Back in August 2011 a real and decent-sized earthquake hit the area.
I’d been in earthquakes in Italy and Azerbaijan, and knew what they were like, how the ground shook for an eternity lasting a few seconds. Even so, I ran out into the garden to see if some atomic cloud was rising over downtown DC. But my action was utterly understandable – if not the recommended one in such circumstances.
The days when I had to check on the readiness of nuclear fall-out shelters in somewhat absurd fulfilment of my “military duties” at school are more than half a century ago. By pure co-incidence, it appeared at almost the exact time Nato was conducting an exercise called Able Archer, so realistic that the Kremlin believed it to be the prelude to a first strike Western attack on the Soviet Union, and placed its own forces on top alert.
Some experts still believe Able Archer provoked one of history’s closest brushes with nuclear holocaust.
It now stands just two and a half minutes away, closer than at any time since 1953 when the US and the Soviet Union were developing rival hydrogen bombs.
Now the Doomsday Clock doesn’t just indicate the risk of thermonuclear war but anything else that might bring about humanity’s demise: disease, bio-warfare and most notably climate change.
In the meantime he’s given the go-ahead to two contentious oil pipelines across the US that had been halted by President Obama, and imposed what looks suspiciously like gag orders on the EPA.
Since last November, concerned scientists are said to have transferred vast quantities of government climate data to independent servers to ensure its preservation. Not if you take Trump and people like Scott Pruitt, his nominee to be EPA administrator, at their denialist, fact-trashing word. Alas, it hardly impinges on the public consciousness.
Most important however was the scientists’ observation that, for the first time ever, the decision had been taken “because of the statements of a single person”. Donald Trump’s campaign and pre-inauguration ruminations on nuclear arms – the promises to build up the US arsenal and ditch the Iran nuclear deal, the airy talk about a new arms race with Russia and how it might be OK if other countries got the bomb – have been buried by the torrent of controversies since he was sworn in.Stir in Trump, with his rash statements, brawling style and shoot-from-the-hip temperament, and you have a problem. If the 9/11 terrorists had access to a crude nuclear weapon, rather than airplanes, they would have used it.And, living in a target city like Washington, sometimes you’re brought up hard against that fact.What she fails to note, however, is how factors like race can have a significant impact on how millennials navigate apps that are supposed to help us find love.Hot Topic of Research: Camilo Mora and his team predict that in about a decade, Kingston, Jamaica, will probably be off-the-charts hot — permanently, Singapore in 2028. The Earth is racing towards an apocalyptic future in which major cities such as New York and London could become uninhabitable because of irreversible man-made climate change within 45-years according to a sobering new study published this week.