Regional Nuclear War -- No Big Whoop?

Days before presidential ink drops without much notice on the Henry J. Hyde United States and India Nuclear Cooperation Promotion Act of 2006, thus laying the groundwork for a nuclear arms race in South Asia, researchers with the American Geophysical Union have released a study on the atmospheric effects of a "limited" nuclear exchange of the kind envisioned between, say, India and Pakistan. Back in the mid-80s, the original nuclear-winter theory was based on a model assuming thousands of thermonuclear detonations across the planet; the AGU scientists have updated the variables to match contemporary, smaller-scale threats.

Their findings aren't much sunnier than the original total nuclear-winter scenario (which is captured to devastating effect in Cormac McCarthy's new novel, The Road, probably the greatest piece of nuclear war art ever created.)

The study, "Environmental Consequences of Regional Nuclear Conflicts ", unveiled Monday at a meeting in San Fancisco, concludes that even a limited nuclear war would trigger enough massive fires and throw enough smoke plumes into the stratosphere to result in "long-lasting, global climate effects." This global cooling would have a profound effect on agricultural production on every continent. The authors conclude that even a "tiny" nuclear exchange would produce "climate changes unprecedented in recorded human history."

Could it be that the U.S.-India nuke deal is just the first stage of a devilishly brilliant plan by the Bush Administration to finally address global warming?

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
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