Carl Sagan was a leftist scientist who predicted a "nuclear winter". Carl Sagan and Richard Turco co-authored a book titled "A Path Where No Man Thought: Nuclear Winter and the End of the Arms Race". Carl Sagan was formerly married to Ann Druyan.
Union of Concerned Scientists
- "In collaboration with others he proposed the theory of a 'nuclear winter,' explaining that a nuclear war would create huge dust clouds that would block the sunlight and halt plant photosynthesis. This would be accompanied by drastic drops in temperature and the extinction of life on earth. Sagan became a leading spokesperson for organizations such as the Union of Concerned Scientists, which used the nuclear winter model to expound on the horrors of nuclear war and oppose the use and development of nuclear weapons."
Smuggled Copies of Trotsky's History of the Russian Revolution into the USSR
- "1984 was not just an engaging political fantasy; it was based on the Stalinist Soviet Union, where the rewriting of history was institutionalized. Soon after Stalin took power, pictures of his rival, Leon Trotsky-- a monumental figure in the 1905 and 1917 revolutions--began to disappear. Heroic and wholly ahistoric paintings of Stalin and Lenin together directing the Bolshevik Revolution took their place, with Trotsky, the founder of the Red Army, nowhere in evidence. These images became icons of the state. You could see them in every office building, on outdoor advertising signs sometimes ten stories high, in museums, on postage stamps.
- "New generations grew up believing that was their history. Older generations began to feel that they remembered something of the sort, a kind of political false-memory syndrome. Those who made the accommodation between their real memories and what the leadership wished them to believe exercised what Orwell described as 'doublethink.' Those who did not, those old Bolsheviks who could recall the peripheral role of Stalin in the Revolution and the central role of Trotsky, were denounced as traitors or unreconstructed bourgeois or 'Trotskyites' or 'Trotsky-fascists,' and were imprisoned, tortured, made to confess their treason in public, and then executed."
- "But it's hard to keep potent historical truths bottled up forever. New data repositories are uncovered. New, less ideological, generations of historians grow up. In the late 1980s and before, Ann Druyan and I would routinely smuggle copies of Trotsky's History of the Russian Revolution into the USSR--so our colleagues could know a little about their own political beginnings."
Undermining Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative
From an American Thinker article titled "Barbara Boxer and the 'Star Wars' Sabotage":
- On March 23, 1983, President Reagan announced SDI. It was a shot heard round the world, terrifying the Soviets. One person able to observe the Soviet panic was Herb Meyer, a popular contributor at American Thinker and a vital player in the Soviet take-down.
- According to Herb Meyer was special assistant to CIA director Bill Casey: "The intelligence coming in the morning of March 24 -- literally hours after the president's SDI speech -- was different from anything we'd seen before. The Soviet Union's top military officials had understood instantly that President Reagan had found a way to win the Cold War. ... You could see the shift immediately -- immediately. Overnight. Just like that."
- Foreign Minister Alexander Bessmyrtnykh recalled that the Soviets were "enormously frightened" by Reagan's announcement. Bessmyrtnykh said the initiative was "something very dangerous" that "made us realize we were in a very dangerous spot." He called SDI Mikhail Gorbachev's "number-one preoccupation." Bessmertnykh said flatly that programs like SDI "accelerated the decline of the Soviet Union."
- Similarly, Genrikh Trofimenko, one of the top analysts in the Soviet Union, later affirmed that SDI "was the most effective single act to bring [Gorbachev] to his senses -- to the understanding that he could not win. ... [H]e had to cry 'uncle' and to vie for a peaceful interlude."
- Help came just hours after the SDI speech. It was provided by the senior senator from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy, who rode to the rescue to unwittingly hand the Soviets a glistening pearl of propaganda. It took Senator Kennedy not even 24 hours to rebuke Reagan's SDI speech as "misleading Red-scare tactics and reckless Star Wars schemes."
- Not only had Kennedy not taken the idea seriously, but he ridiculed it masterfully by piggybacking on the liberal caricature of a cartoonish Ronald Reagan, an addled ex-actor who got all his ideas from movies -- including, they surmised, even SDI.
- Immediately, the term "Star Wars" found itself in New York Times headlines typed the same day it was mouthed by Kennedy. Over at the Washington Post, columnist Mary McGrory, who was frequently quoted in the Soviet press, compared Reagan to "Buck Rogers," a popular space-age television hero of the day. She called SDI "lunacy." Worse, McGrory added a most destructive twist, with repercussions she could scarcely imagine: The president, she scoffed, had presented "a Buck Rogers plan to transfer the arms race to outer space."
- Other liberals chimed in, including Barbara Boxer. From the floor of the House, Rep. Boxer chuckled that SDI was the president's "astrological dream." The zany ex-actor, mocked Boxer, envisioned flying parking "'garages' in orbit."
- This line of derision trickled up to leftists in the scientific community, like Carl Sagan. Sagan happily tapped into this buffoonish image to mock Reagan at scientific gatherings. "In the foreground comes a very attractive laser battle station," guffawed Sagan at Reagan's silly machine, to howls of hilarity, "which then makes a noise like bzzzt ... bzzzt ... bzzzt."
- A high-ranking Soviet official, later maintained that "[i]t's clear that SDI accelerated our catastrophe by at least five years." Genrikh Trofimenko added: "99% of all Russians believe that Reagan won the Cold War because of his insistence on SDI."
- When Carl Sagan Warned the World About Nuclear Winter (accessed on January 30, 2021)
- Carl Sagan (1934-1996): An appreciation (accessed on January 30, 2021)
- The Demon-Haunted World (accessed on January 30, 2021)
- American Thinker, November 2, 2010 Barbara Boxer and the 'Star Wars' Sabotage By Paul Kengor