Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The last four minutes

It must be a generation thing. I heard the newsflash of the Russian jet being downed by Turkish air defences and grimaced at Clare:
"Remind me, where's the entrance to our fallout shelter?"
I have few vivid memories of my early youth but I do recall the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, when I was eleven. My parents were extremely worried (as was everyone else): we really thought we were all going to die.

I find it scary, too, contemplating a generation which has never experienced the visceral sense of immanent thermonuclear incineration.

There are some risks it really isn't macho to play fast and loose with.


There will always be another moonrise

A good few years ago there was another scare along these lines.
"On October 5, 1960, the North American Aerospace Defense Command's central defense room received a top priority warning from the Thule, Greenland, Ballistic Missile Early Warning System station indicating that a missile attack had been launched against the United States. The Canadian Air Marshal in command undertook verification, which after some 15 to 20 minutes showed the warning to be false. The radars, apparently, had echoed off the moon."
I remember Clare and myself discussing the latest 'worrying false alarm' with her practically-minded brother, James. He dismissed our worries about nuclear war by accident as in - 'it'll never happen.'

I thought he couldn't lose with this opinion:

'I hope you're right, because global thermonuclear war is a fearful price to prove you wrong!'