Worse than Useless: Nuclear weapons

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Billy T, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Are you old enought to remember the "Cuban Missel Crisis" ? (and some of the analysis that followed it about how close we came to ending civilization back then?)

    Trying to evaluate the chance that something serious may go wrong is an essentail part of government's job or do you also think that nuclear power's risk is not also not expresses as x chance of disaster of magnitude y in z years is no business of government? (I thought that was the AEC's responsibility - where is their corresponding agency for the nuclear bomb material risk?)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2007
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  3. shichimenshyo Caught in the machine Registered Senior Member

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    I thought they worked to avoid such things, not to assume how manyu years we have till it happens
     
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  5. USS Exeter unamerican american Registered Senior Member

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    I don't see the point of keeping Nuclear weapons, if America uses them, the U.N. and pretty much the rest of the world will retaliate. I also do not understand why innocent civilians will suffer because of a bad leader's decision.
     
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  7. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    They do, but you need to think realistically as you can about what is likely and what is not and how much damage is associated with the various posibilities in order to direct your efforts rationally.

    IMHO, we need to spend more trying to control and locate the missing enriched Uranium (lots is missing from the period of the USSR collapse) and the chemical processing of plutonium facilities.

    BTW, Chernoble was a reactor designed to make plutonium efficiently not electric power. It had a "positive thermal coeficient"* - none of those should be allowed.
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    *Reaction rate increasing with temperature, at least until meltdown.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2007
  8. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    That happens all the time during the wars, rebellions and other uprisings through time immemorial.
     
  9. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    Yeah, and just imagine what would have happened if it had been Iran instead of Cuba and the Russians!! Iran would have pushed the button in an instant .....and we want to let them have nukes?

    Baron Max
     
  10. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    So am armed society is NOT a polite society? Remind me, which is the ONLY country in the world that pushed the button, not once but twice?

    If Iran had thrown TWO nuclear bombs on a country, would you think it okay for them to have tens of thousands of nukes MORE?
     
  11. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Who is this "we" ?

    Include yourself if you like, but please not me in your "we"

    My whole thrust is that there are too many with nukes now and so long as US and Russia keep so many more (Each able kill half of humanity several dozen times over) than any rational need, it is hard to persuade others not to try for one of two.
     
  12. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    Not to worry, Billy, I never include you in anything that I post or ever think about or ever talk about or ever write about or ....anything else. You're a non-person to me ...completely and totally.

    Well, I think you're wrong! I think the USA needs lots and lots more nukes ....especially smaller ones that can be used, say, to obliterate Mecca or Baghdad or such cities, but not put out too much radiation in the surrounding areas.

    Baron Max
     
  13. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Congratualtions! You are the first to deduce and believe I am just computer software (even thought I have been telling it for years - see my long essay on free will)
     
  14. fo3 acdcrocks Registered Senior Member

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    I think the question that should be considered as well is the half-life of the United States once they have removed their entire nuclear arsenal? Or the time that it would take for a radical country or a group to develop a nuclear weapon of any magnitude, once the rest of the world has removed all nuclear weapons?

    I think that it is a reality, although an inconvenient one, that as soon as the technology to produce nuclear weapons is developed, the world will have nuclear weapons as long as the current social order does not face massive changes. We can argue that the presence of nuclear weapons poses a great threat to the world, but I am of the opinion that due to human nature, this outcome was inevitable long before the science got to a level that made actual nuclear weapons possible.
     
  15. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    I agree that the total elimination of nuclear weapons is possible only in the quite distant future, with considerable progressive development of social order, probably including the disappearance of nations as we know them today. One can take some hope that this may someday be possible from the fact that society has already progressed to the extent that there will never again be a major war between Germany and France due to the feeble initial steps toward the elimination of nations in Europe.

    Fortunately, only very modest steps towards global integration can also make it impossible for terrorist groups to assemble even a crude nuclear device. This is because there is no simple or clandestine way to produce the necessary fissionable material; but nations, including the major obstacle (USA) must be willing to give up some of the "sovernity" as the nations of Europe have already done. The created nuclear material control system must have the right to go everywhere at any time and no nuclear materials can be legally moved without prior notice to it. The US expects this rule to apply to others, but not itself. - Why it is the "main obstacle."

    In some ways this level of security resemble that already in place to make it impossible for terrorists to steal the digital records, which now represent most of you "money." Compared to the old days, when you hid your gold and silver, the modern financial system has been achieved by giving up some of your privacy. (The clerk in the bank, at least knows some of your financial activity and if you think the government does not know it all, you are excessively naive.)

    Lock's "social contract" has provided many benefits (but at the cost of some liberities) and needs to be now extended to include the elimination of the threat of destruction of civilization via nuclear war.
     
  16. fo3 acdcrocks Registered Senior Member

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    Now that this was mentioned, I must say that I don't see the least possibility of this happening before the economical and social equality in the world has taken great steps forward. It seems that we are stuck with the threat for quite a while more. And once again, it seems to me that this is not caused by decisions of certain individuals or groups or nations, but by human nature in general - one thing that is impossible for us to change faster than over generations.
     
  17. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    I again agree, but this in no reason to not make the small steps we now can.

    For example, in closely related area, the US might be persuaded to accept the judgements of the world court, even if a few times some US soldier or official is found guilty of a war crime. - That loss of sovereignty is well worth the gain in respect of law, IMHO and I think possible now if more US voters were to state this.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2007
  18. fo3 acdcrocks Registered Senior Member

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    That is true. Burning your old car tires because China is polluting anyway, or not voting because it doesn't make a difference anyway doesn't get us anywhere.
     
  19. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    I like the fabel about the pelican and humming bird living near a forest on fire:

    Pelican, watching the humming bird repeatedly fill its tiny peak with water and drop that load over the fire said: "Your silly, that will accomplish nothing."

    H. bird replies: "I know, but I must do what I can."

    Like that H.bird, I realized that writing my book and actively warning here of the deep depression coming was not going to change history, but I felt I must do what I could.
     

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