Read Nuclear War A Scenario


Eagle, CO

Last updated on Apr 28, 2024

Posted on Apr 28, 2024


Just finished this outstanding book by Annie Jacobsen.

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Everyone must read this book. I read it over a week, but could have read it one day. Because each time I put it down I wanted to pick back up and keep going. But I had to put it down, so I could think. And because it felt dangerous to hold.

I had to listen to a couple of podcasts Annie was on in between readings. Here's my favorite:

My takeaways from the book.

  1. I'm angry at all the defense hawks. We've wasted trillions on nuclear defense. Because as Annie so clearly lays out, no one wins a nuclear war. When the first nuke is launched, civilization is over.
  2. We've been cavalier about "nukes". Saying dumb ass things like 'We'll nuke 'em". We've come to think that launching a nuclear bomb should be on the table, inferring we'll survive a nuclear war. Elon thinks we'll just pick up and move to Mars. When the first nuclear bomb is launched at least 5 billion people will die within 2 hours, including all of North America. They'll be no way to get to Mars.
  3. Nuclear weapons are insanity.
  4. Apes are smarter than we are. From Annie's book:
    "One day in 1975 Foreign Policy magazine published an essay written by a defense official turned nuclear disarmament advocate named Paul C. Warnke. This essay, called "Apes on a Treadmill", remains prescient to this day. In it, Warnke criticized not only how insanely dangerous nuclear weapons are, but how wasteful the entire nuclear arms race is, and always has been. He called it a "monkey see, monkey do phenomenon," with all participants copying one another's aggressive moves, and getting absolutely nowhere, like unintelligent beasts.

"Even worse, Warnke pointed out, was that the runners in the race didn't seem to realize there was no way for any one person, or any one group, to actually win. That we are all apes on a treadmill, slaving away. The visual seared in people's minds and the article faded from view.

"Then in 2007, writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a group of young scientists inadvertently provided a fascinating new twist to the apes on a treadmill idea. The scientists were exploring bipedalism, the theory that our ancient ancestors learned to walk upright because it took less energy than quadrupedal knuckle-walking. To advance this hypothesis, they equipped five chimpanzees and four people with oxygen masks, and then put them on treadmills. The scientists collected data about oxygen usage in the apes and in the humans to see what they might learn. They wanted to know if energy expenditure could account for why some apes evolved to develop the intellect of today's humans, while others stayed behind in the jungle, as unenlightened beasts."In gathering the data, an unexpected anecdote came to the fore, one that shines a light on Warnke's essay. As it turns out, some of the chimps didn't want to participate in the treadmill experiment. Anthropologist David Raichlen, one of the scientists involved, told Reuters journalist Will Dunham what he observed of the apes.

"These guys [the apes] are smart enough that they would hit the stop button on the treadmill when they were done," Raichlen said. In other words, if an ape didn't want to continue on the race to nowhere, "they'd just hit the stop button or they'd jump off."

"A question remains: If the apes know how to get off the treadmill, why don't we?"

  1. Anyone who votes, supports, or gives agency to a politician that in any way favors nuclear weapons, or war, is a fool. Also from Annie's book: "In the dawn of the nuclear age, Albert Einstein was asked what the thought about nuclear war, to which he is said to have responded, "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones".
Congressman rebuked for call to bomb Gaza ‘like Nagasaki and Hiroshima’
Civil rights group denounces US House representative Tim Walberg’s calls to ‘get it over quick’ as a ‘clear call to genocide’
Sen. Lindsey Graham warns Iran: ‘If you escalate the war, we’re coming for you’
The South Carolina Republican said on “Meet the Press” that he’s leading a bipartisan group of senators on a trip to Saudi Arabia and Israel in the coming days.

Nuclear weapons are the enemy of us all. They have been, all along.

What to do? Unilateral disarmament. Work to elect sane politicians, instead of the one's we have. These are the only answers, if our civilization is to survive.

tty next time,

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