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QUOTE OF THE DAY: The Real Problem With Nuclear War

The Atlantic staff writer Robinson Meyer argued against U.S. intervention in the Russia-Ukraine war by appealing to an issue liberals understand: climate change.


In a Wednesday article — headlined “On Top of Everything Else, Nuclear War Would Be a Climate Problem” — Meyer warned that America enforcing a no-fly zone over Ukraine “would be worse for the climate than any energy policy that Donald Trump ever proposed.”

  • “If you are worried about rapid, catastrophic changes to the planet’s climate, then you must be worried about nuclear war. That is because, on top of killing tens of millions of people, even a relatively ‘minor’ exchange of nuclear weapons would wreck the planet’s climate in enormous and long-lasting ways,” Meyer wrote.
  • After describing the immediate devastation of a one-megaton nuclear blast, he said, “These conditions — and note that I have left out the organ-destroying effects of radiation — would rapidly turn an eight-mile blast radius into a zone of total human misery. But only at this moment of the war do the climate consequences truly begin.”
  • According to Meyer, the aftereffects of nuclear war would destroy much of the ozone layer, acidify the oceans and shorten growing seasons by weeks.


Meyer’s essay followed a 2011 Huffington Post article that explored how a “small” nuclear war could reverse global warming, before concluding “the cons seem to outweigh the pros in the event of global cooling caused by even a small nuclear war.”

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