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Letter: Nuclear war threat is real, would ruin life on our planet
A submarine missile is paraded across Kim Il Sung Square during a military parade April 15, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea. - photo by Associated Press

Do you believe nuclear war is possible? Public Radio asked listeners this question last week. Apparently the Atlanta Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes it’s possible. They planned to address it this week.

It most certainly could happen, and there is very little anyone can do to prepare. A nuclear exchange between any two countries would affect every aspect of existence on this planet. Radiation from Chernobyl reached the Antarctic in less than 18 months. Radiation from Fukushima, Japan, began washing up on our Pacific Coast over two years ago. 

But radiation is only one problem the world would face from such catastrophe. The economic fallout would shake the globe. The governments all over the world would face turmoil. No sane, fully informed leader would initiate such a holocaust.

This remark is bound to produce its own fallout, but snide political comments only widen the discord that exists in our country today. There is, however, a way out of our nuclear dilemma, and our nation has already recognized it.

In 1968 The U.S. signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, wherein our country pledged to work in “good faith to completely eliminate nuclear weapons.” Of course, the wiggle words here are “in good faith” and the deal breaker is “completely eliminate.”

The argument for determent is flawed. Mutually assured destruction will not prevent a madman from pulling the trigger or pressing the button. After all, how many mass shooters have known from the beginning they would die? There is even a name for it: Suicide by cop. The individual wants to die but lacks whatever it takes to do it himself.

But that is just one possibility. The other is accident. For example, in 1964, a dropped wrench caused a partial launch of one of our Trident missiles. They said it couldn’t happen, but it did, and it was covered up for years. 

You can’t plan for something that nobody believes can happen. We are playing Russian roulette with civilization. 

Joan King


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