Coping: Thursday “Unthinkable” Class

Although we don’t like to talk about real get-down, nitty-gritty urban survival much, the past few weeks have again underscored the wisdom of having a “place in the country” to run to in the event of the ultimate disaster.

This is not to claim that nuclear war is imminent, but, if it was, odds are about 99.999 percent that no one of our pay scale would have foreknowledge of what was to come.

So this morning a quickie refresher on preps you should already have in place, or if not, things to think about…

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Nuclear war and urban survival seem to be contradictory terms.  Oh, sure, horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are real enough.  But even there, people did survive – at least for a while.

Education is the first tool you’ll need.  Since the latter part of the Cold War the classic book, and it’s still available today is Kearney classic  “Nuclear War Survival Skills.”

Reading this won’t make you feel warm and fuzzy toward nukes, but they might be out there in our future – like future tax increases, it’s the kind of thing to take in stride.

The first step in  personal response is to figure out if you are in a target zone.  Most of our kids are.

To figure out what a likely Russian, Chinese, Korean, or even militant Islamic terrorist group would strike, you can practice the unthinkable over a brewski with a bud some evening.

Pretend you’re Russian or Chinese to start with.  And then get out a map of America and some push-pins.  Use bright red for a megaton and up and other colors for smaller yields, if you feel up to it.

“Vaht ist our verst target, comrade?”

Hmmm.  Tough one.

“How many warheads, do we have, Ivan?”

[Having previously read UrbanSurvival or Wikipedia you already know “The R-36M (SS-18) is similar to the R-36 in design, but has the capacity to mount a MIRV payload of 10 warheads, each with a 550–750 kt yield, or a single warhead of up to 20 Mt. Throw-weight of the missile is 8,800 kg. This makes the Soviet R-36 the world’s heaviest ICBM; for comparison, the heaviest US ICBM (the retired LGM-118 Peacekeeper, that carried 10 warheads of 300 kt each) had less than a half of this at 4,000 kg. The R-36M has two stages. The first is a 460,000 kgf (4.5 MN) thrust motor with four combustion chambers and nozzles. The second stage is a single-chamber 77,000 kgf (755 kN) thrust motor.”]

“How about 100 at 20 megatons and 200 at 10  600 kiloton MIRVs each?”

“Hokay. First target would be New York.  Take out all finance and much banking.  10 of the 20-megaton bombs over the Northeast corridor. Your turn, comrade.”

I think you should let me go first.  I would toss 50 MIRVs into the Dakotas, Montana, and the whole upper Midwest, each with two MIRVs ot US ICBM silo…You must remember the Great War and what we learned…”

“Ha! I take out all the shipyards, then!  Bremerton, sub base Bangor, Pearl Harbor, San Francisco, Groton, Virgina Beach….your turn.”

OK, I vill do 9 EMP’s over whole country.  That vill take out power and that means no energy…you?”

“…hmmm…. Like the energy theme so how about Bay City, Houston, Henry Hub, the big TVA Dams, and all the power and irrigation dams out West.  Turn?”

This goes on for a couple of days.  This is because Russia has tons of WMD inventory. China, with an estimated 2,000 missiles, is fairly “light” on ICBMs but has a lot of intermediate range missiles.

Wikipedia tells us “The exact number of nuclear warheads is a state secret and is therefore a matter of guesswork. The Federation of American Scientists estimates that Russia possesses 4,490 nuclear warheads, while the U.S. has 4,500; Russia has 1,790 active strategic nuclear warheads, compared with the U.S. having 1,750.[2] According to 2016 data from the New START Treaty Aggregate Numbers of Strategic Offensive Arms facts sheet, the United States has fewer operationally deployed strategic warheads than Russia.[11] On the other hand, Russia is estimated to have roughly 1,500 tactical nuclear weapons, all of which are declared to be in central storage.”

There’s wiggle room in the numbers depending how you count “warheads.”  While in launch and early flight mode, 10 (or more) can  live under a single “warhead.”  Such is the business of death.

Once you and (whoever you have playing Ivan) have launched a thousand warheads, or so, and you have push-pins all over a big map, it’s time to look at your home’s location.

If there is a push-pin there check to see if it’s red (the multi-megaton color) or something less.

Now flip over to Alex Wellerstein’s site.

Who?  Guy who built up the site.  Plug in your city, check the push-pins nearest your city, and see what the damage is.

I’ve been a reporter a good chunk of my life and I don’t like seeing a lot of dead people.  But as this exercise shows, there would not be many living people around after a real nuclear exchange.

The problem is, everyone knows it – and you have to be crazy to even play this game.

But maybe, if someone did the unthinkable in a small way first, it would teach the rest of the world something.

Hard telling.

Mutually assured destruction – MAD policy for sure.

But it’s why if we do ever leave this area, we will be in a small town somewhere else.

Somewhere that has a bit of water, a good growing season, and isn’t near anything worth spending a MIRV warhead on.

Not too many places like that, but you can find them if you look.

And while we hope those smaller places are never the “new centers of growth” in a post global war, post technological era, we have traveled the American West enough to have seen a few ghost towns here and there.

Most of them weren’t built with the idea of being turned into ghost towns.  But whether it was trains or the interstate highway system, there is always an unpredictable consequence to any new technology.

Especially of the type Kid Korean has the slaves building for him in the tunnels of North Korea.

I’ve heard estimates that he could have as many as 25 serviceable warheads already and even old trawlers entering American waters discretely – or from other ports – could be the contemporary history’s update to Pearl Harbor.

Something to think about and worth some option planning.

We still have an old field survey counter, the duct tape and plastic, some N100 masks and we could cobble up a positive pressure area of our home that would run on solar.

Toss in  the potassium iodine pills and until someone’s aim is way off, some rural folks will survive.

Off To the Doctor

Yep – another lube oil and filter day.  Maybe it’s why I’m in such a chipper and upbeat mood…

Write when you get rich,

22 thoughts on “Coping: Thursday “Unthinkable” Class”

  1. George, funny you should mention nukes today-

    From (J. Stone):

    Operation “Gotham Shield”

    The dates are sketchy, but they all fall between April 24 and April 27. The attack drill will be for a 10 kiloton nuke. Ham operators are asked to participate. Part of the drill will be for a nuclear EMP triggered blackout with a 12 mile radius (that’s a realistic radius) my beef against the EMP hoax is that if you are close enough to be affected by the EMP you are cooked anyway.

    The last time any drill of this sort was run was on 911, HEADS UP FOLKS!

  2. You know George I’m not nearly as concerned about what Russia China N.K. will do, for even Kim is smarter than the freaks in Washington, for that’s where all the problems start, and our quest for building an empire, which I’m quite sure that Trump will continue for he was the chosen one..

  3. Seattle hosted a conference some years ago involving police, fire, emergency response, etc. Their conclusion was that there would be no response. Even outside of the blast zone, people would be sick, terrified and trying to save their own families. There could not be a significant response.

    I don’t know if anyone remembers “On the Beach” from 1959?, but no matter how removed one is from the direct hits, eventually the radiation will catch up with you to die an even more heinous death.

    Fukushima gets no play after 6 years of poisoning the Pacific Ocean and the West Coast of the US. “China Syndrome” 1979 tried to warn us of what is happening right now at Fukushima, nothing but a yawn.

    I am awestruck by the casual way the current administration talks about WWIII. I listen to John McCain and Lindsey Graham frothing at the thought of bombing the world into submission. I listen to the neocons on talk radio wailing about how “WE” have to teach China, Russia, North Korea, Iran (the list is endless) who runs things and they better get in line. Who are these people? Do they actually think they can go hide in their bunkers and emerge the victors from nuclear exchange? Do they actually think that we can win a war with Russia and China? It is pretty clear, that we haven’t won a foreign war since WWII, and the Russians won that. This one won’t be a foreign war, this one will be in your face, right down the street. We won’t sit spellbound watching us bomb the crap out of Iraq on TV. Doesn’t anyone understand that? Putin has made it clear that we will pay a price for starting this up.

    “WE” as a people have gone mad. Everyone is cheering Trump now that he has handed the military the power to do what ever they want. “WE” can’t wait to go teach those bastards a lesson. “WE’RE” Number 1!

    • Nevil Shute’s novels (on the Beach is one) were eye openers.

      As I was writing this AM’s piece, I was remembering the sub scene where they came up to periscope depth off S.F. – nada

      • I remember seeing it the theater, everyone was absolutely still – then the big let down. As my then boyfriend and I walked out, he asked me if I wanted to get a cup of tea. Hit him! I’m not usually violent, but he deserved it.

    • Right on, Ida. After being outside the USA continuously for over six years, and meeting new American visitors to Ecuador every week, after two years I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that ALL Americans are mentally ill. They simply say things, do things, and believe things that are totally irrational to the point of psychosis. It is impossible to see the degree of this while living in the culture. It took about three years for my vision to clear, and then I was astounded to become aware of the degree that I had found this insane culture acceptable.

      As for the radiation, all this arm chair quarterbacking about survival is like a bunch of adolescents discussing a video game like it’s real. The radiation is already there, it’s only a matter of time before the cancer rates go stratospheric. When Fukushima occurred, the EPA took more than half the radiation meters off line. Slowly they are coming back on line while no one is looking. Now more than 90 USA cities have harmful levels of radiation.

      And as far as war is concerned, the Russians and Chinese have no interest. Every month they become stronger and more financially resilient, while the USA becomes weaker, and the infrastructure deteriorates even more. China could clear the shelves in the USA grocery stores permanently in less than 30 days by simply putting all their USA Treasuries on the market in one day.

      War is only a pipe dream for the American adolescent. With more than 30% of all USAF planes unable to fly, and more than 40% of navy aircraft unavailable, the USA could not sustain a land war for more than 30 days. The USA vehicles would break down from inadequate maintenance long before they reached Moscow.

      • I agree on all your points. Radiation, alone, will weaken us. I have two daughters-in-law. One from Belarus and one from Ukraine. They both know what radiation does over time, to all generations.

        Fifteen years of war have cost us dearly. No one remembers that we gutted the National Guard and took their equipment to Iraq. We really have no National Guard at this point because they now know they can be deployed in foreign wars. We have substituted a militarized police that now uses equipment that once would have been in the National Guard.

        As you state, all our military services are in decline. We have not kept up our equipment or our numbers. We are recruiting foreign-born troops with the lure of citizenship. Much what Rome was like -BTF!

        Russia has a new weapon with “Magrav” technology which supposedly neutralized the USS Donald Cook. If that is true, most of our expensive high-tech equipment will be useless. China and Russia have quietly built out their military with common sense equipment. They both have large standing armies, not destroyed by endless war. They have built civil defense shelters for their people. We have dumped all that to save a few of the DC brain trust. Add Iran and a few other countries who could actually mount a defense, we would be so screwed.

        Economically, we are done. All the cheer leading masks the fact that most Americans slip further down the hole every month. World Wars are a way of taking our minds off those things.

        Russia and China have built up their gold supplies over the years. They are prepared to initiate a gold-backed dollar at some point. They have created their own SWIFT system.

        We have relied on China to manufacture our goods as well as our armaments. We would not be able to gear up like we did for WWII because the factories have been dismantled, we don’t have workers to take up the jobs. It is a real Cl******k.

        Like you, I am aware that I live in a mental institution at this point. Cheers.

  4. I have to disagree with both economic and nuclear war Armageddon. I have to thank you for the D153 tool. Last week you got me to thinking real hard and Warhammer helped out and the Forbin project also.(read the book saw the movie) You have to figure a lot of countries now have a Directorate 153 so now they are linked up. The timing is too precise for MOAB and Syria and The Armada. Xi talking with Trump. it all makes sense that everyone has made a deal. China and the US are about to take NK out. Syria is going to lose Assad and he Russians are going to share Leviathan. I bet dollars to doughnuts that we have quietly taken all or most of our support away from Ukraine. In about 10 years or so peace will break out. (after Europe takes care of the Muslim question.) The sad thing is If you are not part of the Directorate 153 Union then you get left out or get some crumbs. The EU probably does NOT have a 153 but you can bet England does. IT makes a lot of sense to me mow because we are near the end game: Meaning we are about to find out our true history and guess who’s coming to dinner? GFR (Galactic Federation Representative) You keep waiting for the Elliot wave to crash well it won’t D153 Union has decreed other wise. I hope I made sense. Thanks for your website and all the work you do.

    • I do it with pleasure, Goz for people like you with more than a cell phone betwixt their shoulders

  5. I don’t know.. Hillary on the other hand would have been president in a world where most of the countries devalue a womans life.. you didn’t see Arafat putting on a vest or any other man it was women and kids young men and women. I have met guys that went into battle only to be confronted with children carrying weapons and grenades.. in america we pick and choose what we believe religiously there are countries where they live the old testament or quran laws the way they are written.
    In my opinion Trump was our only choice.. actually I would have liked to have seen rand paul get it.. but trump has surprised me.. he isn’t afraid to change his mind or negotiate to get a better deal.. for all these years we have had legislators that have been more willing to listen to only one sides viewpoints and work for their good.
    Most countries see us a weak.. sure we have a massive military.. but we are also in seventy countries..
    I doubt seriously that we will move into a nuclear war.. we have bigger worries with the fukishima ongoing contamination.. to me that is the elephant in the room that no one is talking about.. then again.. we have been watching what the right hand is doing.. what is it that the puppet masters are doing with their left hand..

    hmm interesting isn’t it.. and a totally different direction.. anyone seen how a magician made the statue of liberty disappear ..

  6. Today was one of those day’s I’m stuck at the house watching documentaries because someone was supposed to be here with the right equipment to help get a tree fall taken care of out in the yard. Didn’t show but among the videos I was watching was several of Steven Fry’s, the last of which was part 2 of his one on HIV. Honestly, whether it’s nukes or needles or endless, mindless sex (hmmm…) we’re all about as senseless as the jokers of both parties in Washington and bound to take ourselves out one way or another. I’m of the strong opinion that the smartest we’ve ever been, collectively, has been when we’re under the greatest pressure. Having no worries it the worst thing that can happen to the human population. There’s going to be a lot less of us in the future and it’s all our own faults.

  7. The drum-beating for a war with Russia was a very big reason why I didn’t vote for your favourite war-pig (for the terminally stupid, that’s the one who stole her nomination, fair and square)

    • Yep, that’s why we didn’t vote for her, she’d have us hip deep right now in Syria and rubbing up on Russia.

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