.

Even before the testing of the first atomic bomb, doubts about its use arose among a group of scientists working hard to make the bomb a reality. Albert Einstein, Leo Szilard and Edward Teller were among them. Clearly, these top scientists understood that if their project was successful, as they were sure it would be, there would be an arms race and a new world would be created that would be on the brink of disaster for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, this vision has come to pass. Since the first nuclear bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945, we have seen a continuum of situations or incidents that have placed us on that brink of a worldwide nuclear disaster.… Read the rest

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‘David Against Nuclear Goliaths’: Nation Wages Legal Fight ‘for All Humanity’

Nuclear Bomb Mushroom CloudAndrea Germanos writes at Common Dreams:

In an unprecedented legal action, the small Pacific nation and former U.S. nuclear testing site of the Marshall Islands has filed lawsuits “on behalf of all humanity” at the International Court of Justice against the U.S. and 8 other nations for their “flagrant denial of human justice” by failing to work towards nuclear disarmament.

The nations cited by the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) are the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and China — all parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, as well as nuclear-armed Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea — which are not parties to the NPT but which the challenge says are “bound by customary international law.”

In addition to the suits filed Thursday in The Hague against the 9 nations, an additional suit specifically calling out the United States was filed in U.S. Federal District Court.

A campaign site launched with the suits to garner support for the action explains that the RMI “knows firsthand the horror and consequences of living in a world with nuclear weapons.”

Between 1946 and 1958, the U.S.

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