I’d take the threat of ISIS any day, compared to the threat of complete world nuclear holocaust we once blithely called the “Cold War”. My children have no concept of what it was like to live knowing that, at any given moment, all human civilization could come to an abrupt end.
The text below is excerpted from [I]Maritime Executive[/I], commemorating atom bomb testing conducted 70 years ago at Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific. After using nuclear weapons to win the Pacific War of WW2, the Pentagon conducted testing on the effects of such weapons, by detonating atom bombs near entire fleets of anchored surplus naval ships (my wife would call this “Boys With Too Many Toys Syndrome”). The Bikini tests used two bombs, called “Able” and “Baker”. These were atom bombs–popguns compared to modern hydrogen bombs:
[I] “The first test, Able…sank two transports, a cruiser and two destroyer, and the shock wave badly damaged 14 other vessels. Even vessels which were far enough away to survive the blast without damage would have suffered loss of life from the initial burst of radiation…[/I][I]Test Baker[s]…shock wave and the following tsunami sank ten ships, including two battleships and an aircraft carrier, and damaged many more (including three that would have sank if they had not been beached). It also threw two million tons of radioactive water into the air, which fell back and created a 900-foot-tall rolling wave of mist, contaminating all remaining vessels within range. [/I][I] Test animals were on board the target vessels for both tests. Survival in Able was good, at about two thirds. None of the hundreds of pigs placed on the range survived Baker.[/I]
[I] Decontamination efforts in the days following showed that none of the ways the Navy thought to clean off radioactive fallout were effective… The workers cleaning the vessels even contaminated their own living quarters when they returned to the support ships. After days of warnings, Colonel Stafford Warren, the Army officer in charge of radiation safety, famously convinced the Navy to halt the cleaning and any further tests by showing the deputy chief of naval operations an x-ray of a fish from the atoll’s lagoon – a self-x-ray, with radiation from the fish enough to create an image…[/I]
[I] The majority of the surviving target ships were too radioactive to remediate and were scuttled. In a top secret report that was kept classified for the next 30 years, the Navy concluded that contamination of the type produced by Baker could not be remediated, and, further, could even be used to"depopulate vast areas of the earth’s surface, leaving only vestigial remnants of man’s material works.”