Almost seventy-seven years ago: “On Monday, August 6, 1945, the nuclear weapon Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima by the crew of the American B-29 bomber Enola Gay, directly killing an estimated 80,000 people. By the end of the year, injury and radiation brought total casualties to 90,000-140,000. Approximately 69% of the city’s buildings were completely destroyed, and 6.6% severely damaged.” – Hiroshima
“Little Boy,” the aptly named 16 kiloton bomb that took out Hiroshima, was — in comparison to the nuclear devices in the world’s arsenals today — sort of a light field artillery shell. There was, at the time, a second bomb called “Fat Man.” Weighing in at 21 kilotons it would put paid to Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. With the erasure of Nagasaki, the world was fresh out of nuclear weapons. It was only a temporary lapse. Today the Planet Earth has about 25,000 of these little items of discipline scattered about.
The largest nuclear bomb ever detonated in the atmosphere was The Soviet Tsar Bomba , or “Big Ivan” which at 50 Megatons was very harmful to every living think on Novaya Zemlya Island (located above the arctic circle in the Arctic Sea) in October of 1971. Whatever else you might think about them, you can’t deny those Soviets dreamed BIG dreams.
No matter what our political feelings, I believe we can all agree that the world is getting just a wee bit too hot for comfort these days, and I don’t mean “Global Warming.” I mean that people here and there about the globe are getting just a wee bit too hot under the collar. They seem to have forgotten just exactly what comes into play like the force of gravity when whole nations or peoples get really ticked off. Time to refresh our collective memories.
“It has been 77 years since the incineration of a city in a second, and we’ve lost any sense of exactly what happens.”
I think we need to have the people of the world focus like a laser on the table stakes of going beyond these little patty-cake wars we are currently diddling around with and look, really look, at what can actually happen with one little slip.
What we need to do this is: “The Live Demo.” By this I mean we need to find a small island or deserted space somewhere on the planet and sacrifice it for the greater good by setting off one, just one, low-yield thermonuclear device in the atmosphere for all the world to see.
Think of “The Live Demo” as a remedial educational moment for the entire world; a kind of slap upside the head coupled with a large shout out of: “PAY ATTENTION!”
I believe this “Live Demo” needs to be announced — in date, time, and place — to the entire world with something approaching the intensity of the promotion dumped on the Beijing Olympics.
I believe that we should allow any media organization that wishes to to cover this event and provide the infrastructure necessary to film and broadcast it (from a safe distance) to the entire world in all media — live. I believe we should re-task a satellite to give us a view of the event from space.
No matter what many may think, this event would be the essence of “appointment television” for the people of the world.
I think we should also construct some of those quaint fake suburbs, villages, and towns that were set up in the ancient Nevada tests to demonstrate just what happens to a family sitting down for an evening snack when the sun is brought — for one brief shining moment — to the surface of the Earth. (Those of you who saw the opening scenes of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull probably got some laughs out of this stuff, but it is not really a laughing matter, is it?)
I know that there will be an army of Environmentalists around the world that will bitch and moan about the “harm to the environment” from setting off a single nuclear device in the atmosphere. Those same people need to contemplate instead the “harm to the environment” that comes from setting off several hundred or several thousand of these devices in one very bad afternoon. These “Greens” need to, for one brief and shining moment, sit down and shut up!
Then there will be those who will carp about “The Test Ban Treaty.” They need to take a chill pill, lie down and think of England… or Cleveland… or Tel Aviv… or Tehran.
I can assure you that having the entire world tune in for “The Live Demo” — and the whole world will tune in — shall give the entire planet pause. It’s not enough for humans to be told about nukes. Every so often, we need to see to believe.
Let’s touch off a nuke for world peace next year on August 6. It will be a fitting memorial to Hiroshima. Nothing else we can do will have quite the same… impact.
Lest we forget: Here’s 10 minutes about the first “live demo” on a city.
I would imagine that if you repeated those grisly facts to most of the people of the world today they’d express either some polite sadness, a bit of political high dudgeon, or the classic contemporary rejoinder, “Whatever.” It’s not that they don’t know or care, but that — for the vast majority of the population of the world — they simply cannot imagine a Hiroshima.
It has been 71 years since the incineration of a city in a second, and we’ve lost any sense of exactly what happens. The images only survive in black and white films of a long-ago era, films of before (a city) and after (rubble and ash). In black and white images blood is the color of shadows and that’s what we have, as a race, of memories about what these weapons can do — shadows of victims seared into stone at the moment of the blast; the moment the Sun was allow to bloom on the surface of the Earth.