On Climate Change
Nine nations have nuclear weapons; only the US has used one, back in 1945.… The US and its only nuclear rival have been reducing their arsenals since the Cold War ended.… In 2009, in a speech in Prague, Barack Obama pledged “America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons”. That speech helped earn him the Nobel Peace Prize.
The reality did not match the rhetoric.… In1981, when Jimmy Carter delivered his farewell address, part of it was written by Carl Sagan. “Nuclear weapons are an expression of one side of our human character,” Carter said, in the words of Sagan. “But there’s another side. The same rocket tech that delivers nuclearwarheadshasalsotaken us peacefully into space. From that perspective, we see our Earth as it really is — a small and fragile and beautiful blue globe, the only home we have.” An astronomer, Sagan began his career working on a classified nuclear-weapons project. Since the World War 2, the military has funded the preponderance of research in the field of physics, and…a close second was its funding of the earth sciences.
Indeed, the term ‘environmental science’ was coined in the 1950s by military scientists; civilian scientists only used it a decade later. Beginning on the day black rain fell on Hiroshima, nuclear weapons shaped environmental science.
From “The Atomic Origins of Climate Science”