ANDREW GLIKSON. A mainstream media drive towards a nuclear WWIII ?

For many weeks much of the mainstream media world-wide, including broadcasters, been warning of potential concessions in the negotiations between the US and North Korea and between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, lest vital interests of the west are compromised. In the process little has been said about the alternative for such negotiations and potential agreements, namely a nuclear holocaust on a regional to a global scale, with consequences that belong to the unthinkable (https://thebulletin.org/2010/03/the-climatic-consequences-of-nuclear-war/ ;  https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidbressan/2017/08/12/even-a-small-nuclear-war-would-still-have-effects-on-global-scale/#5fbd4b75507dhttp://www.nucleardarkness.org/warconsequences/hundredfiftytonessmoke/). In this context, a picture is emerging regarding the priorities of the US President: On the one hand favoring authoritarian undemocratic leaders and regimes; on the other hand a wish to form an pact with Russia, which could avoid a mutually suicidal nuclear war.

In raising multiple questions regarding US-North Korea and US-Russia peace talks, it is not clear what some of the mainstream media is concerned about?  Are peace agreements less newsworthy and sell fewer newspapers than conflict and wars? Or is it the total demonization of one of the adversaries with whom according to some no agreements should be trusted?  Or is it connected with vested interests, namely a reduction in the global armament production and trade reducing profits, consequent to peace agreements?

One thing is clear, once a pro-war atmosphere is promoted, as for example prior to WWI, the chances of a war happening are multiplied,

Rarely do the mainstream media report the full consequences of a nuclear war, just as they rarely report on the full consequences of runaway global warming.

A summary of the consequences: U.S.-Russian war producing 150 million tons of smoke follows

  • 2600 U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear weapons on high-alert are launched, in 2 to 3 minutes, at targets in the U.S., Europe and Russia and other targets considered to have strategic value. Some fraction of the remaining 7600 deployed and operational U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear warheads/weapons are also launched and detonated in retaliation for the initial attacks.
  • Massive amounts of radioactive fallout would be generated and spread both locally and globally. The targeting of nuclear reactors would significantly increase fallout of long-lived isotopes.
  • Hundreds of large cities in the U.S., Europe and Russia are engulfed in massive firestorms which burn urban areas of tens or hundreds of thousands of square miles/kilometers. 150 million tons of smoke from nuclear fires rises above cloud level, into the stratosphere, where it quickly spreads around the world and forms a dense stratospheric cloud layer. The smoke will remain there for many years to block and absorb sunlight.
  • Gigantic ground-hugging clouds of toxic smoke would be released from the fires; enormous quantities of industrial chemicals would also enter the environment.
  • The smoke blocks up to 70% of the sunlight from reaching the Earth’s surface in the Northern Hemisphere, and up to 35% of the sunlight is also blocked in the Southern Hemisphere. In the absence of warming sunlight, surface temperatures on Earth become as cold as they were 18,000 years ago at the height of the last Ice Age. There would be rapid cooling of more than 20° Celsius over large areas of North America and of more than 30° Celsius over much of Eurasia, including all agricultural regions
  • Average global precipitation would be reduced by 45% due to the prolonged cold. Growing seasons would be virtually eliminated for many years.
  • Massive destruction of the protective ozone layer would also occur, allowing intense levels of dangerous UV light to penetrate the atmosphere and reach the surface of the Earth.
  • It would be impossible for many living things to survive the extreme rapidity and degree of changes in temperature and precipitation, combined with drastic increases in UV light, massive radioactive fallout, and massive releases of toxins and industrial chemicals.
  • Already stressed land and marine ecosystems would collapse.
  • Unable to grow food, most humans would starve to death.
  • A mass extinction event would occur, similar to what happened 66 million years ago, when the dinosaurs were wiped out following a large asteroid impact with Earth (70% of species became extinct, including all animals greater than 25 kilograms in weight).
  • Even humans living in shelters equipped with many years-worth of food, water, energy, and medical supplies would probably not survive in the hostile post-war environment.

http://www.nucleardarkness.org/warconsequences/hundredfiftytonessmoke/)

Perhaps the mainstream media, the tail which commonly wags the dog, ought to worry about some of the consequences of nuclear war as much as they worry about potential concessions inherent in peace talk between the world’s superpowers?

Dr Andrew Glikson, Earth system scientist

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6 Responses to ANDREW GLIKSON. A mainstream media drive towards a nuclear WWIII ?

  1. R. N. England says:

    To get the public attention they need, whether for profit or take-home pay, the main-stream media will jump on any bandwagon and push it harder. That includes fanning the flames of fear, hatred, and xenophobia. The main-stream media exist in symbiosis with the military-industrial-“security” complex. The latter exists for the same reason: profit and take-home pay. Universal insouciant money-making is all we need to commit unspeakable evil.

    • Andrew Glikson says:

      Our is a fundamentalist world where the only change from traditional religions has been the substitution from the concept of “GOD” to the value of “GOLD”

  2. Simon Warriner says:

    Here we go again with demonizing Trump for “On the one hand favoring authoritarian undemocratic leaders and regimes; “, something the western governments led by the USA , UK, France and Germany have unfailing done with the House of Saud, Saudi Arabia’s profoundly undemocratic regime since the end of WW2. Why is Trump’s continuation of that such a big deal, and the Obama regime’s support of the illegal coup and subsequent Nazi regime in Ukraine not worthy of mention?

    That selective memory comes across as one eyed, ignorant and screaming identity politics, which will inevitably end in mistakes being made in any analysis attempted while that state of mind rules the roost.

    But then again, what would a poor, stupid farm labourer know about world affairs?

    • Andrew Glikson says:

      The article was not meant to constitute a comprehensive review of the global strategic conflict between east and west

  3. Colin Cook says:

    A very timely article – thank you Dr Andrew.
    There is the same absurd silence about the production of weaponry; why is it that the present Government aims to become a ‘top ten’ arms exporter – and no commentator asks, ‘Does the world need more weaponry’ could we not find something more conducive to human/global welfare than adding to the flow of lethal and oppressive hardware?

    Floating wind/solar/wave power stations to service the many remote Pacific communities – instead of submarines and riot gear – could be one way of engaging some of our best and most creative people.

    Footnote: Opening her first Farnborough Air Show, Mrs Thatcher declared that ‘our best and most creative brains are employed in the defence industry – so we must export their products to capitalise on their talents’. Just look how well that has worked for the UK and people of the Middle East!

  4. Tony Kevin says:

    Thanks Andrew,

    Good persuasive analysis. Most MSM journalists and program managers live in a false parallel universe where nuclear war is considered so unthinkable it need not be thought about. People who do think about it seriously are ridiculed or even have their mental health challenged by so-called realists. This happened to me recently when a scornful well-known presenter could not see the urgency of Russia-West relaxation of mounting tensions (detente) .

    There are two different useful ways of approaching the knowledge of the huge present nuclear war risks we are running. One is the maximalist, the other is the ameliorist. The maximalists hope that if they anathemise all nuclear weapons loudly and strongly enough , governments will all together or one by one abolish them. Good luck with that worthy goal. Ameliorists say, let us at least try to make the present nuclear balance of terror safer. The ameliorists in US and Russia made enormous progress towards a safer world in 1972-89, but most of us on all sides of Western Democratic politics have forgotten those lessons now.

    The maximalists will In my opinion not succeed, because Russia and China will never trust the US again , and every day’s events confirm the wisdom and prudence of that position.

    So as Andrey Sakharov understood throughout his life as first a brilliant Soviet nuclear scientist and then as noble dissident, the world is stuck with a second best solution – invulnerable second strike deterrence leading to mutually assured destruction. You can kill me by surprise, but in all cases I will kill you too ( and the rest of the world) in response. It works even now, after a fashion, but it needs to be made much safer. Putin and Trump ( I put Putin first because he is the moral leader who is leading Trump in this direction) are trying to do this. The American liberal media are too lost in their criminal Russophobia to see the importance of this effort.

    There is a relevant Open Letter

    https://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=13433&tag=NATION20180711&track=NATION20180711

    going around the US and Australia online now. It has gained over 46,000 signatures in the past 12 days, the authors aim for 50,000. Please read and sign it. And circulate to your friends . The algorithm allows non- US nationals to sign and be counted under ‘Other’.

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