Nothing inspires fears of our advancements in technology like Atomic Bomb. A product of 20th century technology, the atomic bomb continues to enthrall and terrify individuals, communities, and even entire nations. With the last 70 years of American politics focused around the creation, potential use, disarmament, and prevention of nuclear weapons, atomic bombs have a number of pros and cons associated with their use. Lets take a moment to review them now.
The Pros of Atomic Bombs
1. The Ultimate Deterrent
The atomic bomb is the ultimate “if, then” retaliation statement. If you attack us, then we will launch an atomic bomb on you. Its most notable use in war was during World War II when two such bombs were dropped on Japan. Completely eradicating both cities, the Japanese surrendered soon after, saving countless American and Japanese lives that would otherwise have been lost in months or years of battle. While the initial loss of life is high, it can be seen as a tool that serves a greater good.
2. Mutually Guaranteed Destruction
As remarked upon in the earlier paragraph, the atomic bomb helps to ensure mutually guaranteed destruction through the “if then” of its use. No country has a system of shooting down missiles that is 100% effective. Because of this, all you need is a single nuclear weapon to destroy an entire population center. With this in mind, many countries with nuclear weapons know that the moment they are launched, everyone will launch in retaliation. Given the nuclear fallout that results, the quality of life after the nuclear launches will be so terrible that economies will collapse and no person, not even the victors, will come out of the situation better then when they entered it. By letting everyone have atomic bombs, nation on nation violence ends.
The Cons of Atomic Bombs
1. Can Wipe Out Life On Earth
This is a major con that needs to be reiterated again and again. If atomic bombs are used, then all life on the planet can be wiped out. This can happen a number of ways. If an atomic bomb is accidentally set off in the upper atmosphere, then the resulting radiation will dramatically increase cancer among people all over the planet, and can even lead to a nuclear winter where all light is extinguished. Mass starvation, painful death, and a loss of government and rule will result. In addition, the radiation from an atomic bomb can spread from where it is detonated, effecting unattended and even friendly targets.
2. Is A Challenge to Store and Maintain Properly
Atomic weapons are made out of radioactive components that require special storage to stop people and the surrounding environment from getting radiation poisoning. In addition, this requires having the right technical knowhow and special training to stop weapons from degrading to the point where they may accidentally go off or otherwise poison people. Along with storing them correctly, there is also increased risk of the weapons being stolen and used in acts of terrorism. This may have actually happened with the various storage repositories throughout Russia. As a result, there are atomic bombs that are not accounted for.
3. Requires Environmentally Harmful Industries To Produce
Creating an atomic bomb is incredibly time consuming and complicated. It begins with extracting the right elements from the earth that requires mining and refinement. In addition, water and other resources are required to treat and prepare the material used in atomic weaponry. Radioactive waste is the result, causing several places in the United States to become superfund sights requiring significant resource and time investments to make no longer dangerous for human habitation.
4. May Be Misused
The use of atomic weapons against Japan is often considered a contentious issue because it may not have been necessary to bomb population centers. Countless innocent lives were lost while many more people would have to spend he rest of their lives battling deformities and various forms of cancer. The atomic weapons could have used off shore or in unpopulated areas to show their effectiveness without costing lives. The end result could have been an end to the war without such a high loss of life. Given that the past use of an atomic bomb is still debated to this day, you can understand that any future use of these weapons opens themselves up to misuse.
5. The Accidental Apocalypse
Everything people do is subject to human error. While we can do our best to automate processes and remove the human element, people are still crucial to whether or not bombs are launched. Several times during the cold war, atomic bombs were nearly launched due to errors in the system. A radar station might accidentally pick up on a nuclear launch when it is in fact nothing. With human error, there is always the chance of an accidental apocalypse.