Let us assume that the idiots in Washington D.C. do start a nuclear exchange with Russia-most likely to start in the Syria region and spreading across the world. Presently there are 40 new missile defense systems employed in Alaska. Without further ado the aftermath will reach Russia and USA. All the 16 or so countries, having nuclear weapons with their finger on the button, will launch what they have.
The result is a nuclear winter. That means there is reduced sunlight and a major reduction in vegetable and grain production. Farm animals will not thrive and food shelves will go bare. This bodes worldwide starvation on top of the already one billion souls barely making it. Estimations of the death toll exceed 4 to 5 BILLION people. The Neo-cons and other extreme right wing voices in Washington DC will rejoice. I am sure Russia has the same problem.
Since you and I in this phase of world turmoil had best PREPARE, now, not next month, but now! Gathering food production resources are imperative. Those hardy souls that have built greenhouses, hoop houses, water well systems, caning equipment, wood stoves, laid in a stock of canned goods, rice, dried stores, and a generator or two with your own stored fuels for 3 years, an outside garden, garden tools and maybe power equipment like a Troy Built Tiller, have a start.
This article is directed to the reduced sunlight wherein nothing grows, or grows well, except for some wild plants tolerant of reduced sunlight. An actual nuclear winter really implies real darkness and wild plants are not to be relied on for forageing as in a volcanic explosion of diminishing dust clouds. A nuclear winter also implies bitter cold increasing and plants, such as tomatoes do not grow below 50F. Collards, rutabagas, turnips, carrots and mushrooms do better. Your diet may be limited to these plants before it becomes too dark.
Growing plants in a basement that is well insulated from the cold drafts, heated and light sourced with high intensity grow lights (assuming electricity is available) may be your best option. High intensity lights also produce heat that I discussed in my article about employing them in my solar insulated green house.
I spent several years designing and hammering nails on my solar greenhouse spanning about 600 sq. feet. This particular structure has thick Styrofoam wall and roof insulation measuring up to 12” at the roof and 6” in the walls. Although this solar greenhouse is by my design able to retain heat with the 55 gallon plastic water barrels all strung along the back wall, will hold heat in the bitterest winter months at 45F at night and warmer in the day time. My best test is the outside thermometer at minus 15F but I expect it will remain at about 40F when it is at my goal setting of minus 30F outside. Any colder and I will have to employ a wood stove, gasoline forced air, or maybe propane. However all these sources run out, the wood being the longest heat source if well stocked. So far the collards are the most resilient with no added heat sources. Turnips are second. Carrots prefer a warmer soil at about 60F. This suggests a heat tape however that is electrical draining. I try and think/practice passive heating.
For the basement you will need electricity for the lamps, heat tape, and running the furnace. The best furnace I believe available is a TARM that is a combination wood/coal and oil. You have your choice of fuels plus baseboard hot water heat, or vented hot air. This is a popular heater in Europe where fuels are expensive.
Box beds filled with store bought soils are best and you will probably need a bit of fertilizer by the second year.
Rabbits are a good source of meat that may be an option in the basement, and you will adjust to the odor, which is not unpleasant. They consume vast quantities of store bought pellet foods so you might think about pygmy size rabbits. There are many caged small animals you may wish to consider in the rodent family. Quail also do well in greenhouses and produce a measurable amount of heat.
Water is necessary and the city source of water will be frozen pipes. The outside “Black Rain” following the pressure waves and firestorms will be radioactive. That means your own well water pressure tank and supporting above ground water pipes will freeze. Drain them in advance so that when sunlight returns you might be able to renew conventional well water. You might consider the newer designed hand pumps sold that can go down 200’. Lots of up and down hand work, but it produces water. The “Handy Pump” sold on line appears the best. I will be buying this pump as I can locate it off the well casing inside my solar greenhouse, or as far as 100’ away to the house and it will suck the water right out of the well at 150’ depth. Amazing hand pump!
At this point we are considering outdated atomic bomb radius dispersion of blast, heat/fire damage, and of course radiation perhaps 7 miles from the epi-center of the blast. Let us briefly look at modern thermonuclear weapons.
A single modern USA Trident D5 series submarine launched ballistic missile can incinerate a city with its 475-kiloton warhead and there are probably about 5 warheads on each single (2 ½ MEGATONS) missile. Considering there are 22 launch tubes on a modern USA missile submarine that suggests a major city destruction of over 4,700 major populated cities.
Think about this being only one of many submarines. The US Navy wants new submarines carrying intercontinental missiles at 4.2BILLION dollars each.
All that deterrence is toward purported Russian aggression, not counting the bomber aircraft and missile silos. Let me make a caveat: Different submarines, aircraft, silos and different treaties may limit or reduce the thermonuclear missile potential, but rest assured it becomes far more frightening to consider modern intercontinental warfare than the historical Hiroshima bomb in WWII that contained only 20 Kilo tons of destructive power still turning you into carbon, or a shadow of incineration. The BBC documentary now available on NetFlix: “Hiroshima” gives real footage about the aftermath. This viewing is not for the faint of heart.
Currently Russia is modernizing the USSR former Satan missile that at a stated destructive force can incinerate a land stretch as big as Texas. Russia because of its terrible 20 MILLION plus human losses in WWII from the 3 million Nazi soldiers attacking its cities has declared “never again”. Most of the Russian forces, Army and Navy, employ some sort of nuclear weapons. So does the USA.
The SALT and START treaties (if you think that during a engagement would be followed like a chess board honor system), limit the USA and Russia to use only 5000 thermonuclear missiles when incinerating each other within a 30 minute mushroom cloud.
God Bless the survivors, if any.
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