Abilene Christian College - Prickly Pear Yearbook (Abilene, TX)

 - Class of 1982

Page 65 of 424

 

Abilene Christian College - Prickly Pear Yearbook (Abilene, TX) online yearbook collection, 1982 Edition, Page 65
Page 65



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ation debates nuclear issue hat would happen to Abilene if Dyess Air Force Base were bombed in a nuclear war? Robert Williams, assistant professor of government, painted a chilling answer to the question for 70 students, faculty and community members who attended a seminar during Ground Zero Week, April 18-25. Williams, who organized the seminar, described the probable scenario of a one megaton nuclear bomb explosion at Dyess, which the government has iden- tified as a likely target in a nuclear war. The assistant professor said the bomb, would cause at least 10,000 deaths im- mediately. Fire storms, contaminated food and water, disease epidemics and severe emotional trauma would follow the initial blast, he said. "The survivors of a nuclear warf' he concluded, "would very likely en- vy the dead." Williams' predictions closely matched those made by members of the Physicians for Social Responsibility at their fall 1980 convention. Video-taped excerpts of that conference, titled "The Last Epidemic: The Medical Consequences of Nuclear War," were shown at the ACU seminar, April 22, and at noon the following day. The seminar, conducted by Williams and Paul Morris, associate professor of physics, was designed "to get you thinking about things you haven't thought about before," Williams told the audience. Q 59' Besides the consequences of a nuclear attack, Williams and Morris discussed the history of the U.S.-U.S.S.R. nuclear arms race, and Morris compared nuclear weapons totals. He also presented alter- natives for the two countries, which were in what Williams termed "a mutual hostage situation." Morris said one nation could conquer the other, both nations could continue building nuclear weapons and trying to intimidate each other or they could communicate and develop a friendlier relationship. oth teachers attempted to present facts and ideas rather than urge a specific solution to the issue. However, Morris pointed out that of the options available, attempting to establish a rela- tionship with the Soviet Union would be the safest for mankind. Williams described faculty and ad- ministration reaction to the seminar as in- different, but he said student response was "limited but encouraging." He said students, reactions "ranged from 'good grief, what kind of radical thing is thisl' to genuine interest and concern." Before planning the Ground Zero Week activities Williams, who did his graduate work at Johns Hopkins School of Ad- vanced lnternational Studies in Washington, D.C., said he was concerned about the area's conservativism. "I was afraid people would immediately dismiss lllx wwf? -rat' .age- ' ..... . this as some kind of imported or alien philosophy or movement," he said. In- stead, he said, the thoughtful response from students encouraged him. tudents and others who attended ACU's Ground Zero Week sessions joined thousands of people in the nation- wide revival of concern about nuclear war and armament. Roser Molander, National Security Council staff member in the Nix- on, Ford and Carter administrations, created Ground Zero Week as an effort to educate Americans about the entire nuclear arms issue. Besides concentrating attention on nuclear war with Ground Zero Week, Williams said Molander published a book titled Nuclear War: What's in it for You. The assistant professor said Molander's organization attempted to present infor- mation and emphasize the dangers of nuclear war, but was not "pushing any solutions." Whether or not Ground Zero Week pro- duced any solutions, Williams thought the week was successful because it focused at- tention upon what he called nthe most im- portant conflict of our time." This page: Poster and research materials from Ground Zero Week. Opposite page: William F. Buckley. F53 Ground Zero Week 61

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