Preface. This is the fourth part of my book review of: Graff, G.M. 2018. Raven Rock. The Story of the U.S. Governments Secret Plan to Save Itself–While the Rest of Us Die. Simon and Schuster. Clearly if the U.S. government abandoned plans to help Americans survive for two weeks until they could emerge from their bomb shelters, there are certainly no plans to help the public survive peak oil and peak everything else for that matter, a permanent emergency.
Excerpts and summary of civilian aid:
Even as the government appeared to be optimistic about nuclear war, which wouldn’t be all that bad and survivable, the sentiment among the nation’s leaders was that the public had virtually no hope of surviving.
As Eisenhower said in one meeting, if war happened, the nation didn’t have “enough bulldozers to scrape the bodies off the street”.
Eisenhower and VP Richard Nixon resisted an expansion of the national shelter program. Nixon argued that “If 40 million were killed, the United States would be finished.” He did not believe the country would survive such a disaster. Eisenhower seemed to agree, later writing, “so far as I am personally concerned, I am not sure whether I would really want to be living if this country of ours should ever be subjected to a nuclear bath.”
After the 1962 the Cuban Missile Crisis the plans for a widespread public civil defense effort were abandoned when it became clear that doing so would be futile. Instead, the only priority would be saving the government.
Kennedy tried for a while to enact an ambitious fallout shelter plan, but that ended after Viet Nam and the public’s distrust of government. By 1979 the government had abandoned the pretense of providing civilian aid; across the country, the stockpiles and shelters of the Eisenhower and Kennedy years were mildewing, forgotten and ignored.
In 1979, New York City abandoned its efforts to give away the remaining supplies socked away inside its 10,800 fallout shelters and began hiring contractors at $38 a ton to transport the stockpiles to landfills.
What began in the 1950s as an all-encompassing, nationwide push for civil defense, to ready every household and workplace, every village and city, for a Soviet attack, shrank decade by decade, until by 9/11, there was just one aspect of the grand plans left in operation: the evacuation of the nation’s leaders to bunkers hidden under mountains.
Efforts to protect civilian life fell by the wayside and a fourth and final grim phase of nuclear reality settled over the United States. Soon grandiose plans gradually shrank to just a single, all-consuming governmental goal: protect the idea of a democratic leadership and preserve the National Command Authorities—that virtually never-ending succession line of officials authorized to launch the nation’s nuclear weapons.
Rather than remake the entire society, the government would protect itself and let the rest of us die. That way, there was a chance that democracy could one day again blossom.
Alice Friedemann www.energyskeptic.com author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation”, 2015, Springer and “Crunch! Whole Grain Artisan Chips and Crackers”. Podcasts: Derrick Jensen, Practical Prepping, KunstlerCast 253, KunstlerCast278, Peak Prosperity , XX2 report