A nuclear-powered explosion in northern Russia on August 8 bore frightening similarities to the Chernobyl disaster three decades ago because of government secrecy and misleading response. The event also highlighted the ongoing threat of nuclear disasters to the planet’s survival. 

It’s a “clear and present danger, decades after the Cold War,” says former Time Senior Writer Bryan Walsh in an interview with Karma. His book, “End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World,” which comes out on August 27, addresses this theme and the importance of preparation for harsh conditions in a post-disaster world. Near the top of a survival to-do list is having a ready food supply. 

Walsh’s comments came shortly after the release of a report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that tied a plant-based diet to the reduced climate change. “Balanced diets featuring plant-based foods present major opportunities for mitigation,” the report found. 

A total of seven people were killed at Nonoksa testing facility, according to Russian government agencies. The New York Times cited U.S. intelligence officials questioning “whether Mr. Putin’s grand dream of a revived arsenal evaporated in that mysterious explosion, or whether it was just an embarrassing setback in Moscow’s effort to build a new class of long-range and undersea weapons that the United States cannot intercept.”

Walsh said that people need to prepare for nuclear catastrophes that could wipe out farms and livestock. “A nuclear bomb can block the sun,” he said.  

“We need to research the means by which we could continue to feed ourselves after a major catastrophe, including a nuclear winter,” he said. “We need to do that now—it’ll be too chaotic to wait until after the event.”

  • The recent UN report stated that reduction in meat consumption can mitigate climate change.
  • “The report underlines how there are no easy answers to climate change, especially around land use,” Walsh said. “The report indicates we need to look to a change in diet.”
  • Karma’s Takeaway: The recent explosion at a nuclear facility in Russia highlighted the importance of preparation for a post-disaster world, says author Brian Walsh. That means ensuring there is a ready food supply.