Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Cold and the Dark: The World After Nuclear War Hardcover – July 1, 1984
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
A large group of world renowned scientists in 1983 had meetings to discuss what would happen after a nuclear war..to the earth, mankind and living things. There was a conference on the long term worldwide biological consequences of Nuclear war. Political opinions and posturing were deliberately excluded. The scientists wanted to give their data and opinions to the world.
Different nuclear war detonations are noted. 100 megaton, 1000 megaton, 5000 megaton and 10000 Megaton. Also if they would be air burst above cities or just above hardened military establishments (silos etc). They base how much soot would be taken up into the troposphere or for larger blasts into the stratosphere. Radiation amounts are noted as well as the ultraviolet rays getting much more intense with the destruction of the ozone layer. Also massive global cooling due to sunlight blocked out... a nuclear winter. Death to lots of plants and crops, and animals. Starvation, lots of cancers and death, mutations and death, increase in disease and death. About 1/4 of Earths population killed in major nuclear war, another 1/4 killed by radiation,diseases, ultraviolet light and famine due to crops and plants destroyed.Later more die from starvation. Possibly everyone. Also how the oceans would be effected. Different graphs.Much Much more.
A lot to taken in and study. Not an easy read in certain parts.
Carl Sagan did a presentation at the conference on the atmospheric and climatic consequences of nuclear war. Fascinating and chilling.
Paul R Ehrlich did a presentation on the biological consequences of Nuclear War. Lots of species extinct and possibility of mankind's extinction.
There were many other scientists on the panel on atmospheric and climatic consequences.as well as the Moscow link with a dialogue between US and Soviet scientists.
What was really scary was both the US and the Soviet Union had ( and still do even though the Soviet Union is broken up) well over the "threshold level" to bring the world into a Nuclear Winter of cold temperatures and lack of sunlight. It is mentioned that if either side launches a full massive first strike both sides would perish. It would be suicide for the launching country and the other country would not have to fire a missile. This is not even considering smaller nuclear arsenals of other countries like China, France or Great Britain or Israel. Plus North Korea, India and Pakistan and possibly other countries.
This is a startling book. The scientists gave the world leaders information and basically telling them there can be no winner in a major nuclear war. A real possibility of total mankind extinction. A plea was given out by the body of worldwide scientist to world leaders to get rid/dismantle all nuclear weapons. The risk of extinction is too great.
That was 1983. The world still has a nuclear extinction level noose around its throat. Both Russia and the US still have more than "threshold levels" to start a global Nuclear Winter and possible mankind extinction.
This book really opens your eyes to the Nuclear Weapons problem and the need to disarm NOW. A sober and frighting account. A frightening, eye opening 5 stars.
P.S. Read the Sci Fi book On The Beach by Nevil Shute written in 1957 ( 4 stars... see my review). He got it right... fast death to the Northern hemisphere and slower death to the Southern hemisphere and he didn't even talk about Nuclear Winter just global radiation poisoning from over 4000 nuclear detonations.
The book is at times overwhelming, and it takes a scientific approach on the subject. It disposes to the reader a staggering amount of statistics, graphs, and other data that may be difficult to absorb immediately. I suggest that you keep a pen and paper nearby to take notes while you read. The Cold and the Dark is an essential research tool for anyone studying the effects of nuclear war, and although the book was satisfying and entertaining, be warned: it's not a casual read.
This book is one of the scariest things I've ever read. It clued me in on entirely new things over which people should be losing sleep. Did you know that one of the major threats of nuclear war is the threat of strikes on oil refineries? Such strikes can release unbelievably quantities of sun-blocking smog into the air. Did you know that radiation caused directly by nuclear bombs is relatively insignificant, compared to the radiation that would be released if such bombs fell on reactors? Reactors have fuel rods and waste which will remain lethally radioactive for DECADES after the radiation from a nuclear war reached tolerable levels. This book is full of information like this. It is all presented quite accessibly. Also, there is a fantastic question and answer section at the end, which includes back and forth sessions between eminent scientists in related fields. This section alone is worth the price of the book.
Let me point out that the main author listed for this book is only one of many cotributors. Paul Ehrlich has a lot to say here, but it is always made clear when he is writing, or when it's someone else, e.g. Carl Sagan or Lewis Thomas. I make this point here because I wouldn't want anyone to decide against buying this valuable book, because of Ehrlich's old reputation for being an alarmist. In the 1970s, as a member of the "Club of Rome," Ehrlich made some irresponsible statements about the dangers of population growth and energy shortages. Time has shown that he actually wasn't entirely wrong, but his timetables for his predictions were often overly pessimistic. Be that as it may, Stanford University has seen fit to keep him on their faculty, so he can't be seen as wholly out to lunch.
At any rate, this book is certainly worth wrestling with. Ehrlich bends over backwards, to be as conservative and non-alarmist as possible, in his writings here. Carl Sagan, Lewis Thomas, and other contributors take the same approach. Nevertheless, as cool-headed as they are, the underlying horror of their message is unmistakable. Nuclear winter would be an unprecedentedly horrific experience, and there's basically zero chance that anyone reading this would survive it. Please buy this book, get copies for all your friends, and find a way to get involved.