Monday, April 26, 2010

Irwin Redlener on surviving a nuclear attack

By Dominic P.

When everyone thinks of a nuclear war, they will think of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They will think of the cost and total destruction, and how there is no way that they will be able to survive. Irwin Redlener shows that if you are wise, and lucky enough, you will be able to escape the area of a nuclear bomb almost completely unscathed.

In this talk Redlener shares many facts about nuclear threats across the world. He starts by saying that ever since the Cold War the amount of nuclear warheads has gone down a considerable amount, although there is still a massive amount in the world; over this period of time the amount went down but the number of countries to create nuclear bombs has gone up. The speaker stresses that even though we are not in a war with a "nuclear threat" there is still a threat of being attacked with nuclear weapons. The only thing that stopped either country from bombing the other was the knowing that as soon as they bombed the enemy to destroy their country they will send bombs right back and destroy ours. Some other facts he shares is that a very small amount of enriched uranium or plutonium will be needed to create a bomb like those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I'm sure most people would agree that to get some uranium or plutonium would be very difficult, but this is false. In Russia and the old Soviet Union territory there are many areas with unprotected materials. Over the past few years there has been a large amount of theft of these ingredients to make a nuclear bomb. He then gets to the main topic of his speech, how to survive. In the Cold War there used to be commercials to tell the public to "duck and cover" under desks if they are being bombed. What good would this do from a nuclear bomb? Well if you are too close to the bomb that is the only thing you could do. Also, the government made an evacuation plan of the city that was to be bombed. This would have worked only if there was a few days warning! Irwin began to talk about real ways to survive. If you are not too close the the bomb you have to get as far away as you possibly can, cross-wind, before the huge mushroom cloud comes down and puts large amounts of radiation everywhere. If you are too close to flee but not close enough to be killed by the initail impact you can survive by getting in the ground as deep as you can, or get as high in a building as you can - the tenth floor or higher. You will have to stay in that area for 48-72 hours. These are the best ways to survive a nuclear attack.

In my opinion I believe that this speech was very good. Irwin Redlener convinces the public that although the Cold War is over and the amount of warheads are down, there is still a threat of a nuclear attack. The speech is very informative, telling the public how they may be able to survive a nuclear attack, and also eye-opening information, showing that even terriorists groups are able to get their hands on materials to make a nuclear bomb. He shows us that the "ideas" the government had are not very well designed and have a small chance of working. The speaker delivers the speech very well. Although it gets boring sometimes because it is just slide after slide, he keeps it intresesting by showing us how real and awful nuclear war is. He captures the audience right away by asking a serious question, getting them hooked and wanting to know the answer. He keeps the audience interested the whole time by sharing facts and describing awful scenarios that are possible to happen.

As a result of this speech he is able to show us that in the event of a nuclear attack, we are still able to survive with the right knowledge, and yes, there must be some luck.

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