What if Detroit were nuked? A 1979 government report found out


The 2015 report is waaaaay shorter and less interesting.

Nothing would change, it’s already a wasteland. Mutants would improve city image. Plenty of opportunities for post-apocalyptic filming locations.


When it come to OTA reports about nukes, I’m partial to the one on MX basing…

And once again, with feeling - one of the greatest sins of the Gingrich era was the closing of the Office of Technology Assessment.


I don’t think they predicted Congress canceling many of our liberties and rights, or the Executive waiving habeas corpus in favor of torture, but it didn’t even take a nuclear weapon to do that. All our enemies needed was a couple of airplanes, and we did the rest for them.


I was going to say, “Property values sky rocket.”


Aside from glowing in the dark, Detroit would not have looked much different.


No, no, no…what you mean to to say is that property will go through the stratosphere. (Yes, I’m going to hell, but it was sooo worth it.)


As with the U.S. invasion of Iraq (when Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11), one gets the idea there were a lot of people just waiting for the chance to lay siege to those liberties.

Did you see Appendix C on pg 127?

“In an effort to provide a more concrete understanding of the situation
which survivors of a nuclear war would face, OTA commissioned the following
work of fiction…”

1 Like

Wait, it wasn’t?..

Then how do you explain the devastation? The lack of infrastructure?

The hordes of people scrabbling in a post-apocalyptic wasteland for daily survival?

(all confused now…)

1 Like

some speculate those people got tired of waiting and outright fomented an incident tailor made for the citizenry to willingly just hand over all their liberties. but not me. no, everyone who thinks that is crazy.

Holy crap you’re right, there is an appendix in this report with the story of Charlottesville, Va after a fictional nuclear exchange. I have read this before! I attended the University of Virginia and maybe that is how I found it originally… but it is just as terrifying now as the first time I encountered it.

I found one HTML version here, still has OCR artifacts, but solidly worth a read:


Good read. Fairly optimistic in tone, too.

Made me realize that in no materials I can remember there was a suggestion to use the time forced to spend in shelters and later indoor for training of the forced-idle population to skills needed in the recovery period. The one with that underwater basket weaving degree who would have to putz around uselessly could make a decent assistant-medic, and so on.

I wonder how an updated version for today’s technology would look; in many ways it would be pretty similar, although the entertainment (and knowledge in general) situation could be less bad, as long as electricity runs, due to way easier copying of content…

Random thought. How can we make the society more resilient, have more labs capable of synthesis of medicines and other agents, more knowledgeable people capable of operating their equipment, more flexible equipment (RNA “printers” for vaccines and DNA/RNA-based meds, reconfigurable microreactors for the rest…), more radiation/chemical/biological agent detection/analysis gear between the people? More safe and resilient communication systems (the AM radio is increasingly gone and few people have the receivers anymore, TV went overwhelmingly digital with all its resilience penalties, FM is relatively short-range, CB fell out of popularity with the advent of cellphones which are bound to a network that’s liable to get crippled easily, and the Net is now centralized on a handful of thick pipes and a few buildings full of racks of expensive irreplaceable equipment with questionable if ever existing fallbacks…)?

I guess it’s true what they say, haters gonna hate.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.