Former Defense Secretary William Perry: Why we must describe doomsday to keep it from happening

By John Mecklin, October 31, 2019

Former US Defense Secretary and current Bulletin Board of Sponsors chair William PerryFormer US Defense Secretary and current Bulletin Board of Sponsors chair William Perry

In this interview, former Defense Secretary William Perry – chair of the Bulletin’s Board of Sponsors and an emeritus director of the Nuclear Threat Initiative – explains why he believes that public dissemination of realistic (and therefore horrifying) scenarios of nuclear war can help reduce the likelihood it will occur. “What we’re really trying to do is find ways of averting doom,” Perry says. “But we think the first step in that is recognizing that these are very real possibilities.”

“What we’re really trying to do is find ways of averting doom.”

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David Wargowski
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David Wargowski

I agree with William Perry’s proposal. When I was growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, I was keenly aware of how destructive and sinister nuclear weapons were. By the time I started first grade. I was frightened by the sight of mushroom clouds on the television and had to leave the room. It took several years to overcome that fear. Nowadays, many individuals just don’t get it, and/or do not care at all or feel a sense of helplessness. Perhaps the education should start by comparing nuclear destruction with the West Coast wild fires. It will not be an… Read more »

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