A Dire Warning for Houston, 1965: In Case of Nuclear Attack, Property Values May Rise

A DIRE WARNING FOR HOUSTON, 1965: IN CASE OF NUCLEAR ATTACK, PROPERTY VALUES MAY RISE Nukemap 3D Simulation of 10-Mt Mushroom Cloud over HoustonNuclear historian Alex Wellerstein, creator of the online Nukemap nuclear-blast simulator, finds the following charming nugget in a September 1965 report issued by the nonprofit Institute for Defense Analyses, which wad been hired by the U.S. Army’s Office of Civil Defense to calculate the effects of the use of a nuclear weapon on an American city — using Houston as an example: “For single surface bursts of 3- and 10-Mt, about 64 percent and 46 percent of the property values survive, while only 32 and 18 percent of the unsheltered population survives. In a macabre sense, the surviving population would be individually ‘wealthier’ than before the attack. For a single 10-Mt weapon, surviving property value per capita nearly doubles from a preattack value of about $9,000 to slightly more than $16,000 and, as the weight of the attack increases, the greater the per capita gain in ‘wealth’ of the survivors. For a 100-Mt surface burst, the surviving population is nearly four times wealthier than pre-attack ($34,000). However, any joy among the surviving population may be quite shortlived; none of these gross estimates of the effects of nuclear attack indicate whether or not the immediate metropolitan area is viable, either by itself or with the assistance of the rest of the country.” [Lawyers, Guns, and Money; report (PDF)] Simulated image of 10-megaton mushroom cloud over Houston: Nukemap 3D

7 Comment

  • Jesus!–slow day at Swamplot?–how depressing, who wants to read about that hideousness–I want that 30 seconds of my life back–thx

  • Wait, was this estimated by the communists with no concept of supply and demand? If there’s more properties for fewer people, the prices will plummet overall.

  • this is entirely too stupid to read. are you serious

  • They didn’t write it. Macabre, yes, but wtf not.

  • At least when you’re dying of radiation poisoning, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that your investment paid off.

  • Please don’t tell HCAD. Our taxes are skyrocketing as it is.

  • This is why there is no point in taking per capita wealth stats too seriously.