The Nuclear Winter lie, or why Carl Sagan is a hack pseud -

  • Emails (registration / password reset) appear to be working; be sure to check spam.

IsaacShraeder

kiwifarms.net
I'm sure you've all heard, at one point or another, that a nuclear war between the US and Russia (or, if you were alive back then, the USSR) would lead to a nuclear winter/nuclear twilight. The soot ejected into the Atmosphere by the blasts and subsequent fires would partly block out the sun, resulting in a catastrophic temperature drop globally that would lead to crop failures and starvation. This perception is entirely based on a few studies made in the early 80s that were widely propagated by people like Carl Sagan and then picked up by the media because, of course, screaming doomsday is good for sales. This perception is also totally wrong, but where did it come from?
In 1983, the first results of a study were released by four scientists (R.P. Turco, O.B. Toon, T.P. Ackerman, J.B. Pollack, and Carl Sagan). It then became widely known as the TTAPS study based on the initials of the researcher's last names, becoming known world wide because of its apocalyptic vision. The computer model used in this study was highly flawed. It didn't take geography, winds, seasons or anything that makes a planet a planet into account EXCEPT atmospheric density. An even more egregious flaw was that they used data obtained from Hiroshima, Tokyo, Nagasaki and Dresden to predict the amount of soot and debris firestorms generated by nuclear blasts (or conventional firebombs) would hurl into the atmosphere. Those among you who have ever been in a modern city might already start to realize where the problem is: Dresden, not to mention the Japanese cities, all consisted of highly flammable materials. This simply isn't true for the cities that would be targeted in any nuclear war. In fact, it isn't even clear if there would be any firestorms at all.
Because of these flaws, even their most tame simulations (only 100 megatons dropped in total) led to temperatures dropping below freezing in summer for many months. A more "realistic", 5000 MT scenario spelled nigh-certain extinction. Nothing would survive. The last humans would freeze to death covering in holes.
Now, the scientists obviously knew the limitations of their model: They discussed them in their study, but that didn't stop Sagan from sending the entire world into panic mode with his "science popularization" bullshit. The media ate it, and for months after the publication of TTAPS's initial results, all that was talked about was this new concept of a nuclear winter and how WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE. Sagan himself gave several interviews calling for nuclear disarmament
In 1985-6 a couple of more serious studies were released on the subject of a nuclear winter, namely by the Scientific Committee for Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Using more accurate models, they reached far less apocalyptic conclusions, ordering climate effects into acute (first 30 days post war) and chronic (years post war). A 6'500 MT exchange, which TTAPS considered extinction-inducing, would have resulted in an acute drop from 20 C to 10 C for a few days during summer before temperatures returned to normal in around 1-3 months. Bad? Sure, but nothing compared to the effects the simple disruption of supply chains would have caused. I guess dying because the food trucks stop coming is not as exciting as dying of hypothermia or something.
An authoritative study done by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), again assuming a 6'500 MT exchange, was the final nail in the coffin for TTAPS's scientific credibility. Here's a table of their results:
1606765802037.png

Sagan defended his fearmongering by saying something along the lines of "well it's better to consider the worst of all scenarios, we're playing with the future of our species here after all".
This is a very poor excuse. Nuclear War is bad. Everyone knows that. 100 of millions would die in the following collapse of society, but not because of some bogus nuclear winter but because of the simple fact that that supply chains and health services would pretty much cease to exist.
Sagan, a supposed "popularizer" of science, did what no scientist should by using obviously shitty data to prove a point and push his own agenda. It reveals much about his personal cynicism, because he clearly thought that "these retards need to get spooked by some scary doomsday scenario like the dumb sheep they are because only I know what's best for them", when the prospect of nuclear war should be scary enough on its own.
 

Jarolleon

kiwifarms.net
Wait a minute, if Sagan was a bullshit artist too does that mean that Bill Nye will get the same glowing image in the public consciousness in the future that Sagan has now, all the "Sex Junk" and similar weapons-grade cringe being forgotten? Maybe every famous "smart guy" is the same way. Did Socrates deserve it?
 

whatever I feel like

Disney Diaper Size Fetish Enthusiast
kiwifarms.net
There is only one way to check it, but nobody will.
Well, I dunno about all at once, but the thought that leaving off a specific number of bombs will leave the whole world irradiated is dumb. Humans have detonated 100s of surface nukes back in the days of above ground testing and no widespread effects occured because of it.

The real issue would be doing stuff like irradiating land for decades, killing millions of people at once in the bombings of cites, etc. You don't actually have to kill everything to make living worse for everyone for a long period of time.
 

JuanButNotForgotten

Friendly Mexican Ghost
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Well, I dunno about all at once, but the thought that leaving off a specific number of bombs will leave the whole world irradiated is dumb. Humans have detonated 100s of surface nukes back in the days of above ground testing and no widespread effects occured because of it.

The real issue would be doing stuff like irradiating land for decades, killing millions of people at once in the bombings of cites, etc. You don't actually have to kill everything to make living worse for everyone for a long period of time.
Radiation is not a problem. First nuclear bombs were utter shite, they even just added all the nuclear material to them in hopes that it will react, those were extremely dirty bombs and yet look at Hiroshima today. Modern thermonuclear charges should use up to 99% of the nuclear materials that has been put into them, so radiation poisoning won't be nearly as bad as people think.

The real problem however is that we have 0 fucking ideas how it going to affect Earth. I don't believe that there is going to be full on nuclear winter, more like autumn for years or decades and that would be worse than any radiation poisoning. Crops are going to die, animals gonna die after them, biosphere is going to change forever.
 

Calandrino

kiwifarms.net
Wait a minute, if Sagan was a bullshit artist too does that mean that Bill Nye will get the same glowing image in the public consciousness in the future that Sagan has now, all the "Sex Junk" and similar weapons-grade cringe being forgotten? Maybe every famous "smart guy" is the same way. Did Socrates deserve it?
Carl Sagan was an actual scientist, in spite of the Jewclear Winterhoax (now "Nuclear Climate Change"). I enjoy his writing, but I do wonder if he fudged anything else for political purposes. Not even mad at Bill Nye but he's basically game show host-tier.

(Socrates, of course, was guilty as charged of impiety. Freedom of religion doesn't mean freedom from consequences, especially in a society without freedom of religion.)
 

FAQnews Correspondent

FAQnews: The Most Trusted Name in News
kiwifarms.net
Carl Sagan was an actual scientist, in spite of the Jewclear Winterhoax (now "Nuclear Climate Change"). I enjoy his writing, but I do wonder if he fudged anything else for political purposes. Not even mad at Bill Nye but he's basically game show host-tier.
Scientists are out of their depth when discussing other fields. Scientists of all fields use the same (scientific) method to come to their findings, but the knowledge required in each field takes years of study to understand. Even something like amateur astronomy is out of the field of expertise for professional astronomers. Hand them a telescope and charts and tell them to find M33. They can't.
 

2021Murder

SEVP of Outreach for Trovo.live
kiwifarms.net
Its pretty obvious that even with a supply chain interruption on a mass scale nuclear war especially after the last few nuclear treatises Would basically be only a setback lasting up to a year, not a world ending scenario. The current nuclear stockpile as well as the low output of nuclear weapons mean that even if they unloaded them all, it wouldn't be that bad. The biggest output one currently in use cant even hit the entirety of the DC mall. And based on past nuclear plans every country is going to be setting their nukes on military and industrial targets first, as long as you dont live within a mile of one of those you wont die immediately or get hit by radiation. Id say if you live in 90% of US counties youre going to be fine. And its similar in other countries. Its the government reaction that will fuck you more. Plus the warning systems are responsive enough that its not even a good way to take out the powerful either. The signature of a nuclear ICBM is loud enough that the target will have about 20-30 minutes to get out of the pathetically small blast zone. Honestly the suposed frying of electronics would fuck people harder and i honestly bet its the same over exaggerated effect there too. Your car will still work even if a nuke hits, the electric starter and battery wont need to be replaced like they said in propaganda all that time ago
 

DJ Grelle

MONKE leader of GANG RETARD
kiwifarms.net
Wait a minute, if Sagan was a bullshit artist too does that mean that Bill Nye will get the same glowing image in the public consciousness in the future that Sagan has now, all the "Sex Junk" and similar weapons-grade cringe being forgotten? Maybe every famous "smart guy" is the same way. Did Socrates deserve it?
Socrates was a nigger
Scientists are out of their depth when discussing other fields. Scientists of all fields use the same (scientific) method to come to their findings, but the knowledge required in each field takes years of study to understand. Even something like amateur astronomy is out of the field of expertise for professional astronomers. Hand them a telescope and charts and tell them to find M33. They can't.
Most scientists also use extremely narrow data sets.
For example, global warming seems problematic if you compare it to the temperatures of the 50ies and 60ies, what almost all climatologists do. But compare it to the medieval warm period or any other period of warmer temperatures and you'll see that it isnt that bad.
That does not mean humans aren't fucking up the environment, its just that one or two degrees ultimately don't matter that much compared to modern agriculture, industrial runoffs, urban heat islands, aquifer overexploitation etc etc.
 

Calandrino

kiwifarms.net
Scientists are out of their depth when discussing other fields. Scientists of all fields use the same (scientific) method to come to their findings, but the knowledge required in each field takes years of study to understand. Even something like amateur astronomy is out of the field of expertise for professional astronomers. Hand them a telescope and charts and tell them to find M33. They can't.
Interesting! However, I don't think Carl Sagan has taken much flak for being out of his depth when he talks about e.g. evolution. otoh, I think that in the case of nuclear winter, he maybe knew he was BSing all along.
 

Seventh Star

hungry burger fan
kiwifarms.net
Wait a minute, if Sagan was a bullshit artist too does that mean that Bill Nye will get the same glowing image in the public consciousness in the future that Sagan has now, all the "Sex Junk" and similar weapons-grade cringe being forgotten? Maybe every famous "smart guy" is the same way. Did Socrates deserve it?
Yes. Socrates is a sperg.

As for Sagan, he suffers the same syndrome that many other "science pop" guys do. They will inject copious amounts of bullshit they believe into the public consciousness, even if it's about shit they don't know anything about. Michio Kaku and Bill Nye are two examples of that. Now I wouldn't give a shit if someone said something retarded once and corrected themselves, but doing it repeatedly and with so much hubris is stupid.
 
Top