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Preventing Nuclear Terror

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The New York Times explores the cost versus the effectiveness of new detection technologies in the effort to prevent a nuclear device or a dirty bomb from getting to the core of a population center.

The cost estimates are necessarily vague, but the conversation about the appropriate appropriation ought to begin, I think, with what we have been willing to spend to prevent much less significant risks, and what others are willing to spend to prevent other theoretical harms, such as those associated with global warming. 

If, for example, the likelihood of nuclear terrorism over the course of the next 50 years is rated higher than that of the worst consequences of global warming occurring, then there ought to be some correlation between the amount urged for expenditure on the former versus that urged for expenditure on the latter.  Global warming alarmists may counter that their worst case scenarios involve costs far in excess of those associated with one or even a few nuclear incidents, and that argument may be valid.

But it hasn’t been made.  I suspect that it cannot be made as that would oblige enthusiasts of climate doom to be specific as to the costs they project and their assessment of risk in another field equally compelling in its potential devastation.


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