‘Dead dinosaurs and nuclear wars’ in Standish

What do the dinosaurs and humans have in common? Well, if nuclear war breaks out, a whole lot more than any of us would really like.

That’s what Dr. Owen Brian Toon will talk about next month when he comes to St. Joseph’s College for a lecture about the scary similarities between the conditions many scientists believe caused the mass extinction of the dinosaurs — who’d been doing so well for quite literally millions of years — about 65 million years ago and what would transpire under nuclear war.

This from an announcement of the talk, titled “Dead Dinosaurs and Nuclear War,” issued recently by St. Joe’s:

Dr. Toon proposes that many of the same phenomena that occurred after a mountain-sized asteroid, traveling more than 10 times the muzzle velocity of a rifle, slammed into the area that is now the Yucatan Peninsula may occur again if there is a nuclear war. The ancient catastrophe that reached around the world provides many insights and lessons for preventing yet another catastrophic event.

The lecture is scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. on April 18 at the Harold Alfond Hall Auditorium at the college’s Standish campus, and is free to attend. Toon is a professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is the founding chair and a research associate for the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics there.

So in case you need any more evidence that nuclear war would be a bad thing for the human race…

Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.