Debate #2: Lord Edam

March 13, 2002 (my third rebuttal, part 3/3)

Base Delta Zero

Edam, many of your "rebuttals" in this most recent post were already answered in my last post. Debating is rather difficult when one must go over the same ground repeatedly, re-clarifying one's semantics with each iteration. Let's go back to your original theory, and see if it holds up (or indeed, if you are still defending it, because if you have quietly changed your story, then you have conceded the point).

In your first post, you claimed that "a BDZ is a multi-stage operation involving three stages. Initial bombardment, sweeps to ensure that sweeps to ensure the primary & any special goals have been achieved, and finally the over-kill at the end." This is your clever little way of getting around the vast disparity between your idea of a BDZ and the official BDZ expectations as well as past BDZ results, which explicitly require the extermination of all sentient life, all fisheries, all arable land, and all fisheries, not to mention a undetermined amount of slagging. You split a BDZ into three pieces, and then arbitrarily mix and match combinations of the three methods and requirements in order to argue that you've covered all bases.

The Shell Game

Here's where the fun begins, because you've got two different kinds of BDZ now. Is a BDZ a specific mission? The books say so, the novels say so, everybody else says so, but you disagree. In your mind, BDZ is more of a generalized idea, like "bombardment", which can mean a whole spectrum of activities. The fact that BDZ has very specific mission requirements in the books is irrelevant to you, but that's nothing new; everything in the books or movies which contradicts you has always been irrelevant, hasn't it? It's a neat trick, because now that you've created two different kinds of BDZ (a "regular" BDZ and an "overkill" BDZ), you can play a shell game. Is your projection for stage 1 hopelessly inadequate to meet official requirements? No problem, we don't need to meet official requirements because that's an "overkill" BDZ. No idea where you got this idea of a two-tiered BDZ, since BDZ is a very specific mission with very specific goals that are not flexible, but hey, this wouldn't be the first time you've "invented" official or canon facts out of thin air.

You have demonstrated that you are very clever at nitpicking and games. Unfortunately, you have not demonstrated even the slightest tendency toward honest debate. At least with Gothmog, he was misguided, scientifically ignorant, and pompous, but he honestly thought he was right. You, on the other hand, are a pure con artist. Even when you know perfectly well that you're fucked up, you try to wriggle out of it with tricks and red herrings rather than simply admitting defeat. And so your shell game starts: your BDZ fails to meet mission requirements but it doesn't have to, because you're just describing a "regular" BDZ, not an "overkill" BDZ, right? An ISD can pull off a BDZ on its own, but of course, that doesn't mean it can pull off an "overkill" BDZ, and since you have now stated Lord Edam's ReWriting of Star Wars Official Literature, there are two distinct kinds of BDZ (odd how they only mention one in any of the official books, but I guess they screwed up by not consulting you in order to get their facts straight).

Every time I show that you can't meet BDZ requirements, you simply say they only apply to an "overkill" BDZ and you don't have to meet them. Every time I show evidence that an ISD can perform a BDZ by itself, you say that it can only do a "regular" BDZ, and I haven't proven that it can do an "overkill" BDZ. And when I did give explicit evidence that a single ISD could perform what you call an "overkill" BDZ ("no survivors, no witnesses" whatsoever), you simply dismissed the quotes as "misinformation"! But of course it was misinformation, Edam. Those fools at LucasFilm Licensing didn't check with you first! How dare they decide what is and isn't true in Star Wars without your approval?

Let's look at your bullshit deception, shall we?

Edam BDZ

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Official requirements

Kill all sentient beings, destroy all arable land, fisheries, mines, and industries. Traditionally interpreted as massive surface bombardment of 500 million megatons or more (by myself and Curtis Saxton), with a timeframe of 1 hour to reduce likelihood of escape.

"Mop up" any targets of stage 1 which somehow survived. Traditionally interpreted to be those hiding in specially designed "deep planet shelters" such as the one at Dankayo. Therefore, number of survivors is expected to be very small.

Render planet completely dead and uninhabitable over the long-term (at least 40 years, based on Caamas), to such an extent that it would be easier to terraform a dead world than restore Caamas to habitability (ref: SOTP). Traditionally interpreted as a side-effect of the violent bombardment of stage 1.

Your method

Fighter strikes on satellites and spaceports, plus 60 1 megaton TL shots per second for 1 hour. Use "deep sea bombing" for fisheries. Energy requirement: less than 250,000 megatons.

"Stormtrooper squads are sent down to the planet to search for survivors and complete any additional goals". Energy requirement: insignificant.

Continue stage 1 operation and add "direct surface bombardment", which results in "large amounts of dust kicked up into the atmosphere". Combination produces "widespread destruction of the ozone layer".

Your projections

"over 50% of the inhabited surface area of the planet either totally destroyed or burning ... almost complete destruction of all assets of production - agriculture and indutry will be destroyed, mines will be unusable due to the instability of the entrances following attack"

Not specified (presumably elimination of all survivors).

"a short period with very little heat or light, followed by a prolonged period of intense UV pollution which will last for over 20 years (ref: The Effects of Nuclear Weapons). The planet will be entirely uninhabitable"

Realistic results

7% fatalities, 11% injuries, 82% of planet's population uninjured (based on 1979 Detroit urban construction). Arable land unaffected. Mines totally unaffected. Fisheries totally unaffected. Mission assessment: total failure. On a planet with 6 million inhabitants, 5 billion are completely healthy after attack.

Insignificant. Stormtrooper squads armed with blaster rifles cannot possibly kill many billions of survivors, including tens of billions of animals both on land and at sea. The term "mop-up" is grossly inapplicable. Mission assessment: total failure.

Global environmental effects (atmospheric dust loading, NOX production and consequent ozone depletion, firestorms) from distributed 1 megaton explosions are all much weaker than a single asteroid impact of equal magnitude. Even 100 ships firing continuously for 4 hours would produce only a small fraction of the upper atmospheric dust loading of the K-T extinction event, which did not render the planet uninhabitable. Atmospheric cooling effect would subside in a matter of months, ozone depletion would be a nuisance, forcing people to stay indoors and wear hats. Mission assessment: total failure.

Your attempts to defend your scenario are mostly weak evasions. Let's review:


Your Evasion

Nuclear winter effects (atmospheric dust loading, NOx production, ozone depletion) are totally inadequate to exterminate all life as required for BDZ. Threshold energy requirement for extinction of all advanced life forms is actually 1 billion megatons, from asteroid impact simulations.

Shell game: you try to ignore the 1 billion megaton threshold by saying that "Reduced firepower over a larger area will have greater effect" (apparently, thousands of times greater), but you ignore the fact that not only is the sheer size of the disparity absurd, but it only has a greater blast effect. It actually has a smaller global climactic effect, which is what we're talking about. When confronted with this fact, you ignore it and give an example of its greater blast effect. Stage 1 rebuttal for stage 3 criticism. Classic shell game; now you see it, now you don't. Unless somebody points out your con game ... oops! I guess I let the cat out of the bag, didn't I?

Fisheries will not be affected. Even thousands of multi-megaton explosions underwater have little or no effect on sea life. Bikini atoll nuclear tests demonstrated quite clearly that shockwave propagation through water is extremely inefficient, the fireball is much smaller than it would be in air, and the only lasting environmental hazard is radioactive fallout from fission products (which do not exist in a turbolaser bolt).

Change of plan: you suddenly decide that stage 3 is conducted with bioweapons. You act as though this is what you meant all along, and you hope no one will notice, or go back and check your first post in this debate. You give examples of fast-acting bioweapons against other species and even from Star Trek as "proof" of this theory. You ignore the fact that a BDZ is conducted with starship guns, not bioweapons.

Mines will not be destroyed or even slightly damaged by blast shockwaves. Even a direct hit groundburst would only collapse a small portion of the mind entrance, which could be easily reopened.

Change of Story: you suddenly change your tune from "mines will be unusable" to saying they will be "unsafe". When that idea is shot down just as easily, you change your story again, to say that "they will be [destroyed]. Not in the 1 hour example you keep misrepresenting, but in the actual, continuing operation, very probably using over 300 heavy turbolasers on multiple ships." In other words, the shell game again: you admit that they can be destroyed but you claim that only an "overkill" BDZ can accomplish the job (there you go with your imaginary two-tier BDZ mission again).

Residential basements, subway systems, and reinforced buildings will survive the blast shockwave. Backyard bomb shelters, public shelters, etc. will survive.

Self-contradiction: you claim that SW buildings must be "designed to withstand a BDZ" in order to survive a 5 psi shockwave (neat circular logic; we know a BDZ can use 5 psi shockwaves because SW buildings can't survive a BDZ, and BDZ uses 5 psi shockwaves). But in reality, a building need only be reinforced against natural phenomena such as hurricanes. All underground structures automatically qualify, as do city shelters designed for natural disasters. When confronted with the fact that an ordinary home basement would survive, you dismiss it because of the time required to "get into the basement in the first place." That's a neat self-contradiction, Edam: suddenly, the two minutes required to get your family into the basement or the fifteen minutes it takes to get to a subway station or a public shelter are too long for a lightning-fast BDZ, even though you've previously insisted that it takes "hours!"

You claimed "complete destruction of all life and buildings within a radius of 7 km". Realistically, 95% of the population between 4.3 and 7.5km of Ground Zero survives, and 50% is not even injured.

Ignorance: You ignore the projection of 50% uninjured and claim that "anyone who does survive will likely be severely injured by rubble or burns, and finished off in the mop-up operation that follows after the initial bombardment".

The "100% fatality in 7km radius" estimate is actually based on the practice of simplifying all short and long-term fatalities both in and out of the 7km radius into a single figure for the sake of simplicity (classic double accounting on your part: you're using the 100%/7km rule of thumb and then adding casualties outside 7km even though they're already incorporated into the rule of thumb!).

Silence: You simply ignored this point completely. Perhaps I didn't spell it out in enough detail for you?

You claimed "fatal blast/burn injuries to all life within 16 km, ignition of all combustible material within 16 km, resulting in massive firestorms". However, it was pointed out that this actually requires ideal conditions: perfect visibility, line of sight, dry kindling everywhere. If visibility is poor, no one will suffer burns at that range. If people are inside buildings, they won't suffer burns. If they don't have a direct line of sight to the blast, they won't suffer burns. Living wood is not flammable enough to be lit afire by the brief thermal radiation pulse (a reference is cited to that effect). In short, there are no global firestorms. The OTA study indicates that "there would be no firestorm" even in the heart of a city that had been attacked.

Silence: You simply ignored this point completely. You repeat the figures about igniting flammable material from your physics text and "Effects of Nuclear Weapons" without acknowledging their caveats (exposed flesh, clear visibility, direct line of sight). You ignored the fact that forests are not flammable ("flammable" means "capable of being easily ignited and burning quickly," and it includes dry kindling but not living wood or grass). You continue to insist that urban blast centres must be devastated by firestorms, even though the primary fire ignition mechanism is secondary sources such as broken gas lines, petroleum tanks etc. Direct references were given to disprove your claims, and you simply ignored them. You continue to use global firestorms as a principal damage mechanism in defiance of the facts.

A simulated 1 megaton blast over Detroit leads to very limited casualties, far smaller than your projections. See 1979 OTA study.

Change of Story: You complain that this study covered a "SINGLE 1MT explosion over detroit - NOT repeated, multiple explosions over a matter of hours. You continue to misrepresent my claims." Unfortunately for you, I am not misrepresenting your claims. Detroit has a land area of roughly 350 km². With 1 megaton airbursts at 60 shots per second (your scenario), it would take nearly 7 hours to blanket the planet with sufficient density to score just one hit for each 350 km² of surface area. In order to hit every 350 km² area repeatedly (say, 5 times), you would need 34 hours. And you still wouldn't achieve 100% kills!

The "initial bombardment" phase is utterly inadequate, and kills only 7% of the planet's population, injuring 11%.

No numbers: you retort that the whole operation takes hours. You do not acknowledge that it would take well over a day to have a reasonable probability of 100% kills, and even then, the planet would still be habitable and its arable land, mines, and fisheries would survive.

Multi-kilometre tall skyscrapers disprove your claim that SW buildings are no stronger than modern buildings, thus diminishing the damage even further. We could not possibly build such structures with modern techniques and materials.

Outright lie: you claim that multi-kilometre tall buildings are very rare in SW. You even claim that most of Coruscant is flat, and that tall buildings are the exception rather than the norm (obviously not paying attention during TPM, bothering to read any of the official literature, remembering Bespin, or noticing that the "flat" area around the Jedi Tower on Coruscant is wholly artificial and merely constites the top surface of underlying construction).

72 fighters cannot possibly blockade an entire planet to ensure no witnesses. There are too many ships, too many launch platforms, too much space to cover. You can't assume that all ships are at spaceports (or that there are so few spaceports). Massive bombardment firepower is a much better explanation than an impenetrable blockade where the ratio of fleeing ships to TIE fighters is likely to be hundreds or even thousands to one.

Outright lie: you claim that we "almost never" see ships away from spaceports (even though the opposite is true in the canon films), so every spacecraft on the planet can be presumed neutralized if every spaceport is destroyed. When confronted with the falsehood of your claim, you simply shift to the novels and repeat the claim, again without providing a shred of evidence. Obviously, you expect me to waste my time disproving this new story.

Contrary to your denials, 1 ISD can BDZ a planet with "no survivors, no witnesses." (Han Solo, VOTF)

Flat denial: you simpy dismiss it on the flimsy basis that Han Solo was acting on "misinformation", ignoring the fact that at this point in the timeline, the New Republic already has possession of numerous Star Destroyers, and its true capabilities are well known to them.

3 ISDs can BDZ a planet with "no survivors, no witnesses," with enough safety factor that Thrawn's clone felt confident enough to trust the future of the Empire to the plan (VOTF; unfortunately for him, the Falcon stumbled into the lead ship's cloaking field by accident, despite the vanishingly small probability of such a thing; chalk it up to the "good guy X-factor").

Self-contradiction: even though you continue to claim that a 100-ship "bombard fleet" is required for such an operation to have a reasonable chance of success, you suddenly changed your tune and tried to explain this incident away by saying that their increased firepower over 1 ISD will do the trick, even though "no survivors, no witnesses" realistically requires orders of magnitude more than what you've specified, not just 3x.

An ISD can reduce the surface of a planet to smoking debris in a matter of hours, as per official sources (it can also reduce it to slag, although you shriek at the top of your lungs that a timeframe is not given). This makes all of this convoluted nonsense unnecessary, since it can clearly devastate a planetary surface through brute force alone in a matter of hours, thus satisfying BDZ requirements.

Semantic bullshit: standard-issue tactic for you, I'm told. You claim that the surface of a planet is turned to smoking debris if you knock a house down on top of that surface. By that token, I can reduce my house to debris if I throw some garbage on the roof.

Nuclear Exaggerations

Nagasaki shelter
Undamaged homemade wood-frame shelter in Nagasaki

The lethality of blast effects have been greatly overstated in the popular media, and you have obviously fallen prey to it (too bad you never learned to think critically). "The Effects of Nuclear Weapons" mostly describes idealized damage levels, and while it makes no effort to conceal this caveat, it is generally obscured or even ignored by people who quote it out of context (such as you). Such people often have an axe to grind, so they quietly gloss over it. In reality, while most above-ground structures are knocked down by a 5 psi shockwave, even the simplest homemade shelters covered with as little as 3 feet of earth survived close proximity to the blast in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The picture above shows one such shelter, located less than 100 yards from Ground Zero at Nagasaki (estimated overpressure: 65 psi). This open-doorway shelter would not have protected against the heat in such close proximity, but it makes the clear point that it is not difficult to build shelters that can survive the shockwave (actually, I find this picture heart-breaking; I picture a father working hard to build it, and trying to save his wife and children by telling them to get inside when he hears the air raid siren).

Oakridge ShelterIn any case, leaving aside Truman's crime against humanity at Nagasaki (which he later declared to be a "military target"), Oak Ridge National Laboratory has designed numerous blast shelters which can be made with wood and hand tools and then used for everything from hurricanes to nuclear blast shockwaves, and one such shelter survived 53 psi overpressure in a 1978 test. The interior was virtually untouched, as you can see in the accompanying picture at right. This particular shelter was trench-based, with wood-covered walls and flooring, wooden poles for roofing with three feet of dirt on top, and plywood blast doors. Get that? Plywood blast doors! See the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine at for more information.

It is an unfortunate reality that some of the consequences of nuclear war and nuclear explosions have been greatly exaggerated, largely for political reasons. The famous TTAPS nuclear winter study was seriously flawed, and its conclusions were challenged in "Nuclear Winter Reappraised" by Stephen Schneider. Projections for weeks of freezing temperatures were revised to a mere 10 degree drop for a few days. Even a mammoth 600,000 megaton asteroid impact (which is actually a more efficient dust producer than a nuclear weapon) is now projected to cause only an 8K global average temperature drop, and even then, for only a few weeks! (ref: "Environmental Perturbations Caused by Asteroid Impacts"). By the end of one month, global temperatures would return to normal. Plant photosynthesis is not threatened unless we reach the threshold of 5 million megatons, and even that only lasts for a period of a few months at most.

Similarly, many early ozone depletion theories are directly contradicted by observation; theoretical models of NOx production called for as much as a 10% ozone level reduction following the barrage of large multi-megaton atmospheric tests conducted by the US and Russia from 1952 to 1962, yet no such reductions were ever observed. Again, a single asteroid impact actually causes greater proportional damage to stratospheric ozone than lower-atmospheric nuclear explosions because it deposits virtually its entire NO production in the stratosphere and mesosphere. Modern, improved figures call for catastrophic asteroid impacts of greater than 100,000 megatons to cause significant ozone depletion for a period of several years, but even this effect would be insufficient to remove all advanced forms of life from a planet. Ozone depletion is a nuisance for life forms, but it hardly renders a planet uninhabitable. It is no exaggeration at all to say that one can compensate by simply wearing a hat when you go outside.

The K-T extinction event injected somewhere between 10 billion and 100 billion tons of submicron dust into the upper atmosphere. This is vastly beyond the amount of matter that would be hurled into the atmosphere by a reasonable number of 1 megaton explosions. To put that in perspective, even if we assume 100 million 1 megaton blasts (for equal yield), each explosion would have to hurl 100 to 1,000 tons of submicron dust into the upper atmosphere! This is completely unrealistic; nuclear explosions are far less efficient at atmospheric dust loading than asteroid impacts, for two reasons:

  1. An asteroid contributes its own mass to the dust plume. This can be an extremely large quantity.
  2. An asteroid leaves a superheated, ionized wake behind it as it moves through the atmosphere. This facilitates the upward movement of the dust plume, thus driving it to extremely high altitudes.
  3. An asteroid is a single large-magnitude event. Large-magnitude explosions are more efficient than a group of small-magnitude explosions at atmospheric dust loading, because it requires extremely forceful ejection of material to high altitudes (and remember that only submicron dust floats up there for long enough to generate sustained climactic changes).

Keep in mind that even this titanic event would only darken the atmosphere for a period of six months to a year, before atmospheric processes clear most of the dust away. Within ten years, environmental conditions would return to normal. In other words, your scenario is hopelessly inadequate, regardless of whether we use 1 hour or several hours. Regardless of whether we use 1 ship or 3. Even if we use 100 ships blasting away for a full day, we simply cannot hit the planet with enough firepower to render it uninhabitable for generations, as per Caamas. You have exaggerated the destructive impact of nuclear explosions beyond all reason in order to pretend that a group of 1 megaton explosions could accomplish what the 100 million megaton K-T extinction impact did not, and you have supported this blatant fraud with the ridiculous generalization that since multiple small explosions distribute shockwaves more evenly across the ground than a single large explosion (by a factor well under an order of magnitude), they must be many orders of magnitude more efficient at atmospheric dust loading and ozone depletion.

Sundry points

A BDZ is the complete destruction of all industrie & civilisation on a planet. Anything else is overkill.

Unfortunately for you, the complete destruction of all industry and civilization is explicitly defined to include all arable land, mines and fisheries, which you haven't even touched. You have produced an entirely new definition of BDZ: kill a small fraction of the population and then hope for environmental effects to finish off the rest. You describe all of the official requirements of a BDZ as "overkill", even though they are all explicitly specified in the mission requirements.

System bombard contains on average 100 ships divided between three bombard squadrons and a light squadron ... [blah blah blah, quote entire bombard fleet description just to generate the semblance of actual content in your post]

Yes, you demonstrated your impressive skills for copying and pasting lengthy portions of the Imperial Sourcebook. Wow, I'm so impressed at your ability to regurgitate large tracts of information which have nothing to do with the point! Unfortunately, you failed to address the point I made in my very first rebuttal, which is that such fleets are obviously required for breaching planetary shields. That's why they have torpedo spheres, which are specialized shield-breaching vessels! Torpedo sphere: "A siege platform designed to knock out planetary shields" (ref: SWE). Large fleets are required for breaching planetary shields (eg- "Tales from the Empire"), but not for BDZ operations. When they want to conduct a "no survivors, no witnesses" BDZ and they can get the planetary shield down through other means, they can do it with just three ISDs with high confidence of success, in such a short time that they expect to get away before anyone else comes knocking (even though Bothawui was the galaxy's political hotspot at the time!). This all came from VOTF, complete with quotes, and your only rebuttal was to try to divert everyone's attention to your long-winded red herring from the Imperial Sourcebook.

Everytime we see ISDs and similar ships try to do this they take hours to do it - the whole operation with 10x the capacity for damage is expected to take hours.

Yet another logical inconsistency in your argument. First you insist that "Hutt Gambit" is a legitimate example of a BDZ even though they were ordered to do token damage, fail, and then withdraw (none of those abnormalities dissuade you from your pre-ordained conclusion that this is a standard BDZ operation, even though the slightest deviation from normal caused you to dismiss evidence wholesale in part 2/3 of this debate, irrespective of its relevance; just another of your little inconsistencies). Then, you turn around and insist that a BDZ always takes hours ... even though "Hutt Gambit" (a legitimate BDZ according to you) had a mission timeframe of just 15 minutes, including sweep teams! You can't have it both ways, Edam. If "Hutt Gambit" was a legitimate BDZ, then the mission timeframe is just 15 minutes, in and out. That includes bombardment and sweep teams. If it was not a legitimate BDZ, then you can't use it as an example of one. But you've got to choose one or the other; you can't have your cake and eat it too, no matter how much you obviously want to.

Your reliance on such self-contradictory arguments simply proves to all onlookers that despite all of your tricks, distortions, nitpicks, oversimplifications, alterations of official BDZ definitions, and even outright lies, you have still failed utterly. If you won't admit it, that's your problem.

100 VSDs attacking Khomm did very little damage in half an hour. When Booster's ISD slagged the rebel base in Yavin people were able to walk around down there soon afterwards - far more in keeping with lower power weaponry than your "turn it all to glass" ideas.

You are grabbing incidents which were not declared to be BDZ operations and saying that they must be BDZ operations ... because they're bombarding something. Who said all bombardments are the same? They might want to limit the destruction to a localized area, or reduce environmental disruptions so that they can send people down afterwards and/or retrieve useful materials. In real life, we have both conventional weapons and nuclear weapons. They can be launched from the same platforms, often in the same missile casings. Is it that much of a stretch for you to imagine that turbolasers have a high-yield mass-destruction mode and a normal combat mode? The Death Star superlaser is based on turbolaser pulses (see EGWT), so how can you deny the existence of a high-yield heavy turbolaser and keep a straight face? I made the point (twice now) that turbolasers would be useless if they could only function as weapons of unfocused mass destruction. Many others have made the point that the massive heavy turbolaser turrets of an ISD are never used in the films (with the exception of one possible shot in ROTJ), so they're obviously not used for normal combat. You have simply ignored these points.

By the way, Booster "slagged" organic material on Yavin4 while looking for slaves, Edam. Obviously not a BDZ. And as for VSDs at Khomm, VSDs don't even have any heavy turbolaser turrets at all; they're designed for planetary invasions and operation in atmosphere, not for orbital bombardment or even ship to ship combat (ref: EGWT; check the VSD diagram, in which no ISD-style heavy TL turrets are visible even though they're so big they would stick out like a sore thumb; if they have something they call a heavy turbolaser on a VSD, it is obviously not comparable to an ISD's heavy turbolaser; it may be comparable to an ISD's light turbolaser). Stop misrepresenting the material; you can't take every example of bombardment, assume it's a BDZ without a shred of evidence or even the appropriate type of ships in place, and then use it to disprove BDZ firepower.

however you look at it, you need a large fleet to achieve the perfect, no-witness BDZ

Thrawn's clone didn't think so. He figured just 3 ISDs would do the trick, and he was so confident that he trusted the Empire's future to it. The plan should have worked, too. It was only an incredible stroke of "good guy luck" that Han Solo just happened to stumble into the ISD's cloaking field by accident.

In VotF they achieved this by getting two fleets to wipe each other out, in other examples they require a force superiority to go in first and still up to 100 ships in the actual BDZ fleet.

Getting the two warring fleets to wipe each other out would not make the planet any easier to BDZ, Edam. It's a red herring; it only adds to their workload, because they have to fight the survivors and keep any of them from escaping. Do you think every single ship on the planet was involved in the battle? For every armed ship, there would be a lot of unarmed ships or lightly armed ships, Edam. Do you think they would just sit there during a bombardment operation which takes hours in your scenario? Do you seriously expect people to accept your claim that every single one of them will be in a spaceport? Do you expect anyone to believe your ridiculous claim that a few squadrons of TIE fighters can blockade an entire planet and keep even one witness from escaping when Vader's entire flotilla couldn't do it at Hoth, and thousands of TradeFed battleships couldn't do it at Naboo? The only way to do it is to blast the planet with massive, overwhelming firepower. Your scenario is completely inadequate. Note: normal sunlight on Earth =~ 42 megatons per second. Your scenario = 60 megatons per second.

As for your claims about "up to 100 ships in the actual BDZ fleet", that's one of your "no numbers" fallacies. Let's say your ridiculous distortion of official literature is valid, and that there are two kinds of BDZ mission even though the books deny it, and planetary shield-breaching bombard fleets are required for a full BDZ even though Thrawn's clone planned one with just 3 ISDs, and Solo figured on doing it with just one. Let's say it really does require 100 ships to achieve all the stated objectives of a BDZ, including total destruction of all plants, animals, people, and even fish (all of which you conveniently call "overkill" so you can ignore them). If we've got our 100 ships, we can't ignore them any more, can we? Full BDZ requirements call for large-scale ocean vapourization, since sea life exists right down to the ocean floor. Let's say we vapourize one third of the oceans. On Earth, this would be more than 1E27 J. Divide by 100 ships and you get 1E25 J, still an order of magnitude above my estimate, never mind yours! In other words, a full "overkill" BDZ requires 100 ships firing for 5 hours even if we use my firepower figures. If we use your figures, it requires 100 ships firing constantly for more than fifteen months! You've been using "overkill BDZ" and "100 ship bombard fleet" as a catch-all dumping ground for everything you can't handle. But when you crunch your numbers, you can't pull off a full BDZ even with your bombard fleet, unless you think fifteen months is a reasonable timeframe. Your numbers are wrong, Edam. You lose.

How to kill all witnesses

The only way to realistically prevent any escapees(the original justification for the 1 hour timeline) is a large fleet, or an extremely well coordinated surprise attack - certainly the 1ISD would struggle to do it. 3 ISDs would struggle to do it if they don't take out the majority of the ships in flight immediately (eg, space battle overheard) and the spaceports below within a few minutes.

And yet Thrawn was completely confident that 3 ISDs could pull it off. I guess the Lucasfilm Licensing people should have cleared their story with you first, eh? When you say "the only way" to prevent escapees is to encricle the planet with a large fleet or get lucky and "struggle" to do it with 1-3 ships, you ignore the obvious alternative, which I have proposed since day one: a much smaller number of extremely powerful explosions. If you increase the per-shot yield, you can accomplish the same job much faster, thus solving the problem of how your scenario is basically incapable of producing a "no survivors, no witnesses" BDZ even though VOTF indicates that 1 ISD can do the job by itself (of course, you don't really want to solve that problem; you want to doggedly defend your initial pre-ordained conclusion no matter how incompatible it is with the facts, because you don't want to admit ISD firepower is as great as it is).

It's not that hard to kill all witnesses, Edam. Not if you have really big guns, which we know they have (remember the Slave Ship quote? Recoil equivalent to gigaton-yield explosions!). Dust production is roughly equal for nuclear explosions and asteroid impacts of comparable yield (ref- "Environmental Perturbations Caused by Asteroid Impacts"). However, a series of very large explosions (let's say hundreds of gigatons) scattered evenly by 3 ships will create numerous effects not created in significant amounts by low-level 1 megaton explosions (ref: "Consequences of Impacts of Cosmic Bodies on the Surface of the Earth"- Vitaly V. Adushkin and Ivan V. Nemchinov).

  1. At 30-60 km altitude, thermal radiation emission is much more efficient, as the thin, hot air becomes virtually transparent to it. Fire ignition areas of 400-1000 km radius per shot can be achieved with such blasts. Actual firestorms can be created with such large blasts, unlike 1 megaton blasts which leave smouldering cities and no firestorms unless they happen to strike regions which have been reduced to dry kindling by drought.
  2. In the range from 100-1000 gigatons, ground bursts will create significant seismic shocks (8.0 to 9.0 magnitude), heavily disrupting numerous facilities which are unaffected by mere 5 psi atmospheric shockwaves and high winds (examples include underground tunnels and train systems, mines, reinforced power plants, dams, etc). An explosion of this magnitude can create a zone of devastation of approximately 1000 km width through seismic effects alone.
  3. Gigaton-range ocean blasts can create a towering water column which can reach an altitude of more than 30 km. Injection of large quantities of steam and salted water can change the chemistry of the middle atmosphere. One such blast can produce a 1 metre tall deep water wave over the entire Pacific ocean (note that such waves can increase by a factor of 10 to 40 upon reaching shallows, ref- "The Impact Hazard"). Obviously, such blasts closer to coastal regions would be far more devastating. In general, destructive impact of tsunamis will exceed direct blast/burn effects for explosions in the gigaton range and above.

Another mechanism is extremely powerful electromagnetic pulses. Above 30km, a high-altitude explosion may put roughly 0.003% of its energy into the EMP (five orders of magnitude more than it would at ground level or low altitude), due to greatly increased efficiency of interaction with the Earth's upper atmosphere and magnetic field (ref- "Nuclear Weapons FAQ"). This still may not sound like much, but for a 20 gigaton explosion, this is 0.6 megatons of EMP alone. Very powerful currents can be induced in all metallic objects and electronic circuits, not to mention power grids. Given such large yields and the delicate nature of electronic circuits, it is possible to generate destructive EMP effects all the way to the horizon with such a blast. Moreover, the ionization cloud interferes with radar and communications.

The EMPs and thermal radiation blasts generated by an initial "spray" of a few dozen such huge blasts at high altitude have the effect of paralyzing and/or disrupting many electronic systems worldwide, while simultaneously causing massive burns and igniting fires on a global scale. Given three ships, this phase of the operation can literally be over in 10 seconds. The lightning strike serves to delay evacuation operations, disrupt military command and control networks, sow destruction and chaos, and buy the attacking fleet time to continue the operation in earnest. Now they can start pounding the planet's surface with their full firepower. As gunners blast ocean and land targets with heavy multi-gigaton explosions (presumably targeting major centres first, unless it's a city-world or factory-world in which the entire surface is a major centre), the continued barrage of powerful EMPs from extreme high-yield atmospheric explosions make it difficult for people to get off the ground, and if they do get off the ground, their systems are sufficiently compromised by the interference that they're flying blind, so they can be picked off or tractored easily.

Han thought one ISD could burn the planet. most of the people capable of escaping had already been taken care of by the battle overhead

I've repeatedly explained that "most" is not enough, Edam. They had to kill all witnesses, not "most" of them. There's a huge difference between "no survivors, no witnesses", and "only a few hundred survivors, a few hundred witnesses." You can't explain their ability to pull this off in VOTF. I can.

wipe out the few remaining ships first, then once the shield was sabotaged BDZ the planet - who's going to escape through a planetary shield?

You're contradicting yourself again, Edam. First you say a BDZ takes hours at the minimum and that anything short of a 100-ship bombard fleet can't do it without leaving witnesses, now you say that it happens so quickly that once the planetary shield drops, nobody has time to leave? Try to keep your story straight, Edam. After that shield drops, they're gone. They can easily fly the coop, as we saw in "Tales from the Empire" when ships ran the Imperial blockade the instant Coruscant's shield dropped. The only realistic way to do it is to hit them so hard and so fast that they can't react. If they have hours to react, and you peck your way across the planet with little 1 megaton explosions, witnesses will get away. My scenario works with VOTF. Yours doesn't.

How can you capture life, or vessels, or systems, or droids if you'ev turned it all to slag?

False dilemma. Extremely valuable facilities will be deeply buried, and protected even from such an incredibly violent operation as a BDZ. You'll want those facilities. You'll also capture some fleeing ships and their crew. There's no reason to claim that people on the surface have a good chance of survival just because it's possible to capture something. Even a 0.1% chance of survival on the surface would lead to millions of survivors, which we simply don't see and which are not left by a BDZ conducted by just one ship, as we discovered in VOTF. In fact, given the cargo capacity of an ISD, it would be incapable of capturing more than an insignificant fraction of the life and systems on an entire inhabited planet.

it would seem Nar Shadda is smaller even than Mars

So this made it possible for them to conduct your idea of a BDZ and conduct the search and retrieve all crew, and then leave, all within a fifteen minute timeframe? That doesn't work too well with your scenario, Edam! On the other hand, it works fine with my scenario. They could plan to conduct the first part of a rushed BDZ (initial "shake-up" bombardment with a few really big, disruptive blasts) in a few seconds, launch ships towards the surface, scout for survivors, pretend to get caught unawares, and then leave. Yet another scenario which I can explain easily, and which you struggle to dismiss. Yet another nail in your coffin, Edam.

not a lie Mike - if SWTJ or any source says BDZ requires the slagging of the planet present it

Stop beating off with this strawman of yours, Edam. You've been dragging this strawman around since your first post, even though I've repeatedly explained to you that uniform slagging is just a rough way to generate an estimate. When I say you're missing BDZ requirements, I'm referring to the mines, the fisheries, the arable land, the animals, and the total elimination of all survivors and witnesses, not glassing over the whole planet.

Under your scenario, the mines are not destroyed. The fisheries are not destroyed. Arable land is not destroyed. The animals are not destroyed. All you've done is knock down the major city centres and kill a small fraction of the planet's population. You have no explanation for how 1 ISD can do it without leaving witnesses, yet Han Solo is pretty sure it can do it, and he's no longer a two-bit smuggler in VOTF. The New Republic has its own ISDs, and he knows what they can do. You have no real explanation for how even 3 ISDs can do it without leaving witnesses (you mumble that they must "struggle" to do it), yet Thrawn's clone was sure they could do it. You have no explanation for how Caamas could be reduced to a completely lifeless husk (you mumble that a 100-ship bombard fleet could do it, even though it would take years if we use your firepower figures). You have no explanation for any known BDZ events, so you focus on bombardments that were not BDZs (such as Khomm), and on the deliberately failed, incomplete BDZ in the "Hutt Gambit" (for which the timeframe directly contradicts your own theory, yet you still insist it's an example of a BDZ!)

ISD Firepower

No, there is a lot to consider in scaling - the DS required a hypermatter reactor to power its superlaser. ISDs don't. The DS gasses never come anywhere near the actual materials of the weapon - ISD's turbolasers has remnants of the gas dripping from the ends of the barrels. The DS has few overheating concerns - one shot a day, not a lot really. ISD weapons have to consider the heating of all the components. etcetcetc. Simple scaling is always a bad idea. For all we know, the only similarity between the superlaser and turbolasers is that both use hot gas.

"The DS has few overheating concerns?" As this debate has worn on, I have come to expect lies and evasions and dumb mistakes from you, but frankly, that is the dumbest thing I've heard in a very long time, even from someone who thinks that you can collapse a mine with 5 psi of overpressure. Did you think that because you can't see the Death Star dump waste heat, it doesn't have to? Do you figure that the Death Star is the first system in the history of the universe that violates the second law of thermodynamics and is 100% efficient? Do you think it's realistic to generate millions of times the power output of the Sun and not have any waste heat to dump? Did you have to leap from a speeding motorcycle and smash head-first into a cement wall in order to sustain the kind of brain damage necessary to come up with this kind of asinine stupidity?

The Death Star's core systems are buried beneath dozens of kilometres of battle station, and its power output is enormous; barring the impossible (perfect efficiency), it must generate a stupendous amount of waste heat, and it will have a much more difficult time moving heat from its working parts to a point where it can dump wate gas into space when compared to a Star Destroyer. The fact that we see waste gas coming out of a TL cannon merely underscores the fact that, like insect respiratory systems, a smaller system can get away with a far simpler cooling method than a larger system. Yes, simple scaling is usually a bad idea ... but the bigger system is generally less efficient, not more!


Mercury is a planet. Last time I checked it doesn't have much atmosphere. Mars is a planet, it will certainly require habitats before anyone can live there.

So? The elimination of Mars' atmosphere would still require far more energy than is allowed for in your scenario. It also requires titanic explosions, because a few really big explosions will evacuate more gas than a lot of little ones.

our moon has topsoil, Mike. Quite a bit of it was brought back for analysis I believe. Mars has topsoil.

Not using the proper definition of the term. Topsoil is "surface soil usually including the organic layer in which plants have most of their roots and which the farmer turns over in plowing" (Merriam-Webster). However, I suppose you will argue that if people can misuse the term today in order to describe surface layers of lifeless inorganic moon dust, they can misuse it in "Scavenger Hunt" too. On the other hand, if we're going to go simply on the common use of words rather than dictionary definitions, then the fact that they call it a "planet" is standalone proof that it is, in fact, a fairly large celestial body and not a miniscule, airless moon or asteroid, can't we? Funny how your methods change with the wind, eh?

I didn't think you'd seriously try to debate your ridiculous claim that Dankayo was too small to have its own atmosphere, but it appears that you will. Very well; consider the quote once more: "before the last of its atmosphere drifted away, before the dense clouds of atomized topsoil could begin to settle ..." and ask yourself a question: why would the cratering ejecta from an airless moon hang around to create "dense clouds of topsoil" without the braking effect of an atmosphere to slow it down on the way up? Why would this ejecta settle back to the surface without significant gravity? Are you suggesting that this planet had insufficient gravity to retain a natural atmosphere, yet it simultaneously possessed such enormous gravity that it could retain the ejecta hurled out by a megaton-yield surface explosion through gravity alone, without the braking effect of atmosphere? Yet again, you take a position that is inherently self-contradictory, and you obviously hope that no one will notice.

Maybe you're accustomed to debating people who don't notice such things. Maybe you're accustomed to the newsgroup and discussion board forum, where old posts fade into the background noise in days and an embarrassing thread can be taken off the radar by simply acting silly and filling it with irreverences. But you're not in a discussion board today, Edam. You're facing me, and I won't let you get away with your customary bullshit.

More lies

you know, that might be a bit more effective if you didn't drag it out for every single thing you object to.

Yes, I noticed you did this numerous times throughout all three parts of the debate: the oh-so-clever trick of splitting the phrase "more lies" out of its paragraph and then generating a rebuttal to it in isolation, where it looks vacuous. Unfortunately for you, anybody can look back at my original post to see what you're doing, and it won't fly. You spend too much effort on rhetorical tricks such as this, and not enough effort on generating a rationally consistent, workable theory.

Nuclear Weapon Effects

Actually, I expect everyone to look it up. the figures taken from OHanian match with those taken from The Effects of Nuclear Weapons. a 1MT explosion causes 2nd degree burns and ignition of flammable material at 10 miles, and third degree burns at 8 miles. Anyone receiving third degree burns who doesn't get immediate medical attention will die within a few hours (Effects of Nuclear Weapons, chapter 12).

You're taking it out of context, Edam:

  1. A 1 megaton explosion causes aforementioned burns at aforementioned ranges ... to exposed flesh, under optimal visibility conditions, with a clear line of sight to the blast. When you assume that 100% of people are so affected in your fantasy scenario, you are assuming that every single person is walking around in the open, on a perfectly clear day, with a clear line of sight to the explosion. No one is behind any obstacles, there are no hills or valleys, and no one is indoors. How often does this happen, Edam?
  2. A 1 megaton explosion can indeed ignite flammable material at 10 miles. Flammable: "capable of being easily ignited and of burning quickly" (Merriam-Webster). In other words, dry kindling, exactly as I've been saying and exactly as the Nuclear Weapons FAQ excerpt was intended to show in my last post, although you seem to lack the cranial capacity to connect the dots unless I draw a map for you. Drought conditions resulting in dry grass, dry leaves, etc. will leave flammable materials everywhere, and firestorms can easily be ignited under such conditions (they can also be ignited by a single lit cigarette). However, living trees and living grass are not ignited.

TreesThey say that the ability to grasp abstract concepts from verbal descriptions alone is not developed until people reach maturity, and in your case, apparently not even then. Therefore, perhaps a picture will help. Remember the picture at right? You've probably seen it before. It's a stand of trees (obviously well within the radius of blast effects) being hit by the blast shockwave. Funny thing though; they weren't lit on fire by the flash, nor was there any firestorm afterwards! The only damage to the trees was that some of them were knocked down by the wind, Edam. So what happened, hmmm? Could it be that the word "flammable" actually means something, and does not simply refer to anything and everything which is not made of fireproof materials such as steel? I reiterate that ORNL schematics for a nuclear attack shelter use wooden beams and wooden blast doors, Edam. How many times do I have to say this before you finally get it through your head? There will be no global firestorms from your little 1 megaton blasts. Too bad for you.

And anyone not lying down will be sent flying into a wall and killed by 5PSI. How many people will be lying down when they start running for their lives?

Still trying to prove that 5 psi is 100% lethal, eh? Why do you think the OTA projected 95% survival rates inside the 5 psi contour in its simulated attack projections? Unfounded optimism? Their combined research capabilities were inferior to yours? Maybe they recognized something you don't, which is that well-built commercial buildings and basements will not be destroyed. Subway systems and other normal underground facilities such as the Tunnel in London, England will not be affected at all. You can knock down a small building and people might survive. And finally, the lethality of wind effects on exposed people depends on what happens to them; not everyone who finds himself in high winds is thrown headfirst into a wall, Edam. Your 100% figure is bullshit.

Which does not consider the people trapped in buildings currently building up to firestorms, and assumes prompt medical attention for all survivors (as in, within 12 hours) - where will the medical attention come from, when the hospitals have been destroyed and everybody who isn't already killed is trapped under buildings about to be killed? Most simulations also assume the fireservices will try to stop the building firestorms as well - things that simply aren't possible in a BDZ.

Blah blah blah, you still think there are firestorms in a city after a nuclear attack. There were firestorms in Hiroshima, but not Nagasaki. Did you know that? Realistic nuclear attack scenarios recognize that inside the blast radius the winds blow out most fires, and the rubble smothers them! Outside the blast radius, the thermal radiation intensity is not enough to light anything on fire except for flammable materials (ie- dry kindling). There will only be firestorms if conditions are perfect for a firestorm, and you can not base a battle plan upon every possible contingency going your way! Why do Trekkies insist on formulating these ridiculous battle plans where everything must be perfect for it to have a hope in hell of achieving a fraction of its goals? You set up tin soldiers all in a row and then knock them down, as if this means anything.

Before your attack, perhaps you should contact the inhabitants of the planet, and instruct them to douse everything in copious quantities of gasoline, and then evacuate all underground facilities and residential basements. All inhabitants at medium to long range from the blast should line up and make sure they all have a nice clear line of sight to the blast (they should also dress lightly and look right at it). And of course, they should send you weather updates, so that you can attack when the entire planet is under long-term drought conditions, vegetation has been reduced to dry kindling, and visibility is perfect. Yeah, that's it.

Even in areas where hurricanes and tornadoes are common we don't build buldings protected against them - we rely on warnings to get people to safety, and insurance to re-build afterwards. Things that will not be possible with a BDZ.

Yet another self-contradictory argument, Edam. First, you say that BDZ takes hours. Even the "initial bombardment" takes a full hour and only affects 6% of the planet's surface, which means that at a minimum, 94% of the planet's surface has at least one hour of warning. Then you suddenly turn around and claim that no one will have time to get to safety, ie- shelters! How long do you think it will take them to get to shelter, Edam? You mix and match short and long-term arguments together and you continue to hope no one will notice.

I would quote the rest of your nuclear effects arguments, but they are all repetitions of these arguments: you assume perfect conditions, you insist on global firestorms, and you completely ignore the combination of below-ground and reinforced-structure survivability in conjunction with the long warning times afforded the planet's population under your scenario. You appeal to the authority of "Effects of Nuclear Weapons" by taking quotes out of context, ignoring rebuttals and clarifications of your simple-minded interpretations thereof, and simply citing its name as proof whenever challenged. Congratulations on producing a textbook example of the "appeal to authority" fallacy, Edam.

Lets take a hypothetical example, shall we.

We've got a big city with a population density of 1000 people / square mile
We drop a 10MT bomb on the city, surface burst. Big bang, lots of dead URGH!!
Your 5psi line is round about 6 miles, give or take, so you've flattened roughly 115 square miles, or killed round about 115,000 people

Now, lets spread out 10 1MT bombs, surface burst.
each one has a 5psi line at just under 3 miles, so each one has flattened 28 square miles, or killed round about 28,000 people. But you've spread them out, so your 10 mombs have killed 280,000 people - or more than double the same firepower dropped in one place.

Same goes for impacts - a large collection of smaller comets hitting the planet will have individually less effect than one comet, but combined it will be far worse overall.

I've answered all of this repeatedly. I see no reason to answer it again; you continue to cite localized blast shockwave phenomena in a dispute over global nuclear winter effects, where a small number of huge explosions is actually more effective, not less. Red herring. If you're still too stupid to figure it out even after three repetitions, go talk to a neurologist but don't bother me.

Bioweapons can work in a matter of minutes - they do for the Vong in Ithor, they do for the Klingons in The Chase

Red herring (you even resorted to a Star Trek example in a Star Wars discussion, indicating your pathetic desperation). BDZ employs guns, not bioweapons. Bioweapons don't turn a planet's surface into rubble. Bioweapons must be engineered for the target biosystem. Bioweapons are extremely dangerous to their handlers, and there are many reasons to avoid using them. Your attempt to inject this red herring (which didn't appear in your original scenario, and is obviously here now only to stave off inevitable crushing defeat) is nothing but sheer desperation on your part.

you've shown my initial 1 hour bombardment would not be enough - but the continuation would kill almost everyone in the first few hours

More of the infamous Trekkie "no numbers" fallacy. Just vaguely chalk everything up to a "few hours" more? That's nonsense; if you kill 7% in the first hour, it would take another 13 hours to kill the rest ... assuming continued high rates of fatality. In reality, with that much warning time, most of the remaining population would be rushing to reinforced structures or underground shelters, or they'd grab shovels and canvas and start digging trench shelters out in the country (and anyone with a spacecraft that can fly would be headed for the skies; an inevitability which you try to head off with your ludicrous claim that 100% of vertical-launch spacecraft are at spaceports), and your fatality rates would drop precipitously. Moreover, you have done no damage whatsoever to the fisheries, the arable land, or the mines. Your mission is a failure, Edam. You just won't admit it.

Read what I wrote above, mike - military installations will be concentrated on after the initial indiscriminate bombing. the majority of the population will not be in protected areas at all, so your waffle about bomb shelters etc - which this was partly in reply to - is irrelevant.

Again, the timeframe inconsistency: you insist that it takes many hours to perform the operation, then you turn around and deflect criticism on the infeasibility of the operation by saying that it's all over so quickly that no one has time to reach a shelter. I will stop quoting and replying to your continued self-contradiction from this point on, since it's pointless to keep beating your dead horse. And it is dead, Edam. Flies buzzing around it and everything.

They are defined as BDZ events because they are very similar to all the descriptions of BDZ - a number of ships attacking a planet from orbit trying to do as much damage as possible. Exactly what a BDZ is.

That's exactly how you define a BDZ. The official literature has a much more ambitious definition of a BDZ, and while this may offend your exaggerated sense of self-importance and ultimate hegemony over Lucasfilm intellectual property, your personal definition does not outweigh the official definition.

Of course, if you think a BDZ requires a special setting on the turbolasers then the conclusions of BDZ are entirely irrelevant to Vs debates - the ships won't be on BDZ setting most of the time, so we're stuck with other firepower estimates

You're the one who's been obsessing over BDZ in the newsgroups for months now Edam, not me. I don't care whether BDZ is relevant to starship combat; I never said it was. Heavy guns won't have the targeting accuracy of light guns, so they may not be much of a factor in a fight. If there is a longer refire delay or greater triggering delay when they are set to maximum yield for the purposes of mass destruction, that would further reduce their combat effectiveness. However, that's irrelevant to our discussion; my point is that your attempt to show that BDZ can be performed with little 1 megaton explosions is wrong. I never claimed that BDZ yields were routinely used in starship combat; that is the kind of oversimplification that you have been guilty of. Stop projecting your own "one size fits all" oversimplifications on other people, Edam.

[Responding to comment that turbolasers won't create long-lived radioactive fallout] We don't know how long-lived the radioisotopes in TL gasses are. All we know is they are radioactive

Nuclear weapons create long-lived radioactive fallout because of the heavy metal fission byproducts. Are you seriously suggesting that there will be heavy metals in a TL bolt? And how do you know TL gases are strongly radioactive? They are used in hand blasters, which could have serious health consequences if they are significantly radioactive, particularly for people who suffer injuries from blaster hits. A TL burst would only irradiate surrounding material because of its sheer radiative output, and the radioisotopes created by this process would be short-lived. If you are going to propose that the TL burst itself carries such quantities of highly radioactive gas that a few hundred thousand shots would contaminate an entire planet and render it uninhabitable, then please explain why people aren't getting cancer from prolonged close exposure to hand blasters, which work on the same principle (see SWVD). While you're at it, please provide your evidence that the radiation emitted by TL gas is ionizing radiation, and not the thermal radiation that we already know they emit.

[Re: deep-planet shelter at Dankayo which could easily survive 20 megaton blast overhead] Where's the quote showing what the deep planet survival shelter could handle?

There is no quote, and I don't need one. I assumed you were knowledgeable enough to realize that since we can build underground facilities to withstand such an overhead blast today, they can obviously build one on Dankayo. Please forgive me for foolishly assuming that you were smart enough to figure that out for yourself.

[Cookie-cutter answer to all established melting incidents] Over a limited area. We already know they can do this. I've agreed they can do this.

Actually, you have not agreed that they can do this. You insist that they are limited to one megaton explosions, and even a thousand one megaton explosions would not have reduced Milagro to a sea of shimmering glass. That requires incredibly intense, sustained thermal radiation beyond anything that the brief thermal "pulse" of a 1 megaton nuclear explosion will produce. By the way, you ignored the previous quote which indicated that they slagged the entire planet's surface that way, not just the city (unless Milagro was a planetary city, in which case both are true).

You have failed in your attempt to show that a BDZ could be performed with 1 megaton explosions, Edam. If anything, all of this wrangling has produced a pile of evidence to refine and improve my BDZ scenario even further. Thanks for prompting me to add this material. Moreover, I hear that from the discussions on ASVS, lots of people have been prompted by our date to investigate on their own, to learn more about realistic nuclear explosion damage. This means that it prompted people to educate themselves. If that is true, then we have both performed a useful function, and we can be pleased about that. The only difference would be that I'm more pleased than you, because you're the one getting your ass kicked.

Finish Him!

Or, watch him bow out.

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