Welcome Tad Daley, Hosted by Valerie Plame Wilson and Joseph Wilson.

[As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book.  Please take other conversations to a previous thread. - bev]

Apocalypse Never: Forging the Path to a Nuclear Weapon-Free World

Valerie Plame Wilson, Host:

Apocalypse Never is a frightening book to read but impossible to put down. In clear, accessible prose, Tad Daley unblinkingly lays out the case, point by point, for why we must ultimately rid the world of nuclear weapons or else suffer the inevitable consequences of the end of civilization as we know it. Daley then takes on the task of showing how this seemingly Herculean task can be accomplished, even within our lifetimes. It is compelling and accurate in its assessments and one of the absolute best out there on why we simply cannot continue along the way it has been. Joe and I are honored to lead the discussion on Firedoglake book salon and perhaps help bring increased recognition to this critical issue that affects every human on the planet today.

Nuclear weapons and their unimaginable destructive capabilities have typically belonged exclusively in the realm of the foreign policy elites; arcane terminology, closed, secretive worlds, and discussions of “throw weights” and “MRVs” discouraged all but a select few to enter into temple of nuclear expertise. In the bi-polar paradigm that existed prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world seemed relatively content with the notion that the aptly named doctrine of “Mutually Assured Destruction” would keep us all safe. And, indeed, it did. From the first nuclear flash over the New Mexican desert in 1945 followed quickly by the two atomic bombs detonated over Japan, there has not been another bomb used as a weapon. When the Soviet Union imploded, there seemed to be a collective sigh of relief about the nuclear threat and efforts to contain and reduce nuclear arsenals were swept under the rug. For years, things appeared frozen as though the Cold War still festered. But what in fact was happening was the rapid dissemination of nuclear know-how and proliferation of nuclear-capable states. Additionally, the rise of terrorism and their unquestionable desire to acquire nuclear weapons for their own nihilistic purposes has fundamentally altered the equation. But many of the esteemed experts continue to argue that nuclear weapons provide us with blanket security. Daley shows consistently and cogently throughout this book why they are absolutely wrong about this thinking. This is one of the nicest surprises of Apocalypse Never – Daley never feels the need to make his case in language that is too dense or technical for the average reader to absorb.

Daley begins by taking on the nuclear double-standard that underpins the entire nuclear construct of today’s world: Certain countries are allowed to possess nuclear weapons and others cannot. As Congressman Ed Markey put it colorfully, “American cannot credibly preach nuclear temperance from a nuclear barstool.” Naturally, the nuclear weapon states have chosen to appoint themselves the final arbiters of which countries can be trusted and who is deemed irrational or unpredictable. There is no appeal to these decisions. By pursuing the path of have and have-nots, nuclear powers have inevitably created a club that everyone who is out is striving to be in. Nuclear weapons mean more influence, a seat at the global table, and announce to your dangerous neighbors you are to be taken seriously. The have-nots will spend billions of dollars and starve their own people if it means they can achieve nuclear status. North Korea is Exhibit A. As Daley rightly notes, perpetual possession means perpetual proliferation. A rational mind cannot argue that a world with 20 or more nuclear capable countries is really a safer place. But, they keep trying.

From the irrefutable logic of perpetual possession means perpetual proliferation, Daley shows us what that means for our world. He starts with the certainty that terrorists are seeking nuclear weapons. There are only three ways to obtain one: buy it, build it, or steal it. Without overstating the case, Daley points out that any of these scenarios are plausible. The global stockpile of either of the two components necessary to construct a bomb (highly enriched uranium or HEU or weapons-grade plutonium) amounts to 2,300 tons or enough to construct 200,000 nuclear warheads. Held in hundreds of locations world-wide, the security surround them ranges from “excellent to appalling”, according to the IAEA. From my vantage point as a former CIA operations officer working this problem, the question is not if, but when the terrorists obtain a bomb. The aphorism that those that seek to keep nuclear weapons have to be 100% lucky every day whereas the terrorists only need to get lucky once is spot on. And make no mistake – when a single nuclear device goes off in a single city somewhere in the world, all other matters will seem trivial by comparison. Civil rights in this country and others will come under enormous pressure from a populace that only wants to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. The stakes could not be higher.

Even without the significant terrorist threat, Daley demonstrates the possibility of accidental nuclear launches or political miscalculations makes our bargain with nuclear weapons increasingly unsustainable. He describes a particularly excruciating moment in 1995 when Russia detected what they assessed to be nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles heading at them from the Arctic Sea. President Boris Yeltsin was given the Russian equivalent of the nuclear “football” and told that he had eight minutes to make a decision on retaliation using the “fire on warning” doctrine. Fortunately, Yeltsin was not drunk and did not launch any nuclear weapons. With three minutes to spare, Russian radar officers determined that the “missiles” was a Norwegian weather satellite. There are hundreds of similar near-misses. As Daley writes, “how long must we wait before one of them is resolved not with three minutes to spare, but three minutes too late?”

Fortunately, there are glimmers of hope in this otherwise bleak landscape. Daley uses the latter part of his book to discuss what the architecture of a nuclear weapon-free world might look like. Again, using clean, clear writing and thinking, he lays out the way ahead. It can be done with intrusive inspections, the genuine safeguarding of weapons materials, and the unglamorous and plodding but crucial work of building an international consensus using a variety of diplomatic tools toward the international recognition that we must move toward the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons. The United States has demonstrated world leadership at crucial moments of history: ending slavery, opposing Hitler and rebuilding Europe, ensuring civil rights for all our citizens, and putting a man on the moon. Greatness for the United States in the 21st century will derive from genuine leadership on this issue and it will be our enduring legacy if we succeed. Apocalypse Never contributes to this worthy effort and allows one to believe that it just might not be too late.

264 Responses to “FDL Book Salon Welcomes Tad Daley, Apocalypse Never: Forging the Path to a Nuclear Weapon-Free World”

BevW May 8th, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Tad, Welcome to the Lake.

Valerie, Joe, Thank you for Hosting today’s Book Salon.

Everyone – As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book. Please take other conversations to a previous thread.

dakine01 May 8th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Good afternoon Tad and welcome to FDL this afternoon.

Valerie and Joe, welcome back to FDL and good afternoon to you as well.

Tad, how can we put the genie back int he bottle when it is possible for college level physics students to design and build working nuclear devices from available information? Even with inspections at nation levels, it sure seems like it would be too easily done to be able to actually control it and stop the proliferation.

And that assumes the US can find the will to do so.

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Hi and thank you for joining us. Tad – welcome. I thought your book was terrific – and unlike so many out there on this issue, very accessible. Why did you decide to write the book in the first place, given that nuclear reduction issues are not exactly in vogue right now?

JoeWilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Good afternoon,
delighted to be hear to discuss this important topic. Joe

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 2:02 pm
In response to BevW @ 1

Hi Bev. Tad here. Are we live on cyberair?

egregious May 8th, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Welcome Valerie and Joe, and thanks Ted for being with us. We are live and on the air.

JoeWilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Hi Tad,
Joe Wilson here. Delighted to be here with you.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Hey there FDLians. Nice to be with you all today, sitting here in Bermuda shorts and a ridiculous Hawaiian shirt on a sunny DC Sunday. Thanks for joining in today, and for your interest both in my book and in saving ourselves … from ourselves.

Before we get rolling, I really want to thank FDL politics honcho Dave Dayen and his wife Mary Jack, both old friends of mine from SoCal “Drinking Liberally,” who initially suggested I drink at the well of the FDL book salon. Let me thank also FDL book salon honcho Beverly Wright for arranging this and enthusiastically encouraging me to participate from her West Coast command post.

And let me thank our hosts, too, Valerie Plame Wilson and Joe Wilson – for reading my book, for joining us today, and for writing such a flattering review essay about my book and our topic. I’m sure many of you know how Valerie and Joe were brought into the public limelight during the second Bush Administration, and about their many other contributions to a more hopeful human future. And I’m sure many of you know too that the two of them were played in the film FAIR GAME by Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. And while that’s pretty cool and all …

When they make APOCALYPSE NEVER into a major motion picture I am SO holding out for Colin Firth as me and Scarlett Johansson as my radiant wife.

(Her name is Kitty Felde, award-winning playwright and award-winning journalist for KPCC, Southern California Public Radio, and I am very proud of her.)

+++++++++++++++++

JoeWilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:05 pm

I guess my first question is how effective have been groups like Global Zero and Sam Nunn’s group in raising awareness about the threat you discuss so eloquently. My sense is that there is much room for improvement.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 2:07 pm

So if I may, I suspect that not EVERY person online with us today has read EVERY word of my book. So may I offer my own attempt to summarize it? APOCALYPSE NEVER is about the many facets of the contemporary nuclear weapons peril, the mountaintop vision of banning and dismantling every last nuclear weapon on earth, and pathways by which we might ascend toward that summit. (I’ve worked hard to summarize the book in one sentence!)

While many have written about that first component, fewer have tried to envision the global governance mechanisms we will have to invent both to bring about and maintain abolition, the likely political dynamics if someone tries to “breakout” of that architecture and cheat, or plausible future histories by which elimination and prohibition might actually come about. In that way I hope the book makes a quite original contribution to the nuclear policy debate.

Asdffawefn’*& — YIKES! Sorry. That was our cat, Chesapeake, walking across my keyboard. Go away Chessie!

In addition – as Valerie and Joe indicated in their generous introductory essay — I aspired to write a book about the nuclear big picture not for experts and scholars and wonks, but for a broad general audience — in hopes it might motivate some of that audience to clamber up onto the ramparts and join our cause. I cannot promise that result. But as Wayne Gretzky likes to say, “You always miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take.”

So that’s why I spent a good five years conceptualizing and researching and writing this book … and giving it my very best shot.

+++++++++++++++++

OK …. now lemme see if I can tackle some of these questions.

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Playing the devil’s advocate.

One can argue that MAD was the “safest” period wrt nuke weapons. Obviously when U.S. was only possessor was the unsafest. Just ask the Japanese.

As near as India & Pak have come from time to time to nuke war, it hasn’t happened bc both are aware of the consequences. So another example of MAD.

WRT third world countries, the evidence seems irrefutable that the only way they have to protect themselves against U.S. or Israel is to have nuke weapons. Example: DPRK, with nukes, has never been a U.S. target; Iraq not so much.

Finally wrt to terrrisss, what I have read is that terrorists can’t so easily get their hands on nukes and master the science.

By way of background, I was 5 miles away from WTC on 9/11, so appreciate the dangers.

Comments?

jaia May 8th, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Sorry for the technical question, but this is my first time here and I’m wondering if it’s possible to follow the conversation (in Firefox) without constantly reloadng the page.

Teddy Partridge May 8th, 2011 at 2:10 pm

By its behavior, the United States has proven to the world that it’s better to have nukes than not have them. Witness our treatment of Iran and North Korea vs America’s treatment of Saddam and Ghaddafi. So how can we possibly de-nuclearize the world? What ally — and what possible adversary — will even believe they’ll get treated better by disarming, or not arming at all?

(thanks to all for this Book Salon today!)

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:10 pm

When I speak publicly on this topic, a question that usually comes up is “well, that’s all very well and good, but really, will Iran or North Korea willingly give up their nuclear ambitions?” As things stand now, it really is not in their best interest to do so.

May 8th, 2011 at 2:11 pm
In response to jaia @ 12

Short answer – no.

BevW May 8th, 2011 at 2:12 pm
In response to jaia @ 12

Jaia,
You will have to continue to refresh to follow along.
PC=F5 / MAC=Command+R or your browers refresh button.

dakine01 May 8th, 2011 at 2:12 pm
In response to jaia @ 12

If you post a comment/question, all the previous comments/questions since the last page refresh will then show.

But otherwise, yes, you will have to refresh the page to add the new comments/questions.

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 2:13 pm
In response to jaia @ 12

Refresh is your friend.

Relax & hum a few bars and you’ll pick up the tune.

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:13 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 11

Good question and I discussed it briefly in my opening post on Tad’s book. The biggest difference between the world where the “MAD” doctrine kept us safe and today is that there is 50% more nuclear capable countries than during the cold war. Terrorists are actively seeking nuclear technology for their own nihilistic agenda. As Tad puts it so well, perpetual possession means perpetual proliferation. MAD simply doesn’t work anymore as a paradigm.

JoeWilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:13 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 11

It seems to me that MAD was effective for a time when access to the nuke club was much more difficult and before nihilistic non state actors were such a threat to world order. We are talking about a different era, which is aggravated by the inability to effectively secure weapons grade material.

Christy Hardin Smith May 8th, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Valerie and Joe, it is good to see you, as always. And Ted, thank you for your extraordinary work on this book. As Valerie says above, it is a fantastic primer for folks who don’t have a full background on proliferation issues — and something every conscientious member of Congress ought to be reading.

Especially with so much instability in Pakistan and elsewhere, this is too important an issue to just gloss over.

Val, I saw an interview with Dick Cheney last week during which he had a few lovely words to say about our brave men and women in intel jobs. I swore at the teevee on your behalf. Had he not opened that can of worms on you and your fellow operatives and assets, I have no doubt you’d still be working on these issues today.

I’d love thoughts from Ted, Valerie and Joe on what particulars might be most fruitful for Congressional pressure going forward. It is frustrating to see some of the old Senate lions getting no traction on nonproliferation issues at a time when this needs to be most at the fore for security concerns. Thoughts?

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Why did I write the book? You know, Valerie, much of it was precisely because of DaKine’s question immediately preceding yours. When NWs can be designed by a college-level physics student, as DaKine says, and when getting one’s hands on the fissile materials necessary for a nuclear explosive device cannot be impossible given the vast quantities of it around (as you ID in your intro essay) … it always seemed to me that, whether the issue was “in vogue” or not, cataclysmic disaster was just around the corner. Incalculable catastrophe is just a matter of time.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 2:16 pm

In the book, as you know V&J, I lay out four scenarios where I think N detonations might actually come to pass, literally at any hour — N terror, N accident, N crisis mismanagement, and N use, consciously and intentionally and rationally, by the leaders of N-armed nations.

EdwardTeller May 8th, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Tad,

What an awful mess we’ve made for ourselves. I’m as concerned about the inevitability of many more Chernobyls and Fukushimas as I am of a Boris Yeltsin being too drunk when a country’s missile defense system gets a false warning. The tornadoes in Alabama came very close to a nuclear plant storing far more spent fuel rods than all six of the DaiIchi reactors combined.

What can we do with all those spent fuel rods – tens of thousands of tons of them – sitting in cooling ponds run by companies more concerned with the next quarter’s profits than with the rods’ half-lives?

(Don’t let my nom de blog put you off)

jaia May 8th, 2011 at 2:16 pm

It’s interesting that such discussions immediately start off with countries that don’t have civilization-threatening numbers of nukes, rather than those that do. While I don’t think it’s a good thing for NK to have nuclear weapons, from a big picture viewpoint, the American, Russian and Chinese arsenals are a much bigger threat.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 2:16 pm

I think if you read those four chapters you will be unable to conclude anything other than I did … that our nuclear fate is coming at us like a freight train.

JoeWilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Hi Christy,
Nice to see you as well. Your question goes to one I posed earlier in a different way. How effective have groups like Global Zero and Sam Nunn’s book as well as films like Countdown to Zero in influencing attitudes.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Hang in there folks — haven’t even managed to read all the questions yet — still wanna offer one more BIG response to Valerie’s “why didya write the book.”

Teddy Partridge May 8th, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Two hypothetical, devil’s advocate questions: if everyone (or every country) had nuclear weapons, no one would use them, right?

And what happens, should we succeed in disarming, when we get down to two countries possessing single-digits of nukes? Who’ll agree to be the second-to-last? Won’t the last possessor be in the position the US was as WW2 ended? Won’t it be terribly tempting to act against bad actors?

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 2:18 pm

As a devil’s advocate (see 11), I’d argue that more nuke armed nations is safer than fewer. The dangerous nations with nukes is not DPRK, nor Iran, which not only has NO nuke weapons but is not even close to having them, but U.S. that not only have thousands, has used them, is willing (according to public statements to use them again) and is a proven aggressor.

DPRK and Iran should be on no one’s radar screens. Complete red herrings of Pentagon propaganda.

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Hi Christy! Yes, felt like old times seeing Cheney cheerleading for the benefits of torture…but I digress. I do wish I were back at my old job this week, pouring over the intel collected from the bin Laden operation. It must be fascinating.
I would like every member of Congress to read Tad’s book and see the documentary “Countdown to Zero”. It would be a start, anyway.
We are fortunate in having a President who has clearly stated that nuclear abolition – multilateral – is one of his top national security priorities. So, we have that. I am delighted to see cold war warriors and lefty liberals agree that we simply can not continue the way we have for the last six decades. The world has fundamentally changed.

bgrothus May 8th, 2011 at 2:19 pm

WRT to Christy’s question, are any of our elected reps, particularly those from (Udall, Heinrich, Lujan) NM up to speed on nuclear issues?

selise May 8th, 2011 at 2:21 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 10

I suspect that not EVERY person online with us today has read EVERY word of my book. So may I offer my own attempt to summarize it?

thanks! i frequently read book salon threads before deciding to buy the book… your summary is very much appreciated.

p.s. kismet says “meow” to your chessie :)

JoeWilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:21 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 30

That is the “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” argument that may or not make sense in the gun control debate but in the nuclear one, seems to me to be rather more dangerous.

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:22 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 30

I agree that the Pentagon puts out plenty of red herrings, but for the record, I don’t like NK having nuclear weapons nor Iran pursuing them. Or anyone having them, for that matter. This issue with those particular countries however, is proliferation of nuclear technology. They don’t play well in the international area. NK was clearly behind helping Syria build a nuclear plant (that was bombed by the Israelis) and I don’t trust whomever Iran thinks needs some nuclear know-how. That said,the whole swamp should be drained.

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 2:24 pm
In response to Joe Wilson @ 20

Seems to me both you & Valerie are living in a future dominated fantasy for which there is no current evidence. Can either of you provide evidence that nonstate actors can actually master the acquisition & science of nuke weapons?

I haven’t seen it yet & I have been looking out for it.

The fact that Iran is having difficulty achieving even medical grade nuclear material, much less pure than required for weapons, is powerful evidence against the nuke scare to me.

Also, the fact that non-weapons nuke material, like radioactive cesium, has not been released in subways in the decade+ since 9/11, is powerful evidence against nuke terrorism. (Insofar as one can have evidence against a negative.)

jaia May 8th, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Two hypothetical, devil’s advocate questions: if everyone (or every country) had nuclear weapons, no one would use them, right?

As long as everyone acted rationally (BIG assumption), no one would INTENTIONALLY use them. That still leaves irrational and unintentional use. We’ve come close to nuclear war several times by these routes. How much more likely would they be in a world with more nukes? (Imagine a nuclear-armed Gaddhafi.)

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 2:24 pm

I don’t know how often how many of you FDLians have made it to DC, and even, to Lafayette Park in front of the White House. Next time you do, notice a tent. Inside it is an old lady named Concepcion Thomas. She mumbles. She’s hardly got any teeth.

And she has maintained a “nuclear abolition vigil” in front of the White House for something like 18 years.

And she has two signs as part of her display that get me every time.

One says “Live By the Bomb, Die By the Bomb.” And the other says “Ban all NW’s, or have a nice Doomsday.”

I think those 2 signs say more about our N reality than anything that comes from the Council on Foreign Relations or some other fancy think tank.

NW’s, and N deterrence, carry within them the inherent possibility of doomsday. A good vigorous thermonuclear exchange could bring about the extinction of the human race. Before lunchtime tomorrow.

The reason that I wrote this book, V, is that, however remote may be the possibility of such a civilization ending N war at any particular hour — I think for the human race to choose to live with that risk must be beyond our toleration.

I think it has to be within the power of the human imagination to come up with some other, better ideas for maintaining peace on earth.

So next time you make it to the front of the White House, say hello to Concepcion.

And thank her. On behalf of us all.

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:24 pm
In response to bgrothus @ 32

Living in NM now, I believe that all our elected reps are very cognizant of the issues. However, for them, it tends to manifest itself in terms of how can they continue to get Los Alamos and Sandia Labs funding? It’s all about jobs and the economy. Less about the over-arching issue of creating a path to a nuclear-free world.

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Why do you posit that Iran is pursuing nuke weapons? I have seen NO evidence of that.

JoeWilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:26 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 36

That may be but of we are wrong we are merely foolish. If you’re wrong, we’re screwed.

greenwarrior May 8th, 2011 at 2:26 pm

I have a question about how nuclear weapons manufacture is related to the production of electricity from nuclear power. As a result of contributions to Obama’s campaigns from Excelon he has been pro nuclear power plants. In fact, directly after the start of the Fukushima catastrophe he reiterated that the U.S. will go full speed ahead with nuclear power and the relicensing of our aging nuclear power plants.

I can’t help but think that at least part of the reason for this is the resultant plutonium produced that could be used in nuclear weapons manufacture. Also that the uranium enrichment needed for nuclear power plants is already part way towards the enrichment needed for weapons manufacture.

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 2:27 pm

But the whole swamp WON’T be drained. Ever. That’s my whole point.

As long as the U.S. has nukes (forever for present discussion purposes), it seems like the least dangerous scenario is for as many other countries to have them as is possible.

That is the only way I can seen the most dangerous country on earth, the U.S., of being kept in its box wrt to employing nukes.

greenwarrior May 8th, 2011 at 2:28 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 26

Whom is this answer addressing? If you hit the reply button when you answer a question, it’ll make it easy for us all to know and the follow the conversation.

bgrothus May 8th, 2011 at 2:28 pm

I had some initial hope that Udall was going to go full-bore for alternative energy and other types of lab research. Heinrich has also been promoting that, but the funding/jobs issue is big. Not as big as the probability of NW disaster.

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:30 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 36

There are only three ways to acquire nuclear weapons for non-state actors: buy it, build it, steal it. Yes, building a NW is hard and can not be done by looking it up on the internet. Buying or stealing it is comparatively easy. Especially when, as one expert said, that “potatoes are guarded better” in the many, many sites in the former Soviet Union that hold highly enriched uranium (HEU).

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 2:30 pm
In response to Joe Wilson @ 41

We’re NOT screwed if I’m wrong. How many people can radioactive material in NYC subways kill? Thousands? Millions?

U.S. has already killed over a million innocents in Iraq alone & caused several millions more to become refugees.

I’m looking for a way to reign in U.S., the most dangerous entity on the face of the earth.

The rest is penny ante.

suthrnluvr May 8th, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Please explain how you think “intrusive inspections” can be achieved in places like Iran and North Korea?

HelenaHandbasket May 8th, 2011 at 2:30 pm

How worried should I be about “terrorists” getting nuclear weapons? I trust Joe & Valerie to give me a fact-based answer. It is hard to think that a ragtag bunch of cave dwellers handling the logistics of such sophisticated science. We just seen a video of the most evil person on earth sitting on the floor, wrapped in a blanket in a “million dollar mansion” watching a CRT TV perched on a broken desk.

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:31 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 40

You might wish to read “Fallout” by Catherine Collins and Douglas Frantz (sorry Tad, don’t want to distract from Apocalypse Never!). It’s about wrapping up AQ Khan’s proliferation network and what Iran (and Libya) actually acquired.

EdwardTeller May 8th, 2011 at 2:32 pm
In response to greenwarrior @ 44

our nuclear fate is coming at us like a freight train

That could have been a reply to almost any question posed so far.

JoeWilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:33 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 47

So what is your suggestion on how to reign in the US?
You may well be correct about the US and nobody I know who thinks about nuclear arms reduction omits the US. You are most certainly wrong about the rest being penny ante.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 2:33 pm

OK folks, I’m here … just been reading everything.

And my name is TAD, not TED.

though I been called worse ….

jaia May 8th, 2011 at 2:33 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 43

The assumption of rationality is a dangerous one. I am reminded of something Carl Sagan wrote in his book Pale Blue Dot.

We are sometimes told that this or that invention would of course not be misused. No sane person would be so reckless. This is the “only a madman” argument. Whenever I hear it (and it’s often trotted out in such debates), I remind myself that madmen really exist. Sometimes they achieve the highest levels of political power in modern industrial nations. This is the century of Hitler and Stalin, tyrants who posed the gravest dangers not just to the rest of the human family, but to their own people as well. In the winter and spring of 1945, Hitler ordered Germany to be destroyed—even “what the people need for elementary survival”—because the surviving Germans had “betrayed” him, and at any rate were “inferior” to those who had already died. If Hitler had had nuclear weapons, the threat of a counterstrike by Allied nuclear weapons, had there been any, is unlikely to have dissuaded him. It might have encouraged him.

Ruth Calvo May 8th, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Thanks for this post; since not very far from here in West TX, there is presently a nuclear storage facility for wastes from energy plants all over the U.S., I am particularly worried about the lack of supervision. TX is infamous, and justly so, for its lack of regulation, and this administration fights EPA in the courts to keep it from keeping the air safe. Have you at all looked into the hazards we all face when a sovereign state opens up its space to such unsafe practices?

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Several folks have asked about NK and Iran, so let me try to say something about them.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 2:35 pm

A lot of smart people have worked for years on how to dissuade these two states from the N course. I don’t pretend to have “an answer.”

But I do know that what will NOT work is for some states — ours — to appoint themselves as arbiters of who can or cannot be “trusted” with NWs.

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Yes, that was poignant video, wasn’t it? However, underestimating “terrorists living in caves” has cost of billions of dollars over the last decade. Tad has the great line that “perpetual possession means perpetual proliferation”. They don’t need to build a bomb from scratch. Buying it, stealing one – both options. Also, imagine the psychological impact of a “dirty” (i.e. radiological) bomb detonated in any city in the world. Not that hard to do, actually. Hospitals generate quite a bit of radiological waste, btw.

Ruth Calvo May 8th, 2011 at 2:37 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 57

I would start with Texas, its definitely not trustworthy with all our futures.

SouthernDragon May 8th, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Just lurking. Another book to buy.

Thanks Tad, Valerie and Joe.

Greetings to Kismet and Cheesie.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 2:38 pm

The leaders of NK and Iran today may well be “volatile” and “irrational.”

But even irrational leaders can lead states that hold rational national interests.

Look at a map — Iran is surrounded on all four sides by overwhelming American CONVENTIONAL mil power. If I were an Iranian defense planner, I would recommend that we, quietly and secretly, acquire a small N detterent to DETER Am aggression against us.

In the same way that NK is presently deterring aggression against us.

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Compare the dangers caused by AQ Khan vs what the U.S. has already done.

Not saying that AQKhan is a jolly fellow. Just adding perspective.

Felix Rosenthal May 8th, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Hello Tad, and hello Mr. Wilson and Ms. Plame Wilson. I am so glad that you are doing this discussion today — you even got the “Father of the Hydrogen Bomb” to participate! You are so right that abolition of nuclear weapons, and probably nuclear power as well, is our only salvation. As long as there is a finite probability in any given year that the ultimate disaster will occur, then surely its eventual occurrence is a dead certainty. We are talking about the lives of our children and grandchildren.

With every good wish to each of you, Felix Rosenthal.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 2:39 pm

In APOCALYPSE NEVER I quote an NK general, who was asked in January 2003 why his country was pursuing NWs. He paused a moment, and then said, “We see what you are getting ready to do to Iraq. And you are not going to do it to us.”

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:40 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 62

Right. But your query was looking for evidence of Iran pursuing a nuclear program. And they have and are right now. The much harder question is how do we lead the world in stepping off this path of destruction? That’s what Tad’s book does beautifully.

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 2:42 pm
In response to Joe Wilson @ 52

So what is your suggestion on how to reign in the US?

Heh. Not every problem has a solution, and empires are mighty difficult to reign in. So you’ll excuse me if I’m not in a position to solve world problems.

My only empirical observation, made earlier, is that the more countries that have nukes, the harder it is for the U.S. to unilaterally nuke them.

Not saying I like that evidence, nor that it would be my preferred way of handling U.S. unlimited power & lawlessness, just trying to keep the discussion on what IS, not what we would like to be, which seems a dream world.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 2:43 pm

OK … let me try to tackle “how will we manage intrusive inspections in countries like I and NK.”

Bev … if it’s OK … I’m finding it easier to just work in the bottom box rather than to spend time scrolling through trying to find previous q’s.

JOE … don’t worry …. I WILL get to your question about the effectiveness of Global Zero and others … since the promise of building THE MOVEMENT is the most important goal of my book.

CTuttle May 8th, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Aloha, Tad, Valerie, and Joe! Mahalo for being here at the Lake…!

I’ve several questions… First, since Libby-gate, have we recovered from that blow to our Nonproliferation efforts…? And, next, doesn’t Pakistan’s nukes represent the most likely threat…?

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:43 pm
In response to bgrothus @ 45

I know! Wouldn’t it be something if the labs could be slowly refocused, using the best minds of this generation, toward clean, sustainable energy sources?

HelenaHandbasket May 8th, 2011 at 2:45 pm

OK. But OBL had money. He had friends in Pakistan’s ISI, too. But, he didn’t receive, buy, borrow or steal nuclear material. His follow up to hijacking planes was to hijack trains. So, how scared should I be?

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Iran has not pursued nuke weapons. The smoking computer was a joke (green salt, are you kidding?), and even CIA admits there is no evidence that they are.

I know this was your area of expertise, and I am certainly in no position to arm wrestle you over it, so if you have some actual information that has not been made public, do tell.

ondelette May 8th, 2011 at 2:45 pm

The States Parties to the Geneva Conventions are going to discuss a treaty to ban nuclear weapons at the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in November. Thoughts?

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:46 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 68

Given what we have just witnessed in Pakistan – that the highest levels of their military might not have the best interests of the US at heart – I am very worried about their arsenal and command and control structure. Pakistan is indeed a concern…

Felix Rosenthal May 8th, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Allow me to add one more thought that I believe is of very great importance, the concept of the “Wiesner Curve.” As you know, Jerome B. Wiesner was at one time president of M.I.T. and then became Science Advisor to President Kennedy. The idea of the “Wiesner Curve” is that as stockpiles of weapons become smaller, international inspection and control becomes more important. Thus President Obama and President Medvedev were able to reduce mutual stockpiles by a third, without in any way changing the “balance of power,” because the stockpiles remaining after the reduction are still immense. But as we get down to very small numbers of weapons, a few illicit ones stashed away somewhere could make a difference. So we need to get used to the idea of a world governed by laws rather than by force alone. We will need a thorough inspection regime, including the necessary institutions with executive, legislative, and judicial functions. These ideas are all a bit in the future, as is the realization of zero nuclear weapons. But we must get started promptly because we simply don’t know how much time is left before catastrophe overtakes us.

Felix.

jaia May 8th, 2011 at 2:47 pm

They already have brilliant people working on things that have nothing to do with NWs. I’ve read excellent papers on the dynamics of the HIV virus in infected individuals and how energetics structures ecological communities, both done by people at Los Alamos.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Hi Teddy Partridge. So if everyone had them no one would use them, right?

Right.

If humans were completely rational.

And completely infallible.

greenwarrior May 8th, 2011 at 2:48 pm
In response to greenwarrior @ 42

How related do you think nuclear weapons manufacture is to generating electricity from nuclear reactors?

Given the size of the disasters in Chernobyl and Fukushima, don’t nuclear reactors pose as much of a danger as nuclear weapons?

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 2:49 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 76

One of the main themes that I think runs through APOCALYPSE NEVER is that humans are not infallible. Mistakes happen. Things go wrong. Crises happen, and, as Carl Sagan is quoted in my book, “the engines of human motivation from earlier ages reach for the controls.” (That’s ALMOST the right quote … )

Ruth Calvo May 8th, 2011 at 2:50 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 76

Sadly, this is rather like Alan Greenspan insisting the free market would regulate itself out of a need for self-preservation.

Livermore is doing a bit of interesting work, can’t it be directed more toward alternate energy?

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:50 pm
In response to jaia @ 75

Yes, you are right. I would just like to see the majority of resources shifted to such research versus spending millions to build a new metallurgy compound at Los Alamos to polish plutonium pits…

JoeWilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:51 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 66

I would agree that the US is part of the problem, but isn’t the discussion supposed to be about how we shape the future so that it is as we would like it to be. I think that throwing up our hands or just waiting for the freight train to hit us is irresponsible.

HelenaHandbasket May 8th, 2011 at 2:52 pm

How do we lead? Surely, we could start by unilaterally reducing our weapons stockpiles.

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 2:53 pm
In response to Joe Wilson @ 81

Oh sure.

If what you posit were an option.

But for what you would like to see to bc an option, the U.S. must be the first country on the list, not 3d world countries that might or might not develop nuke weapons to defend themselves against the U.S. or Israel.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 2:53 pm

This is the first time I’m doing this, but I’d like to cut and paste here the opening passage of my Chapter Four, on “Accidental Atomic Apocalypse,” which I think speaks to the theme that if we rely on these cataclysmically dangerous weapons for our security, eventually, cataclysm will result. Here you go …..

>>>>>>>>

One of the best book titles of recent years was Lethal Arrogance: Human Fallibility and Dangerous Technologies, released in 1999 by Lloyd J. Dumas of the University of Texas. You almost don’t need to read the book after seeing that title. You know how it’s going to come out in the end. Professor Dumas issued a stark warning about the hubris of believing that anything we can invent, we can control. “We have vastly more power to affect the physical world than we had even 60 years ago,” said Dumas. “Yet humans are no less error-prone. The clash between our growing technological power and our enduring fallibility has laid us open to disaster on an unprecedented scale.” If we indefinitely expect imperfect human beings to manage infinitely high-risk technologies, we are eventually going to get infinitely cataclysmic results.

No technology, of course, yet invented by fallible human beings, is today more “lethal” than nuclear weapons. If anything calls for almost infinite efforts on our part to eliminate the possibility for mistakes, it is our arsenal of the apocalypse. And yet, astonishingly, the human race today faces the very real possibility of an accidental nuclear launch. An accidental nuclear detonation. Even, an accidental nuclear war.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

And I would argue — indeed, i DO argue in APOCALYPSE NEVER — that those same engines apply to the possibility of nuclear terror and nuclear crisis mismanagement.

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Exactly. Excellent point. It’s relatively “easy” to reduce down to the last 2,500 or so (see New START treaty). Now, the going gets rough. I hated game theory in school, but it is important to understand how it will affect stability and perceptions.

jaia May 8th, 2011 at 2:54 pm
In response to greenwarrior @ 77

Given the size of the disasters in Chernobyl and Fukushima, don’t nuclear reactors pose as much of a danger as nuclear weapons?

No, they don’t. A nuclear reactor can’t go critical, releasing the enormous amounts of energy that a nuclear weapon does. A meltdown or other type of nuclear disaster can certainly cause an increase in cancer cases and maybe even radiation poisoning (mainly to workers and others in very close contact with the reactor), but such a reactor is physically incapable of causing a Hiroshima-type explosion. Nuclear power is risky, but it’s a wholly different magnitude of risk than that associated with nuclear weapons.

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Valerie,

WRT Iran, even if what you say about their developing nuke weapons (which I do not concede) is true, who would they ever use them against? Do you think Iran would bomb Israel, with a stockpile of nukes estimated at bet 200-600? The U.S.?

EdwardTeller May 8th, 2011 at 2:56 pm

I spent a lot of time in Richland WA near the Hanford works at the end of the Cold War and into the late 90s, working with the late James L. Acord. The nuclear scientists in the community there, and visiting nuclear scientists from the other nuclear weapon communities all wanted to be let loose on solving problems once the USSR was mostly a thing of the past. But all that brain power was never harnessed into something meaningful and positive, which frustrated a lot of them to no end.

You write “Wouldn’t it be something if the labs could be slowly refocused, using the best minds of this generation, toward clean, sustainable energy sources?” I’ve been waiting for that to happen now since 1989. Is there a meaningful attempt going on to “refocus” all this brain power?

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:56 pm

I am not an advocate of unilaterally reducing our nuclear stockpiles. And in any case, too many hawks in government make that impossible. As I noted in my post, without getting too lofty about it all, the US HAS led huge break-throughs in the human condition: ending slavery; defeating Fascism and rebuilding Europe; space exploration; civil rights. I would like the US to take the lead on this issue for the 21st century. If we don’t get this right, nothing else really matters.

CTuttle May 8th, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Mahalo and Happy Mother’s Day…! ;-)

I’ve read credible sources that place their arsenal at 75 nukes, and, I’m extremely disturbed at the radicalization of Pakistani politics… Having 1/6th of their population still internally displaced by the recent flooding, and, our irrational Drone attacks/CIA Ops, in country, has the populace pretty pissed off…! 8-(

bgrothus May 8th, 2011 at 2:58 pm
In response to jaia @ 75

The political climate in Los Alamos may have shifted or/be shifting. This may mean that the direction of the work being done is shifting, but I am afraid there are some who are still doing all possible to keep the nuclear power (heh) and weapons businesses going full bore.

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 2:58 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 87

Actually, my concern about Iran pursuing NW is less about whom they would “bomb” but instead centers on proliferation fears as well as the start of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East – an area already roiling, as we know.

jaango May 8th, 2011 at 3:00 pm

My apologies for being late to this party.

As such, I come at my politics through the prism of the Native American/Chicano Construct, and given my superficial research, I have yet to see either a Native American or Chicano actively “engaged” on Nuclear, relative to the politics and the attendant public policies.

To date, the demographic trends for these two subsets in the years ahead, simply means that “racial and ethnics” will be the “majority in the next forty years and with the Native Americans/Chicanos being the “majority” of the Majority. Furthermore, given the past years, from the Reagan Era to to the Obama Era, the majority of white America is “criminally stupid” and expecting the “nuclear-crazies” to de-construct to the level of an internationalize “nuclear-free-Zone” is not going to happen.

Therefore, are there any Native Americans and Chicanos “engaged” in this “ramp down” relative to our public policies?

Of course, I am not expecting the Hispanic Congressional Caucus to do anything ‘independently’ and I am not expecting them to become “engaged” at this late date, since they are following both the Neo-Cons and the Neo-Libs, or more precisely, we are “being dragged along” by white America.

Thank you for any response provided.

Jaango

Teddy Partridge May 8th, 2011 at 3:00 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 76

My first posit is the logical extension of the proposal that with more countries with nukes we’re less likely to see them used. After all, when the number of countries was 1, they got used. Now, not so much. Would more countries nuclearized mean even less likelihood?

I mean, clearly if only India or Pakistan had had nukes for any length of time, their disputes might have been ‘settled’ with nukes. Now, less likely, right?

kspopulist May 8th, 2011 at 3:02 pm

welcome and great to see everyone!
thanks to authors and hosts!
reduction of fissile materials is of great importance to life in general but moreso to humans in particular.
Not a conditional query Tad Daley (Imma gonna get n read yer book), but Social aspects in a culture of arming one’s fear … is of such importance in the climb to the top of the mtn … could you or our hosts address some of that?
what have y’all seen with int’l mores on these issues?

greenwarrior May 8th, 2011 at 3:03 pm
In response to jaia @ 86

My understanding is that almost a million people have died from the fallout from Chernobyl since 1986 and many others have birth defects that make them unable to care for themselves. Wasn’t the level of deaths from the bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki much lower?

Teddy Partridge May 8th, 2011 at 3:03 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 87

The Iranians would put it in a suitcase and bring it to New York.
/Cheney

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 3:04 pm

I understand that full well.

But the U.S. & Israel are the main sources of ME instability.

So I can’t see why focusing on one of the consequences rather than on the fundamental causes advances stability in the ME.

Obama just launched another (6th depending on how you count) wars against a Muslim country, with nary a sneeze in the U.S.

Compare & contrast that policy about stability in the ME with the small evidence of any ME country developing nukes and with the reality of India & Pak having them for many years without using them

jaia May 8th, 2011 at 3:05 pm

First, the probability of a country without nuclear weapons using them is 0. Second, for countries that do have nukes, the per-country probability of their use may well decrease if others have them. But we need to be worried about the OVERALL probability.

CTuttle May 8th, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I’ve been following Iran’s Nuclear Program closely for years, I’ve read all the IAEA’s reports and the ’07 NIE, and, everybody agrees that they do not have a weapon, nor, have they diverted LEU to be made into the HEU, and, they’ve yet to cross the 20% red line…! Any thoughts on that…?

ondelette May 8th, 2011 at 3:06 pm

So is it not apropos that nuclear weaponry will be discussed in the context of indiscriminate weaponry, cf. the Hague Conventions, etc.? I would think that it would be some measure of progress that it is being proposed this way.

HelenaHandbasket May 8th, 2011 at 3:06 pm

All of those accomplishments of the US were in the last century when this country was in its ascendancy. Perhaps, as the US is now in a state of decline and this will be China’s century, they will or should take the lead in non-proliferation policy. After all, they are taking the lead in alternative energy.

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 3:07 pm
In response to jaia @ 99

But we need to be worried about the OVERALL probability.

What do you mean by that? Could you give an example?

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:07 pm
In response to jaia @ 86

thanks, jaia, for distinguishing between the dangers of N energy and the dangers of N weapons.

several people — at 24,42,55, and 77, at least — have asked about N energy. so a few words.

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 3:08 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 100

I’m out the business,so I really don’t know the state of Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons. What I do know, is that they would like to have one.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:09 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 104

In my public talks I’m getting all kinds of Qs about N energy, which I suppose is understandable after Fukushima.

But my book is about the dangers of N weapons and the road to abolishing N weapons. It’s NOT about N energy.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:10 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 106

Many of my friends in the field get peeved when I say this, but I call myself an agnostic regarding N energy. I’m neither for it nor against it.

In an ideal world we wouldn’t have it — especially given that the dangers, when things go wrong, can infect people and land and sea and life for decades, even centuries to come.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:11 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 107

But I’m sorry to say that even Fukushima does not seem likely to set the world on a course toward unplugging every N reactor on the planet.

jaia May 8th, 2011 at 3:11 pm
In response to greenwarrior @ 96

No, it’s much less than that. I’ve seen numbers ranging from 4,000 to 250,000, depending on who does the counting and how. But if you’re going to make the comparison, you’d have to include the fallout deaths from Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well.

The more important point is that nuclear war can end civilization. Accidents at nuclear power plants cannot.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:11 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 108

SO …. in my book, in my architecture chapter, I try to tackle the question of how we can ensure the abolition of NWs even if N power persists indefinitely.

bgrothus May 8th, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Tad, can you get to the question of the movement against nuclear weapons?

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 3:12 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 107

I agree. It seems like a good idea… but when there’s a problem, it’s a big one.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:12 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 110

Several FDLians are right here, in pointing out that the same techs that are used to enrich uranium to a low level for N energy can be easily recalibrated to enrich uranium to high levels for N weapons.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:14 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 113

PLUS, N reactors create this thing called spent fuel, which contains plutonium, which can be “separated” to create the second mtrl that can be used to make NWs.

jaia May 8th, 2011 at 3:14 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 103

By “overall probability”, I mean the chances of SOMEONE, somewhere in the world, using a nuclear weapon. Think of it as playing the lottery. Your chance of winning is independent of how many other people buy tickets. But the chances of SOMEONE winning certainly go up with the number of players.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:15 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 114

BUT … as I detail in my chapter on “the architecture of a NW Free World,” which I will be bold enough to say is both the most wonkish but i believe also the most hopeful chapter in the book, I believe we CAN abolish NWs — AND ENSURE THAT THEY STAY ABOLISHED — even if N energy persists.

HelenaHandbasket May 8th, 2011 at 3:15 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 107

After quoting from your own book about the fallibility of humans, I’m surprised that you don’t consider sustaining a nuclear reaction just to boil water an accident waiting to happen.

Ruth Calvo May 8th, 2011 at 3:15 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 110

Interesting, do you see the lobbies for NW and N energy as separate then?

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:16 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 116

and the way to do it is to internationalize the entire N fuel cycle, create strict and mechs of verification and enforcement, carried out by impartial national authorities, not just on some states like Iran and NK, but on all states. Including the United States.

kspopulist May 8th, 2011 at 3:17 pm
In response to kspopulist @ 95

I’ll try to be more plain. In a culture that worships personal firearms, concealed and not, and likes to talk up their utility in the public sphere, in a country where bigger is always deemed better, how might we turn around such a national perspective to the end of gaining adherents to the philosophy of arms reduction of the biggest kind?
:)
with more people with our mindset, the actual reduction of weapons will gain momentum etc

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:19 pm

thanks for that perspective valerie. I quote my former boss and mentor in the book, the late Senator Alan Cranston, who said that if a single NW goes off a single time in a single city in the world, all other issues become trivial by comparison.

Ruth Calvo May 8th, 2011 at 3:20 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 119

With supervision of nuclear wastes being relegated to TX where regulation is notoriously lax to non-existent, this seems like an impossibility,

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:20 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 121

And Valerie, though you are right that we are fortunate that we have a president who not only takes the N danger seriously but unambiguously articulates the goal of abolition … I take him to task, in my opening chapter, as you know, for the idea that abolition must wait decades, that, as he said, “it may not happen quickly, perhaps not in my lifetime.”

HelenaHandbasket May 8th, 2011 at 3:20 pm

To Joe & Valerie, feel free to come out to the corner of St. Francis and Cerrillos at noon Fridays to help generate a ‘critical mass’ for change. You can meet the film maker of The Forgotten Bomb, too. http://forgottenbomb.com/

Bring a sign.

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 3:21 pm
In response to jaia @ 115

Are you talking about low-probability high-consequence events?

If so, an interesting dilemma to contemplate.

I have given only a little thought to that subject, so whatever you can offer would be helpful.

So far, my thoughts are that policy should consider how low the low probability is. I’ve seen lots of fear mongering on that subject, but not solid analytical work, so if you could direct me, I’d appreciate it.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Which brings me to the question of the movement … which Joe Wilson asked about at the outset, and which I see a couple of people have bugged me to answer in the meantime. So here I go!

bgrothus May 8th, 2011 at 3:21 pm
In response to jaia @ 115

The LAST lottery. Of course there is tremendous collateral damage to the workers, miners, refiners, producers and more generally damage to water, air and land from the mining of uranium. We just accept or tolerate these because they are inevitable, like any other carcinogens or pathogens or other threats to our health and lives/environments, etc.

We assimilate these dangers like all others to our daily lives, out of our control.

It would be nice/good/beneficial if we could eliminate some of this, but I agree that the larger danger is the random act or other eventuality of nuclear explosions, these will destroy us most quickly.

frmrirprsn May 8th, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Ms. Wilson,

It is an honor to have you here. No one can ever give back what political authorities illegally took from you.

Re buy and steal, it seems to me that we’re very likely to get much more safe much more quickly if we focus on securing weapons grade material. Everybody who has it has an incentive to cooperate in the effort. The idea of a terrorist group building a first generation suitcase fission bomb (as opposed to a small dirty bomb)seems to me to be far fetched. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs were carried in specially modified B-29s.

I’m worried that concentrating on abolishing all forms of fissile material will distract people from steps that should already have been taken.

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 3:22 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 123

Well, as it has been said, the President likes to “lead from behind”. But, I am thrilled he has articulated his goal – I think he needs to bring along others in his administration. I believe we have a window of opportunity – now – to make some real changes in how we deal with nuclear weapons in this century.

PeasantParty May 8th, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Tad,

I live in a nuclear storage state in the south. How can the citizens of this state push back against this and win?

greenwarrior May 8th, 2011 at 3:23 pm
In response to jaia @ 109

The more important point is that nuclear war can end civilization. Accidents at nuclear power plants cannot.

Can you explain this? The bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima didn’t end civilization. Is there some reason to expect that nuclear bombing in the 21st century could end civilization?

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 3:24 pm
In response to frmrirprsn @ 128

I agree! We have to start somewhere.

ondelette May 8th, 2011 at 3:24 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 123

I again ask what you think of the agenda item this november at the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (cf. @72 and @101). I can’t type well right now or I’d expand on it, but info is on the ICRC website.

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 3:25 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 123

Nukes (Excelon for example) are one of O’s biggest campaign contributors. His rhetoric is sell tested to deceive. As for nuke weapons he wants to develop new ones. And his rhetoric on TEPCO and possible similar nuke control of USG have been so soft as to not pass the giggle test.

So why would you say that O takes nuke dangers seriously?

Ruth Calvo May 8th, 2011 at 3:25 pm
In response to PeasantParty @ 130

Yep, this is a huge worry here in TX as well.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:26 pm
In response to bgrothus @ 111

So I wrote a few mins ago that my chapter nine, on ARCHITECTURE, was perhaps my most hopeful chapter. But I’d like to amend that. And go with chapter eleven. Which is called HOW IT MIGHT HAPPEN.

bgrothus May 8th, 2011 at 3:26 pm
In response to greenwarrior @ 131

Nuclear weapons have become more than 30x more powerful and 30x smaller since 1950.

jaia May 8th, 2011 at 3:27 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 125

So far, my thoughts are that policy should consider how low the low probability is. I’ve seen lots of fear mongering on that subject, but not solid analytical work, so if you could direct me, I’d appreciate it.

I’m mainly a biologist, so I’ll have to pass to the policy wonks here on that question. But the one thing I can say is that, at some point, the damage from a high-magnitude event can become QUALITATIVELY different from that from a low-magnitude one. It’s not 10,000 people dying vs. 1,000,000 people dying — it’s individual deaths vs. the collapse of democracy in the US or the end of human civilization.

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 3:27 pm
In response to greenwarrior @ 131

The bombs we have in storage now are, by a magnitude of hundreds of thousands, more powerful than the bombs exploded over Japan in 1945. That simply addresses the physical consequences of a NW explosion today. It does not begin to sort through the economic or political “fall out”.

May 8th, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Another reader delurking to say thanks for this Book Salon.
I already spent too much time worrying about the mushroom cloud, having been in 5th grade during the Bay of Pigs. I sure wish Ms. Plame still was in a drivers seat on this issue. Thanks to Tad, Valerie and Joe.
I appreciate the time the Wilsons are giving here, considering the holiday.
No posits, queries or other such type questions. Just reading and thinking.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:28 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 136

Joe Wilson mentioned Global Zero at the outset. There are a number of activist orgs and initiatives working on the N question, and, indeed, on mobilizing support for abolition. But Global Zero is as important as any of them.

CTuttle May 8th, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Tad, do you talk about DU at all in the book…? Fallujah is a textbook example of the ‘fallout’ from DU munitions…!

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 3:28 pm
In response to jaia @ 138

I understand the potential math.

What I’m looking for is a reason to think that math is reasonable.

SouthernDragon May 8th, 2011 at 3:29 pm
In response to greenwarrior @ 131

Can you imagine the fallout caused by an exchange between, say, India and Pakistan? IMO such an exchange wouldn’t be tit for tat, it would be wholesale.

BevW May 8th, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Note:
Tad just told me that he will stay around after the end of the salon to continue to answer all the questions.
Thanks,

hownow May 8th, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Welcome and thank you for your time.
Apologies for joining late, but referring to the experience gained from the vantage point referred to in the 4th paragraph of the introduction, based on this experience and vantage point, why do you think there has been for over 65 years, so far as is known, no unauthorized use following a purchase, construction, or theft?

Based on this experience and vantage point and your knowledge of the applicable scientific disciplines and forensic techniques, what is your assessment of the probability that any unauthorized use would be traced back to its construction source and those in the transmission path between the source and the end user?

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 3:30 pm
In response to bgrothus @ 137

Just visited West Point & saw a mock up of Big Boy.

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 3:30 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 141

Tad, what do you think Global Zero is doing right and perhaps differently from other organizations opposed to the continuation of nuclear weapons?

bgrothus May 8th, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Exactly. It is the damage to the economy of Japan that causes the immediate disruption from the fallout. Imagine this on a more global scale.

Ruth Calvo May 8th, 2011 at 3:31 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 143

What I do not see is why we should believe that the supposed regulation supposedly in place is believable or reasonable. My sister would not have raised her family in Los Alamos if she had known about the true exposure they were receiving, despite the claims no leakage was occuring, and disposal was done with immense care.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:31 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 141

Many FDLians probably know this, but Global Zero last summer produced an excellent film called COUNTDOWN TO ZERO. An eloquent and radiant Valerie Plame Wilson appears on camera througout. The film aspired to do, I think, no less than three things that are exactly the same as I aspired to do with APOCALYPSE NEVER.

1) CTZ and AN endeavor to reach out to a broad general audience about the nuclear big picture, rather than just wonks talking to wonks, as V said in her intro post, using language that seems intended to exclude those not in the priesthood.

2)

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:32 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 151

2) Both film and book make the case that the many facets of the N danger mean that N cataclysm is only a matter of time.

Teddy Partridge May 8th, 2011 at 3:32 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 116

But doesn’t a NW-free world have a tremendous task ahead of it, since the bad actors in a world with nukes will still be driven to acquire them? How shall we re-bottle this genie, and keep it re-bottled, especially in a world where the one-nuked man is king?

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 3:34 pm
In response to hownow @ 146

I don’t mean to be glib, but I think we’ve simply been lucky, thus far. I have spoken to several scientists and there seems to be a dispute about whether it is possible to trace HEU back to a particular plant using forensics. It can be done,but apparently – it’s not easy.

SouthernDragon May 8th, 2011 at 3:34 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 147

When I worked nucweaps in the Navy I met some of the people who worked on the Manhattan Project, my boss being one of them. Lots of stories there.

PeasantParty May 8th, 2011 at 3:34 pm

I’m simply over Nuke weapons and power. From my position, I think the push back can start at home, especially in Nuke spent fuel storage states. There is no way they can convince me it is safe now or forever.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:34 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 152

3) Both film and book insist that the best hope we can imagine for the human race to dodge the N bullet indefinitely is abolition.

More specifically (and someone asked earlier about launching negots toward an abolition treaty) a Nuclear Weapons Elimination Convention, that would impose strict intl controls over all things nuclear, mandate the dismantling of every last NW on planet earth by a time certain, and create mechs — most especially, again, intrusive inspections, not only of other countries by also of our country — to ensure that they are never built again.

greenwarrior May 8th, 2011 at 3:35 pm
In response to bgrothus @ 137

thanks bg

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:35 pm

And I further applaud Global Zero for — unlike Obama — laying out a plan and a timeframe. GZ insists that we can dismantle the last NW on earth by 2030. Well within the lifetime, we all hope, of the man presently in the Oval Office.

greenwarrior May 8th, 2011 at 3:36 pm

thank you. clearly, i needed to be brought up to speed.

Felix Rosenthal May 8th, 2011 at 3:36 pm

With respect to the discussion between Tad and Valerie, about whether President Obama is trying hard enough:

We must be constantly aware that a President cannot put his strength behind an issue that does not yet have sufficient public support. I am constantly reminded of the difficulties that President Roosevelt had in getting the nation to support Lend-Lease in order to keep Britain alive and fighting. A President can “lead,” but only by being modestly ahead of public opinion. To get the U.S. into the actual fighting required the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Similarly, President Obama needs all the support he can get backing his still rather mild commitment to zero nuclear weapons. If we can show him that we care, I think that he will act more energetically.

Felix.

jaia May 8th, 2011 at 3:36 pm
In response to greenwarrior @ 131

The bombs that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were, by modern nuclear standards, very small. And there were only two of them. Now imagine major capitals and centers of business and logistic coordination being taken out. Imagine fallout levels that present an immediate threat to a large fraction of the world’s population. And imagine massive amounts of smoke that cool and darken the earth for years, resulting in crop failures. (Whether this effect reaches “nuclear winter” levels hardly matters.) THAT is what we’re talking about in the case of all-out nuclear war.

Even below that level of destruction (and thus much more probably), a nuclear attack, whether terrorist or national, could cause martial law to be imposed in the US and other currently democratic countries.

agitator May 8th, 2011 at 3:36 pm

P;ease, please don’t use the word that the right does for still dangerous uranium. It is not depleted! from Tom C in Rome, Italy

PeasantParty May 8th, 2011 at 3:36 pm

They can’t even find the correct lab for anthrax when it is used as a terror weapon on people and senators! How the heck are they going to find HEU? Look for potatoes instead?

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 3:36 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 152

May I make the suggestion that after reading Tad’s book,you rent “Countdown to Zero” on Netflix – the two compliment each other. Tad’s book wonderfully elaborates in the way the film does not on how we might proceed.

You might need a drink when you’re done though – this is not a cheery topic.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:37 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 159

But I’m sure, Joe Wilson, you will not dispute, that so far GZ hasn’t been overwhelmingly successful. No mass movement has arisen demanding the urgent abolition of NWs. Even among the pantheon of the left it’s an issue that doesn’t generate much attention or passion.

kspopulist May 8th, 2011 at 3:37 pm

this is interesting and scary. You’d think that processing plants – beholden to their gov program – would want to put a stamp of origin or some such on teh goods. You’d think India and Pakistan and China would do that sort of thing for sure.

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 3:38 pm
In response to Ruth Calvo @ 150

I understand the diff bet the fact that govts always lie to their pops about dangers, versus the true disaster scenarios.

Don’t know the #s, but would guess that more U.S. peeps are preventive casualties of weather this one year than of nuke failures in its history.

jaia May 8th, 2011 at 3:38 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 143

When consequences change qualitatively, the math fails.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:38 pm

But that is WHY I think my HOW IT MIGHT HAPPEN chapter offers the most hope. Because it lays out the indisputable fact that the N disarmament movement, over and over again, actually HAS moved pol leaders to engage in serious arms control measures.

kspopulist May 8th, 2011 at 3:39 pm

agreed! people power has to be there if the money is going somewhere else

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 3:39 pm
In response to kspopulist @ 167

I am no physicist, that’s for sure – but I agree, there’s a research niche there. Like blood diamonds, sorta.

mafr May 8th, 2011 at 3:40 pm

1. How nuclear weapons are known to be missing, and what dangers do they pose? are all soviet union nuclear weapons accounted for? I understand there is one off the coast of the USA, and one off the coast of Spain. What danger do these represent?

2. what is your opinion on the statements of American politicians in high positions that “all options are on the table” ? (referring to using nuclear weapons)

I despise that type of thinking.

Thanks for the book, and all of your efforts on behalf of this planet, I believe they are effective.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:40 pm

The limited test bean treaty of 1963 never would have happened without the movement against atmospheric nuclear testing that arose in the early 1950s.

CTuttle May 8th, 2011 at 3:40 pm

And who’d have the time(and luxury) to do the forensics while the nukes were flying…? 8-(

*gah*

PeasantParty May 8th, 2011 at 3:41 pm
In response to kspopulist @ 167

I agree. Maybe we can encourage India to stamp theirs with a mango. ;-)

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:41 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 174

The nuclear freeze movement of the early 1980s totally changed the direction of Reagan’s N buildup and N sabre rattling — and caused him to reverse course, engage in serious arms buildDOWNS (for the first time) with Moscow, and go to Geneva and issue a joint statement with Gorbachev saying “a N war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

mafr May 8th, 2011 at 3:41 pm

sorry, I meant one American nuclear weapon off the coast of Spain, and the coast of the USA.

JoeWilson May 8th, 2011 at 3:41 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 166

Exactly which is why I ask what else we can do. I would have thought that there is an opportunity posed by Fukushima, whatever you think of nuclear energy, to focus some attention on the broader threat posed by the lack of international will to control weapons and the fuel cycle. We shouldn’t let the absence of and easy 100 % solution deter us from making the first steps.

SouthernDragon May 8th, 2011 at 3:42 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 166

I think that’s because the public worldwide believe that nobody in their right mind would launch a nuke. They see nuclear disarmament as a “nice thing to do” but see other issues closer to home as more important. From some of the comments here I think even some anti-nuclear energy folks see nuclear energy as a greater danger today.

frmrirprsn May 8th, 2011 at 3:42 pm
In response to bgrothus @ 137

American, Russian, Chinese etc. atomic bombs are now fusion bombs set off with fission detonators. Nth powers are not close to fusion. Once you have a reasonably efficient fission device, without fusion the only way to get more power is by adding more fissile material. Uranium and plutonium are heavy.

Iran and N. Korea do not have weapons 30x more powerful and 30x smaller than the weapons the U.S. had in 1950.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:42 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 177

Another book out there, by Professor Lawrence Wittner, called CONFRONTING THE BOMB, does a masterful job, in much greater elab, of detailing the SUCCESSES of the world N disarm movement since 1945.

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Absolutely, Tad. There is a consistent, and I believe, dangerous belief in mankind’s rationality.

Ruth Calvo May 8th, 2011 at 3:43 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 168

No doubt, and as urban population centers grow larger, storms appear to be growing more deadly, though we could just as easily attribute deaths’ increase to population patterns as to damaging storms. But watching the increasing level of responsibility a state like TX is given over nuclear wastes makes me that much more concerned about the accidents we are being assured won’t and can’t happen, as Japan was.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:44 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 182

That book, and my chapter 11, make the case most fundamentally that one of the main reasons that we haven’t had a N war yet is not JUST b/c of “N deterrence,” but b/c of the universal revulsion among the public at the possibility of any N use.

bgrothus May 8th, 2011 at 3:45 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 174

I should know the answer to this question, but I don’t. Was it due to radioactive fallout that the movement began?

One of our problems is that the whole nuclear business is just not well understood. Fukushima gave a moment to increase awareness. The nuclear museums in NM reported large increases in the number of visitors directly following the tsunami, so it did provide a moment for education. But this is a small example of what needs to be done to bring people along.

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 3:45 pm
In response to jaia @ 169

Are you arguing that there is no analytical was of assessing the danger?

Not even ranking? (See 168 for example).

And if there’s no analytical way to assess danger, why should nukes be at the top of the list?

I’m not arguing that nukes are good. I’m looking for a way to put them in context.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:45 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 185

So who saved the world from the apocalypse?

You saved the world from the apocalypse.

So far.

And if we HAVE ALREADY achieved that, it gives me infinite promise that the N disarm movement can lead us to N abolition.

JoeWilson May 8th, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Or because they are too mesmerized by American Idol, Glenn Beck, and Paris Hilton to focus on the hard issues.

jaango May 8th, 2011 at 3:46 pm

As a follow-up to my post @93, I have been comptemplating the lack of Native Americans and Chicanos on the subject of “nuclear” and given that our political dominance, commencing in an approximate 40 years, our “collective” leadership will be abysmal on a variety of subject areas, given our limited Knowledge Base.

Therefore, our Progressive Allies will play a dominant role in our public policymaking, and without these deep thinkers, America will not survive, should we have to “listen” to an “international community” in which their “experts” provide their analysis. We much prefer the homegrown variety.

So, I would suggest that if a writer or author, would like to craft a “An Advisorty to Native Americans and Chicanos” series, this would be most welcomed.

If this were to come about, the historical significance would be tremendous. But my being somewhat sanguine, the “feedback” would make some authors uncomfortable, and yet, the Chicano Veterans Organization, could provide the “forward” or “introduction” to these authors, and therefore, making the books and articlaes far more “acceptable” given that America contains a wealth of progressive charlatans.

If so and these authors are willing to cooperate, I will make myself available. As such, Ted Daley’s book would be an excellent start in this overall effort.

Jaango

Ruth Calvo May 8th, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Good point. Again, Alan Greenspan totally believed, and insisted, that rational judgment would keep the ‘free market’ from endangering the world’s economy, out of self-interest.

kspopulist May 8th, 2011 at 3:47 pm

ewww, you’re right. Major Biggum Icky.
Perhaps an org like IAEA does something like this in it’s program to monitor stockpiles and manufacture.
Tad, any idea?

and to the Wilson’s I wanted to thank both of them for all their service, credited and not to our nation. Like we all out here surely don’t know! Especially Joe for getting all those people outta Baghdad that time. Big big Thanks from Kansas!

ondelette May 8th, 2011 at 3:48 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 174

Here is the ICRC position so far going into November.

jaia May 8th, 2011 at 3:50 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 187

Without major theoretical advances in risk assessment and related fields, analytical measures will be incomplete. That’s not a disaster — we can reason without numbers. (I say this as someone who uses mathematical modeling all the time.)

That said, we CAN compare worst-case scenarios that have a common denominator, like number of deaths. There’s a passage in Tad’s book that does just that with nuclear terror vs. nuclear war.

Felix Rosenthal May 8th, 2011 at 3:50 pm

The big question that we have to try to answer is how can we make more people aware of the dangers to which they seem to be all but completely oblivious. Tad Daley has provided an extremely important tool by which greater awareness might be created if only enough people can be induced to read and absorb its urgent message. Apocalypse Never is an invaluable educational tool for educating people on by far the most urgent problem of our time. It should be the subject of discussions everywhere. What can we do to make it so?

bgrothus May 8th, 2011 at 3:50 pm
In response to jaango @ 190

I was talking recently to a woman, the daughter of the first (AFAIK) Native American nuclear physicist PhD. to graduate from MIT. He changed his name, and after retiring, he has changed his name back. He worked in Los Alamos and raised his family there in the 1950s.

May 8th, 2011 at 3:51 pm
In response to Joe Wilson @ 189

Well, in all fairness, to the extent people are engaged, the threat levels have changed a lot over time.

Since the fall of the USSR and the perceived Nuke weapon threat going in a downward arc, the people that are engaged shifted attention to nuke waste.

Propaganda organs now concentrate on Global War On Terror, where the prime target is so-called “Islamic extremists” and then marginally any tactic, including nuke weapons that that threat might employ.

SouthernDragon May 8th, 2011 at 3:51 pm
In response to Joe Wilson @ 189

That too. One doesn’t have to think to be entertained. When people are working dead end jobs, saddling themselves with debt, etc they don’t want to think about stuff like this at night.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:51 pm

You know, a few people here, and a number of people outside, have argued “nuclear deterrence” is essential to defend our “vital national interests.” For them, I think it’s important to recall just what it is that NWs actually DO.

Two things (at least). Two things like, still, nothing else ever to spring from the human mind.

First, the kill an extremely large number of people in an extremely short period of time. Perhaps 10K, perhaps 100K, perhaps, with a large enough “yield,” a NW could kill a million people. All in the blink of an eye, the snap of a finger, the single beat of a human heart.

PeasantParty May 8th, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Valarie,

Your comparison to Blood Diamonds is very interesting. Can you give a Corporate name or two?

bgrothus May 8th, 2011 at 3:53 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 199

Yes, the acronym Mutually Assured Destruction says it all. MAD.

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 3:53 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 199

Right! That tends to get lost in a lot of the wonky writing on nuclear weapons. The real, human consequences. That’s why I loved your book – your writing is clear, accessible, and compelling.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Second, they hurl radioactive fallout for hundreds or even thousands of miles, where it can rain down upon other victims, like a very fine atomic fairy dust, sprinkled upon us all.

And although NWs have only been used twice in anger, we have LOTS MORE evidence of radioactive fallout, both because of a few Nuclear energy accidents, and bedcause of a lot of NW tests conducted in the atmosphere in the 50s and 60s.

PeasantParty May 8th, 2011 at 3:54 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 199

Especially when we have nuke reactors all around us and storage. It would be like dominoes in several countries.

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 3:54 pm
In response to jaia @ 194

I’ll read that with interest.

Having been so close to WTC on 9/11, I spent a fair amount of time thinking & reading about worst-case-scenarios. Also assessing what actually happened after 9/11.

My preliminary judgement is that average case scenarios are far more important sources of danger.

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 3:55 pm
In response to PeasantParty @ 200

I was only musing about marking HEU with its production facility so if it reaches the black market and confiscated, it can be traced back. Somewhat like diamonds marked to be “conflict-free” from certain countries.

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 3:55 pm
In response to Ruth Calvo @ 150

And “the levies will hold.”

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Thank you, Valerie Plame, for your comment about my book revealing the real human consequences.

Let me share one right now with FDLians.

Here is the testimony of one Lijon Eknilang, of the Marshall Islands, who recounted her experiences being downwind from an N test years later:

Please think about this when you think about N deterrence.

“I was eight years old at the time of the Bravo test on Bikini in 1954. I woke up with a bright light in my eyes. There was a huge brilliant light that consumed the sky. Soon after we heard a big loud noise and the earth started to sway and sink. … A little later … it began to ‘snow’ in Rongelap. We had heard about snow from the missionaries, but this was the first time we saw white particles fall from the sky. We kids were playing in the powder, but later everyone was sick and we couldn’t do anything …

My own health has suffered as a result of radiation poisoning. I cannot have children. I have had seven miscarriages. One was severely deformed – it had only one eye. Many of my friends keep quiet about the strange births they had. They gave birth, not to children as we like to think of them, but to things we could only describe ‘octupuses,’ ‘apples,’ ‘turtles,’ and other things in our experience. …

The most common have been ‘jellyfish’ babies. These babies are born with no bones in their bodies and with transparent skin. We can see their brains and hearts beating. There are no legs, no arms, no heads, no nothing.”

+++++++++++++++++++

JoeWilson May 8th, 2011 at 3:56 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 205

Perhaps you could share with us what those average case scenarios and what you are doing to address them?

bgrothus May 8th, 2011 at 3:57 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 199

NWs are the game-changer of the 20th C.–humans created the most certain avenue to destruction of all life on the planet.

jaia May 8th, 2011 at 3:57 pm

My preliminary judgement is that average case scenarios are far more important sources of danger.

That’s what an intelligent dinosaur might have thought 66 million years ago. :-)

Seriously, in many cases, you’re right. But when the worst-case scenario is the end of civilization, I believe we must attend to it.

PeasantParty May 8th, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Gotcha! I’d really like to know the corporations behind the mining of raw materials. There are many of us here at FDL that can get behind some serious corporate bash! (Grin)

BevW May 8th, 2011 at 3:57 pm

As we come to the end of this lively Book Salon,

Tad, Thank you for stopping by the Lake and spending the afternoon with us discussing your new book.

Valerie, Joe, Thank you very much for Hosting today’s Book Salon.

Everyone, if you would like more information:

Tad’s website and book

Please check out Valerie’s book (Fair Game) and documentary (Countdown to Zero),

Thanks all,
Have a great week.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:57 pm

That’s what NW’s DO. That’s what N deterrence THREATENS.

And I refuse to believe that our country cannot protect itself without resorting to that.

And I refuse to believe humanity can’t come up with something better to maintain peace on earth.

Ruth Calvo May 8th, 2011 at 3:57 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 207

Funny how we still call these people authorities, when the need for reinforcing the levies was cited, debated and voted down on a yearly basis, yet the commitment they would hold continued to be pushed forward.

jaia May 8th, 2011 at 3:58 pm
In response to jaia @ 211

Actually, the true WORST-case scenario is extinction.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 3:58 pm

So b4 I let you all go, I wonder if you’ll all permit me a commercial.

BECAUSE I aspire for my book to serve as a tool to generate new believers and motivate them to join us on the ramparts, I’d really be delighted if you FDL cats would not only get the book and read the book, but encourage others to do so as well.

Five things I will shameless ask you to consider.

* Send out an e blast to your e pals. Direct them to http://www.apocalypsenever.org. (There, if you’ll indulge me, they can see “advance praise” that the book received from luminaries like former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta, Martin Sheen, Lt. Gen. Robert Gard, Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Michael Douglas, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Bill Hartung, Dan Ellsberg, and Pulitzer Prize winner Martin Sherwin.) And/Or maybe send them the link to our FDL conversation!

* Please become a fan of the book on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/apocalypsenever

* Please write a “customer review,” just a few sentences, on AMAZON. I’ve got 15 there right now, and 14 have given the book 5 stars and said really wonderful things about it. http://www.amazon.com/Apocalypse-Never-Forging-Nuclear-Weapon-Free/product-reviews/0813546613

* I’ve done about 35 radio interviews on the book, and I’m anxious to do more. Here’s a nice one from April 5th, 2011, 45 mins on “St Louis Today” on the two year anniversary of Obama’s Prague speech, http://www.stlpublicradio.org/programs/slota/archivedetail.php?showid=4467. If you’ve got any connections with local or national radio programs, call em up or send them an email and suggest they invite me on — to talk about the book and the peril and the hope. I’ve got a perfect face for radio.

* I’ve done about 50 talks on the book, almost all before “non-expert audiences.” And I’m anxious to do more. Here’s a recent talk at the International House at Columbia University. http://www.jtmp.org/article.php?article=326. If you’ve got connections with local progressive groups or universities or political party clubs (Democrat OR Republican) or Rotary Clubs or churches or bookstores or you name it … see if you can arrange me an invitation. I’m an enthusiastic public speaker. Many people tell me I’ve got a really big mouth. So get me a speaking gig, and I promise you I’ll rain down towering cascades of fire and brimstone from the pulpit.

You can reach me at tad@daleyplanet.org.

+++++++++++++++++++

Valerie Wilson May 8th, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Thank YOU, FDLers and Tad. Your book is tremendous and it’s been an honor to help bring it the attention it deserves.

JoeWilson May 8th, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Thanks very much, and Tad, thank you for writing such an important book. Joe Wilson

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 4:00 pm
In response to Joe Wilson @ 209

That would be off topic.

But restoring Mississippi river to its natural course and preventing building near the 50- or 100-year flood plane (take your pick) would be a simple example.

SouthernDragon May 8th, 2011 at 4:00 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 199

I still have a copy of Technical Report E-74-3, Fallout Simulation: Nuclear Cratering Device Simulation (Project Diamond Ore) published by the Defense Nuclear Agency in 1974.

The data from 4 907kg and 4 2.7kg devices gives one an idea of the effects of small nukes.

The Navy’s ASROC (Anti-Submarine ROCket) is/was 2.7kg.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 4:00 pm

And — did Bev say this already — although it’s 7 PM EDT now and this salon is supposed to come to an end now, I’m REALLY grateful for the enthusiasm you all showed in my book and the peril and the promise.

AND SO …. I will endeavor, a bit more tonight and a bit more tomorrow, to address some of the questions and comments and challenges I wasn’t able to get to yet. And in many cases haven’t even read yet!

Thank you comrades. I look forward to seeing you on the pathway to the mountaintop.

love, tad and chessie xox

PeasantParty May 8th, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Tad, Valerie, Joe,

Thank you all for being here today and bringing us insight on the issues and a new book to promote!

Ruth Calvo May 8th, 2011 at 4:01 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 217

‘I’ve got a perfect face for radio. ‘

*snort*

kspopulist May 8th, 2011 at 4:02 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 208

this is JUST the sort of human story that might deter a MAD enthusiast!
thank you and thanks again Tad for your book. May it find a still wider readership and attention!

hownow May 8th, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Thank you all for your contributions.

Elliott May 8th, 2011 at 4:02 pm

what a lively Salon, thanks for coming Mr. Daley

and thanks to the Wilson’s for hosting.

frmrirprsn May 8th, 2011 at 4:04 pm
In response to Joe Wilson @ 209

Let me give it a try. Over 3000 people dies on 9/11. If you applied the money we’ve spent on Homeland Security and the 10s of thousands of entirely innocent civilians who have been killed in the name of protecting us from a terrorist with a nuclear bomb, that is the result of focusing on an unlikely worst-case scenario.

Now suppose you applied the money spent on homeland security on green energy or improving affordable access to medical care, or both. These are average-case scenarios. They are worth a lot more attention than things that make Glenn Beck foam at the mouth.

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 4:06 pm
In response to frmrirprsn @ 228

Ding ding ding.

We have a winnah.

Thanks for articulating my point much better than I was able to do.

CTuttle May 8th, 2011 at 4:08 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 208

…My own health has suffered as a result of radiation poisoning. I cannot have children. I have had seven miscarriages. One was severely deformed – it had only one eye. Many of my friends keep quiet about the strange births they had. They gave birth, not to children as we like to think of them, but to things we could only describe ‘octupuses,’ ‘apples,’ ‘turtles,’ and other things in our experience. …

The same horror stories are coming out of Fallujah’s mothers…!

Petro May 8th, 2011 at 4:08 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 208

OK, that left me reeling…

jaia May 8th, 2011 at 4:09 pm
In response to frmrirprsn @ 228

I agree with you, but this is still a case where the worst- and average-case scenarios are measured on the same scale. And it’s not an argument for ignoring the terrorist threat entirely, just for cutting it down to size.

PeasantParty May 8th, 2011 at 4:10 pm
In response to frmrirprsn @ 228

Since we have had fallout from Japan and it has poisoned our milk, veggies, and meats, it would seem that all those billions pouring into holes could do this.

I also like Valerie’s comment about Obama leading from behind. It seems that our progressive push doesn’t get to him, but massive push across party lines sure would!

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 4:12 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 230

And the Fallujah fallout, nor the others horror stories mentioned, are the result of nuke programs anywhere else but in the U.S. Not Iran, not DPRK, etc. And then U.S.S.R. and now Japan.

Notice the similarities among those countries.

Not the ones the powers can intimidate, but rather the powers themselves.

Which was the first point I tried to raise in this discussion.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 4:12 pm

hey folks. i’m still here!

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 4:12 pm

i’ve probably only read about half the posts, let alone responded to them.

Petro May 8th, 2011 at 4:13 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 235

And may I say that I am inspired by your dedication to this, the very hardest of modern questions.

Ruth Calvo May 8th, 2011 at 4:14 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 235

And do you see a threat to international safety from allowing TX and other regulation-hostile states to have authority over nuclear wastes?

CTuttle May 8th, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Mahalo Nui Loa to Tad, Valerie and Joe…! What an awesome Book Salon…! I’ll be buying your book, and, I’m also going to request my Library to buy it if it hasn’t already…! ;-)

Ruth Calvo May 8th, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Went ballistic, hmmmm?

frmrirprsn May 8th, 2011 at 4:18 pm
In response to PeasantParty @ 233

Statistically, the exposure to radiation I will get from fallout from the Japanese nuclear accident will do me less harm than the hot fudge sundae I had for dessert–and that’s not counting the physical danger I’m in when my dr. finds out what I weigh tomorrow.

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Judge Posner has published a book about a decade ago on low-probability high-consequence events called Catastrophe. I didn’t read it, but thumbed thru it enough to figure out that he was advocating cost-benefit analysis.

Seemed pretty reasonable on first blush but I was always uncomfortable with it. Only years later did I figure it out.

1. If you put as many resources into preventing catastrophes as his analysis suggests (including existential threats like asteroid knocking earth out of orbit) there would be nothing left over for anything else.

2. Hidden agenda for CB analysis is that it always benefits the rich at the expense of the poor bc benefits are measured in money.

3. Provides a nice cover for Israel to go to whatever extremes it wishes against the Palestinians. This is NOT at all in the book but it is clearly on Posner’s agenda.

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 4:21 pm
In response to frmrirprsn @ 241

Not to mention the drive in your car to the ice cream parlor. Or crossing the street in Manhattan.

Ruth Calvo May 8th, 2011 at 4:25 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 242

Funny to hear the reports on our local news obviously generated by ticklers being sent out by the SafeRoom builders. Whole families survived the tornadoes recently because of their very expensive safe Rooms. Others lost lives, the insurance adjusters cheated them, etc.

jaia May 8th, 2011 at 4:25 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 242

So are you saying we should devote even less attention to low-probability events than standard cost-benefit analysis says we should? Don’t think I’ve ever seen that argument before.

jaia May 8th, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Much of my thinking on risk is informed by evolutionary biology. It’s very unlikely that a group of lizards, say, will be carried across the ocean and survive to populate Hawai’i — but that’s precisely what happens with oceanic islands. Wait long enough, and the nearly impossible becomes nearly inevitable.

JClausen May 8th, 2011 at 4:28 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 234

Just arrived. My impression is that you kicked a**.

Great to hear from CHS.

frmrirprsn May 8th, 2011 at 4:35 pm
In response to jaia @ 245

Not only that you should, but that you do. For every low probability catastrophe sufficiently in fashion to have a claim on public resources, there are orders of magnitude more not on the radar screen.

Traditional cost-benefit analysis breaks down when you get far enough into the wings of a bell curve.

CTuttle May 8th, 2011 at 4:35 pm
In response to jaia @ 246

Ain’t no snakes here, yet…! ;-)

tjbs May 8th, 2011 at 4:40 pm

“The more important point is that nuclear war can end civilization. Accidents at nuclear power plants cannot.”

Yet to be proven.

Nukes were the first weapon to carry the war to the unborn generation,just like eating the seed corn.

selise May 8th, 2011 at 4:40 pm
In response to BevW @ 145

thanks bev, thanks tad!

selise May 8th, 2011 at 4:41 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 222

you’ve sold me on your book. the whole issue is so depressing, any possibility of a way out is most welcome.

Tad Daley May 8th, 2011 at 4:42 pm

OK FOLKS … I’m still here.

But I’m largely outta gas.

Gotta go feed my cat, and my wife, and my belly.

I WILL, as promised, really try, before 5 PM EDT Monday 5/9, to go through this all and reply to as many queries as I can. Hope you all will check back yourselves, and read through the whole thing and/or see the updates.

But I’d like to offer a final closing substantive comment.

You know, one thing I really try to emphasize in my book is the imperative for us to expand our political and social imaginations. To unshackle ourselves from old ways of thinking. To envision new possibilities. To imagine that the future doesn’t have to be the same as the past.

Here’s a couple of passages from the book on this theme. The first is from the first chapter, where I’m writing about the very first hydrogen bomb test, by us, three days before the 1952 presidential election.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

At 7:15 A.M., a team on a nearby ship sent off a precise sequence of radio signals – and MIKE went off. It registered at 10.4 megatons, almost 1000 times as large as the detonation of Little Boy at Hiroshima. Within seconds, it created a blinding white fireball more than three miles across. It hurled some 80 million tons of dirt and debris high into the air – radioactive material that, in the ensuing weeks, rained down upon virtually every point on our planet. And it generated a hot mushroom cloud that rose vertically to an altitude of 27 miles, and spread horizontally for a distance of 100 miles.

It is really quite astounding that human beings can create such a thing, isn’t it? Imagine a mushroom cloud rising 27 miles over the Eiffel Tower, or Buckingham Palace, or Red Square, or Tiananmen Square, or the Empire State Building, with pure devastation below, millions upon millions of incinerated corpses, not just humans but indeed all living things, a perfectly sterilized landscape, for 50 miles in every direction. All, in a single instant, from the detonation of a single bomb. One cannot help but marvel at this testament to humanity’s scientific and technological prowess.

And too – more than a half century since the MIKE test, and a good ten or fifteen millennia now since our ancestors emerged from the caves – at our political, social, and ethical adolescence.

<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

To say that forever until the end of time we must base our national security on the threat to incinerate millions of innocents – and the possibility of exterminating us all – must be among the most profoundly cynical doctrines imaginable. What could be more immoral than that? What possible “national security” justification could there be for that? What kind of people are we if we just complacently accept that? Even the barest possibility that we could conduct such an act, in one quick orgy of miscalculation or misunderstanding, must be beyond all toleration. The continued deployment of the nuclear weapon in national military arsenals, at bottom, represents a profound failure of our political and moral ingenuity. Surely, it is within the power of the human imagination to come up with some other, better ideas, for maintaining peace on earth.

<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

“If you are religious,” said Arundhati Roy shortly after India conducted its nuclear weapons tests in 1998, ”then remember that this bomb is Man’s challenge to God. It’s worded quite simply: We have the power to destroy everything that You have created.” Ms. Roy is a wonderful writier. But one might suggest, however, that she has it precisely backwards, and that “this bomb” should be seen instead as “God’s challenge to Man.” God’s challenge is whether our social imagination, our governing institutions, and our political courage can manage to catch up with our ever-accelerating scientific and technological prowess. Nowhere is that challenge presented more starkly, nowhere are the stakes conceivably higher, than in the challenge of abolishing nuclear weapons, and saving ourselves from ourselves.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

So thank you, FDLians, for your participation today, and your encouragement, and your enthusiasm, and your persistence.

You confirm for me that the human race is worth preserving.

xox

jaia May 8th, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Traditional cost-benefit analysis breaks down when you get far enough into the wings of a bell curve.

Yes, it does, but the usual argument is that it UNDERESTIMATES the importance of those events.

frmrirprsn May 8th, 2011 at 4:50 pm
In response to jaia @ 254

The “usual” argument is based on the last black swan event that DID happen. Hindsight is not 20-20. If cost benefit-analysis consistently underestimated very low probability events, the phenomenon could be factored in. Most potential black swan events never do happen. How would you get an estimate of how many there are?

Also, I’m talking about a place further out on the wings than you are.

eCAHNomics May 8th, 2011 at 5:02 pm
In response to frmrirprsn @ 255

Great point about black swan events.

Besides, you should certainly argue that NONE of the financial disasters have been black swan events, since they were all perfectly predicted by anyone with his head screwed on straight.

jaia May 8th, 2011 at 5:22 pm
In response to frmrirprsn @ 255

If cost benefit-analysis consistently underestimated very low probability events, the phenomenon could be factored in.

It could, at least to some extent, but that makes the math harder, so people tend not to do it. Since you folks are all talking about bell curves, let me throw in another term — fat tails. In many distributions found in nature, extreme events are much more likely than would be predicted by a bell curve.

I’m currently a teaching assistant for a stats class, and the professor likes to say that if human heights were distributed according to a “bell curve” (the so-called normal distribution), there would be no women over 6’6″ — but there are five of them playing in the WNBA. Other things that have fat-tailed power law distributions? Stock market movements. (Yes, the “black swans” could have been predicted “by anyone with his head screwed on straight” — and having your head screwed on straight means paying attention to power laws.)

Another famous fat-tailed distribution? The intensity of violent conflicts, measured by number of people killed.

AitchD May 8th, 2011 at 6:00 pm

It’s surprising to me that Jonathan Schell’s The Fate Of The Earth (1982) got no mention here. Also surprising that South Africa’s presumed former nuclear arsenal got no mention. And surprising that it doesn’t occur to anyone that certain governments don’t have (or want) nuclear weapons for strategic purposes so much as to use or be able to use against their own population. Who was South Africa afraid of?

frmrirprsn May 9th, 2011 at 4:46 am
In response to jaia @ 257

When your professor gets to the part about allocating finite resources among an infinite number of potential catastrophes, remember to enlighten us.

ondelette May 9th, 2011 at 7:26 am

Can’t believe with a post in December, a link before this salon, and three attempts at a question here, nobody has addressed the conference at FDL at all.

jaia May 9th, 2011 at 9:49 am
In response to frmrirprsn @ 259

Why do you think the number of potential catastrophes is infinite? And how much would it actually cost to get rid of nuclear weapons? It’s maintaining the arsenals that’s expensive!

I want to elaborate on that point. Really, there are only a handful of civilizational threats that we can do anything about. Nuclear war is one of them, and preventing it is cheap. Asteroid collision is another — and monitoring and eventual development of deflection technology wouldn’t cost much either, certainly not compared to how much we currently spend on the military. Bioterrorism is probably best prevented through healthy democratic institutions. And so on.

You get the idea. Just because a large expense COULD be justified to mitigate a threat doesn’t mean the large expense is necessary.

Tad Daley May 9th, 2011 at 1:39 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 11

Hi ECAHNOMICS and other FDLians. Tad here, again, the next day, trying to tackle at least some of the things that i wasn’t able to address yesterday.

You assert that the world was safest during the cold war MAD era. A few others articulated this as well during the salon. Although many dispute it — see the writings of one Ward Wilson — I’m willing to concede that perhaps a major war b/t the US and the USSR became somewhat less likely during the CW era than it would have been in the absence of N deterrence.

And, more to the point, that conv war between major powers may become somewhat more likely in a post-abolition world.

And you know what? I’m willing to live with the risk. Obviously there would be lots of things we could do in a post-abolition world to discourage conv war, and we should. But even if the risk of conv war becomes greater … that’s not as much of a risk, for the human race, as the risks from the status quo. The risks of a civilization ending, perhaps biology ending N war.

I’d rather live in a world with significantly increased risk of conv wars, than in a world with ANY risk of an infinitely more cataclysmic N war.

Tad Daley May 9th, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Very interesting, Teddy, that you choose the example of the US between 1945 and 1949. When we alone possessed a N monopoly.

My chapter 10 is called BREAKOUT: COULD SOMEONE CHEAT AND RULE THE WORLD. It is, I believe, some pretty original thinking about the prospect that in a post-ab world, if someone were to “whip back the curtain,” they could proceed to rule the world.

I argue that it’s possible. Cheating could happen. No verif system can guarantee 100%.

But even if that happened, I argue that the breaker outer state would NOT be able to “rule the world” and would NOT be able to accomplish much of anything at all with that capability. You’ll have to read the chapter to see why.

But one piece of evidence I offer is in fact the period of the US N monopoly. It is not JUST tha twe didn’t launch a N attack on the USSR during that itme. It is that we were not able to USE or N monopoly politically, to achieve anything at all.

And neither would a breakout state in a post-ab world.

Tad Daley May 9th, 2011 at 1:58 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 2

Well it looks like I am out of time, and I won’t be able to post anything else in about 7 minutes. SO, although I have more to say in response to many of your provocative challenges FDLians, I’ll try one more. The very first question, the HOW question, tha tmany others posed in other fashions.

yesterday I DID write a good deal about the movement, and how it has IN THE PAST dramatically influenced N policies, and consequently can do so in the future.

Here I will add one more variable.

Nations act to serve their national interests.

It might be arguable that NWs can serve a nation’s national interests, IF THAT NATION could have them while no one else did — neither other nations nor non-state actors.

But that’s not an option.

It’s either we have them, and so too do LOTS of others (states and non-state actors alike).

Or we get them out of the hands of others by getting rid of our own.

I believe that we can persuade the nations of the world that they, individually, will be better off in a world where they give up their NWs, in return for everyone else doing the same. And instituting, as we discussed yesterday, a worldwide NW elimination convention for verification and enforcement (discussed extensively in APOCALYPSE NEVER).

That is the best hope for both individual national interests and common human interests.

And that is why I proceed with hope.

tad

p.s. No one caught my typo about the “Limited Nuclear Test Bean Treaty!” Watch out for those killer beans!

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