Monday, August 7, 2017



The chance of having nuclear war seem to be increasing.  Threat of mutually assured destruction  is unlikely to dissuade doctrinily inspired terrorists from annihialating those not sharing their views.  That particular threat seems to be diminishing since most countries with nuclear capacity seem to be less inclined to provide necessary materials to terrorist groups.

The threat from North Korea, controlled by a seemingly megalomaniacal dictator, is greater with the increasing nuclear and missle capacity they are developing.  Their limited capacity would seem to make it certain they would not be able to hold the whole world hostage, but that might not prevent them from eliminating South Korea from the face of the earth if the dictator thinks the rest of the world will not come to South Korea's aid.


The horrendous destruction dealt Hiroshima with a relatively small atomic bomb stuck fear into the world as it helped bring a rapid end to World War II.  Perhaps it saved far more lives that would have been taken in a prolonged continuation with conventional warfare.  But few today are likely to think it is morally acceptable to be the first to use a nuclear bomb under any circumstances.  Perhaps the overwhelming capacities both Russia and the United States have to detroy civilization have been a factor detering nuclear war as well as conventional wars that might escalate to comparable detruction.


As high school students enrolled in a science class when the world was jolted by the atomic bomb, our knowledge of nuclear physics and heredity was insufficient to make us comfortable entering the atomic age.   Chain reactions were thought to possibly trigger explosion of the whole earth.  If the explosion didn't get us, perhaps new mutant animals would take over and destroy us.

We eventually realized chain reactions would not have enough fissile material in the environment to engulf the earth.  Genetists realized radioactive contaminant caused mutations would most likely cause the death of those with too high a mutation load, and the mutations are likely to be similar to already existing mutations which are mostly detrimental for organisms by causing the failure of function of genes.  The few good mutations may only duplicate other already existing ones.

Unfortunately, fears of radioactive contamination were realistically based on continuing pollution porpotional to the half-life of the radioactive elements involved.  Radioactive iodine in milk and dairy products had a short half life so it is greatly diminished by months of storage.  Plutionium, produced by fission of uranium 238, is more of an extreme danger because of its long half-life.  Airbourne debris from nuclear testing reached far distant places around the globe, laplanders in northern Europe had their food chain receive greater loads of radioactivity than many intermediate locations.  Strontium 90 is a radioactive isotope with a half life of about 28 years, it is metabolized much like calcium in biological systems, so it persists in milk and bone for a long time.


In a perhaps delusional self-satisfied moment, after completing a manuscript on creativity, I thought, "If I'm so damned smart, why don't I try to solve the world's biggest problem".  Atomic war popped to the top of the list.  The technology was already in the hands of several countrys, including the Soviet Union, considered the greatest threat by many.  Mutually assured destruction, a capacity resulting from a race between the United States and the Soviet Union, made a recognized first strike an unacceptable solution for both.  But what about an irrational leader in a group able to steal or otherwise get nuclear capability?

The best hope, I thought, if some level of rationality exists in the rogue nation or group, is beyond the control of the strongest country.  I thought the United Nations could publicize a policy that any and all deploying nuclear weapons against others will be subject to prosecution and punishment, regardless of lack of existing legislation, and any who stop such deployment will have the protection of the rest of the world.

Our United Nations ambassador sent me some literature of what the U.N. was doing, I think I got notes from our senator's offices, and one of Representative Wolpe's staffer's sent me a quite enthuiastic reply.

Why its imperfect

Today, the concept does not seem an effective solution for dealing with terrorists willing and able to recruit and mislead followers into blowing themselves up along with innocent civilians.  The phenomenon of North Korea's Kim Jong Un making brutality and lack of freedom a normal life is making the rest of the world uncomfortable.  I suspect he is smart enough to know it will be his end if he initiates a nuclear attack.  I hope our leader is smart enough to not initiate a premptive strike.  I think a lot of prayers are in order for a world cure beyond our capability.

It would be very difficult to penetrate the strict control in North Korean with a glimpse of a personal right or authority philosophy to take action against rash decisions of their leader.  Isolated terrorist groups brain-washed by aberrant spiritual leaders are unlikely to be persuaded to prevent nuclear terrorist actions by any action of the rest of the world.  Their actions may be terrible, but world-wide destruction seems unlikely; conventional international cooperation will hopefully prevent their potential strikes.

Go green and

Just remember that wars, violence, dictators, disease, famine, eruptions, earthquakes, floods and all sorts of disasters have been around as long as civilization has existed.  But so has the sun, the moon, and the stars.  Vist with friends, family, and neighbors; take a walk in the woods or a park, sit on the beach and watch the waves and the seabirds; look at the stars at night; and consider the billions of years since rhe dawn of creation and realize that the love of God is with you and billions of others, along with a few deep breaths, it should make you feel better.

Joe Engemann     Kalamazoo, Michigan   August 7, 2017

No comments:

Post a Comment