Living in Chicago, it is abundantly clear that not only "could" it happen here, but if there is ever an exchange of nuclear weapons, it most certainly "would" happen here!
|Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA):|
Expected target areas in Illinois in the event of a nuclear
attack (1990 estimate). (Retrieved from
The recent Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, and a presentation here in Chicago by my sister at Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ at an event sponsored by Chicago Area Peace Action, both reminded me that it is very well known what would happen to a city like Chicago if nuclear weapons were ever used.
|Nuclear detonations above a virtual |
modern city with 1 million population
16 kiloton atomic bomb at 600 m ... 4.5 km radius
1 megaton (1000 kiloton) hydrogen bomb at 2400 m ... 18 km radius
(Dr. Masao Tomonaga, M.D. Ph.D.)
I have referred to this as the "obscene geometry" of nuclear weapons, and asked "which of your children (or grandchildren) do you want to share this obscene geometry lesson with?"
It occurs to me that every person can easily draw a picture of what would happen in their own city by using Google maps.
For instance, I went to the site FreeMapTools.com and found a page that draws a circle of defined radius around a location of your choice. Anyone can go to this page and see what the 18 km blast radius of a 1 MT nuclear weapon would look like superimposed on their own city.
|Let's talk about Chicago|
The "radius around a point map" functionality on FreeMapTools.com
. . . continuing with the 6 km radius fireball ...
|The Fireball Zone|
The fireball resulting from a 1 MT nuclear weapon detonated over Chicago
would incinerate everyone within a 6 km radius -- an area extending almost
to Garfield Park on the west, Uptown on the north, and Bronzeville to the south.
. . . and the the 11 km radius of 10 psi air blast which could be expected to be fatal to nearly everyone present, because of the blizzard of disintegrating structures ...
and culminating with the startling 51 km radius of third degree burns . . .
|3rd Degree Burn Zone: Survival Questionable|
Perhaps most startling of all, the area affected by 3rd degree burns would extend
far beyond the city limits to encompass towns as far north as Waukegan,
as far west as St. Charles, and as far south as Crete, and as far east as Gary, IN.
and east as Gary, IN.
When you look at it this way, is it still possible to say nuclear weapons are "somebody else's problem"?
What would a nuclear weapon do where you live?
Go to the FreeMapTools.com page and create an
image to show what would happen if a nuclear
weapon was used where you live.
Share widely (for instance on #NoNukesTuesday).
(Extra credit: use your coding skills to
program a stand-alone page that simplifies
the process of creating these map images!)
(See Approaching Hiroshima: A Challenge for Children's Literature and Peace Education )
That's right . . . just take a map of your local metropolis, spread it out on the floor, and put the whole family to work learning the geometry of nuclear strike using high quality wood-crafted educational aids.
(See Obscene Geometry: The Hard Facts about Death and Injury from Nuclear Weapons )
(See Unfinished Business in Chicago (Nuclear disarmament, that is))
"Please work with your colleagues (in Congress) and your constituents (here in the 5th district) to regain the People's control over war and injury, and bring to a conclusion the current crisis of our government."
(See An Open Letter to Congressman Mike Quigley: Can We Reduce (or Eliminate) the Nuclear Threat? )