The spread of nuclear weapons to unstable third world countries means that despite the dramatic improvement in US/Soviet relations, we are living in a time of unprecedented danger of nuclear war.
In 1982, Professors Sagan and Turco made known their discovery of the concept "nuclear winter", a widespread cold and dark, resulting in agricultural collapse and world famine, that would be generated in even a "small" nuclear war. It was a landmark discovery that revealed in the starkest terms how vulnerable our civilization is to the long-term environmental effects of nuclear war.
Carl Sagan, Pulitzer prize-winning science writer, and Richard Turco, tell the personal story of their findings, and how, despite the much-heralded thawing of the Cold War, there are dangerous inadequacies in nuclear policy and doctrine that need to be addressed.
Introductory music from the original score for COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey composed by Alan Silvestri, used with permission from Cosmos Studios, Inc. and Chappers Music. All rights reserved. Special thanks to Fuzzy Planets, Inc.
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Carl Sagan (1934-1996) was the Director of Cornell University’s Laboratory for Planetary Studies. He played a leading role in the American space program and was an adviser to NASA since its inception. He briefed the Apollo astronauts before their flights to the Moon, and was an experimenter on the Mariner, Viking, Voyager, and Galileo expeditions to the planets. He helped solve the mysteries of the high temperatures of Venus (answer: massive greenhouse effect), the seasonal changes on Mars (answer: windblown dust), and the reddish haze of Titan (answer: complex organic molecules). For his work, Dr. Sagan received the NASA medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, and the Pulitzer Prize for The Dragons of Eden. His 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage won the Emmy and Peabody awards. The National Science Foundation declared that his “research transformed planetary science... his gifts to mankind were infinite.”
Richard P. Turco is Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Director of UCLA's Institute of the Environment.
This comprehensive examination of the phenomenon of nuclear winter serves as a sequel of sorts to Paul Ehrlich and others' The Cold and the Dark: The World After Nuclear War ( LJ 9/1/84) and the source book Environmental Consequences of a Nuclear War (Wiley, 1986). The authors provide updated information about the global climate and nuclear war's likely impact on it. They debunk the contention that strategic policies should not be decided on the basis of a mere theory, pointing out that policy is always made on the basis of incomplete information, and that the levels of knowledge about the environmental effects of nuclear war are at least comparable to that in many other policy areas. Though not likely to attract the attention of the media at a time when concerns about nuclear war are now treated as "old hat," the book is nevertheless an important reminder that nuclear war is an issue of supreme ecological importance. After all, as the authors remind us, the superpowers have yet to eliminate more than a tiny fraction of their nuclear stockpiles.
- Jennifer Scarlott, World Policy Inst., New York
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Random House, 1990. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0394583078
Book Description Random House, 1990. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0394583078
Book Description Random House, 1990. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110394583078