Power of Story
Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -

Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (1 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   5 comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

The Nuclear Arsenal and Global Warming

By       Message Siegfried Othmer     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 2   Supported 2   Well Said 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 7/24/16

nuclear mushroom cloud
nuclear mushroom cloud
(Image by andy z)
  Permission   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

Let us compare for a moment the public discourse with respect to both global warming and the initiative to overhaul our nuclear arsenal. This project would be easier if there were actually some public discourse about our trillion dollar program to refurbish our nuclear weapons arsenal. The project is going forward with very little controversy, debate, or even broad awareness. We know, however, that everyone involved in the decision chain remains persuaded that these strategic weapons are intended as a deterrent. The moment these weapons are actually unleashed, all predictions are off on what might happen once the smoke of battle clears. If these weapons are actually used, they will have failed in their mission. That is the strange logic of nuclear deterrence.

Set in another frame, one might argue that sinking one trillion bucks into an inventory of bombs that are intended never to be used is kind of a waste. What makes such a waste even thinkable is that we are confronted with uncertainties with regard to our military and strategic future. It is deemed to be worthwhile to spend even that amount of money in order to cover some dire contingencies.

Now consider global warming in the same light. We face uncertainties that simply cannot yet be resolved with current scientific models, but the credible scenarios for our potential futures are indeed foreboding. It is known to a certainty that we are on an unsustainable path; the only ambiguity is the rate at which we are getting there. And the path is strewn with potential tipping points into catastrophe. In this case, however, the existence of uncertainty is seen as an argument for not doing anything. We are not yet certain, it is argued, that something must actually be done to forestall unattractive futures, so there is no reason to go into action. This is clearly perverse, particularly because there are long lead-times for the creation of alternative futures.

The Pentagon is starting to think about the national security implications of global warming, and they are grave. What is worse is that the solution to this threat is not under our control. Even if the entire nation were to become carbon-neutral by mid-century, we cannot control what others may do. We cannot solve the problem unilaterally.

- Advertisement -

When it comes to nuclear development, we are at least dealing with technical issues that are in principle under our control. When it comes to global warming, there is additionally a realm of social issues in different societies that we cannot begin to control. We could not ask for a better example than the controversy that exists around this issue in our own society.

Would it not be appropriate to act on the precautionary principle both with respect to global warming and military preparedness? If uncertainty is a mandate for action in one instance, how can it be the rationale for standing down in another? We have allowed the merchants of doubt to control the debate, when in fact uncertainty should be an imperative to action. "When they get you addressing the wrong question, they don't have to worry about the answers." In order to move our society beyond its current stalemate, we have to change the terms of debate. Uncertainty is the very thing that is worrisome. This is where the Pentagon could actually play a useful role.

Siegfried Othmer, Ph.D.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 2   Supported 2   Well Said 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

www.eeginfo.com
Siegfried Othmer is a physicist who over the last 28 years has been engaged with neurofeedback as a technique for the rehabilitation and enhancement of brain function. He is Chief Scientist at the EEG Institute in Los Angeles.

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Path Not Taken

The Predator-Prey Society

Climate Change: Doubt is not Enough

On Torture: The Issue of Collective Guilt

The Populist Path Out of Partisan Stasis-- Light At the End of the Tunnel

Ruminations on the San Bruno Fire