Friday, September 22, 2017

Apocalypse averted

You may not have heard of Stanislav Petrov, whose death at the age of 77 has just been confirmed, but his name should be much more widely known. After all, how many people can claim to have pretty much single-handedly averted nuclear war? In an obituary for the New York Times, Sewell Chan has reported on Petrov's extraordinary courage in deciding that, when the Soviet Union's anti-missile defence system warned that the US had launched an attack in September 1983, it was a false alarm.

With the world once more on the brink of nuclear destruction thanks to the childish, boorish gamesmanship of Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, it's appalling to think that the lessons of the past simply haven't been learned.

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