Card Challenge- War impact

I got an email from a former labbie the jist of which is they lost a debate on war is less bad then X other consequence. In my response I opened the trusty impact file to copy and paste a war bad impact card and saw that I did not have one in there.

So the challenge is- who can find the best “war bad” card? Basically everyone has silly nuclear war–> extinction cards, so exclude those from this contest. So a good card would either just describe the horrors of war, or explain why war is the root cause of several other possible impacts etc.

Here is how this will work

-you can enter 1 card

-considerations like date/author quals etc wont matter- we are looking for pure crazy rhetoric

-I will post a card Tuesday evening, at which point if anyone has cut a card that Roy judges to be better than the card I have cut they win a prize to be negotiated.

26 thoughts on “Card Challenge- War impact

  1. Noah Goetz

    For some reason my underlining won't show up

    Nuke war ends in a nightmare
    Karlin, student at UC Berkeley majoring in Political Economy, 09 (Anatoly, “Thinking about Nuclear War”, Sublime Oblivion,… nov. 5 2009, NSG)

    What will a big nuclear war in the future look like?
    Since a (non-accidental) nuclear warfare is very unlikely today, fast forward to 2030-50, a time of incessant resource wars, climatic chaos, and new totalitarian ideologies – a world in which the weak states fail and wither away, while the strong erect barriers round their new empires (the US, China, Russia, France, etc).
    In this case, it might be instructive to look at what people though would happen if the Cold War had turned hot, especially if the superpowers introduced the nuclear element.
    Had everything managed to remain conventional to this point, it is here we see the point at which the survival of civilization as we know it hangs in the balance. The temptation on the American president would be enormous to start wiping out these gargantuan Soviet armies with the equally vast American nuclear arsenal. Equally, the temptation on the Soviet leadership would be substantial to trade queens with her great adversary, through counterforce first strike on American nuclear forces. Were the US to strike tactically against the Soviet invasion force, escalation to countervalue strikes (against economic and population centers), was Soviet retaliatory doctrine itself, and the entire war would enter a new phase of global mass murder, as the Americans inevitably retaliate when their cities are vaporized by Russian rocketry.
    In the post-nuclear novel and movie, this is the point at which World War III ends and we are all reduced to wearing bearskins and roaming around stateless post-technological deserts. But the reality was probably a substantially worse world. If anything, disaster and mass murder tends to increase the authority of the state over populations, not collapse it. Was the power of the Nazi state more or less complete when her cities were smoldering ruins? In such situations people are rendered completely dependent on even a damaged state, when all other sources of power have been disrupted or destroyed…and in our scenario here, these are states which would not be inclined to give up the war having already lost so much. As the pre-war nuclear stockpiles are expended (mostly canceling each other out, rather than falling on cities), much of the population of both the United States and the Soviet Union would survive. Particularly if the build-up was a conventional escalation, allowing for the inevitable panic evacuation of dense urban areas.
    Therefore if you want a true retrofuturist nightmare-scape, imagine a nuclear World War III, but one in which after the horrendous nuclear exchange is largely over, you haven’t the saving grace of a desolate but free world and the end of the war. Imagine suffering a nuclear attack and yet the war going on…in a newly mass mobilized and utterly militarized and depopulating society….potentially for years, even decades. That was probably the real nightmare we escaped, now that these maps have thankfully become lost visions in a vanished dream of global war.
    In particular, the Soviet Union planned to fight a WMD war, especially using tactical nukes and chemical weapons to achieve a breakout in West Germany – while also developing an extensive biological weapons capability, presumably for strategic use against the farther-off US population.
    With its collapse, the specter of Armageddon has receded, but not completely; and as pointed out, it may yet return. The details and possible scenarios I leave to later posts and the book.

  2. Austin

    — War is the worst impact

    Grapel 4 (Jerome, Author, “Why War is Bad?” Because You Never Asked, May)

    As I write this essay, the second Bush Oil War has become the fiasco it always deserved to be. The latest piece of firewood thrown onto the flames of this madness is the graphic international diffusion of the inhuman treatment of Iraqi prisoners. The few days it has taken me to digest and turn this material into some kind of life giving substance has produced the following thoughts: War is bad. War dehumanizes. War is the single most aberration man has ever conceived of. War should only be entered into after the most exhausting efforts are made to avoid it . and even then, don't we all know that something has gone terribly wrong, that we've failed miserably, that we've let ourselves down, that the idea of good guys and bad guys, in a real war, becomes less and less relevant until everyone involved is reduced to a brute animal state that should have been exorcized from the human condition long ago? The acts of gross humiliation perpetrated against the Iraqi prisoners seem hardly abnormal when one considers the venue they took place in. War is madness. War is a breathing organism of squizophrenic behavior. The unacceptable becomes routine in such an environment. Everything we've ever been told to respect and hold dear is not just ignored, but reversed. Any nation that does not try to avoid war with every fiber of its being, is committing the ultimate act of immorality. Although it generally goes unnoticed or overlooked, there has never been a war anywhere where this kind of bestiality has not taken place. Why all this fuss for the normal behavior of such an abnormal setting?

  3. Justice Platt

    War is the refutation of all possibility on individual life in any important sense. The only coherent possibility of life with war is victimhood. It destroys our humanity before it reduces us to literal garbage. This card is short, but it answers every one of their alternatives as worse than war claims.
    Jarrell 45(Randall, poet, the poem "Death of the Ball Turret Gunner." Retrieved from

    From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
    And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
    Six miles from earth, loosed from the dream of life,
    I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
    When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

  4. Alex tran

    Wartime leads to dehumanization, which is one of the worst impacts imaginable; it leads to multiple demoralizing actions including rape and prostitution, and devalues life. This in turn leads to more war.

    Vinluan-Arellano no date cited (Katherine, essayist, "Stop dehumanization of people to stop wars,"

    In peace time, dehumanization has led to the acceptance of abortion, infanticide, euthanasia or mercy killing of the old and sick, the legalization of the "right to die," prostitution, and human cloning.
    In war time, dehumanization is a key element in propaganda and brainwashing. By portraying the enemy as less than human, it is much easier to motivate your troops to rape, torture or kill. Ethnic cleansing or genocide would always be perceived as a crime against humanity if human beings belonging to another race or religion are not dehumanized.
    Throughout history, groups or races of human beings have been dehumanized. Slaves, Negroes, Jews, and now, Muslims. Up to now, women are dehumanized in many societies — they are made sexual objects, treated as second-class human beings. The proliferation of the sex trade are indications of the prevailing, successful dehumanization of women, worldwide. During wars, mass rape of women is common.
    There are many things that make dehumanization triumphant.
    A society where human contact, affection and care is withdrawn breeds people who could easily adopt the attitude and practice of dehumanization. Children growing up orphaned or abandoned. Adults so involved in the “rat race” or “dog-eat-dog” world of high competition. Human beings living in isolation from other human beings.
    Societies that raise their children overly exposed to toy soldiers, toy guns, computer war games and violent movies have become used to some form of inhuman, imaginary enemy in their daily lives that dehumanizing a real enemy becomes just another small step to take. This is evidenced by soldiers happily marching off to wars, as though merely participating in some adventure game, eager to try their war weapons on live targets. I'd like to believe that many of them won't be marching off to war if only their live targets have not been dehumanized in their minds.
    Clearly, if we must stop wars and promote peace in the world, everyone should have, develop or re-discover respect for life. Thus, education that includes values formation and even, perhaps, faith or religion should be made part of classroom lessons and school curriculums again. Humanities and studies of various cultures with an emphasis on the interesting, rich differences among the various cultures rather than on the superiority of one over another would help build greater tolerance, open-mindedness and respect for other peoples.
    Education that goes beyond the classrooms, where the youth follows the example of their elders also plays a critical role in the positive transformation of the world. In order to bring into effect a world of peaceful co-existence, solidarity, interdependence and real progress, we must not only believe in and preach but practice respect for life -– this is key to re-building the moral fiber of our society and the character of our people.
    Martin Luther King on the purpose of education:
    "It seems to me that education has a two-fold function to perform in the life of man and in society: the one is utility and the other is culture. Education must enable a man to become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the legitimate goals of his life… The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals… We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate. The broad education will, therefore, transmit to one not only the accumulated knowledge of the race but also the accumulated experience of social living."
    Unfortunately, health and education are often two of the first items to be sacrificed when budgets are re-allocated for military or war purposes.
    We are all human beings. Let us stop the dehumanization of mankind so we can effectively prevent wars and enjoy peace.

  5. Scott Phillips

    Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori?

    Ὦ ξεῖν', ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε

    κείμεθα, τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι.

  6. Justice Platt

    @Scott Phillips
    I figured "Anthem for Doomed Youth" checks ironic fatalism, actually. Still, I see your Simonides and raise you, anon, ca. 1812:
    I don't want the Sergeant's shilling,
    I don't want to be shot down;
    I'm really much more willing
    To make myself a killing,
    Living off the pickings of the Ladies of the Town;
    Don't want a bullet up my bumhole,
    Don't want my cobblers minced with ball;
    For if I have to lose 'em
    Then let it be with Susan
    Or Meg or Peg or any whore at all.

  7. PacRankings

    Sometimes, shorter is better, particularly when making arguments like this:

    We control the internal link to all their impacts—war invigorates the very foundation of violence in society, destroying health, human rights, and the environment, threatening the end of civilization.
    Levy and Sidel 2007 (Barry, Adjunct Prof. Community Health @ Tufts U School of Medicine, former medical epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control, and Victor, Prof. Social Medicine @ the Albert Einstein Medical College, epidemiology and biostatistics @ Harvard Medical School, “War and Public Health,” p. ix)

    War accounts for more death and disability than many major diseases combined. It destroys families, communities, and sometimes whole cultures. It directs scarce resources away from protection and promotion of health, medical care, and other human services. It destroys the infrastructure that supports health. It limits human rights and contributes to social injustice. It leads many people to think that violence is the only way to resolve conflicts—a mindset that contributes to domestic violence, street crime, and other kinds of violence. And it contributes to the destruction of the environment and overuse of nonrenewable resources. In sum. war threatens much of the fabric of our civilization.

    [This book has a ton of great 'war turns x' cards]
    [Edit: I just noticed the stipulation that author quals don't matter/big rhetoric first….oh well :/]

  8. Devin

    Even for those not immediately involved, war permeates the fabric of everyday life, destroying and precluding any possibility of freedom or value to life.

    Fontaine ’07. (Claire Fontaine. 2007. “Footnotes on the state of exception”

    We know nothing of war, as they constantly remind us. War – always one and multiple – has been on our plates, since childhood, in what mustn’t go to waste. Th ey resented us for our presumed ignorance of war, as if we were ignoring pain or an illness, or simply as if this forever absent war was now over for good, and it had to be remembered as one remembers a dead family member. Th rough grief. All those born far from war, or after it, know quite well that it isn’t over. They know it as possibility, as a nightmare that might come true. And this knowledge turns disquieting when war explodes in the distance, laying the childhoods, the kitchen smells, the bed sheets of others to waste. The past has dug a grave in the present and is again burying the living there – so they say — but it’s a lie. Because war is really one of the names for our present, and not a tale of days gone- by. It lives in bodies; it flows through institutions, traverses relationships between strangers and acquaintances, even here, in this moment, for a long while now. And the more we pretend to be innocent and alien to events, the guiltier we know we are. Guilty of not being present where blood is shed, and yet somehow we are there…Th ey used to tell us, “you kids have it all” as if to say “you sons of bitches,” yet who has raised and built this affluence, this inexhaustible source of war? Sometimes we have even suspected that if war is elsewhere, then life must be too. We know everything about war just like we know everything about prison, without having been there, since they are at the heart of “peace” and “free life,” already implied in them. Just as we know that nobody in our system is innocent, that only power relation exist, and that the losers and not the guilty are the ones being punished. Th at is why war has become someone else’s dirty job, which we are obliged to ignore. On every street corner they ask us to forget its possibility and its reality, to be surprised by it though never complicit in it. We are thanked in advance for our vigilance. Our choice is between collaborating in the social peace or with the partisans of terror. War is no longer concerned with us, we look at it and it doesn’t look back, it is too close. Its distance from us is not the same as that between a spectator and a football match, where we can still desire victory for one team and defeat for another. It
    resides in the limbo of things we would like to abolish. So we never have to take sides or believe that words have a weight that can be felt in the body, or that life has a meaning and that this meaning can also lead to its sudden end. If we don’t know what it means to live in war it’s because we don’t know what it means to live in peace. Th e more we are governed, the more we live in fear and the more we need other people to arm themselves in our place, and that’s how war continues. We do not know past struggles for rights and freedoms of expression as experience (of conflict and victory), but only as a result. We are nothing but the dazed heirs to a fortune that is impossible to spend: an archaeological inheritance that crumbles a bit more day by day, of no use-value. Those old victories are not even established, but already lost, because we do not know how to fight to defend them whenever they are threatened. Revolutionary becoming is a process that seems to exclude our participation now. It is by forgetting the oppression of control in exchange for the guarantee of protection that we have expelled ourselves from our own history. And so we mistake the struggle for the war, and we allow it to be simultaneously criminalized and delegated to professionals. While the struggle is what looms up from the discrepancy between what governments demand and what the governed can give them. In struggles we seek those who will accompany and support us, whereas we go to war alone and come back alone (since it’s always the others that die). Historical avant-gardes and war: a love story and not even a tormented one, an almost smooth-sailing romance, apart from a few expatriations. One could still – before the state of exception – play the exceptional singularity, play the game of war with one’s friends and rivals. But this is no longer the case for us. Th e war paradigm of rivalries between small groups, the war-matrix of the guerrilla’s imaginative, paramilitary strategies, the surrealists, the situationists, the Mao-dadaists (and the list goes on) lived in a world where words and experience carried on a passionate conversation that could be turned to the extreme, erupt into a scandal or even be interrupted for good. These were toy-wars, wars for snobs. Nowadays we can frame and exhibit these lovely gesticulations and return to the curfew of our already filmed everyday lives, to surfaces saturated with advertising images, to our socio-economically integrated solitudes. And understand for once and for all that the battleground has changed, that we need to invent much more ambitious
    derives if only in order to escape the amplified normalcy of our perceptions. Our consciousness now disarmed, we’ve been comfortably tucked into the nightmare of an illegible, deaf-mute present, in a territory marbled with anxieties. Th e cells in which the presumed guilty have been locked up and forgotten, the bare rooms with chairs and a desk where tortures result in confessions, these continue to exist, and even though we can’t see them, we perceive them. Their smell, their silence, their white lights populate the invisible, administrative levels of everyday life. They have not disappeared. The eternal night of the television news brings us this intuition along with images of the actual theaters of war. From the police stations, hospitals, motorways, schools, prisons, high-security zones and barracks, to the trucks, trains and planes exporting hatred in the name of war, or what we agree to call war – all these things fill us with fear. Because they contain us and we contain them. Sometimes, in the insecure rhythms of our lives, we recognize a line of coherence. It’s the same line that transmits the knowledge of a war we haven’t experienced but whose effects and affects circulate within our bodies. Th e line that connects the most common gestures of our everyday life here with the disasters that happen elsewhere – an electric line, a paratactic line conveying this link made of a lack of links. Eichmann lined up numbers upon numbers without ever being bothered by the idea that they represented human beings sent to the slaughterhouse. Contemporary art has even made this habit of participating in the disaster without being able to question it into its basic, structural principle. It builds surfaces of coexistence between incompatible elements, it questions what we can’t understand, and nevertheless it contributes – as much as these lines do – to the functioning of the machine. Th e means to either halt our becoming or to transform our subjectivity don’t seem accessible to us any longer. Somebody else has designed the form of our lives: now we are only free to choose the form of our products and to hope that our private property will protect us from war. Meanwhile, private property is itself the first stage of war.

  9. Anonymous

    In the aftermath of nuclear holocaust, you will be murdered for your shoes, forced to face off with cannibal bandits who will rape your women and eat your children, decapitate you and mount your head upon their Cadillacs. Looters will fill the streets as the population fights for the last scraps of rancid horsemeat. Worst of all? Survival is contingent on your ability to procure tight-fitting leather garments for protection. Imagine Roy Levkovitz in ass-less leather chaps. That’s a d-rule.
    Monfette 2009 (Christopher, IGN Movies editor, “Post-Apocalyptic Survival Guide,” November 25,

    These Boots Were Made for Walking the Wasteland

    As Stephen Spielberg says, the key to good film directing is a comfortable pair of shoes. Turns out, this is also the key to surviving any kind of man-made or environmental world-ending holocaust. Let’s face it, whatever way this breaks — Mad Max-style wasteland, nuclear aftermath, etc. — you’re gonna be doing a lot of walking. And you gotta plan for the terrain. If the deserts have risen up and covered the planet, you’re gonna need a good set of lightweight boots. If the sun has died and the ice has reclaimed the earth, you’ll need a warmer, heavier pair. And in all likelihood, you’ll probably be attacked and/or murdered for whatever shoes you have, so be prepared to do the same. Or at least know your size should you come across any freshly-dead, as-of-yet-unpilfered corpses.

    Clothes Make the Man

    From what we’ve seen of the future, you’ve only got two options for how to dress: tight-fitting leather combat gear, or jeans and a cowboy duster (hat optional). People don’t generally survive long enough in the deep freeze of another ice age to start up a fashion trend, but in the event of a cold-weather apocalypse, we’d suggest something Nordic inspired. It’ll keep you warm, but allow you enough maneuverability to combat marauders or climb to the next highest peak. Chances are, though, it’ll either be leather or cowboy gear. Strange that we don’t see more highly weathered Old Navy after “The Rapture.” You’d figure that with all the looting, it’d be everywhere…

    Choose Your Weapon Wisely

    Guns or swords, take your pick. If it’s a Matrix-esque, futuristic environment, you might want to get comfortable with both, but chances are good that the world will gravitate toward one or the other. The guns will probably be something you had with you at home, or stole from an empty Wal-Mart. And for some reason, the roving bands of baddies will seemingly have raided a military base for all the firepower they’re packin’, but load up on ammo and snag yourself both a long-range rifle and a side-arm. As for the swords, who the hell knows where you get one of those.

    Know Thy Enemy

    Depending upon the apocalypse in question, you’ve got a fair choice of possible enemies. First off, you could face the traveling group of morally corrupted cannibal bandits. These are the guys who’ll rape your women and eat your children. Secondly, you could face a more organized band of intelligently savage and punkish marauders. These guys aren’t former blue-collar workers driven to madness; these are crazy people looking to build their own lawless kingdom. They’ll just rape you. And probably mount your head to the hood of their leader’s car. It’s also possible that you could encounter a morally grey and kingly despot, intent on rebuilding society at any awful cost, but that’s a much bigger battle.

    Your former friends and neighbors.

    Bon Appetit

    You’re gonna have to eat some pretty awful sh*t. Horses for sure. Dog food, maybe. Prepare yourself to eat people, but don’t do it unless you absolutely have to. In post-apocalyptic society, the last vestige of your humanity is defined by your avoidance of cannibalism. Eat a dude, and you’re halfway toward being the bad guy in this story.

    Money in the Bank

    Figure out what the most valuable commodity of this new world is going to become and stock up on it. Could be gasoline, could be food. Whatever it is, find a good hiding spot and fill it with something valuable. From here, you can either distribute it as a means of making friends and allies, or you can horde it and make yourself the invaluable and merciless leader of a township that depends solely on you to survive. But you’ve gotta do this quick. The looting starts as soon as the nuclear cloud begins to clear.

    Trust No One

    Everybody’s out for themselves in this future, so don’t count on having any friends. You know that guy who helped you fight your way through the hungry hordes and aided you in getting that resource you desperately needed to survive? Well, he desperately needs it too, and that awkward pressure you feel is the barrel of his weapon against the back of your skull. So much for loyalty, a**hole. You’re much better off roaming the wastelands on your own, trusting nobody. Especially not innocent looking women and young children. They’re the most vicious of all.

    By Horse or Steam-Punk Buggy

    Aside from hoofing the many miles across this bombed-out country, the future generally opts for horses or cars as the real high-end mode of transportation. Mostly, however, the steeds have been made up like armored warhorses and the cars have been stripped and caged and modified to look like razor-covered death machines that go from zero-to-decapitation in 3.6 seconds. And it’s usually the bad guys who have them. So if you’re looking to get somewhere fast, you’re probably going to have to kill a few bitches and steal their ride. But it’s OK in this lawless future because they’d do the same to you.

    Seeing Red… or Blue… or Green…

    Do yourself a favor and before you leave your home to explore the world for some semblance of your former civilization, take a box of crayons with you — or a picture, or a photograph — because you will never, ever see another bit of color ever again. Apparently, there is no possible post-apocalyptic future in which anything that isn’t brown, green or gray survives. So if you’re a fan of bright, shiny, colorful things, you’re gonna be outta luck if you don’t bring it with you.

    It’s the Journey, Not the Destination

    Listen, at some point, somebody’s going to tell you that they heard a rumor that the world remains unbroken down by the ocean, or just over the mountain, or across the border. And that if you can just make it alive, there’s a chance at having a full life surrounded by community and law and order. Well, truth be told, that’s all bollocks. The world sucks and it ain’t coming back. So we hope that you enjoy walking and eating horses and fighting bandits and praying that your feet don’t rot right off your body, cuz that’s what you’re in for until you’re either caught by the crazies or the irradiated ash finally fills your lungs. But if you do what we’ve told you here, you should survive in this miserable new world a little longer than previously expected. And that’s worth something… right?

  10. Jchaps

    Entertainment as diversion from reading/searching for the cards as opposed to entertainment as amusement.

  11. Brendan

    War Bad – Firestorms, AIDS, Mass Starvation, Climate Change, Agriculture Collapse, Radiation-Induced Fatalities

    Fredric Solomon, MD, is director of the division of mental health and behavioral medicine at the Institute of Medicine and Robert Q. Marston, MD, is president emeritus of the University of Florida. Second Opinion is a forum for points of view on health policy issue, 8-4-1987, Nuclear War Realities: Devastation, Not Politics, The Washington Post, Highbeam

    The IOM conference generated new research on the likely immediate casualties from nuclear warfare, as well as on the delayed impact of radiation, climate changes and psychological trauma. One of the most disturbing findings reported at the symposium pertained to firestorms that probably would be triggered by nuclear explosions near cities. Such firestorms have been left out of standard government studies, which have projected casualties based on experience with the atomic weapons used in World War II. At Hiroshima and Nagasaki, many survivors were able to walk out of the blast zone to seek help. Contemporary thermonuclear weapons, in contrast, are likely to produce vast "hurricanes of fire," making escape impossible over wide areas. The new estimates show that each one-megaton nuclear weapon could promptly kill two to four times more people than had previously been estimated. In addition to the destruction by blast and fires, nuclear weapons take a large toll because of the radiation they generate. New calculations presented at the symposium suggested that under wartime conditions-with the virtual absence of any medical help-it takes half as much radiation to kill a human as previously thought; hence twice as many would die. A Princeton research team, using the new information on both firestorms and lethal radiation levels, demonstrated that tens of millions of people would die from various "limited" attacks-many more than previously estimated by the U.S. Department of Defense. Scientists at the IOM symposium also took a look at the long-term effects, which are virtually never considered in official assessments of the consequences of nuclear war. Medical scholars from Brown University examined the extended impact of high levels of ionizing and ultraviolet radiation, burns and physical trauma, malnutrition and psychological stress upon human immunology. In a provocative new synthesis, they argued that these various factors would combine to impair the immune capability of a great many survivors, making them likely to succumb later to infectious diseases and cancer. The process would resemble the virus-caused immune deficiency of AIDS. Other scientists described how dependent the Third World is upon northern hemisphere countries for foodstuffs and resources to support agriculture (machinery, fertilizer, seed, etc.). A nuclear attack that destroyed crop harvests and stockpiles and interrupted worldwide distribution systems would indirectly result in starvation so massive that more people might be killed in Third World nations far away from the conflict than in the combatant countries themselves. As for "nuclear winter," the controversy in the scientific community now bears on the extent of, rather than the fact of, climatic disturbances in the wake of the huge amount of smoke generated by nuclear weapons exploded near cities or oil storage facilities. And even if the average temperature drop were slight-one or two degrees-Asia's rice crop and other sensitive agriculture could be wiped out. Detailed studies reported at the conference showed that medical resources to aid survivors (doctors, nurses, intravenous fluids, hypodermic needles, etc.) would be overwhelmed by even the smallest "exchange" of strategic nuclear weapons. The "Medical Implications of Nuclear War" documents for political leaders, defense strategists and ordinary citizens the full range of health-related consequences likely to follow the use of modern nuclear weapons in war. The papers represent original research and scholarly analysis by respected scientists-not political hyperbole.

  12. Jchaps

    Conventional warfare can outweigh nuclear warfare and risks extinction of the human race. Only actively voting to prevent the outbreak of additional war can lead to peace; the alternative is annihilation. Rotblat ’96 (Joseph Rotblat, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and memeber of the Manhattan Project, “Preservation of the Human Species in the Nuclear Age”, Times Higher Education website,, Nov 29 1996, JAC – 12/15/09)

    Whatever view we may hold about the origins of human life, we all agree that life is our most precious commodity. We do not dare think it might be brought to an end, least of all by the action of man.

    Yet the continuation of the human species can no longer be taken for granted. It has been endangered since the onset of the omnicidal weapons first demonstrated in 1945 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The destruction of these cities heralded a new age, the nuclear age, the chief characteristic of which is that for the first time it has become possible for man to destroy his own species in a single action.

    When we began the work on the atom bomb we had a pretty good idea of its terrible destructive power. But we did not contemplate the ultimate catastrophe that the use of such weapons might bring. We did not envisage this because we knew that such a catstrophe would require the detonation of a very large number of weapons – perhaps 100,000. Even in our most pessimistic scenarios we did not imagine that human society would be so stupid as to accumulate such huge arsenals, for which we could see no purpose.

    But within a few decades such a number of warheads were manufactured and made ready for use. On several occasions we came very near to their use. I remember, in particular, the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, when we were a hair’s breadth away from disaster; when the future of our civilisation hung on the decision of one man, Nikita Khrushchev. Fortunately Khrushchev was a sane man, but we may not be so lucky next time.

    The atom bomb was the invention of scientists. They started work on it on their own volition. Most of them were highly responsible members of the community, and their motivation was humanitarian: to prevent Hitler from using his bomb. But the initial intention of the scientists, to have the bomb so that it would not be used, failed miserably: the bomb was used; it was used as soon as it was made; it was used against civilians. It also led to the obscene accumulation of nuclear arsenals in an insane arms race, which nearly brought our civilisation to an end. Efforts are now afoot to reduce the danger by an agreement to eliminate all nuclear weapons. But the knowledge of how to make them cannot be erased. Moreover, nuclear weapons may not be the only means to end the human race abruptly. Indeed, we have to assume that other means of extinguishing the human species will be invented, perhaps more readily available than nuclear weapons.

    The threat of extinction hangs over our heads and we have to remove it. How can we achieve this? The obvious answer is to abolish war altogether. We must learn to resolve our disputes by means other than military confrontation. To most people, the concept of a war-free world is a fanciful idea. Even those who have come to accept the concept of a world without nuclear weapons still reject the notion of a world without national armaments as being unrealistic. This is not surprising considering that civilised society has always been governed by the Roman dictum: Si vis pacem para bellum – if you want peace prepare for war. We have heeded this motto despite the fact that throughout history preparation for war has brought not peace but war. Even now, when the erstwhile contenders in the cold war have become allies, the same attitude is maintained: the nuclear powers claiming that nuclear arsenals – albeit much smaller – are needed to prevent even a conventional war.

    But the realisation that another world war is likely to bring utter catastrophe is gradually sinking in. It has already taken hold in most nations in relation to weapons of mass destruction, with 152 having signed the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention; 160 nations have signed the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention that will soon come into force. By signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty, 183 nations have renounced the right to possess nuclear weapons, although five – the ones with declared nuclear arsenals – pay only lip-service to this commitment.

    Gradually, a new attitude is being adopted in relation to wars with conventional weapons. In Europe, where war has been endemic throughout history, most states, including the traditional mortal enemies in past wars, now belong to the European Union, and a military solution to a conflict between them has become inconceivable. In other parts of the world, military dictatorships have crumbled and democratic regimes have become the norm. There is a genuine desire emerging to avoid military confrontations.

    But for the concept of a war-free world to become universally accepted there will have to be a new “mind-set”: a conception of security in global terms. Now that military conflicts potentially carry a threat to the continued existence of the human species, we must think seriously about ways to remove this threat.

    To a large extent this allegiance will come from the growing interdependence between nations, an interdependence not only in the realm of economics, but also in social and cultural matters; an interdependence brought about by the advances in science and technology. It is a remarkable fact that the same activities – science and technology – that have created the potential to destroy the human species have also provided the means for its salvation.

    The fantastic progress in communication and transportation has transformed the world into an intimately interconnected community, in which all members depend on one another for their material well-being and cultural fulfilment. An increasing proportion of the world population is now acquiring the technical means to become involved in world affairs, by being able to observe instantly events in any part of the globe, and often to provide help where needed.

    We have to build on the achievements of science to get people to know one another better. Access to full information will help to remove prejudices and mistrust that stem mostly from ignorance. We have to utilise the new tools for intellectual intercourse, to overcome chauvinism and xenophobia, those malevolent fomenters of war. Tremendous excitement was recently created by the discovery, not yet substantiated, of evidence of life on Mars. In the reaction to that discovery I see a manifestation of the immense reverence we all have for life.

    The material from Mars may contain traces of the most primitive forms of life. How much more reverence should we have for the higher forms of life that have evolved on earth over billions of years?

    A nuclear holocaust does not appear imminent. Having come close to it on several occasions we are now more cautious. But war is still an admissible social institution, and every war carries with it the potential of escalation, with fatal consequences. The elimination of war would require a radical change in our concepts of the nation-state. It would require a process of educating every individual to feel an allegiance to the world community. Like every process of education, the achievement of the objective will take a very long time, but it will never happen unless we make a start.

    And a good start would be to adopt the motto si vis pacem, para pacem – if you want peace, prepare for peace.

  13. Scott Phillips

    Ick, I think I may lose this one. I put a limit on my search time of 30 minutes, my competitive side wants to keep going but I will post the best card I found and take my medicine.

    Lucinda Marshall is a feminist artist, writer and activist 12-18-04
    In the name of such euphemisms as sovereignty, democracy, freedom and liberation, armies everywhere, most notably those who act at the behest of the U.S. military-industrial complex, are exacting a deadly cost. Militarism everywhere is out of control, cutting a violent swath of pandemic proportions across our planet. Women and children account for almost 80% of the casualties of conflict and war as well as 80% of the 40 million people in world who are now refugees from their homes. It is one of the unspoken facts of militarism that women often become the spoils of war, their deaths are considered collateral damage and their bodies are frequently used as battlegrounds and as commodities that can be traded.

    "Women and girls are not just killed, they are raped, sexually attacked, mutilated and humiliated. Custom, culture and religion have built an image of women as bearing the 'honour' of their communities. Disparaging a woman's sexuality and destroying her physical integrity have become a means by which to terrorize, demean and 'defeat' entire communities, as well as to punish, intimidate and humiliate women," according to Irene Khan of Amnesty International.

    Sexual violence as a tool of war has left hundreds of thousands of women raped, brutalized, impregnated and infected with HIV/AIDS. And hundreds of thousands of women are trafficked annually for forced labor and sexual slavery. Much of this trafficking is to service western troops in brothels near military bases. Even women serving in the military are subjected to sexual violence. U.S. servicewomen have reported hundreds of assaults in military academies and while serving on active duty. The perpetrators of these assaults have rarely been prosecuted or punished.

    The impact of war on children is also profound. In the last decade, two million of our children have been killed in wars and conflicts. 4.5 million children have been disabled and 12 million have been left homeless. Today there are 300,000 child soldiers, including many girls who are forced to 'service' the troops.

    Environmental damage is another de facto weapon of war that has dire consequences. The Pentagon makes no secret that it uses nuclear and chemical weaponry such as depleted uranium and napalm. We know that the cancer rate and number of birth defects in Iraq have soared since the first Gulf War. Perversely, not only are we poisoning the 'enemy' but continuing in the tradition of Agent Orange in Vietnam and Gulf War Syndrome, our own soldiers are also being exposed to the effects of this weaponry. There is little doubt that they also face higher cancer and disease rates as well as offspring born with birth defects.

    Shoddy disposal of military toxins also impacts our health by polluting our water, land and air. Most recently, the U.S. military has been disposing of perchlorate, (a rocket fuel) in such a way that it is getting into our groundwater (affecting the drinking water of 20 million people) and our food as well as in the breastmilk of nursing mothers. It is also likely that perchlorate impacts reproductive health.

    Disproportionate spending on war-making comes at the expense of funding for programs that benefit our lives and our planet. For example, a community near where I live recently announced that it had lost its funding for helping victims of domestic violence, an all too common occurrence as funding for combating violence against women is diverted to fund Homeland Security. In doing so, we place the lives of thousands of women at risk of harm. (Ironically, there seems to be plenty of money to train TSA airport screeners to grope women's breasts.) And in Afghanistan, a mere $72.5 million (less than 3%) of reconstruction funds has been spent on programs to benefit women , in sharp contrast to the hundreds of billions spent on death and destruction in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

    The monstrous scope of this carnage and its impact on women and children make it quite clear that what is occurring is a systemic fact of militarism and the patriarchy it defends. The cavalier usurpation of our lives in the name of empire imperils us all. The ongoing violence towards and poisoning of our bodies is more terrifying than the terror we purport to fight. We can no longer afford the violence implicit in empire at any cost. War against mythical terrors creates the reality of our own demise.

  14. G Coope

    Nuclear war would cause the most amount of suffering possible – more than any Impact – It is tantamount to genocide
    Dr. Russell A. Hoffman, pub. date: 1999, a computer programmer in Carlsbad, California, has written extensively about nuclear power, his essays have been translated into several different languages and published in more than a dozen countries, cites research from government sources, “The Effects of Nuclear Weapons,” accessed: 2-15-09,
    Most people in India and in Pakistan (and in the U.S.) probably do not know that as many as 9 out of 10 people — or more — who die from a nuclear blast, do not die in the explosion itself. Most people probably think that if they die from a nuclear blast, they will simply see a flash and get quickly cooked. Those within approximately a six square mile area (for a 1 megaton blast) will indeed be close enough to “ground zero” to be killed by the gamma rays emitting from the blast itself. Ghostly shadows of these people will be formed on any concrete or stone that lies behind them, and they will be no more. They literally won’t know what hit them, since they will be vaporized before the electrical signals from their sense organs can reach their brains. Of the many victims of a nuclear war, these are the luckiest ones, of course. Outside the circle where people will be instantly vaporized from the initial gamma radiation blast, the light from the explosion (which is many times hotter than the sun) is so bright that it will immediately and permanently blind every living thing, including farm animals (including cows, sacred or otherwise), pets, birds while in flight and not to mention peasants, Maharajah’s, and Government officials — and soldiers, of course. Whether their eyes are opened or closed. This will happen for perhaps 10 miles around in every direction (for a 1 megaton bomb) — further for those who happen to be looking towards the blast at the moment of detonation. Even from fifty miles away, a 1 megaton blast will be many times brighter than the noonday sun. Those looking directly at the blast will have a large spot permanently burned into their retinas, where the light receptor cells will have been destroyed. The huge bright cloud being nearly instantly formed in front of them (made in part from those closer to the blast, who have already “become death”), will be the last clear image these people will see. Most people who will die from the nuclear explosion will not die in the initial gamma ray burst, nor in the multi-spectral heat blast (mostly X-ray and ultraviolet wavelengths) which will come about a tenth of a second after the gamma burst. Nor will the pressure wave which follows over the next few seconds do most of them in, though it will cause bleeding from every orifice. Nor even will most people be killed by the momentary high winds which accompany the pressure wave. These winds will reach velocities of hundreds of miles an hour near the epicenter of the blast, and will reach velocities of 70 miles per hour as far as 6 miles from the blast (for a 1 megaton bomb). The high winds and flying debris will cause shrapnel-type wounds and blunt-trauma injuries. Together, the pressure wave and the accompanying winds will do in quite a few, and damage most of the rest of the people (and animals, and structures) in a huge circle — perhaps hundreds of square miles in area. Later, these people will begin to suffer from vomiting, skin rashes, and an intense unquenchable thirst as their hair falls out in clumps. Their skin will begin to peel off. This is because the internal molecular structure of the living cells within their bodies is breaking down, a result of the disruptive effects of the high radiation dose they received. All the animals will be similarly suffering. Since they have already received the dose, these effects will show up even if the people are immediately evacuated from the area — hardly likely, since everything around will be destroyed and the country would be at war. But this will not concern them at this time: Their immediate threat after the gamma blast, heat blast, pressure wave and sudden fierce wind (first going in the direction of the pressure wave — outwardly from the blast — then a moment later, a somewhat weaker wind in the opposite direction), will be the firestorm which will quickly follow, with its intense heat and hurricane-force winds, all driving towards the center where the radioactive mushroom-shaped cloud will be rising, feeding it, enlarging it, and pushing it miles up into the sky. The cloud from a 1 megaton blast will reach nearly 10 miles across and equally high. Soon after forming, it will turn white because of water condensation around it and within it. In an hour or so, it will have largely dissipated, which means that its cargo of death can no longer be tracked visually. People will need to be evacuated from under the fallout, but they will have a hard time knowing where to go. Only for the first day or so will visible pieces of fallout appear on the ground, such as marble-sized chunks of radioactive debris and flea-sized dots of blackened particles. After that the descending debris from the radioactive cloud will become invisible and harder to track; the fallout will only be detectable with Geiger counters carried by people in “moon suits”. But all the moon suits will already be in use in the known affected area. Probably, no one will be tracking the cloud. One U.S. test in the South Pacific resulted in a cigar-shaped contamination area 340 miles long and up to 60 miles wide. It spread 20 miles *upwind* from the test site, and 320 miles downwind. Where exactly it goes all depends on the winds and the rains at the time. It is difficult to predict where the cloud will travel before it happens, and it is likewise difficult to track the cloud as it moves and dissipates around the globe. While underground testing is bad enough for the environment, a single large above-ground explosion is likely to result in measurable global increases of a whole spectrum of health effects. India or Pakistan will deny culpability for these deaths, of course. The responsible nations, including my own, always do. But the people who were affected by the blast itself will not be worrying about the fallout just yet. A 1 megaton nuclear bomb creates a firestorm that can cover 100 square miles. A 20 megaton blast’s firestorm can cover nearly 2500 square miles. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were small cities, and by today’s standards the bombs dropped on them were small bombs. The Allied firebombing of nearly 150 cities during World War Two in Germany and Japan seldom destroyed more than 25 square miles at a time, and each of those raids required upwards of 400 planes, and thousands of crewmembers going into harm’s way. It was not done lightly. And, they did not leave a lingering legacy of lethal radioactive contamination. In the span of a lunch hour, one multi-warhead nuclear missile can destroy more cities than all the incendiary raids in history, and the only thing the combatant needs to do to carry off such a horror is to sit in air-conditioned comfort hundreds or even thousands of miles away, and push a button. He would barely have to interrupt his lunch. With automation, he wouldn’t even have to do that! The perpetrator of this crime against humanity may never have seen his adversary. He only needs to be good at following the simplest of orders. A robot could do it. One would think, that ONLY a robot WOULD do it. Nuclear war is never anything less than genocide. The developing firestorm is what the survivors of the initial blast will be worrying about — if they can think straight at all. Many will have become instantly “shell-shocked” — incapacitated and unable to proceed. Many will simply go mad. Perhaps they are among the “lucky” ones, as well. The firestorm produces hurricane-force winds in a matter of minutes. The fire burns so hot that the asphalt in the streets begins to melt and then burn, even as people are trying to run across it, literally melting into the pavement themselves as they run. Victims, on fire, jump into rivers, only to catch fire again when they surface for air. Yet it is hard to see even these pitiable souls as the least lucky ones in a nuclear attack. For the survivors of the initial blast who do not then die in the firestorm that follows, many will die painfully over the next few weeks, often after a brief, hopeful period where they appear to be getting better. It might begin as a tingling sensation on the skin, or an itching, which starts shortly after the blast. These symptoms are sign
    s that the body is starting to break down internally, at the molecular level. The insides of those who get a severe dose of gamma radiation, but manage to survive the other traumas, whose organs had once been well defined as lungs, liver, heart, intestines, etc., begin to resemble an undefined mass of bloody pulp. Within days, or perhaps weeks, the victim, usually bleeding painfully from every hole and pore in their body, at last dies and receives their final mercy. But this too will probably not be how most victims of a nuclear attack will die. A significant percentage, probably most, of the people who die from a nuclear attack will die much later, from the widespread release of radioactive material into the environment. These deaths will occur all over the world, for centuries to come. Scattered deaths, and pockets of higher mortality rates, will continue from cancer, leukemia, and other health effects, especially genetic damage to succeeding generations.

  15. Morgen Olson

    This card is decent.

    War causes poverty, decreases human rights and democracy, and diverts resources away from development.
    Arab NGO Network for Development, July 24, 2006, “Update From A Lebanon Under Unjustified Israeli War Rage,”
    The Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) is circulating a draft petition to be signed by the willing members to express their solidarity with the Lebanese people and to condemn any military action in solving conflicts. The Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP), is an alliance formed by NGOs, international networks, social movements, trade unions, women's organizations, faith based groups and other civil society actors working at the international, regional and national levels to eradicate poverty. It is worth noting that in March 2006, GCAP met in Beirut and issued a declaration, which highlights the way war increases poverty: “Armed conflicts, wars and their consequences destroy livelihoods, undermine democratic processes and human rights-including the right to self-determination- and divert resources that should be directed to development and social equity. Investing in human security best prevents conflicts and builds peace. The protection of people is a universal obligation of all states and international democratic institutions. Growing militarism and rearmament reduces political space and public accountability of states, diverts development financing and ultimately, renders lasting peace elusive and unrealizable. War and conflict disproportionately affect the security, dignity and future of women and children".

  16. David R Holmes

    Leaf, 1986
    (Alexander, M.D., Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, The Medical Implications of Nuclear War, Fredric Solomon, M.D., and Robert Q Marston, M.D.
    Editors, “Food and Nutrition in the Aftermath of Nuclear War,” 284-287,
    Hunger and starvation would plague the survivors of a nuclear war. Millions of people would starve to death in the first few years following an all-out nuclear war. This statement has a high probability of being accurate as indicated by the following considerations:
    1. World food reserves, as measured by total cereal stores at any given time, are frighteningly small should production fail. They have amounted in recent years to about 2 months’ supply of cereals at present consumption rates. 1 In the United States food stores would feed the population for about a year. 2 Portions of the stores, however, would be destroyed by blast or fire or would be contaminated by radioactivity. 3, 4 Crops in the field would be damaged to an unpredictable extent. 4, 5
    2. More important, the means to transport the food from sites of harvest or storage to the consumers would no longer exist. Transportation centers would be prime targets of an aggressor intent on destroying the industrial competence of an opponent to sustain a war. Roads, bridges, and rail and port facilities would be likely targets. Foods that appear in our markets are not grown locally. In Massachusetts, for example, more than three-quarters of the food arrives from out of state by truck or rail, and supplies on hand would last for only a few days. In a nuclear attack most of these supplies in urban areas would be destroyed. In the United States and other developed countries, food no longer is carried by farmers to nearby markets. The northeastern United States is particularly vulnerable to a breakdown in transportation of foods sincesome 80 percent of its food is imported, but other sections of the country would fare only little better. Eighty-five percent of U.S. corn is grown in 11 Midwestern states. One-sixth of the wheat is grown in Kansas alone, and most of the rest is grown from Texas north to Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana, with some being grown in Michigan, the Pacific Northwest, and New York State, but only a negligible amount is grown in the Northeast. Two-thirds of the soybeans are grown in the Great Lakes States and the Corn Belt. Rice is grown mainly in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and California. Fruit and vegetable production is nearly as regionally concentrated. 2 With key railway links and highways destroyed and gasoline and diesel fuels unavailable, whatever crops survived could not be moved to places where they would be needed.
    3. Food is supplied today in the United States and developed countries by a complex network of enterprises that involves not only farming, animal husbandry, and fishing but also farm machinery, pesticides, fertilizers, petroleum products, and commercial seeds. This network utilizes sophisticated techniques and technology to handle the food that is produced. These include grain elevators, slaughterhouses, cold-storage plants, flour mills, canning factories, and other packaging plants. It also includes the transportation, the storage, and the marketing and distribution of foods through both wholesale and retail outlets. A breakdown in this vast agribusiness would be an inevitable consequence of a nuclear war. Without the means to harvest, process, and distribute those crops that survived, there would be much spoilage.
    4. So much of the social and economic structure of society as we know it would be destroyed that relationships that we take for granted would disappear. Money would have little or no value. Food and other necessities would be obtained, when available, by barter. More likely, as people became desperate with hunger, survival instincts would take over, and armed individuals or marauding bands would raid and pilfer whatever supplies and stores still existed. Those fortunate individuals who had stores would hoard their resources and soon become the victims of the crazed behavior of starving and desperate survivors who would ransack warehouses and attack individual homes. Law enforcement would not exist, and many would be killed in the fighting between those trying forcefully to obtain possession of food stores and those trying to protect their own homes, families, and food supplies.
    5. The early death of millions of humans and animals following a major nuclear war would not sufficiently compensate for the reduced available food supplies. Stocks of fuels, fertilizers, agricultural chemicals, and seed would soon be exhausted. Not only functioning tractors but also beasts of burden would be in short supply, and food production would become very labor intensive—a throwback to the primitive farming methods of the Middle Ages or earlier. The resistance of insects to radiation and the lack of pesticides would further reduce the yield of crops. Fields downwind from targeted sites are likely to be made unusable by radioactive fallout for weeks to years.
    6. A reduction in average temperature by even 1°C at the Earth’s surface because of the absorption of solar energy by soot and dust in the atmosphere would shorten the growing season in northern latitudes and markedly reduce or prevent maturation and ripening of grains that are the staple of human diets. But the debates that have been heard are not of whether a ”nuclear winter” would occur but how many tens of degrees the temperature would be reduced and for how long. During most of the growing season, a sharp decline in temperature for only a few days may be sufficient to destroy crops. The lack of rain that has been predicted after a nuclear war would contribute to crop failures. Since most of the wheat and coarse grains are grown in the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, which would be the zones most affected by a “nuclear winter,” it is evident that a nuclear war, especially during the spring or summer, would have a devastating effect on crop production and food supplies for at least that year. The United States and Canada are literally the breadbasket for the world; total cereal production in North America in 1982 was 387 million metric tons, of which 123 million metric tons or nearly one-third was exported.
    7. After the atmospheric soot and dust finally clear, the destruction of the stratospheric ozone would allow an increase in hard ultraviolet-B (UV-B) rays to reach the Earth’s surface. In addition to the direct harmful effects to the skin and eyes of humans and animals, these hard ultraviolet rays would be damaging to plant life and would interfere with agricultural production. If the oxides of nitrogen increase in the troposphere, there may occur an actual increase of ozone at the lower levels of the atmosphere. 6 Ozone is directly toxic to plants.
    8. There would likely be a deterioration of the quality of the soil following a nuclear war. The death of plant and forest coverage because of fire, radiation, the lack of fertilizers, and the probable primitive slash-and-bum agricultural practices of survivors would leave the soil vulnerable to erosion by wind and rain. Desertification and coarse grasses and shrubs would render agriculture and animal husbandry less productive.
    9. Water supplies may be seriously reduced after a nuclear war. Dams and large irrigation projects may well be targets, especially in a counter-value attack. Reduced rainfall, which is predicted in some models of the climatic effects of a nuclear war, would interfere with agricultural pro-ductivity. If freezing temperatures actually were to occur during the warm season, surface waters would be frozen and unavailable. Radioactive fail-out would contaminate reservoirs and surface waters with long-lived radioactive isotopes, primarily strontium-90, which has a half-life of 28 years, and cesium-137, which has a half-life of 33 years. These elements in the groundwater would soon be taken up by plants and would enter the food chain. Eventually they would become concentrated in humans; the strontium would accumulate in bones and the cesium in cytoplasm, where they would contribute to the long-term burden of radioactivity in survivors.
    10. Not only would food be scarce but it would likely be unsanitary as well. The destruction of sanitation, refrigeration, and food-processing methods, especially in the remaining urban areas or population centers, would result in the contamination of food by bacteria, particularly by enteric pathogens. Spoiled meat, carrion of domestic animals and even of human corpses, are likely to be eaten by starving persons, as has happened in major famines in the past. 2 Pathogens to which civilized man has lost resistance would be acquired from foods and water contaminated by excreta and flies, other insects, and rodents, which would likely proliferate in the aftermath of nuclear war.
    11. But the hunger and starvation would not be limited to the combatant countries alone, or even to just the Northern Hemisphere. It would truly be a global occurrence. Even without the spread of the possible climatic effects of a “nuclear winter” to the Southern Hemisphere, millions would die of starvation in noncombatant countries. Today a large portion of food exports goes to parts of the world where, even with the grain imports shown in Table 1, millions of people suffer from undernutrition and hunger. 2, 3, 7
    The number of undernourished persons in developing countries is staggering, approaching one-quarter of all mankind. 2 On the basis of 1980 data, the World Bank estimated that some 800 million persons in developing countries—from 61 to 71 percent of their population—have deficient diets. 7 The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, using slightly more stringent criteria, estimate that some 16 to 23 percent of the global population, or 436 million persons, have food intake levels that permit little more than survival (1.2 times the basal metabolic rate, a level of caloric intake below which survival is not possible and which is incompatible with productive work). 8, 9 In addition, the World Health Organization identifies at least 450 million children that suffer from varying degrees of protein malnutrition.10 A large number of these persons are dependent on the food supply and price structure made possible by thefood exports of North America, so a disruption of these supplies would have grave consequences for most of the populations of developing countries. 2

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