Cold War Nearly Killed Everything


From the Article:
“You can smell it in the air. Every day now I’m having interactions with Democratic party loyalists who insist that a new Cold War is either an unfortunate inevitability or a desirable means to a desirable end, so I think it would be a good idea to clear up here and now just what such a conflict would entail. A lot of the folks I’ve been speaking with are blissfully unaware that we came within a hair’s breadth of nuclear holocaust at the height of the last Cold War, and nothing but dumb luck and the courage of a single Soviet submariner stood between our species and the abyss of total extinction.

Pictured above is a man named Vasili Arkhipov. You may never have heard of him, but he’s the reason you’re reading this sentence right now. He’s the reason there are birds in the sky and trees in the soil, and he’s the reason that all of your loved ones exist. If you were born after the 27th of October, 1962, he is the reason your lungs ever drew breath and your eyes ever gazed upon your mother’s face. More about him in a moment.

Before we go on, I should mention that a 2014 report published in the journal Earth’s Future found that it would only take the detonation of 100 nuclear warheads to throw 5 teragrams of black soot into the earth’s stratosphere for decades, blocking out the sun and making the photosynthesis of plants impossible, starving every terrestrial organism to death. The United States and Russia currently have about 7,000 nuclear warheads apiece that we know of. During the Cold War, each had tens of thousands.”