The spread of nuclear weapons to unstable third world countries means that despite the dramatic improvement in US/Soviet relations, we are living in a time of unprecedented danger of nuclear war.
In 1982, Professors Sagan and Turco made known their discovery of the concept "nuclear winter", a widespread cold and dark, resulting in agricultural collapse and world famine, that would be generated in even a "small" nuclear war. It was a landmark discovery that revealed in the starkest terms how vulnerable our civilization is to the long-term environmental effects of nuclear war.
Carl Sagan, Pulitzer prize-winning science writer, and Richard Turco, tell the personal story of their findings, and how, despite the much-heralded thawing of the Cold War, there are dangerous inadequacies in nuclear policy and doctrine that need to be addressed.
Introductory music from the original score for COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey composed by Alan Silvestri, used with permission from Cosmos Studios, Inc. and Chappers Music. All rights reserved. Special thanks to Fuzzy Planets, Inc.
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About the Author
For his work, Dr. Sagan received the NASA medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, and the Pulitzer Prize for The Dragons of Eden. His 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage won the Emmy and Peabody awards.
The National Science Foundation declared that his “research transformed planetary science… his gifts to mankind were infinite.”
Richard P. Turco is Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Director of UCLA's Institute of the Environment.