As Russia seems increasingly convinced that World War 3 is round the corner, and the super-rich are already building bunkers – how can the rest of us survive?
A long-running discussion on Q and A site Quora offers some top tips – and basically, it’s pretty bad news if you live anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere.
America, Russia and most of Europe and the middle East will turn into blasted, radioactive wastelands with starving populations prey to disease and civil war.
Basically, it’s going to be like The Road, but perhaps a bit worse.
Most posters seemed to recommend one place – the south island of New Zealand, because it’s A) very far away, and B) non-nuclear and C) has no strategic importance.
Top Quora writer Peter Baskerville said, ‘It is probably the nearest habitable place that is as far removed from the ‘action’ as possible and is a land currently blessed with fertile soils, pure water and a decent group of people to survive with.’
Other posters recommended Perth, Australia – one of the remotest cities on Earth, and in a non-nuclear nation.
French Polynesia also got a recommendation: Ted Thed said, ‘ The chain of islands (400+) sits in a vortex of both wind and ocean currents that originate from the Antarctic area. While the entire southern hemisphere is largely target-free, Antarctica is the only continent you can guarantee won’t be targeted in some future conflict.’
For those of us in the northern hemisphere, things wouldn’t be quite as rosy.
Hydrogen bombs would destroy most civilian buildings in a 10-mile radius (based on a 20-megaton weapon exploding 3.3 miles above the ground), according to calculations in Physics and Nuclear Arms Today.
The effects on people nearby would be even more frightening, with a blast killing thousands or millions instantly, followed by poisoning from radioactive fallout from the blast.
In 1979, the U.S. Congress’s Office of Technology published a report called The Effects of War, which envisaged the impact of an all-out nuclear attack.
The OTA envisaged up to 80% of the population of the U.S. being killed immediately, with further casualties from radiation.
‘Doomsday’ predictions of all life on Earth being exterminated are probably overstating the impact of nuclear weapons – but it would have a huge impact on life on our planet.