I agree with John Penley’s letter, “Asheville Should be Prepared for War,” in the Oct. 4 edition [Xpress]. We are in a very dangerous situation vis-a-vis North Korea (and possibly Iran), and Trump seems to want to make it even more so.
The question that arises for me is: How could we, as a local community “prepare for war”? What actions can city government take that would serve to protect the citizens? The U.S and North Korea are saber-rattling with nuclear weapons. A nuclear war is virtually impossible to imagine, as the consequences would be so devastating, possibly leading to the end of human civilization.
In the ’50s and early ’60s, during the height of the nuclear arms race, some people built fallout shelters in their backyards, and some buildings in virtually every city had the yellow and black radiation symbol that indicated that it had a shelter in the basement. As a child in elementary school, I participated in “duck and cover” drills (like hiding under my desk would protect me from a nuclear blast!).
Perhaps this is a conversation our city should have, as the unthinkable may actually occur. Just as we should start conversing about the possibility of many climate refugees moving to the mountains, just as we talk about our resilience to mitigate climate change locally, perhaps we should include nuclear war in the mix. Noam Chomsky has stated that climate change and nuclear war are the two existential threats to human civilization that we must face and address. Are we up to the challenge?
— Anne Craig