À famous quote from Albert Einstein says, “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones,” dating back to the 1940s when the first nuclear weapons were being developed. Although the famed physicist didn’t actually develop the atomic bomb, he was well aware of how nuclear weapons could affect the world.
The President of the United States, Donald Trump’s vow to hit Iran and make it ‘pay a very big price’ comes after the fiasco of the attack on 6,000 demonstrators at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. In an equally brutal retaliation, Trump ordered an airstrike that killed top Iranian general Qassim Suleimani in Baghdad. If not anything, the counter-strike is an unveiled threat to unleash America’s most potent weapons of mass destruction onto the Middle Eastern country and has erupted scares of World War III across the globe.
Considering how close Iran is to developing its own weapon of mass destruction, it won’t even take an educated guess to predict that the next World War, if it does happen between these two countries, will be fought with nuclear weapons. Reportedly, most U.S. weapons are 10 to 50 times stronger than the bombs that brought Hiroshima to a standstill. So, you can just imagine how such a strategic nuclear war would impact the Earth, posing an existential threat to humanity regardless of the scale of its severity.
Take, for example, a relatively new research that models the indirect effects of nuclear detonations on the environment and climate in case of a limited regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan. The combines arsenals of both the nations equal to more than 220 nuclear warheads. Such an event will cause fires to ignite over a large area which would inject large volumes of soot and debris into the stratosphere. This would thus block out the sun and cause a significant drop in average surface temperature and precipitation across the globe, with effects that could last for more than a decade.
According to this particularly convincing report, a bomb can now be manufactured which will be 2,500 times as powerful as the one that destroyed Hiroshima. Such a bomb, if exploded near the ground or under water, could send radioactive particles into the upper air. They would sink gradually and reach the surface of the earth in the form of deadly dust or rain. It was this dust which infected the Japanese fishermen and their catch of fish. No one knows how widely such lethal radioactive particles might be diffused, but the best authorities are unanimous in saying that a war with H-bombs might possibly put an end to the human race.
The culture of war mongering that’s especially endorsed by major world leaders like Trump off late is scary. One just cannot overlook their attitude on the idea of a nuclear war as a dramatic rhetoric of global humanitarian disaster because this a more plausible scenario now than ever, given the time we stand in. Nuclear war is also a war on the environment and its indirect repercussions are to be borne by the generations to come and also the geological space around us. It’s about time authorities realize the gravity of the situation and put our planet before any international conflict.
Author: AFIYA QURESHI