In Search of Monsters — 100 Seconds to Midnight

In this installment of In Search of Monsters, host Chris Lydon speaks with Daniel Immerwahr, Alex Wellerstein, and Nina Tannenwald on an old threat that is rearing its head again: nuclear war.

On the famous clock-face of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the time now is 100 seconds before midnight. Meaning: humankind is closer to nuclear doomsday than it’s ever been. It’s a fiasco now, in mid-May we have a Russian autocrat with a taste for cruel and crushing force, facing humiliation and huge losses, but holding an arsenal of 4,500 nuclear warheads. Stranger still: one in three Americans favor US military action in support of Ukraine, “even if it risks a nuclear conflict with Russia.” Are we scared yet? What if we’re not scared half enough?

Listen to the full episode here:

Additionally, check out these related resources here:

The Threat of Nuclear War: Four Decades After ‘The Day After’ – Quincy Institute Webinar, June 14th, 2022.

• Forgetting the apocalypse: why our nuclear fears faded – and why that’s dangerous – Daniel Immerwahr in The Guardian, May 12th, 2022.

‘Limited’ Tactical Nuclear Weapons Would Be Catastrophic – Nina Tannenwald in Scientific American, March 10th, 2022.

The First Light of Trinity – Alex Wellerstein in The New Yorker, July 16th, 2015.