Possession of nuclear weapons has always escalated tensions between world powers since the day the United States nuked Japan to end World War II. Later, during the time of cold war, nuclear weapons again worsened world peace, and recently, Korean peninsula also witnessed escalating tensions due to Pyongyang's possession of nuclear arms. However, a top expert believes that the same nuclear weapons may one day save humans from the verge of extinction.
In a recent essay written on the Conversation, James A Green, a professor of public international law at the University of Reading, claimed that these weapons of mass destruction could save humans from doomsday asteroid hits that may happen in the future.
In his essay, Green revealed that the only problem to nuke asteroids is the existing law between world powers. As per current International laws, it is prohibited to use nuclear weapons in the space. However, Green believes that using nuclear weapons may become necessary at times when rogue space bodies pose a real threat to living beings on the earth.
"If it came to a choice between legal niceties and saving humanity from extinction, there wouldn't be much of a choice at all: law shouldn't be a global suicide pact. Indeed, one nuclear power, Russia, has already indicated that – if that asteroid appeared – it likely would opt for "launch first, litigate second"," wrote Green.
Green also urged International diplomats and ruling bodies to formulate a new law that allows using nuclear weapons if rogue space bodies like asteroids and meteors pose a threat to the existence of human civilization.
However, several experts believe that nuking an asteroid will not be a great idea as it will bring more chaos to the planet. As per these critics, nuking an asteroid will result in a debris rain loaded with radioactive fragments. They also believe that due to this thick debris shield, sunlight will not reach the earth sufficiently, and the final result will be a mass extinction event.