Sunday, January 1, 2012

What about the Nukes?

by Richard Crews
The U.S. and Russia combined have about 20,000 nuclear bombs. (Seven other countries have less than 300 each.)

Exploding 0.5% of these (100) would cause nuclear winter with worldwide temperature drops exceeding the last ice age 18,000 years ago, causing substantially complete loss of agricultural production throughout the world for years.

In 2008 the U.S. spent more than $52 billion maintaining its nuclear arsenal. (These are open-source costs and therefore do not include nuclear costs related to air defense, anti-submarine programs, classified programs, etc.--in other words, this figure does not include most nuclear-related expenses.)

It is illegal by international treaty to explode nuclear weapons.

Dismantling the U.S.'s nuclear arsenal would cost about $31 billion. (In addition, nuclear waste management and environmental remediation would cost more than $350 billion--this is regardless of whether we dismantle the U.S. nuclear arsenal or not.)

So let's dismantle them--well, OK, for the hawk purists, "almost all" of them--leave just enough to kill off civilization if we "need" to. Purely from a financial standpoint, it will save money in both the sort- and long-term. And surely it is a humanitarian "good thing."