What is the current state of nuclear disarmament? Because of my lifetime of closeness to A-bombs, (1. growing up next the reactor that made the first A-bomb, 2. meeting several people very close to the bomb and knowing some of them very well, 3. being a B-47 nuclear bomber pilot, etc.) I have sought ways to try to prevent the Doomsday events. As I have said elsewhere I believe the current risk is about 3% per year. That doesn’t sound too bad in the very short run but in terms of a present child’s life it means almost certain calamity during their current life expectancy. That is why I have been working on ways to salvage the world before the disaster finally crushes in upon humanity. The way which seems most likely to be doable and to have a reasonable chance of some success is The EarthArk Project. That will not prevent a Doomsday War but it will help to restore the planet at least part way back to where it is at present after the events. The lecture today here on the University of California, Berkeley campus (where the A-bomb and H-bomb were first conceived by Oppenheimer and Teller) was by Dr. Ola Dahlman a successful nuclear weapons control expert. His announcement:
How can science support efforts to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons and strengthen non-proliferation? Science and scientists have been engaged in support of many security building and arms control and disarmament efforts within different political and administrative frames. Dr. Ola Dahlman, former Deputy Director-General of Sweden’s Defense Research Institute, chaired the Group of Scientific Experts at the standing Conference on Disarmament in Geneva from 1982 to 1996 and the Technical Working Group of the UN Comprehensive Test Ban Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) from 1996 to 2006.
The lecture was very general and Dr. Dahlman was very careful to stay well within the bounds of careful scientific presentation of the facts relevant to preventing nuclear testing by the use of various world-wide monitoring systems. The sophisticated systems are already in place for detecting atmospheric, submersed oceanic, and subterranean tests. These instruments would identify even a small A-bomb trigger of 1/10th a kiloton. This system will prevent countries from secretly testing atomic bombs which would greatly impede their development. This monitoring system doesn’t affect the tens of thousands of bombs already manufactured and ready for deployment but it impedes new A-bomb developments.
After the lecture I made a point of talking with Dr. Dahlman for a few minutes because I wanted to ask him a simple question. This is a man who had been involved with suppressing the Doomsday Disaster as much as anyone and so if anyone would know the answer, he would. My question, “Is there a back up plan for when a substantial percentage of the existing arsenal of bombs are exploded? Are there any plans for restoring humanity to a pre-Doomsday condition?” I have asked this same question of several major players in the Defense establishment and every one of them has been a bit shocked and bewildered. They have all answered that they have never heard of such a plan. Generally, it appears that they don’t believe it will ever happen and if it does happen humanity will not survive, so why worry.
My analysis of this problem is that the Chixulube disaster which killed most of the dinosaurs didn’t kill everything. That event was much more potent than all of the world’s H-bombs combined so if some animals without any knowledge of how to survive such an event somehow managed to survive then some human beings with considerable knowledge of what had to be done would survive. Almost all wild animals would perish and so would most human beings but considerable numbers of humans would survive. Wild animals would go extinct but if even a few thousand humans survived they would be able to repopulate the planet. The planet would be a much more impoverished place in which to live without a vast variety of animals and plants but some humans would make it.
The EarthArk Project is designed to make the Earth more livable.