How Would People Cope if Nuclear War Broke Out?

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TommeDeSavoie
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I'm not saying this is going to happen, I'm just curious if it did happen during the cold war or in the future for whatever reason, if anyone would survive (in the UK or abroad) and how they would survive/cope.

This may be an interesting question for sociology or psychology students.

Would the survivors die from radiation, would key infrastructures still exist, government, Internet etc.
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LucidMinds
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(Original post by KrisCussans)
I'm not saying this is going to happen, I'm just curious if it did happen during the cold war or in the future for whatever reason, if anyone would survive (in the UK or abroad) and how they would survive/cope.

This may be an interesting question for sociology or psychology students.

Would the survivors die from radiation, would key infrastructures still exist, government, Internet etc.
I think the rotting smell of decomposing bodies would be enough for me to commit, if the radiation didn't kill me that is.

Saying that.. it would probs turn everything to ash. lols
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Moosferatu
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Run into the middle of the blast zone and count myself as one of the lucky ones.
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young_guns
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(Original post by KrisCussans)
I'm not saying this is going to happen, I'm just curious if it did happen during the cold war or in the future for whatever reason, if anyone would survive (in the UK or abroad) and how they would survive/cope.

This may be an interesting question for sociology or psychology students.

Would the survivors die from radiation, would key infrastructures still exist, government, Internet etc.
It depends on the scale of the nuclear exchange. A full nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War would have been utterly horrific; it would be the end of civilisation as we know it.

I cannot recommend highly enough a documentary called The War Game which was released in 1965. It was considered so shocking that it was banned from the BBC for 20 years.

Here is a link, go to 13:45 minutes in and start watching

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1k...atkins-1965_tv
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Schrödingers Cat
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I think governments have protocols for such events, obviously they would never tell us until it's too late.

I would steal a boat and go to an island somewhere living the rest of my life in peace
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LucidMinds
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(Original post by Schrödingers Cat)
I think governments have protocols for such events, obviously they would never tell us until it's too late.

I would steal a boat and go to an island somewhere living the rest of my life in peace
That's actually kinda sweet. Minus the nuclear warfare and the end of the world.

That would make a nice 'inspiring' film :rolleyes:
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Manitude
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Given my proximity to a major city I'm not sure I'd survive :/

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Arkasia
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Most will die, and the rest who survive will either be braindead or just selfish, anarchist pricks.

See the chat subforum for an example of this chaos.
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young_guns
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(Original post by Manitude)
Given my proximity to a major city I'm not sure I'd survive :/
Even those outside major cities would face a very bleak future, due to the complete breakdown of society. Consider a town in an agricultural area, growing wheat and cattle, far from cities or major targets.

It would struggle to continue to grow wheat the next year as the transportation and fuel distribution system would have suffered a complete collapse. They would not be able to purchase additional petrol for their tractors and farm machinery, without which the number of man hours to grow a tonne of wheat goes from about 8 hours to over 1200 hours.

They would not be able to purchase any food from elsewhere. They wouldn't be able to purchase anything manufactured (including spare parts for machines). They would not be able to acquire fuel. The telephone system and electricity grid would have been destroyed by the electromagnetic pulse caused by nuclear detonations. They would be swamped by thousands of desperate, hungry and ill refugees. They would also quite possible be seriously ill themselves from fallout carried on the wind, which could mean anything from death within a week due to radiation poisoning or death five years down the track due to cancer.

This doesn't even go into the climatic consequences of a full nuclear exchange (there is considerable debate over whether a nuclear winter would occur, it's possible temperatures would drop considerably for a few years).

In other words, those who survived would face a bleak future that would be like the dark ages but with more cancer.
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DErasmus
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(Original post by Arkasia)
Most will die, and the rest who survive will either be braindead or just selfish, anarchist pricks.

See the chat subforum for an example of this chaos.
we can form a group to enslave the other braindead, selfish anarchist pricks if u want

we can even call it Arkasia Imperialism
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Arkasia
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(Original post by DErasmus)
we can form a group to enslave the other braindead, selfish anarchist pricks if u want

we can even call it Arkasia Imperialism
I like the sound of that.

A lot.

:crown:
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Rakas21
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(Original post by KrisCussans)
I'm not saying this is going to happen, I'm just curious if it did happen during the cold war or in the future for whatever reason, if anyone would survive (in the UK or abroad) and how they would survive/cope.

This may be an interesting question for sociology or psychology students.

Would the survivors die from radiation, would key infrastructures still exist, government, Internet etc.
With regards to infrastructure the good news is that your toilet and sewer system would probably still work but electricity would be out for a period of months. Heating would be a winter issue, communications would be down until some time after electricity returns. There would certainly be crop and fuel failures though.

Government likely has contingency plans so it would still somewhat exist with a high probability of martial law. In addition it's very possible that with a starving population with no heating or energy, civil war and local protectionism could break out as the people of Aberdeen hoard their oil or the people of Yorkshire hoard the food produced in east and west Yorkshire. Such an environment could well allow a popular general or the like to play off the divide and rule aspect gaining power while the Westminster government struggles to maintain order in the urban north. Even once power and the like were restored the situation would be so dire that it would take quite a while to restore a single united kingdom, indeed there could well be local warfare (Scotland or Wales declare independence, England invades). As such i would wager that it would be as much as 5 years before the government was able to be stable , power and feed its citizens and have stabalized the mass unemployment.

At the end of it all you'd still see global protectionism and little trade. You'd have taken us back to the 40's in effect.
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Manitude
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(Original post by young_guns)
Even those outside major cities would face a very bleak future, due to the complete breakdown of society. Consider a town in an agricultural area, growing wheat and cattle, far from cities or major targets.

It would struggle to continue to grow wheat the next year as the transportation and fuel distribution system would have suffered a complete collapse. They would not be able to purchase additional petrol for their tractors and farm machinery, without which the number of man hours to grow a tonne of wheat goes from about 8 hours to over 1200 hours.

They would not be able to purchase any food from elsewhere. They wouldn't be able to purchase anything manufactured (including spare parts for machines). They would not be able to acquire fuel. The telephone system and electricity grid would have been destroyed by the electromagnetic pulse caused by nuclear detonations. They would be swamped by thousands of desperate, hungry and ill refugees. They would also quite possible be seriously ill themselves from fallout carried on the wind, which could mean anything from death within a week due to radiation poisoning or death five years down the track due to cancer.

This doesn't even go into the climatic consequences of a full nuclear exchange (there is considerable debate over whether a nuclear winter would occur, it's possible temperatures would drop considerably for a few years).

In other words, those who survived would face a bleak future that would be like the dark ages but with more cancer.
On the other hand, tractors wouldn't be necessary as there's no demand for large amounts of grain. A farmer can manually harvest crops to feed a few people without too much issue - farming has thrived for literally thousands of years without petrol motors and the tools required to do things manually are most likely in many barns up and down the country.
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Anonymous263
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(Original post by KrisCussans)
I'm not saying this is going to happen, I'm just curious if it did happen during the cold war or in the future for whatever reason, if anyone would survive (in the UK or abroad) and how they would survive/cope.

This may be an interesting question for sociology or psychology students.

Would the survivors die from radiation, would key infrastructures still exist, government, Internet etc.
check out the book metro by Dmitry Glukhovsky, might find it interesting.
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DErasmus
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(Original post by Arkasia)
I like the sound of that.

A lot.

:crown:
Image
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Arkasia
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(Original post by DErasmus)
x
Oh stop it, I'm blushing.
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Arkasia
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(Original post by Anonymous263)
check out the book metro by Dmitry Glukhovsky, might find it interesting.
Metro 2033*

The games are also fantastic.
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young_guns
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(Original post by Manitude)
On the other hand, tractors wouldn't be necessary as there's no demand for large amounts of grain. A farmer can manually harvest crops to feed a few people without too much issue - farming has thrived for literally thousands of years without petrol motors and the tools required to do things manually are most likely in many barns up and down the country.
I'm not saying agriculture wouldn't be possible, what I am saying is that it would be extremely labour intensive compared to what we're used to, and that it would be comparable to what agriculture was like in the middle ages.

As I said in the other comment, cultivating a tonne of wheat with modern farm machinery takes about 8 man hours. Cultivating it without modern machinery takes about 1200 hours. That gives you an idea of what kind of life it would be.
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Anonymous263
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(Original post by Arkasia)
Metro 2033*

The games are also fantastic.
yes they are!
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Manitude
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(Original post by young_guns)
I'm not saying agriculture wouldn't be possible, what I am saying is that it would be extremely labour intensive compared to what we're used to, and that it would be comparable to what agriculture was like in the middle ages.

As I said in the other comment, cultivating a tonne of wheat with modern farm machinery takes about 8 man hours. Cultivating it without modern machinery takes about 1200 hours. That gives you an idea of what kind of life it would be.
Yes, it would be very difficult, but not impossible. Following a wide spread war though, I would imagine a significant number of people would be living a subsistence life where all they would do is work to feed themselves and survive. It would be horrible compared to our cushy lives now, but people have a will to survive and as a species our collective intelligence often sees us through difficult times. As a species we've survived multiple plagues, an ice age and catastrophic climate changing volcanic eruptions, a nuclear war would certain test us but I'm confident that our species would survive albeit at terrible cost.
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