INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL
HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI
SOLUTION AND VIEWS
fieldwhich systematically studieshuman interactionwith
theenvironmentin the interests of solving complex problems.
It is a broad field of study that includes also the natural
environment,builtenvironment, andthesets of relationships
between them. The field encompasses study in basic
principles of ecology and environmental science, as well as
controland natural resource management.
Whystudy environmental science?
You live here. There's only one planet so far that can support
You need to know how to protect your environment.
You need to know what has already been done to harm the
environment so that you can work to repair the damage.
We humans are currently undergoing a population explosion,
numbering over 6.5 billion people and growing. Most scientists
are convinced that this is an unsustainable population size and
that we must reduce our growth rate. While many developed
countries have reduced their population growth rates, most
developing countries have high birth rates.
The prodigious increase in the human population has had and is
still having devastating effects on the environment. This is
especially true of non-renewable resources, such as fossil fuels,
and the output of excessive carbon dioxide and other
greenhouse gases as a consequence.
The study of Environmental Science promotes the development
of problem-solving skills. Working in the field of
environmental science provides a wide variety of subjects and
problems to challenge and expand your skills, as well as the
satisfaction of knowing you are helping to improve the quality
of our lives and that of the planet.
Why Is Environmental Education Important?
Our nation‟s future relies on a well-educated public to be
wise stewards of the very environment that sustains us, our
families and communities, and future generations. It is
environmental education which can best help us as individuals
make the complex, conceptual connections between economic
prosperity, benefits to society, environmental health, and our
own well being. Ultimately, the collective wisdom of our
citizens, gained through education, will be the most
compelling and most successful strategy for environmental
Yet studies consistently reveal that the public suffers
from a tremendous environmental literacy gap that appears to
be increasing rather than decreasing. For example, two-thirds
of the public fail even a basic environmental quiz and a
whopping 88 percent of the public fail a basic energy quiz.
These same studies found that many people think the ocean is
a source of fresh water and some believe that hydropower is
world's top energy source.Environmental education also
increases student engagement in science.
ABOUT HIROSHIMA AND
At the time of its bombing, Hiroshima was a city of both
industrial and military significance. A number of military
camps were located nearby, including the headquarters which
commanded the defence of all southern Japan. In total, over
40,000 military personnel were stationed in the city.
Hiroshima was a minor supply and logistics base for the
Japanese military but it also had large depots of military
supplies and was a key center for shipping.The city was a
communications center, a storage point, and an assembly area
for troops. It was one of several Japanese cities left
deliberately untouched by American bombing, allowing a
pristine environment to measure the damage caused by the
The center of the city contained several reinforced
concrete buildings and lighter structures. Outside the center,
the area was congested by a dense collection of small wooden
workshops set among Japanese houses. A few larger industrial
plants lay near the outskirts of the city. The houses were
constructed of wood with tile roofs, and many of the industrial
buildings were also built around wood frames. The city as a
whole was highly susceptible to fire damage.
The population of Hiroshima had reached a peak of over
381,000 earlier in the war, but prior to the atomic bombing the
population had steadily decreased because of a systematic
evacuation ordered by the Japanese government. At the time
of the attack, the population was approximately 340,000–
350,000.Residents wondered why Hiroshima had been spared
destruction by firebombing.Some speculated that the city was
to be saved for US occupation headquarters, others thought
perhaps their relatives in Hawaii and California had petitioned
the US government to avoid bombing Hiroshima.More
realistic city officials had ordered buildings torn down to
create long, straight firebreaks, beginning in 1944. Firebreaks
continued to be expanded and extended, right up to the
morning of 6 August 1945.
The city of Nagasaki had been one of the largest sea
ports in southern Japan and was of great wartime importance
because of its wide-ranging industrial activity, including the
production of ordnance, ships, military equipment, and other
war materials. The four largest companies in the city were
Mitsubishi Shipyards, Electrical Shipyards, Arms Plant, and
Steel and Arms Works, which employed about 90% of the
city's labour force, and accounted for 90% of the city's
Nagasaki was not the target of large-scale bombing prior
to 9 August 1945. However, the city had been previously
bombed on a small scale five times. Of these raids, on 1
August, a number of conventional high-explosive bombs were
dropped on the city.
In contrast to many modern aspects of Hiroshima, almost
all of the buildings were of old-fashioned Japanese
construction, consisting of wood or wood-frame buildings
with wood walls (with or without plaster) and tile roofs. Many
of the smaller industries and business establishments were
also situated in buildings of wood or other materials not
designed to withstand explosions. Nagasaki had been
permitted to grow for many years without conforming to any
definite city zoning plan; residences were erected adjacent to
factory buildings and to each other almost as closely as
possible throughout the entire industrial valley. On the day of
the bombing, an estimated 263,000 were in Nagasaki.
The atomic bombings of the cities of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki in Japan were conducted by the United States during
the final stages of World War II in 1945. The two events are
the only use of nuclear weapons in a war to date.Following a
firebombing campaign that destroyed many Japanese cities,
the Allies prepared for a costly invasion of Japan. The war in
Europe ended when Nazi Germany signed its instrument of
surrender on 8 May, but the Pacific War continued. Together
with the United Kingdom and the Republic of China, the
United States called for a surrender of Japan in the Potsdam
Declaration on 26 July 1945, threatening Japan with "prompt
and utter destruction". The Japanese government ignored this
ultimatum. American airmen dropped Little Boy on the city of
Hiroshima on 6 August 1945, followed by Fat Man over
Nagasaki on 9 August.
Within the first two to four months of the bombings, the
acute effects killed 90,000–166,000 people in Hiroshima and
60,000–80,000 in Nagasaki with roughly half of the deaths in
each city occurring on the first day. The Hiroshima prefecture
health department estimated that, of the people who died on
the day of the explosion, 60% died from flash or flame burns,
30% from falling debris and 10% from other causes.
During the following months, large numbers died from
the effect of burns, radiation sickness, and other injuries,
compounded by illness. In a US estimate of the total
immediate and short term cause of death, 15–20% died from
radiation sickness, 20–30% from burns, and 50–60% from
other injuries, compounded by illness. In both cities, most of
the dead were civilians, although Hiroshima had a sizeable
On 15 August, six days after the bombing of Nagasaki,
Japan announced its surrender to the Allies, signing the
Instrument of Surrender on 2 September, officially ending
World War II. The bombings led, in part, to post-war Japan's
adopting Three Non-Nuclear Principles, forbidding the nation
from nuclear armament. The bombings' role in Japan's
surrender and their ethical justification are still debated.
Both the Hiroshima and the Nagasaki atomic bombs
exhibitedsimilar effects.The damages to man-made structures
and other inanimateobjects in both cities was the result of the
followingeffects of the explosions:
Blast, or pressure wave, similar to that of normal
Primary fires, i.e., those fires started instantaneously by
the heat radiated from the atomic explosion.
Secondary fires, i.e., those fires resulting from the
collapseof buildings, damage to electrical systems,
overturningof stoves, and other primary effects of the
Spread of the primary and secondary fires to other
The two bombs devastated residential buildings, and the
debris fed the firestorm that followed. Many of those who
were merely injured by the blast were trapped in the flames
and died. Many survivors had been hit by wood and glass
splinters from the pressure wave and most had burns, some
from where the thermal pulse had set fire to their clothes. The
fallout from the blast killed more residents with radiation
sickness, about which little was known even among doctors.
Long term illness such as cancers afflicted a large percentage
of the bomb victims.
The casualties sustained by the inhabitants of both citieswere
“Flash” burns, caused directly by the almost
instantaneousradiation of heat and light at the moment of
Burns resulting from the fires caused by the explosion.
Mechanical injuries caused by collapse of buildings,
flyingdebrisand forcible hurlingabout of persons
struckby the blast pressure waves.
Radiation injuries caused by the instantaneous
penetratingradiation (in many respects similar to
excessive X-rayexposure) from the nuclear explosion; all
of these effectiveradiations occurred during the first
minute after initiationof the explosion, and nearly all
occurred during the firstsecond of the explosion.
SOLUTION AND VIEWS
Nuclear disarmament refers to both the act of reducing or
eliminating nuclear weapons and to the end state of a nuclearweapon-free world, in which nuclear weapons are completely
Nuclear disarmament groups include the Greenpeace,
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War,
Mayors for Peace, Global Zero, Campaign for Nuclear
Disarmament, and the International Campaign to Abolish
Nuclear Weapons. There have been many large anti-nuclear
demonstrations and protests.
Proponents of nuclear disarmament say that it would lessen the
probability of nuclear war occurring, especially accidentally.
The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the end
of World War II quickly followed the Trinity test, and the Little
Boy device was detonated over the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
Peace movements emerged in Japan and in 1954 they
converged to form a unified „Japanese Council against Atomic
and Hydrogen Bombs‟. Japanese opposition to the Pacific
nuclear weapons tests was widespread and an estimated 35
million signatures were collected on petitions calling for bans
on nuclear weapons.