Global Impacts of Limited Nuclear War on Agriculture, Food Supplies, and Human Nutrition
Ira Helfand, MD
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Credits and Acknowledgements
The publication of this briefing paper was made possible
thanks to the generous financial support of the Swiss Federal
Department of Foreign Affairs.
Over the last several years, a number of studies have shown that a limited, regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan would cause significant climate disruption worldwide.
Two studies published this year examine the impact on agricultural output that would result from this climate disruption. In the US, corn production would decline by an average of 10% for an entire decade, with the most severe decline, about 20% in year 5. There would be a similar decline in soybean production, with, again, the most severe loss, about 20%, in year 5.
A second study found a significant decline in Chinese middle season rice production. During the first 4 years, rice production would decline by an average of 21%; over the next 6 years the decline would average 10%.
Here, from a Federal web site open to the public, is an unclassified summary of what the US Government considers to be the risks from certain natural and manmade threats. Recognize it for what it is: an unclassified summary.
Phi Beta Iota: An interesting effort with potential. It’s greatest failure is to avoid any consideration of national riots and armed insurrection in the face of complex inter-acting disasters that turn into catastrophes for lack of intelligence and integrity at all levels of all eight tribes, the government, military, law enforcement, and commerce especially. It’s second greatest failure is to ignore the fact that most of our problems are of our own making, and that the single fastest way to secure the USA would be to eradicate corruption and high crimes and misdemeanors now routine at the highest levels of Congress, the Executive, and as with CITIZENS UNITED, the Supreme Court. As marginally clever as this summary is, it is completely lacking in a strategic analytic model, a matrix for identifying and remediating all the preconditions of revolution, and any semblance of a “net assessment” that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) might use to be effective –but in fairness to OMB, the White House clearly does not want OMB to be effective, just to fake the numbers and keep the theater up until after November 2012.
Level 5 : Terror has expanded to the whole population. The leaders of these societies place no limits on the means or thoroughness
with which they pursue personal or ideological goals.
Level 4 : Civil and political rights violations have expanded to large numbers of the population. Murders, disappearances, and torture are a common part of life. In spite of its generality, on this level terror affects those who interest themselves
in politics or ideas.
Level 3 : There is extensive political imprisonment, or a recent history of such imprisonment. Execution or other political murders and brutality may be common. Unlimited detention, with or without a trial, for political views is accepted.
Level 2 : There is a limited amount of imprisonment for nonviolent political activity. However, few persons are affected, torture and beatings are exceptional. Political murder is rare.
Level 1 : Countries under a secure rule of law, people are not imprisoned for their views, and torture is rare or exceptional. Political murders are extremely rare.
Phi Beta Iota: The Club of Rome considered two proposals. Limits to Growth, a top-down micro-management approach won. The losing proposal focused on educating people and assuring public buy-in to achieve implementable and sustainable reforms.
Gerard de Zeeuw introduced the term ‘Third Phase Science’ in 1997. A deliberative method which is called Dialogic Design Science (DDS; see http://dialogicdesignscience.wikispaces.com) illustrates an effective way of implementing third phase science as a means of understanding and adapting complex social situations. This presentation will explain De Zeeuw’s concept in non-specialist language and expand on the historical context of third phase science as a means of addressing contemporary needs. It shows how DDS completes Third Phase Science as an axiomatic science and makes third phase science into a valuable design methodology.
Kenneth C. Bausch, PhD, grew up in Ohio and received his BA in Philosophy from Duns Scotus College followed by four years of intensive theological studies at St. Leonard’s College. He began his professional life as a Catholic priest of the Franciscan Order and has been a pastor, a high school teacher, an inner-city organizer working with street gangs and community groups, a counselor, a social service administrator, a real estate agent, a homebuilder, a contractor, a university professor, a research director, and an organizational consultant. Ken holds an MA in