The program “Nuclear Power Play” at the DC Environmental Film Festival tonight (March 22) at the Carnegie Science Center on 16th St NW opened with two important shorts:
“Nuclear Winter” (12 minutes),produced by the Pulitzer Center grant winner Kit Roane and produced by Retro Report, traces the debate on extreme global cooling that could result from the dust cloud after a nuclear war. The debate started in 1983 (about the time Ronald Reagan proposed Star Wars), and was spurred by Carl Sagan. Now there are proposals to reverse climate change with a “nuclear winter” idea by clouding the atmosphere with sulphite particles. The short film has a couple excerpts from “Dr. Strangelove”. Even a limited nuclear war, like in the Middle East, would have a huge effect in contaminating the rest of the world. The New York Times also offers the film on YouTube.
“As Pentagon Overhauls Nuclear Triad, Critics Advise Caution” is a PBS report on the Pentagon’s upgrade of the three components of its nuclear capacity: submarines, long range bombers, and ICBM’s. It is also produced by a Pulitzer Center grantee, James McIntyre (in the QA afterward). There is a general impression that continuing upgrade of all three tiers increases tensions because it increases the expectation that the US really could (as under Trump) use these weapons – but Obama was quite vigorous in supporting the weapons system.
The program also included the 73-minute documentary “City 40”, Samira Goetschel, about the hidden city Ozersk, Russia, which provided nuclear weapons during the Cold War and still has political vestiges of secrecy under Putin today. I have a review on Wordpress from having watched it on Netflix here.