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'Nuclear weapons are not comprehensible: neither you nor I have any hope of understanding just what they are and what they do . . . So-called facts about the Bomb are not facts in the ordinary sense at all: they are not facts we can relate to, get our minds round. Mere numbers, words.
Let me repeat a fact. The bomb which was dropped on Hiroshima killed 140,000 people. The uranium it contained weighed about 25 pounds; it would have packed into a cricket ball. 140,000 people is about equal to the total population of Cambridge . . .
I, for one, cannot grasp that kind of fact. I cannot make the connection between a cricket ball and the deaths of everyone who lives in Cambridge. I cannot picture the 140,000 bodies, let alone feel sympathy for each individual as he died.
We are each too human to understand the killing power of nuclear weapons.
Dr Nicholas Humphrey, Four Minutes to Midnight. The 1981 Bronowski Memorial Lecture