I was thinking about the incredibly awesome meteor that decided to streak through the skies of Russia last week and something occurred to me. How close to nuclear war did we come?
Think about it. A rocket-like object suddenly starts hurling itself across the Russian sky and explodes with nuclear-like ferocity. You have to imagine that someone within the Russian army was getting an itchy trigger finger while all of this was going on. Especially since many other close calls have occurred over lesser incidents. I guess it all depends on if Russia was even capable of detecting the meteor on radar.
Maybe Russia has become more careful with their nuclear triggers since the Cold War has ended. What about other countries though? What if a meteor struck Pakistan? Would we be looking at a nuclear war between Pakistan and India? I would say that the odds are pretty good of an overreaction on either side’s part given the tensions between those two countries.
Chances are that if a meteor hits us, we’re not going to see it coming. And given humanity’s penchant for the dramatic, chances are some government will overreact to it. Our biggest threat in the event of a meteor strike is likely not the meteor itself but the actions of the government of the country that it hits. And that’s scary.