K.S. Rajan (30 Nov 2014)

Atomic Scientist Says Nuclear War Is Apocalyptic Black Swan We Can Never See… Coming 
Several centuries ago in England, the black swan was a popular symbol for the impossible because no such creature had ever been seen. Then came the surprise: Black swans were discovered in Australia. Since then, the bird has symbolized that which seems impossible but can in fact occur. The black swan reminds us that believing something cannot happen is often just a failure of imagination.Parts of society today hold the same view of nuclear war that society in England did of black swans centuries ago: No nuclear war has ever been observed, so it may seem impossible that one would occur. Though nations possess some 16,000 nuclear warheads, deterrence just seems to work. And so, especially with the Cold War a fading memory, attention has shifted elsewhere. But it is just as much of a mistake to think that nuclear war couldn’t happen now as it was to think that black swans couldn’t exist back then.
How Would Public Be Warned Of Wormwood Threat, If At All? 
As scientists attempt to locate and track objects in space that might present a collision risk with Earth, they find themselves facing a vexing question -- if such a potential impact is predicted, how should the public be informed, and warned? It's a question that was given new urgency in February 2013 when an asteroid created a huge fireball and a window-shattering explosion over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk. That was ample proof the Earth can't be considered impervious to asteroid strikes, and that some -- like the Chelyabinsk event -- may come with little or no warning. The United Nations has for years been considering how best to gather information on near-Earth objects (NEOs) to provide advance warnings and notice to national authorities in the case of a possible hazardous NEO approaching our planet. Their efforts have, in part, led to the creation of an International Asteroid Warning Network (IAWN), which exists independently of the U.N