- Article: “A Noted Physicist Tells How You Can Make Yourself... Fallout Protection for Under 20 Cents!” This Week. [Filed under LP Peace: Materials re: Nuclear Fallout; Radiation Hazards, 1960-1961: Box #7.004, Folder #4.30]
- Article: “Transcript of Kennedy Address,” The New York Times. [Filed under LP Peace: Pauling Peace Research Notes: Box #6.012, Folder #12.3]
- Hotel bill: Sheraton Plaza Hotel, Boston [Filed under LP Travel, Box #1.003, Folder 3.1]
- Itinerary [handwritten]: Ford Hall Forum, Boston; “The Significance of the Bomb-test Negotiations” [Filed under LP Travel, Box #1.003, Folder 3.1]
- Itinerary: LP and AHP leave New York at 9:15 AM, arrive in Boston at 10:12 AM; reservation at the Sheraton Plaza Hotel [Filed under LP Travel, Box #1.003, Folder 3.1]
- Letter from Donald Kavanagh to LP RE: Kavanagh is writing a term paper on the United State’s defense against Russia. Kavanagh asks for LP’s opinion on fallout shelters. [Letter from Harris to Kavanagh November 30, 1961] [Filed under LP Peace: Materials re: Fallout and Radiation Shelters, and Civil Defense, 1954-1961: Box #7.007, Folder #7.22]
- Letter from Jack Huntley to LP, RE: During this time of “fire and fission”, Mr. Huntley writes to see if LP is ok. There was nothing in the papers about Pasadena, but the fires must have made the smog near lethal. He has been reading quotes from LP in the press. Asks if there is any point in cutting out radioactive food such as milk, or if there’s so much of it anyway that it doesn’t matter. He is on his third job since coming to San Francisco from Los Angeles. He misses LP, as well as his coffee, wine, and lasanga. [Letter from LP to Mr. Huntley, December 28, 1961] [Filed under LP Correspondence: (H: Correspondence, 1961-1962), #168.1]
- Letter from Joan Harris to LP, RE: Hopes that LP’s trip is going well, and inquires as to whether LP was able to make the TV appearances arranged by Mr. Ellesworth (Handwritten: “One-Mike Wallace”). Encloses some letters that LP should see before he goes to Moscow: a request from NATURE for a book review (Handwritten: “Write that I can’t because I’m traveling.”); an affidavit to be signed, notarized, and sent to Mr. Green (Handwritten: “Done.”); and a letter from Professor Saylor asking to give the Fritz London Memorial Lecture (Handwritten: “O.K.”). Has questions before she finishes the dictation on two other letters: R.C. La Force’s letter and manuscript which he would like LP to submit to the Proceedings of the National Academy (Handwritten: “I had dictated an answer. Write him that I can’t submit it-not enough time to consider his arguments.”); William N. Plymat answers LP’s offer of a tape of his talk from the First Unitarian Church with an affirmative, so Mrs. Harris asks if she should send it (Handwritten: “Yes”). Handwritten at the top: “Thanks for taking care of these. LP”. Attachment: Handwritten notes for the Mike Wallace show and the Producer Jack Pan Show. [Filed under LP Correspondence: (H: Correspondence, 1961-1962), #168.1]
- Letter from Sue Davidson Gottfried to LP RE: Tells him about the series of articles appearing in the Seattle Times by Dr. Libby about how to survive nuclear war and fallout shelters. Says that she finds the articles to be irresponsible, and asks LP to write some sort of response to Libby’s statements to be published. [Letter from LP to Gottfried April 11, 1962] [Filed under LP Correspondence, G: Correspondence 1962-1965 Box 142, Folder 142.1]
- Manuscript: ‘The Significance of the Bomb-Test Negotiations’, The Ford Hall Forum. [Filed under LP Speeches: (Speeches by LP, 1961) Box # 1961s3 Folder #1961s3.14]
- Newspaper Clipping: Advertisement for “Koven Welded Steel Plate Fall-Out Shelters for Six People,” New York Times, November 12, 1961.
- Program: “The Significance of the Bomb Test Negotiations”, Ford Hall Forum, November 12, 1961. [Filed under LP Biographical: (LP Scrapbooks, 1961-1965), Box #6.008, Folder #8.140]
- The President’s Address at Arlington, RE: Transcript of the Veteran’s Day address delivered by President Kennedy at the Arlington National Cemetery. Handwritten at the top: LP comments on a quote made by President Kennedy to fight in the final extreme. “Such a policy will mean the end of civilization.” [Filed under LP Correspondence: (K: Individual Correspondence. (Kennedy-Klein, Morton)), #198.3]
- Typescript: ‘The Significance of the Bomb-Test Negotiations’, The Ford Hall Forum. [Filed under LP Speeches: (Speeches by LP, 1961) Box # 1961s3 Folder #1961s3.14]
The Significance of the Bomb-Test Negotiations
by Linus Pauling.
Ford Hall Forum, Jordan Hall, Boston. Sunday 12 November 1961
The sudden resumption of the testing of nuclear weapons by the Soviet Union, after nearly three years when none of the great nuclear powers carried out bomb tests, has caused greatly increased concern about the damage done to human beings by the radioactive materials produced in the bomb tests and about the increasing magnitude of the nuclear stockpiles, which indicates the possibility of an even more destructive nuclear war than has been anticipated in earlier discussions.
On the basis of the opinions of leading geneticists, it can be estimated that the bomb tests carried out so far have released radioactive fission products into the atmosphere that will in the course of a few generations cause about 250,000 children to be born, with gross physical or mental defect, as a result of gene mutations, who would have been normal if the bomb tests had not been carried out. In addition, the radioactive carbon-14 produced from the nitrogen of the atmosphere by the neutrons released in the bomb tests can be expected to cause about 2,500,000 grossly defective children, during some thousands of years, if the human race continues to populate the earth.
The amount of human suffering involved in the birth of these children may be very small compared with the human suffering that would be caused by a great nuclear war, but the nature of the damage, affecting unborn children for generation after generation, is such as to give rise to a special feeling of horror.
The continued stockpiling of nuclear weapons during recent years is such that a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union would probably leave each of these countries a radioactive waste, devastated by great fire storms, and with nearly all of the American people and the Russian people dead. A reasonable estimate, based upon the existing great bombers and rockets to deliver the weapons, is that the United States could carry out an attack on the Soviet Union with 20,000 megatons of nuclear bombs and the Soviet Union could carry out an attack on the United States with 10,000 megatons. These attacks would cause essentially the same effects - a larger number of bombs is needed in attacking the Soviet Union, because of its larger area and greater dispersal of the population. These attacks would kill approximately 94 percent of the people in each country (the fraction dead at the end of 60 days after the day on which the war took place), and leave most of the others seriously injured. If fallout shelters were to be constructed on a large scale in each of these countries, it would be necessary, in order to achieve the same extinction of the two nations, for the attacks to be quadrupled in size - an 80,000 megaton attack on the Soviet Union, and a 40,000 megaton attack on the United States. There is evidence that the United States now has 100,000 megatons of bombs, and it is accordingly likely that the increase in scale of the attack necessary to achieve extinction of the population in each of the two enemy countries could be and would be effected.
Although it is likely that the leaders of the two great nations are sufficiently rational to refrain from engaging in nuclear war, there is great danger that the war would break out as the result of some accident or of some combination of circumstances such that even the wisest national leaders could not prevent the descent into the inferno. It is accordingly essential that steps be taken to decrease the danger, by moving toward the goal of general and complete disarmament through international agreements involving also the best possible systems of control and inspection.
The bomb-test negotiations that were carried out in Geneva involve the discussion of a far more complicated set of agreements than had ever been attempted in international negotiations before. These negotiations were for the most part successful, in that most of the problems were resolved, and it had become evident in 1961 that the remaining problems could be resolved by reasonable compromise. These negotiations may accordingly serve as a pattern for the negotiations that must be resumed in the near future and that must be successful if civilization is to be preserved from destruction.