An open mind on nukes

We have, at present — while less than I would expect — much higgledy-piggledy “concern” about the prospects of a nuclear war. The Russian rape of Ukraine has escalated to conflict with NATO, of the sort which might become formalized in “total war.” This would naturally involve both tactical and strategic (intercontinental) missiles, which — for all the flaws in Russian technology — may work in some instances.

NATO members are accused of risking war by resisting Moscow’s decision to start one. Already the ex-Soviet “weapons of mass destruction” have been put on alert. Our (I am taking sides here) attempts to arm the Ukrainians for self-defence against the Russian invader must inevitably cross various red lines, and satisfy most definitions of aggressive acts. At what point do the goons in the Kremlin lose their patience? Can we even guess when they might snap, and go for Armageddon? But should we be cowardly ninnies instead?

“Tsar Vladimir” Putin’s ego is on the line, and he has already achieved a reputation as an ignominious loser — and will, even with his own people, should he keep stoking his psychotic rage. He faces an enthusiastically sanctioning and censorious West. Russia will be reduced to starvation, though Eastern Slavs are, by reputation, indifferent to this. Putin may discern that nukes are his only way out, and resolve to play the hero, with them. For like most politicians, East and West, Mr Putin is in possession of an inferior mind, which has not matured in the way humans can mature (with effort).

We assume a nuclear war would be a Bad Thing, and I admit there would be many inconveniences, including massive explosions and radiation fallout. For even with Russian oversights — the low standard of their upkeep and repairs — five thousand or so missiles have been pointed at us for a long time. We must expect to lose a few cities. The complete and permanent annihilation of Russia would not really compensate for this.

But perhaps it is just what the West — and more broadly, human civilization — needs. It would, as the leftists used to argue, cure us of our decadence, and there are many advantages an environmentalist might espy. The landscape around Chernobyl is now a more attractive wildlife preserve than it was when cluttered with generators and power lines. “Nuclear winter” may even be the remedy for “global warming.”

True, I might myself be among the victims, but I must not let this errant fact interfere with my objective judgement. On the planetary scale, there would be miscellaneous survivors, and we could anticipate the usual “baby boom,” that accompanies major wars. For the consequences have been much exaggerated by the media’s nervous Nellies, who predict the loss of life will be total. Yet from what we can know, thanks to science, there is doubt it would much exceed 90 percent. Tough, to be sure; but hardly an extinction.