Why is everyone either super chill or just plain in denial about the clearly elevated risk of nuclear war?

  1. Me: “what’s the worst that could happen? I die? Woooo, scary (/s). I’ll be dead anyway, what the fuck do I care?”

  2. Most of analytics (ISW etc) predict that if the Ukrainian conflict escalates into a nuclear war, it will still likely be localized, only with tactical nuclear weapons. So it will be our problem.

  3. I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, at the very end of the Cold War. I learned a long time ago to stop worrying and instead love the bomb. "Here we go again..." is all I can think about right now.

  4. Kay : There's always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser, or a Corillian Death Ray, or an intergalactic plague that is about to wipe out all life on this miserable little planet, and the only way these people can get on with their happy lives is that they DO NOT KNOW ABOUT IT!

  5. I mean, I just very strongly believe it won't happen for geopolitical/logistical reasons. Obviously it's not technically impossible and this is the highest risk the world has been at for decades, but I think it's a bit ridiculous that people are of the opinion that there's no doubt that the current risk is very high. If Russia does use any nuclear weapons then they're fucking done and they're extremely aware of that. Putin may be powerful but he's not an omniscient god, even if he decides he wants to use them, there are many people within the chain of command who aren't particularly content with the idea of being responsible for wiping Russia off the map.

  6. Except that is not what would happen. Even in full scale muclear exchange, "only" 10% of the world population would die in the first weeks. What happens after that is hard to predict, but it's safe to say that the survivors will have loads of provlems.

  7. I let exactly this get to me. It's so horrifically unfair to our children. I mostly stressed about superfund sites and pollution. The fuck am I going to do.

  8. been worried since 9/11… us 90s kids were told we could change the world and make it a better place but despite our efforts, it just keeps getting worse. I already vote and donate and volunteer as much as I can in my own country to no avail, wtf am I going to do about something happening overseas? I’m already stressed enough trying to pay rent and feed myself now.

  9. This is an anti-preparation attitude and I'm weary of hearing it. Get your house in order, as I'm doing with mine, albeit slowly. Decisions you make now can significantly impact you quality of life later. I'm no survivalist, but I hope to become a version of one.

  10. I was born in the 70s. My entire life I've been hearing that we're on the cusp of a nuclear war. Hell, we used to practice our responses in school alongside tornado and earthquake drills.

  11. Ah, yeah, Gen X has entered the chat. I spent my (very anxious) childhood worrying about Russia and nuclear bombs, AIDS, and the failing ozone layer. I was a grown ass adult watching the planes hit the towers. And entire industry exploding with the dot-com bait, families suddenly homeless because of the subprime mortgages.

  12. It’s like being born with a gun to your head, you know it’s there, but it’s always been there, so it’s not scary. I imagine nuclear threats are pretty scary for people born in the 30s or 40s though, because they weren’t born with that gun to their head, and they know the consequences of the trigger is pulled.

  13. Might as well live my life and not worry until I NEED to worry. I’ve adopted this mindset for other, smaller things in life too and I’ve been so much happier.

  14. Exactly, there ain't fuck all we can do about. Another thread i saw today had a good mark twain quote abiut all the wasted worry on things that never come to pass.

  15. Late-model Gen-X here. The currently elevated risk level may truly be higher than I grew up with but honestly it feels about the same. And I can currently do about the same amount about that, which is hope that cooler heads prevail…

  16. Exactly. The generations before us KNEW they were going to die when the Cold War turned hot. That feeling lasted for over 40 years! What were they supposed to do? Sit at home and worry all the time? Nah, you gotta get on with things and attempt to eek out your meagre existence, or the blues will crush you.

  17. As individuals 99.9999999% or so of us are powerless to change things. The few thousands of individuals on earth with real power to influence Putin and the other nuclear heads of state are probably neither chill, nor in denial, about the situation.

  18. My opinion will be seen as wrong but I’m stupidly of the belief we should not be afraid of Putins threats, we should continue to help Ukraine, and if needed we should step in ourselves. If he nukes, he nukes, but we can’t let that threat stop us.

  19. You didn't grow up during the Cold War? It is pointless to worry about. If it happens we all die. It is kind of like a meteor strike. If it is going to kill us all why worry.

  20. Exactly. They have private back channels where this is discussed. Anything we see or hear about is pure propaganda.

  21. Kids these days didn’t even grow up with the terror alert rainbow. Oh it orange today, guess I’ll bring an umbrella?

  22. That’s not necessarily true. Nobody knows for sure what a global thermonuclear war would actually look like but the chances of the entire population of a nation being exterminated in one fell swoop is unlikely.

  23. Even if nukes happen, the survivors will be doing the rebuilding of nations. There will still be people to feed and walls to build and shoes to mend. We will still need doctors and nurses and mechanics and all kinds of skills to build a new world...

  24. I swear to Jesus and Johnny Cash if we get nuked before I spend my 401k I’m going into the afterlife mad as fuck.

  25. Because my anxiety is used up on the shit that's affecting me right now. I can't afford any more anxiety on "maybes."

  26. nuclear war would bring an abrupt halt to climate change, prevent our looming threat of civil war, and probably even cancel my student debt

  27. Remember kids, if you see the bright light you have ten seconds to fall to the ground and cover your eyes and ears, use your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. skills to avoid the nuclear fallout. Also if you’re unsure if you’re standing to close to the mushroom see if it’s bigger than your thumb by giving it a thumbs up, if it is bigger enjoy turning into a ghoul.

  28. The thumb thing isn't real. The mushroom cloud changes its size based on a number of factors and people have different sized thumbs. You see a mushroom cloud, run your ass away - don't stick your thumb at it like a moron.

  29. We GenXers have been through this already, when we were kids. We’re already a fairly jaded generation, but really, if it happens it’s not like we (as individuals) can do anything about it.

  30. This is exactly it - anyone who lived through the cold war has dealt with this already. Most likely this is another cold war situation, and if it's not, there's not a lot most of us can do about it.

  31. My son has anxiety about the state of the world. I have to explain to him that before I left school at the end of the 80s there was a hole in the ozone layer, Chernobyl exploded and blew radioactive dust over Europe, there was the constant threat of nuclear war due to mutually assured destruction with, unknown to us, one Russian dude one day in 1983 averting total nuclear war by concluding there were a number of false alarms in the Russian system than just automatically launching all the Russian nukes as he'd been trained to do. Also just to add to things for a soon to be sexually active young adult, a new sexually transmitted disease called AIDS came along which famous people kept dying from and they started showing ads on TV like this

  32. No joke. As a 8 yr old gen-x in the mid 70's I remember being screamed at by boomer teachers to crawl under our old school (lol) wood desks or we'll freaking DIE from an a-bomb. Don't remember what I was more afraid of, her or the bombs. I just avoid both now

  33. This, plus personally as a gen xer I've seen enough of bullshit fake pretext wars being fought by "the west" in pursuit of less-than-altruistic agendas no-one was honest enough to admit.

  34. Mutually Assured Destruction is the only thing keeping it from happening. Movies and books always depict it as a chain reaction, that everyone dies, but I don't believe that. Majority of the world except for a few crackpots are against Nuclear War and deter it at all costs. Putin using a Tactical Nuclear Warhead in Ukraine would forever alienate Russia and obliterate their economy into nothing. Russia as we know it would no longer exist as a world power.

  35. The Soviets claimed to have a 'Dead Hand switch' if radiation levels got too high in certain strategic locations missiles would fire with pre-programmed targets in the west. MAD indeed! Do these systems still work? mayyyyyybe, from the looks of their shabby army tho and low economy quite possibly not. Its not a gamble the west will take, not to mention wiping out 70-80% of Russia's civilian population in a few hours... No western government could get away with war crimes like that.

  36. Globalism, for all its (many, many, many) faults, is also a safeguard against nuclear war. Every developed nation is dependent upon several others for its ability to provide for its citizens, whether we're talking about food, water, technology, energy, consumer goods, or any of the myriad other things that comprise international trade.

  37. And even then, Putin isn't the crazy person people think he is. While he's clearly no military genuis, he does recognise the amount of money he himself would likely lose if he tried to nuke another country.

  38. Being Gen X to be honest this is what life was like in the early 80s the constant threat. The truth is I worry about it but I can't do anything about it so. I am not going to give that man the power to ruin a moment more of my thoughts. I am however very concerned for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine.

  39. Because being constantly worried about something that is out of our control and will be the death of all of us is no way to enjoy life, and honestly should be discussed with your therapist if it’s something you’re actually going through

  40. Honestly, I think even If Putin decides to use Nukes. He will probably be killed by someone from his inner circle before anyone would follow such suicidal orders.

  41. I hear this line parroted quite often, but I think the chances of his order to use nuclear weapons being ignored are actually quite low. Anybody in the chain of command for a launch has been placed there because there is high confidence that the order will be followed. If he decides to give the order, anybody who can stop it will not be allowed to be close enough to him to prevent the order from going down the chain of command.

  42. Your numbers are a little off Russia has 3k that are available and active meaning they are attached to a delivery system, they have 6k total warheads. The US has 2k available and active with 5k total. And this is assuming they both have been honest with reporting as both have been caught reporting less than actuals before. And the high yield devices of today are significantly more powerful than what they previously had, many analysts believe that if full nuclear war broke out both countries would be destroyed (unable to continue operating) before they could even use a quarter of their stockpiles, let alone nuclear winter would only require less than 10% of their stockpiles.

  43. There's literally nothing anyone can do about it. This isnt even a thing where making the public more aware of it, is going to solve anything--the threat is from a old man losing his fucking marbles and going dictator mode supreme. NO ONE can change the course of this outside of him or someone that can get to him.

  44. It's much more likely that North Korea accidentally nukes one of their neighbors with an errant missile then the Russians resorting to tactile nukes.

  45. Iodineized salt doesn't contain enough Iodine to counteract radiation poisoning you need potassium iodine. People's diets were really limited variety wise during the expansion of the usa. Leading to goiter, some thyroid thing caused by lack of iodine. It was bad in the Midwest is the USA I assume because of a lack of seafood, and with salt being a huge part of preserving land meat they added it to the salt. Sorry a lot of assumptions but ik for a fact it was introduced because of a lack of iodine leading to goiter.

  46. Bro, I made it through October 1962 when the President told the nation that the US East Coast might soon look like the bottom of a Shake N Bake bag. Putin and his threats are small beer.

  47. I am a mom with career and two smallish kiddos that doesn’t have the energy to spare for someone else’s tantrums. Stressing won’t change the outcome: either we are fucked and die, or we are not and I should probably fold laundry. Probably.

  48. It’s like my buddy who was in Explosive Ordinance Disposal said, “Either I cut the right wire and get to go home, or it’s not my problem anymore”.

  49. For last 2,5 years we had global pandemic, economic crysis, Russia starting a war. You need more to shake me after years of constant stress

  50. The same reason we stopped talking about COVID and monkey pox, why we’re not constantly panicking about the imminent climate apocalypse, why nobody’s really doing much to curb the clear rise of fascism in a lot of western democracies… we’re all numb, we’re all tired, and on an individual scale we feel like we can’t really do anything, so what’s the point of worrying?

  51. This. I feel like more so than during the Cold War, there's an undercurrent of "if it happens, it happens" about it. Not to say people are actively suicidal, or that there aren't people working for social change and that work isn't worth doing or that people in the global south deserve to be punished for the excesses and squabbles of the global north.

  52. There really is negligible threat of nuclear war right now. The threat, to the extent that it’s real, is that Russia might use tactical nuclear weapons in the Ukraine. Ukraine does not have nuclear weapons, so they cannot respond in kind. It is considered extremely unlikely that NATO countries would respond with nuclear weapons because that would create a real risk of regional nuclear war, which could then escalate to global nuclear war. The effects of tactical nuclear weapons are quite local, so unless you live in Ukraine, you would not be directly effected.

  53. I think they risk getting nuked in Donbas and Kherson, Russia can legally nuke its own territory and claims those regions as its own. That could cause major escalations however, hard to say who would do what next.

  54. Being frank, a tactical nuke isn't that bad. The wind blows east. And the way the UA are spread out, it won't make a difference. If they nuke a civilian target or infrastructure, the Russia will be globally isolated.

  55. Not much we can do about it. Just hoping I’m in the blast zone when it happens. I’d like a fast death

  56. I can’t do anything to fix it so I don’t want to sit and be stressed out about it. The thought is always in the back of my mind but if we’re all gonna die regardless I’d rather have my last days be happy

  57. Nothing we can do, I’d rather live life than be afraid constantly that it might end. To my knowledge no ones beat death, every human who has been born has died. If I live my whole life being afraid of what could end it, I don’t think I’d ever do anything. Recognizing that in the end I’m going to die means I might as well enjoy what I have while I have it. Nuclear war be damned, I have a life I want to live and if it’s going to end sooner rather than later I want to remember it as being lived how I wanted to live it before I shut my eyes one last time.

  58. Here is the reality: Even if Russia uses a small yield nuclear weapon, the chances of an exchange between a western nation and Russia are astronomically low.

  59. Also the use of nuclear weapons would almost certainly end Chinese trade with and support of Russia. This would be crippling for them at a time when they’re already heavily weakens economically by Western sanctions..

  60. Frankly, I spent my entire childhood (1980s) anticipating nuclear war. So I'm kinda "whatever" on the whole thing.

  61. Most people over the age of 35 grew up with this threat already and have come to terms with it. Search doomsday clock if you don't already know what it is. Best to be in the initial blast unaware of your fate than survive with radiation poisoning from the contaminated earth.

  62. There is no nuclear war coming it just won't happen. Russia has zero to gain and everything to lose by introducing nukes over a country like Ukraine. Why would they risk retaliation over a.country they haven't even had control of in a long time? It is just media fear mongering for clicks as usual

  63. All through the 80s in the US, we were told that the Russians were going to nuke us at any second. It was a scary thought that permeated my childhood. Hearing it again from what amounts to the same country has a bit of a "oh, that old threat again" vibe. I just genuinely don't believe it's a real threat.

  64. Well, unless you have an in to take out putin, it is completely out of our hands. It is insane though and I think we're closer to nuclear war than we've ever been, excluding nagasaki and hiroshima but i dont think those count.

  65. I'm 25 I just don't care, there are a few hundred ways ill die before someone throws a tantrum far enough that every country nukes itself and at that point idc, billions are gonna die and I'm gonna just sit in my room alone sipping on a sweet tea

  66. Because if someone decided to launch a nuke there is nothing I can do to stop it and nothing substancial I can realistically do before it hits and mutually assured destruction will either prevent it or destroy all of us. I don't worry about stuff that far above me because I can't change anything that happens

  67. The important thing to remember is that there is a PHENOMENAL amount of back-channel diplomacy going on, by people who have trained their whole lives for this, and that you and I worrying about it doesn't do a damn thing one way or the other. Putin is also a lifelong threatener, he himself is answerable to his own gang of transnational gangster oligarchs, and THEY aren't up for being obliterated.

  68. An early retirement package including nuclear fallout might be the most affordable benefit I've been threatened with in the past 10 years. Please, no...I need another 30 years of remedial managerial positions, calls about my car's extended warranty, or the dream of an estranged child self-lessly placing me in a home where they don't practice bed sore prevention by using an over-sized spatulas on the elderly. If we're gonna keep on living, personally I feel like we should be more concerned about tackling issues like social aptitude, finding middle ground, inflation, health/mental health care, and perhaps addressing the housing and property market (seems like a global issue). Can't live our life worried about someone who's name sounds like a southern kentucky kids name for a fart...f'n pootin.

  69. It’s not the end of the world yet but surely a big radical change for the worse is coming we all feel it just most of us rather live in denial and ignore the signs

  70. We are nowhere close. Do you know how many times systems malfunctioned during the cold war and reported missiles in the air? There are multiple humans who were completely justified to end the entire world, and they chose not to.

  71. So something to keep in mind, is that while nuclear war is certainly a possibility, in the current war in Ukraine, nukes don't factor in. It's after the war in Ukraine if/when Russia continues to increase its territory it would have to fight NATO members. And that's when nukes come on the table.

  72. I can see how someone would see me as being chill about it but really I'm just fucking exhausted. I have very overwhelming anxiety so I hear the news, I get extremely anxious and then I just get so tired.

  73. Cuz what the hell am i supposed to do about it? Run around in circles yelling? enter a state of catatonic shock and never return? theres no point in getting stressed about shit out of my control

  74. Anybody who lived during the Cold War (so like anyone 40 or older I think, but don't quote me on that) have already done this whole song and dance.

  75. I've always said history reports itself just in different decades on certain things luckily not war just civil rights oil and energy and economy. Right now it's a inflated version of the Carter years.. it will blow over until the next big thing and then everyone will be up n arms over something else.

  76. It's not a high risk. There is no reason for anyone to use them. Russia keeps hinting at it, but they wouldn't actually do it unless NATO literally invades Russia (even then it's still in question, since the moment the nukes are done flying, they would've used the last thing holding someone back from annihilating them). In other words, MAD - Mutually assured destruction.

  77. How do you know for about "clearly elevated risk", do you really pay attention to totalitarian regimes threats ?

  78. I mean at some you do kinda have to accept certain inevitability. Especially when it comes to death. That being said believe me when I say people are still plenty afraid about nuclear devastation especially with Putin threatening to do so. I know people in my generation ( gen z) love to joke around and pretend like nothing is wrong but the truth is we're scared, a lot, all the time, so we try our best to hide a lot of our emotions under comedy however absurd it may be. But like I said we're still plenty terrified, at least i am.

  79. I don’t give a damn about it because I live in a country that none knows shit about and it’s far away from the US or Europe itself.

  80. I had been crying every day for a week or so since 24th of Feb. Life started being depressing since then.

  81. While the risk has been increasing, and will likely increase as Russia gets knocked further and further out of Ukraine. At some point either the Russian people will turn on him or he will have to do something in order to try to save his legacy. He's unlikely going to walk up and say " I was wrong. "

  82. If a country were to launch a nuke, any country, that would be the literal end of that country for at least 50 years. The fallout would kill everyone and there'd be no chance for agriculture for decades. No one's gonna take that chance. I know everyone on the news has freaked out over that fast Russian missile but it's nothing more than a deterrent. A way of saying "don't fuck with me or else..."

  83. and it's unlikely that someone would nuke territory that they intended to hold, or even if they didn't, a close neighbor. nuking someone further away is much more likely

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