[ExI] mutual assured injury

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Sun Nov 6 06:13:01 UTC 2016


It looks like I may have misremembered the figures, but the citation I was
thinking of was this page from the book "The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett":


The sanitized version of "Simple Formulas for Calculating the Distribution
> and Effects of Fallout in Large Nuclear Weapon Campaigns (With
> Applications)" concluded that any large scale use of nuclear weapons would
> result in a huge proportion of the population being disabled or killed by
> fallout. It effectively discredited the prevailing assumption among
> operations researchers that casualties would be "manageable" in a nuclear
> exchange.

It adds:

 So valuable was their fallout report that Everett and Pugh were authorized
> to sanitize it, stripping out references to specific targets and other top
> secrets. It was made public during hearings before the Special
> Sub-Committee on Radiation of the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic
> Energy. And the March 1959 issue of Operations Research published the study
> with the authors' optimistic forward:

It is the hope of the authors ... that the results here indicated will
> illustrate the catastrophic effects of  a large nuclear campaign,
> regardless of specific targeting doctrine. Perhaps the public release of
> this information will serve to reduce the probability that such conflicts
> will occur.

Linus Pauling credited Everett and Pugh by name in his Nobel Lecture upon
> receiving the 1962 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on nuclear disarmament,
> (in 1954, he had been awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry). Referring to
> their study, Pauling estimated,

that 60 days after the day on which the war [between the U.S. and the
> Soviet-Chinese blocs] was waged 720 million of the 800 million people in
> these countries would be dead, 60 million would be alive but severely
> injured.


The fallout study was one of the first studies in a growing body of
> research showing that even a small nuclear war would be lethal beyond all
> imaging. In 1983, a distinguished panel of scientists determined that the
> smoke and fires from burning cities caused by exploding the 1,000 bombs SAC
> planned to drop on the Soviet Union as early as 1953 would have triggered a
> "nuclear winter" that "enshrouded the earth in darkness and eventually
> extinguishing all life."



On Sat, Nov 5, 2016 at 6:08 PM, Anders <anders at aleph.se> wrote:

> On 2016-11-05 14:42, Jason Resch wrote:
>> A study by Hugh Everett showed even a small nuclear exchange of 100 or so
>> nukes would lead to the deaths of billions from radioactive pollution.
> Any cites for that? I have not come across anything like that in my
> research, and find it implausible.
> "The Distribution and Effects of Fallout in Large Nuclear Weapon
> Campaigns" was cited by Pauling in his Nobel speech with some numbers that
> reached the billion mark, but that paper looked at *optimal* fallout
> spreading for maximizing causalities.
> --
> Dr Anders Sandberg
> Future of Humanity Institute
> Oxford Martin School
> Oxford University
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