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Imagining the apocalypse: nuclear winter in science and the world

Paul Rubinson

in Understanding the Imaginary War: Culture, Thought and Nuclear Conflict, 1945-90

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
January 2017
ISBN:
9781784994402
eISBN:
9781526115126
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:
10.7228/manchester/9781784994402.003.0011
Subject:
History, Military History

During the 1980s, Carl Sagan and other scientists used the theory of nuclear winter to criticize the arms race. Historians have largely dismissed nuclear winter as a political movement. In fact, ... More


From Nuclear Winter to the Anthropocene

Eglė Rindzevičiūtė

in The Power of Systems: How Policy Sciences Opened Up the Cold War World

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
May 2017
ISBN:
9781501703188
eISBN:
9781501706257
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:
10.7591/cornell/9781501703188.003.0007
Subject:
Political Science, Russian Politics

This chapter looks at the nuclear winter project, an outcome of global modeling. The idea that the Earth could be plunged into a “nuclear winter” as the catastrophic outcome of a nuclear war was ... More


 A Light in the Darkness: Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan

in Oracles of Science: Celebrity Scientists versus God and Religion

Published in print:
2007
Published Online:
January 2007
ISBN:
9780195310726
eISBN:
9780199785179
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195310726.003.0004
Subject:
Religion, Religion and Society

Carl Sagan is a public intellectual and the best-selling author of Cosmos, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human ... More


Report after Report

Lawrence Badash

in A Nuclear Winter's Tale: Science and Politics in the 1980s

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
August 2013
ISBN:
9780262012720
eISBN:
9780262258531
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262012720.003.0014
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

On December 11, 1984, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) issued its final report on nuclear winter. The report was a vindication of sorts for Carl Sagan and his TTAPS team of Richard Turco, Owen ... More


Politics and Policy

Lawrence Badash

in A Nuclear Winter's Tale: Science and Politics in the 1980s

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
August 2013
ISBN:
9780262012720
eISBN:
9780262258531
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262012720.003.0020
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

In March 1986, the General Accounting Office submitted a report to Congress detailing the technical uncertainties surrounding the long-term effects of nuclear war. Titled “Nuclear winter: ... More


A Nuclear Winter's Tale: Science and Politics in the 1980s

Lawrence Badash

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
August 2013
ISBN:
9780262012720
eISBN:
9780262258531
Item type:
book
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262012720.001.0001
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

The nuclear winter phenomenon burst upon the public’s consciousness in 1983. Added to the horror of a nuclear war’s immediate effects was the fear that the smoke from fires ignited by the explosions ... More


Other Voices, and Some Echoes

Lawrence Badash

in A Nuclear Winter's Tale: Science and Politics in the 1980s

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
August 2013
ISBN:
9780262012720
eISBN:
9780262258531
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262012720.003.0018
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

During the 1980s, peace and environmental advocates such as the Audubon Society and the Council for a Livable World Education Fund made a common stand concerning nuclear winter. In 1984, Carl Sagan ... More


Epilogue

Lawrence Badash

in A Nuclear Winter's Tale: Science and Politics in the 1980s

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
August 2013
ISBN:
9780262012720
eISBN:
9780262258531
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262012720.003.0022
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Nuclear winter did not seem to affect the policy of the Reagan administration. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, it even disappeared from talks about strategy. The consequences of nuclear ... More


A Frenzy of Research

Lawrence Badash

in A Nuclear Winter's Tale: Science and Politics in the 1980s

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
August 2013
ISBN:
9780262012720
eISBN:
9780262258531
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262012720.003.0013
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

The fact that some of the computer models used in nuclear winter research were derived from others raised concern that many scientists were reaching the same conclusions. Those who studied the ... More


Scientific Progress and Controversy

Lawrence Badash

in A Nuclear Winter's Tale: Science and Politics in the 1980s

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
August 2013
ISBN:
9780262012720
eISBN:
9780262258531
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262012720.003.0019
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Nuclear winter scientists not only attended meetings of the bodies that undertook studies on the phenomenon, but also participated in lectures and conferences. For example, Richard Turco and Owen ... More


Strategic Analyses

Lawrence Badash

in A Nuclear Winter's Tale: Science and Politics in the 1980s

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
August 2013
ISBN:
9780262012720
eISBN:
9780262258531
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262012720.003.0016
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

The nuclear winter did not generate excitement among the public, but spurred nuclear analysts and policy experts to contemplate on the issues. Carl Sagan and his fellow nuclear winter proponents ... More


More Policy Questions

Lawrence Badash

in A Nuclear Winter's Tale: Science and Politics in the 1980s

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
August 2013
ISBN:
9780262012720
eISBN:
9780262258531
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262012720.003.0017
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

In addition to diplomatic and strategic consequences, nuclear winter brought to light other policy issues, including large- and small-scale military concerns. According to J. J. Gertler of the Rand ... More


Bureaucracy and Bickering

Lawrence Badash

in A Nuclear Winter's Tale: Science and Politics in the 1980s

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
August 2013
ISBN:
9780262012720
eISBN:
9780262258531
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262012720.003.0011
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Freeman Dyson disagreed with the notion that the research goal was to narrow the range of possibilities for the many ingredients of nuclear winter. While he believed in the evils of nuclear war, ... More


Inside the Beltway, 1985

Lawrence Badash

in A Nuclear Winter's Tale: Science and Politics in the 1980s

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
August 2013
ISBN:
9780262012720
eISBN:
9780262258531
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262012720.003.0012
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Through 1983 and well into 1984, research on nuclear winter was primarily financed by “discretionary” funds from various government agencies such as the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of ... More


Politics and the Arms Race

Lawrence Badash

in A Nuclear Winter's Tale: Science and Politics in the 1980s

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
August 2013
ISBN:
9780262012720
eISBN:
9780262258531
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262012720.003.0007
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Freeman Dyson, a physicist and an author, was one of the few who raised the issue of morality in the nuclear winter debate. Virtually silent regarding the subject were the Roman Catholic bishops, ... More


The Origin of Nuclear Winter

Lawrence Badash

in A Nuclear Winter's Tale: Science and Politics in the 1980s

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
August 2013
ISBN:
9780262012720
eISBN:
9780262258531
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262012720.003.0004
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Since prehistoric times, severe weather and climatic conditions have been linked to human transgressions, such as a failed offering to the gods or a violation of a taboo. By the mid-twentieth ... More


Looking at Moscow

Lawrence Badash

in A Nuclear Winter's Tale: Science and Politics in the 1980s

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
August 2013
ISBN:
9780262012720
eISBN:
9780262258531
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262012720.003.0015
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Whereas nuclear winter was widely reported in the news media in the United States after the phenomenon was announced publicly in October 1983, it received little attention in the Soviet Union until ... More


Nuclear Peril

Lawrence Badash

in A Nuclear Winter's Tale: Science and Politics in the 1980s

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
August 2013
ISBN:
9780262012720
eISBN:
9780262258531
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262012720.003.0001
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

In 1983, Carl Sagan, a planetary astronomer and a renowned science popularizer, coined the phrase “nuclear winter” to describe the effects on Earth’s climate of the explosion of nuclear weapons. This ... More


Evaluation

Lawrence Badash

in A Nuclear Winter's Tale: Science and Politics in the 1980s

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
August 2013
ISBN:
9780262012720
eISBN:
9780262258531
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262012720.003.0021
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

The nuclear winter phenomenon generated public interest much faster than most other scientific subjects and rapidly polarized those involved. Several congressional hearings were held, a number of ... More


Publicity

Lawrence Badash

in A Nuclear Winter's Tale: Science and Politics in the 1980s

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
August 2013
ISBN:
9780262012720
eISBN:
9780262258531
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262012720.003.0005
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Many non-governmental organizations have expressed concern over the threat of nuclear war in the decades since the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The twentieth century was characterized by ... More


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