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The Disastrous Consequences of a Nuclear War Essay

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Carl Sagan (1934 – 1996), an American-born renowned astronomer, defined and explained the phenomenon of Nuclear Winter for the first time in 1983. In the article Nuclear Winter, based on the scientific paper “Global Atmospheric Consequences of Nuclear War”, Sagan explained and analyzed an unanticipated consequence, a drastic drop in world’s temperature, of a nuclear war. In a historical context, potential use of nuclear warheads in Cold War (1947-1991) influenced the writer to highlight the consequences of a nuclear war. Sagan is successful in conveying his message through a coherent structure, strong support, effective tone and careful word selection; however, the exaggerated pessimism and ineffectiveness of the essay in a modern context weakens his argument.
Writer provides a series of facts to inform the public and policymakers of the catastrophic consequences of a thermo-nuclear war. The most severe among these consequences is a drastic drop in the world’s temperature. Based on their extensive research, Sagan and his fellow scientists came up with the phenomenon of Nuclear Winter. According to them, heated particles after the nuclear explosion will rise up to form a layer around the earth that will absorb incoming sunlight. Earth, deprived of sunlight, will experience a sharp fall in temperature. This will interrupt photosynthesis and kill livestock that will result in a worldwide shortage of food.
Author has maintained coherence in the text by organizing his ideas in a logical order. Consequences of a nuclear war are listed first, followed by scientific explanation for the causes of these consequences and finally a valuable conclusion from his arguments. In the first few paragraphs, writer enumerates various outcomes of ...


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...rs, well-supported arguments helped in convincing readers and dexterous words selection and tone use increased the effectiveness of the essay. Although inapplicability in the modern political context decreases the effectiveness of the argument, there was a severe need of such awareness during the 80’s. Hence, the article served its purpose in spreading awareness across public and policy makers.



Works Cited
"Antinuclear Movement." Pollution Issues. Web. 12 Apr. 2011. .
Sagan, Carl. "Nuclear Winter." Readings for Writers. Ed. McCuen, Jo Ray, and Anthony Winkler. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace College, 1995. Print.
"Treaties & Agreements | Arms Control Association." Arms Control Association | The Authoritative Source on Arms Control since 1971. Web. 12 Apr. 2011. .


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