Global famine if India, Pakistan unleash nukes—study


CHICAGO—More than a billion people around the world would face starvation if India and Pakistan unleash nuclear weapons – even if that war is regionally limited, a study released Tuesday warned.

That’s because the deadly and polluting weapons would cause major worldwide climate disruption that would dramatically drive down food production in China, the United States and other countries.

“The grim prospect of nuclear famine requires a fundamental change in our thinking about nuclear weapons,” said study author Dr. Ira Helfand of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.

“The new evidence that even the relatively small nuclear arsenals of countries such as India and Pakistan could cause long-lasting, global damage to the Earth’s ecosystems and threaten hundreds of millions of already malnourished people demands that action be taken,” Helfand said in a statement.

“The needless and preventable deaths of one billion people over a decade would be a disaster unprecedented in human history. It would not cause the extinction of the human race, but it would bring an end to modern civilization as we know it.”

The study, set to be published in the peer-reviewed journal Climate Change, was released at the World Summit of Nobel Laureates in Chicago.

It found that corn production in the United States would decline by an average of 10 percent for an entire decade and soybean production would drop by about 10 percent, with the most severe decline occurring five years after the nuclear war.

It also determined that rice production in China would drop by an average of 21 percent for the first four years and 10 percent for the next six years.

The resulting increase in food prices and agricultural shortfalls would almost certainly lead to panic and hoarding on an international scale, further reducing access to food.

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  • ryan andres

    So what are they trying to say?  That only the US has the right to possess nukes? Jackoffs.

  • busyant

    Let me preface my comments by saying that I hung with a half dozen of American’s leading nuclear weapons physicists from 1985 to the mid-90s. Edward Teller, Conrad Chester, Edwin York, Sam Cohen, and a couple of other still alive, so I won’t divulge their names.  Here, I learned about the propaganda machine of the Left, and how a handful of organizations and prominent activists use junk science and outright lies to promote their agendas.  Carl Sagan topped the list with his famous nuclear winter article published in Parade Magazine.   Carl did not  submit his theory to the peer review process because he knew that it would be shredded by other physicists. When he did submit it, it was demolished, even by the Russians- who saw his theory as a powerful propaganda tool to disarm the West.  Nevertheless, Carl was successful in getting his junk science into the minds of a lot of ignorant people- it stuck.

    Sagan’s computer model of the earth was that of a ball of dirt. No natural scavenging effects from the atmosphere (rain, snow) were programmed in.  The ENORMOUS heat sink found in the world’s oceans were not in the program.  He rigged the model to produce the results he wanted. Couple this with his reputation as a scientist who enjoys wide circulation, and you have a pretty good propaganda machine.

    So, here you have the exact same model….some anti-nuclear activists, spewing their slanted conclusions to the world, and yet we have not seen a shred of ‘evidence’ to support their position. It’s pure propaganda.  And very, very  poor journalism.  Much later, of course, genuine physicists who have no agenda, will discredit this ‘report’, but the damage has been done….millions will believe this junk. 

    A nuclear war between India and Pakistan will kill hundreds of millions- in India and Pakistan. About one third or so from direct or indirect weapons effects- blast, heat, fires, initial radiation and delayed radiation (fallout).  The rest will perish from starvation and lack of clean water, medical care, and the supporting infrastructure. Toss civil unrest in there, too.

    The arsenals of these two countries is small. The warheads they have deployed have relatively low yields.  These yields to not have enough energy to inject a lot of debris into the stratosphere, where it would remain for a long time.  Ground burst weapons involving yields common with these two nations would lift debris into the troposphere, where it would be scavenged by normal weather effects in a short period of time.  Relatively little fallout would reach the United States.

    The suggested effects on weather patterns and growing seasons is pure speculation.  But then, speculation and propaganda is what runs our world now.  I certainly hope that war will be avoided, as hundreds of millions could die- but most would not perish from weapons effects.  It will be from the destruction of food and water distribution networks.

    It is the belief among U.S. government experts serving on the Congressional Committee To Assess the Threat Of EMP to the United States that the destruction of the U.S. electrical grid alone would result in the elimination of approximately 90% of the U. S. population over a year’s time. It is believed  that a single nuclear weapon, exploded at an altitude of 350 miles over Kansas City, Missouri, would accomplish this. There is plenty of data to support this. This vulnerability could enable small, rogue nations such as North Korea or Iran to eliminate the United States as a world power.  Asymmetrical warfare.  There is currently no shortage of nations that can lift a nuclear weapon over the central U.S.. 

    Is the world a dangerous place?  Sure is!  But we should not clutter issue with activist-driven propaganda.  Nations and individuals should look after their own disaster planning and act accordingly.

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