Sunday, April 13, 2014

Where to Live VIII - Nuclear Targets

Duck and Cover, bro
In the final (maybe) installment of Where to Live, we're going to take a look at one threat that is very, very unlikely and yet would be catastrophic if it came to fruition: an all-out intercontinental nuclear attack.

While I'm not quite old enough to remember Duck-and-Cover drills in school, I do remember hearing that because of its port facilities, my home town was #7 on the Russkies' hit list.  I don't know if that was true or even how the good folks of Duluth managed to get a copy of the USSR playbook,* but the bombs have to fall somewhere, and it's likely that they'll fall where they'll do the Russians the most good, or at least do us the most harm.

One advantage of modern technology is that nuclear bombs are a lot cleaner now that they were when Fat Man and Little Boy toured Japan in 1945.  While they are more powerful, they will likely dissipate more quickly and do less damage to stuff outside the immediate blast zone. Unless they hit a nuclear power plant, then hooo, buddy.  But as Joel Skoussen once said, if you're in a blast zone, don't build a better bomb shelter, move!

That's really the only plan for threats this catastrophic. You either ignore them or you get out of their way.  If you don't think the Chinese are going to bomb out our silos in a first strike and you like western Nebraska, you're probably fine to live there.  If you think they might and the idea of building a bigger bomb shelter keeps you awake at night, well, there are lots of other places that look like western Nebraska that don't have targets all over the place.

I do note on this map that, other than the three rural areas saturated with black, bomb targets are basically population centers because those are usually industrial centers.  While I'm skeptical that the Russians will start a surprise bombing campaign in all these cities simultaneously - meaning you'll have time to escape most of them - there remain plenty of other reasons to avoid high population areas. 

* Even this map is not necessarily from that playbook.


  1. It isn't so much the blast, or fallout, though either could be a problem, somehow. It is the emp effect on the grid that worries me the most on this score. Cities, as usual, will get the worst of all effects of any sort of problem. They are unsustainable without huge inputs. Ports might make out okay, if they aren't a target, at least for a while. But inland cities and targeted cities just won't do well.

    I'd almost love to say cities deserve it. And while they seem to automatically become corrupted politically, morally, socially, and in most ways, and spread their corruption, they are, if kept in check, a necessary evil. Something about rats living in too tight of an area, if in truth, we are all rats? Bleh.

    I wonder how many salvageable people Lott would find in any major city. Something to think about if you profess to be Christian but have become hardhearted from living in the city. Actually, something I have to contemplate out chere, in Dirtsville, come to think of it. Never the mind, just... blowing smoke, huffing, and puffing... And wearing a bit of grump. But it fits me so well! :p

  2. if in truth, we are all rats?

    Or ants with a spot of rebellion and a taste for excitement. But on the ant score, I do wonder how long the power would have to be off before the hive emptied out... or following the death of their queen would they just wander directionless until they died...

    [cities] seem to automatically become corrupted politically, morally, socially...

    In light of this statement (with which I agree) I always found it ironic that the word pagan means, in classical Latin, one who lives in a rural district. Seems that we rednecks have been the last to jump on the bandwagon for many millennia.

  3. "I always found it ironic that the word pagan means, in classical Latin, one who lives in a rural district"

    Now that is interesting. That was worth, alone, reading here.

    As to the rat thing, ignore me sometimes. It's true, but some rats... are better than others. Or... more interested in right things. But our flesh is what it is, and will drag us astray given half a chance, at times.

    Ants work too, but I don't care so much for the socialist type notion. Then again, no man is an island. And none of us, not one, can do it all, or even do much of it, well. I just don't have to like it. Dependence, truly, but it is the truth, true that. Well, okay, that 1,500 pounder might be getting close to being an island, but... that's a little different. :p

  4. You do not want to be in Montana in a 2,000-warhead scenario.
    While it's true nukes are generally more efficient (less fallout, more blast) one does have to factor in where the blasts originate in relation to the current jet stream and prevailing wind patterns.
    A nuke that strikes LA at the right time of year could easily carry measurable fallout to the Atlantic, or sweeping counterclockwise across southern Mexico and central America.
    Of course, if LA gets nuked in October, when the Santa Ana winds are roiling, the fallout should be safely contained to Southern California.
    So there's that.
    As for EMPs, in an actual ground strike, with an airburst of about a quarter-mile above the surface, EMP effects are usually rather narrow; the higher up the detonation, the wider radius of impact. Nukes made for maximum EMP impact will likely never physically damage anything. EMPs also only damage live circuits through overload; if you get even a minute's worth of warning, cut off all the breakers in your circuit panel, flip the battery cutoff in your vehicle (if you don't have one it'd be worth the time to install one) and keep plenty of solder, wire in various gauges, spare circuit boards and component parts in a safe place. Also, keep spare solenoids for any of the major electric devices you need, including the starter motor of your vehicle. If you're especially worried, keep all of those parts in a trunk underground. Although soon there should be something coming out that will make such concerns obsolete; the non-disclosure clause preventing me from discussing it runs out in September of 2015. If we're all still here then I'll tell all of you all about it.
    As for the grid, yeah, it seems like if someone of ill intent just breathes on it the wrong way at a weak point, half the continent goes dark.
    And for the record, I'm more worried about either a terrorist nuke, or a nuke exchange between say Texas and the East Coast.

  5. Any idea what the targets actually are? I mean, why central Montana for crying out loud? What's there? And I always thought the target was east of us instead of north.

  6. Those are our ICBM silos - get them before they can launch. You know, like the old Westerns where the good guy shoots the gun out of the bad guy's hand...