New York City Mayor Eric Adams said the recent city public service announcement on how to deal with a nuclear attack was prompted by Russia’s attack on Ukraine and warned that the Big Apple was still a big target.
The mayor said this was right after the attacks in Ukraine, and the Office of Emergency Management took an extremely bold step to say ‘let’s be prepared. Pack a bag and know where your medicines are located’. He said that these were just savvy things to do, and that numerous people think about COVID and other things that have been on the forefront but that they’ve got to stay on top of the terrorist threats.
The emergency management agency put out a 90-second PSA weeks after Russian state media declared that Russian President Vladimir Putin could wipe out the United States.
The mayor promised the city wasn’t on high alert for a nuclear attack and soft-pedalled the announcement by saying residents should be equally ready for natural catastrophes, like hurricanes or floods.
He said there were no looming threats to the metropolis that they knew about, but that they always have to be prepared as New Yorkers.
In the new clip released on Monday, the city’s Office of Emergency Management informed New Yorkers: ‘So there’s been a nuclear attack. Don’t ask me how or why. Just know that the big one has hit. OK. So what do we do?’
A city spokesman tells citizens that while the possibility of a nuclear weapon incident happening in or close to New York City was very low, it’s essential New Yorkers know the measures to stay safe.
Adams supported the agency’s video, and he said that he didn’t think it was alarmist and that he was a great believer in better safe than sorry. Nevertheless, he emphasised that what motivated the agency to nudge New Yorkers to prep for a nuclear attack was the Russian invasion.
He said that his understanding was that it was about taking the necessary measures after what occurred in Ukraine to give preparedness.
In May 2022, Russian state media issued a chilling new nuclear threat to the US, bragging that Vladimir Putin would wipe out the entire East and West Coasts with only four missiles.
Alexei Zhuravlev, a member of Vladimir Putin’s puppet parliament, issued the threat, saying that there would be nothing left on either coast after strikes using Russia’s new Sarmat 2 nuke and that the mushroom cloud would be observable from Mexico.
It’s fairly clear that the Russian leader Vladimir Putin has suggested that he would consider using nuclear weapons if faced with a NATO military response in Ukraine, or if confronted with an immediate threat to his person or regime.
The world is therefore arguably now closer to a nuclear confrontation than at any time since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. So what would a full-scale nuclear exchange look like in reality? Would it really be a global Armageddon, or would it be survivable for some people and places?
Many scientists have examined this question already, but their work is surprisingly unknown, probably because in peacetime no one wants to think of the unthinkable.
The latest assessment of Russian nuclear military capability estimates that as of early 2022 Russia has a reserve of about 4,477 nuclear warheads, nearly 6,000 if ‘retired’ warheads were included.
The US holds a comparable inventory of 5,500 warheads, with 3,800 of those rapidly deployable.
The explosive power of these weapons is difficult to comprehend and it’s been calculated that approximately 3 million tons (megatons or Mt) of TNT equivalent were discharged in World War II. For comparison, each of the UK’s Trident submarines bears 4 megatons of TNT equivalent on 40 nuclear warheads, meaning each sub can generate more explosive destruction than took place during the whole of World War II.
In 1945 the US bombed the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic bombs, giving us two real-world instances of the effects of nuclear weapons on human populations.
A total of 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 73,000 in Nagasaki died instantaneously or within five months due to the nuclear blast, intense radiant heat from the fireball and ionizing radiation.
Numerous people caught within 1km of ground zero were carbonized by heat rays, and those up to 1.5km away suffered flash burning with large regions of their skin later peeling off.
Some, especially those inside buildings, were reduced to white bones as all flesh was vaporized by the extreme heat.
Numerous survivors, subsequently become known as ‘hibakusha’ in Japanese, suffered acute radiation sickness (ARS) from neutron and gamma rays emitted by nuclear fission in the blasts.
Symptoms included bloody diarrhoea, hair loss, fever and intense thirst. Many subsequently died. As well as direct radiation from the fireballs they were also exposed to radioactive fallout from the bomb.
The longer-term effects of radiation encountered by the ‘hibakusha’ have been intensively studied and included increased levels of leukaemia and solid cancers.
However, experiencing an atomic bombing was not an automatic death sentence: among the 100,000 or so survivors the excess rates of cancer over the following years were approximately 850, and leukaemia less than 100.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki show that, apart from short-term ARS, long-term radiation from the fallout would be the least of our problems following a nuclear war. Much more severe will be a social collapse, famine and the breakdown of much of the planetary biosphere.
Previous to the Ukraine war, it seemed extremely unlikely that the superpowers would confront each other again, so many researchers turned to studying the impacts of more limited nuclear conflicts.
However, would this lead to human extinction?
Even the 150 Tg soot nuclear war scenario is orders of magnitude less than the amount of smoke and other particulates put into the atmosphere by the asteroid that hit the Earth at the end of the Cretaceous, 65 million years ago, killing the dinosaurs and about two-thirds of species alive at the time.
This means that some humans would survive, eventually, to repopulate the planet and that a species-level extinction of Homo Sapiens is unlikely, even after a full-scale war. Nonetheless, the vast preponderance of the human population would suffer extremely unpleasant deaths from burns, radiation and starvation, and human civilization would probably collapse completely, and survivors would eke out a living on a devastated, barren planet, and it’s ridiculous that people would honestly believe they’d survive a nuclear strike anywhere near where they live.
And why would people be packing a bag, where are they going to go if a nuke was sent? And I’m pretty confident that a nuke is going to travel quicker than most humans, so your go-bag isn’t going to be of much help to anyone.
So, where are all the bunkers? Oh yes, I forgot, they’re not for the likes of us common people, they’re for all the elites, and there wouldn’t be any point remaining indoors because there wouldn’t be a building standing, they would have all been destroyed, and all that the government is going to do is destroy us all by their incompetence.
Pack a bag for what? Most people would be dead!