Zanimljiva knjiga jednog sudionika o vremenu velike napetosti između SAD i SSSR-a, kad je svima nad glavama visila prijetnja globalnog nuklearnog rata. I naravno podsjećanje, da golemi nuklearni arsenali i dalje postoje.
Masovne nuklearne eksplozije uništile bi naravno velike teritorije, ali bi također mogle izazvati “nuklearnu zimu” koja bi drastično utjecala na cijelu biosferu.
Kako sam od početka 1970-ih bio ljubitelj SF-a, čitao sam ogroman broj djela, u kojima se događa nuklearni rat. Često se mračno predskazivao kao neizbježan. Na kraju je ipak izbjegnut.
Što im god zamjerali, državni lideri od doba Kennedyja i Hruščova do Reagana i Andropova (vidi seriju “Njemačka ’83, koja upravo ide na HTV!) su se suzdržali od koraka koji bi doveli do katastrofe – za razliku od Sleapwalkers (Mjesečara), kako ih naziva Christopher Clark, državnih lidera koji su srljali u Prvi svjetski rat, unatoč obimnoj studiji Ivana Blocha “Budućnost ratovanja”, koja je točno predvidjela da će cijena biti ogromna, prevelika i za pobjednike.
Tip ponašanja, koji nažalost i dalje ne možemo isključiti kao moguć u budućnosti. Najzad, mi smo mu lokalno ponovo svjedočili.
Bloomsbury Publishing, New York, London, Oxford, New Delhi, Sydney
What would you do if you were a young professional working at your dream job, and you discovered your employer was lying to the public, promoting a disastrous foreign war and steadily expanding a weapons program that threatened to destroy human life on earth? In 1971, that was the dilemma facing Daniel Ellsberg, a brilliant young academic and consultant at the Rand Corporation, a Cold War think-tank with close ties to the US Air Force.
His work for Rand gave him a close look at the dysfunctional underbelly of US nuclear war policy and the decades-old record of government lies that surrounded and supported American involvement in Vietnam. He resolved the crisis of conscience that resulted from these discoveries by smuggling documents out of his office at Rand and arranging for the evidence they provided that the US government had lied to the American people about Vietnam to be leaked to the New York Times and the Washington Post. Known as the Pentagon Papers, these documents played an important role in the emerging resistance to the war around the world and made Ellsberg a kind of prototypical whistleblower. (Part of this drama is captured in Steven Spielberg’s recent movie “The Post.”)
According to his new book, The Doomsday Machine, Ellsberg wasn’t just concerned about Vietnam and government mendacity about the war. He was also terrified by what he had learned about America’s nuclear arsenal and the dangers to life on earth posed by the inadequate provisions made to prevent the outbreak of an accidental nuclear war.
We tend to think that the end of Cold War tensions has resolved any concerns about nuclear war, but Ellsberg points out that the existing arsenals held by nine states (which come to nearly fifteen thousand warheads) still represent a clear danger to human survival. Even a limited nuclear exchange would be enough to trigger a life destroying “nuclear winter,” and the combination of blast, radiation and climate disruption could wipe out all human life. The seasoned whistleblower argues for a series of reforms that would reduce the risk these weapons pose and challenges his readers to support demands for dismantling the “doomsday machines” maintained by all the nuclear powers. This is a compelling and alarming book, and it should be read by anyone who cares about the human future.