Climate & Clean Energy
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#1: Sixteen Minutes to Live

Published on
June 21, 2022
Show notes

In this impromptu first episode of the Important, Not Important podcast, host Quinn Emmett is joined by childhood friend David Schmidt for a conversation about the longest thirty-eight minutes of David’s life — what he said, did, and feared the morning the Hawaii emergency alert system went very, very wrong.

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Quinn Emmett: Welcome to the very first Important, Not Important podcast. My name is Quinn Emmett, and let me start off by saying, this is not how I saw things going. We've been recording and stockpiling episodes with some truly awesome folks for the past few weeks. Getting artwork ready, marketing, you name it. Preparing for a big awesome launch a couple weeks from now, and then today happened. What happened today? Well, this morning everyone in Hawaii with a mobile phone, got a message alert that there was a ballistic missile coming their way. And for 20 minutes, that's all they knew.

Quinn Emmett: My good childhood friend David Schmidt and his fiance Hilary, were on one of the Hawaiian islands when all of that went down. And he very kindly agreed to hop on the phone and tell us about that experience. What it felt like, the decisions they made, the things they said, the things they said to their families thousands of miles away knowing they had minutes, at best. So we haven't even launched yet, officially. I usually have a cohost or two, these are intended to be a lot less timely and more evergreen conversations. Though, I think in a way this conversation will stand the test of time.

Quinn Emmett: Our goal with these new podcasts is to have a conversation with the folks on the ground fighting to save our species and our planet. Or on the other hand, working to upgrade our bodies and minds, sooner than you'd ever think, by the way, beyond our wildest dreams. As hosts, we are your representatives. We ask the questions to get to the bottom of their work. Why it's important, what it means for all of us, and what we can do to help. We're gonna cover questions and topics like, if we had more female scientists and politicians, would we even be in this situation? And tell us how climate modeling works and why it keeps changing. And, how are we gonna convince conservatives, or even Angelicals to give a shit about the climate? And, what is monkey pox and why does my arm itch? Or, what's the go, no-go moment on artificial intelligence and why won't we know it when we see it? 

Quinn Emmett: So this one's a little different obviously, but I do think it's vital and that's a word we use a lot around here. Because a lot of you have been driving around for the last year wondering where this dick measuring contest ends, and if it ends in a mushroom cloud with you in the middle. Wondering what you'd do, and where you'd go, and who you'd call. So many noggins of folks live through the fear of a nuclear strike for decades, but this today, however much of a colossal error it was, was something new. Our parents didn't have iPhones under their school desks, and the missiles weren't this fast either. But regardless, a million and a half Hawaiians and however many thousands of tourists across the archipelago, went through something very unique today. Something harrowing and exhausting, and obviously it goes without saying, something that no one in any country should ever have to actually go through. To know that there are 15 minutes left and there's nothing you can do. To look at your loved one and ask, "How did we get here?" 

Quinn Emmett: So let's dig in. 

Quinn Emmett: Where are you guys right now? Let's start from the beginning.

David Schmidt: We're staying just north of the airport on the island of Kauai in a town called Kapaa, and that is on the east coast of the farthest west, largely inhabited island in the Hawaiian chain, of the state of Hawaii.

Quinn Emmett: What what are you guys doing there? 

David Schmidt: We are looking to start new jobs up in the spring, so we're taking this time to travel in Hawaii. And we just got engaged last year, so we're taking this opportunity where neither of us are working to travel, just because who knows where we'll be right after we get married and whether we'll be able to take the honeymoon. 

Quinn Emmett: Sure, sure. And how long have you been there? 

David Schmidt: We've been in Hawaii for like 10 days, maybe. And we've been on this island for four days.

Quinn Emmett: Okay. And how long do you intend to be there?

David Schmidt: We'll be in Hawaii for another five days. We're traveling to Oahu, where Honolulu is tomorrow. 

Quinn Emmett: Awesome. Well that sounds like a pretty lovely trip otherwise. 

David Schmidt: Yeah, it has been. But you know, you're trying to go to Hawaii to decompress and not feel anxious and stressed out, and you know?

Quinn Emmett: Sure. I know some of these answers 'cause I've known you since you came out of your mom, but for everybody out there I just wanna give a little humanity to this story. How old are you, David? 

David Schmidt: 31. 

Quinn Emmett: How old is your fiance?

David Schmidt: She's 28. 

Quinn Emmett: Gotcha. How long you guys been together? 

David Schmidt: Hilary and I have been together for ... I should know this answer. So we met at a wedding in 2014, and the reason I don't know the answer is I don't know what month we're in right now. It's January 2018, so we've been together ... and then we started dating a year after that. So we've been together for two and a half years.

Quinn Emmett: All right. And when did you get engaged?

David Schmidt: We got engaged last June, so we've been engaged for seven months or so.

Quinn Emmett: Awesome. And when did you plan to come to Hawaii?

David Schmidt: We started actually booking the trip to Hawaii in early December. So a month and a half ago or so, but we knew that I was gonna be between projects. I work in documentary film, we knew I'd be between one project and starting out a new one. I'd have two or three months off, so we kinda knew that we were gonna be going somewhere for years. 

Quinn Emmett: Sure. What does Hilary do?

David Schmidt: She works in education, so she's been an academic coach and tutor previously. And she'll probably be looking for something like that when we go back to work.

Quinn Emmett: Gotcha, okay. So what'd you guys do when you woke up this morning? 

David Schmidt: This is our last full day on Kauai and there's a lot of great hikes here. We're kinda centrally located even though we're on the far east side of the island because the road, the major highway, runs a ring around the island but doesn't connect on the other side.

Quinn Emmett: Right.

David Schmidt: So we've been all the way north, we've been most of the way south, but we hadn't gone all the way around to the west where the Waimea Canyon is and some hikes there. And we wanted to wake up early and get out that way, a little bit over an hour drive, and then do a pretty long hike. And so that was our plan, we wanted to get an early start, and interestingly, also over by the hike that we went on is the Pacific missile range facility. So that's kinda funny.

Quinn Emmett: Convenient.

David Schmidt: Yeah. But we leave our hotel, we get in the car, and we want to start heading south and do the south west part of the drive. We want to start heading southwest and the road is closed at our hotel basically, heading south, and we think, "That's strange", but it turns out it's unrelated to what we're about to experience. What it meant was that we had to go around, get off the highway and drive on this dirt farm road, basically, adjacent to the highway, or I should say parallel to the highway. But constrained, very slowly moving, and you can't pass anybody and slow moving direction, and you're just kinda stuff. 

David Schmidt: Hilary's driving because we're gonna be heading into the canyons and she's better with motion sickness when she's driving. So I'm in the passenger seat looking at my phone like usual.

Quinn Emmett: What time is it at this point? 

David Schmidt: We left at like 7:45 and this was about 8:05 when I'm talking about. So I'm looking at my phone and yeah, I have a habit for screaming obscenities over stupid things like a football player dropped a ball, or I think I had one the other day where I swore because I dropped one of my fingernail clippings on the floor and I was like, "Ahhh!" And she's like, "What happened?" And like, "Oh, I dropped a fingernail clipping."

Quinn Emmett: So a little bit of boy cried wolf.

David Schmidt: Exactly.

Quinn Emmett: In a vulgar way.

David Schmidt: So I hear we're trapped. Not trapped, but we're in this position on the side of the road and I hear the alert from your phone, and on both of our phones. So you know, it's the amber alert that you get, almost, or a flash flood. 

Quinn Emmett: Sure.

David Schmidt: So it's been dry here, but flash floods happen, so I figure, "Oh, maybe it's a flash flood. Or, oh, maybe somebody's missing."

Quinn Emmett: Have you guys gotten any alerts like ... obviously not like this one, but literally of the same sound-

David Schmidt: I haven't had any on this trip, no. But I've had those alerts back home, you know, amber alert or whatever, or warning. 

Quinn Emmett: Sure. 

David Schmidt: So I think, "Maybe this is flash flood, maybe somebody's missing, maybe this is explaining why the road's closed."

Quinn Emmett: Can you tell me exactly what it said? And what time it was? 

David Schmidt: So this is at 8:07 am Hawaiian time, and it says, all caps, "BALLISTIC MISSILE, THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII, SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER, THIS IS NOT A DRILL." So I'm screaming, "Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god!", and Hilary's thinking-

Quinn Emmett: You dropped another toe nail.

David Schmidt: Yeah, is somebody injured on the vikings? Like, you know, it's that kind of-

Quinn Emmett: The answer is yes, but also.

David Schmidt: Right. And I was like, "No, no, it's real!" And I tried to read it to her and she, to her credit, was incredibly calm and said, "Okay, well what can we do?" Basically nothing, we're stuck on this terrible road, moving zero miles an hour and we're just gonna have to keep doing that. 'Cause we can't ... there's ... literally you cannot turn. So we do, and we're driving, it's pro- ... you know, we're near the end of the road closure, probably takes us three minutes or so to get back to the pavement, and there's a cop there. And people are rolling down their windows and asking him, "What do we do?" And I don't hear his response, but you can tell he didn't know.

David Schmidt: So we rolled our window down and didn't even bother asking, just waved. 'Cause you know, nobody knows what to do in this sort of situation.

Quinn Emmett: Did you, after you told her, what was your ... I don't even know how to ask the question. What was the first thing you did? What did you say, "Let's go do X. Let's go here."? 

David Schmidt: I said, "I love you", and she said, "I love you", and that was the first thing to do. And then it was, "What do we do?". The airport was ... we were about to pass the airport and I had an instinct that this probably isn't the safest place to go, which I don't actually ... probably now think maybe I was wrong about, but where do you park for the airport? There's problems there. So I'm looking at my map, interestingly, I thought it was strange that the internet was still working. 

David Schmidt: I don't know, I thought maybe they'd shut that down if they ... it doesn't even make sense, but you know, they need all the bandwidth to shoot down the missiles, whatever, but it was still working. There's no sirens going off, there would be at an airport so that didn't cross my mind. But I'm looking at my map and we decided to turn right instead of turning left at the airport, didn't go straight 'cause the traffic wasn't moving.

Quinn Emmett: How long has it been now?

David Schmidt: It's probably been five minutes. 

Quinn Emmett: Do you ... this is a side note, and sorry to interrupt. Do you know how fast these missiles go?

David Schmidt: So I didn't know at the time, I knew it was, you have minutes, basically. 

Quinn Emmett: Okay, all right. So you're five minutes in.

David Schmidt: You know, a lot of stuff's going through my head, but we see on the map that there's a Walmart. So we start heading towards that, 'cause it's a building and it's a big building, you can get to the middle of it and who knows if we're anywhere near the epicenter of the blast it's not gonna matter.

Quinn Emmett: Right. 

David Schmidt: So big archipelago, there's a lot of targets in Hawaii that are farther from where we were, and who knows. Just trying people who might know something more, nobody of course does. On the way to the Walmart though, I noticed there was a hospital, I figured, "Okay, well. That's the best place to go." So we go to the hospital, we pull in, we go to the emergency room because that's the closest place we talked in instead of-

Quinn Emmett: What was the scene in there?

David Schmidt: So there was not very many people in this room, I don't know why. But I asked the woman behind the desk, "Where do we seek shelter?" And she said, "I don't really know, but people have been coming in and we've just been sending them to the family waiting room." So we went to the family waiting room and we were actually the only people there, which surprised me a little bit. We got on our phones, and this is probably 10, 12 minutes after the alert, so still incredibly scared, shaking, thinking, "How is this possible?", saying stupid things that aren't helping anybody else. Like, "I am so scared. I'm so scared.", right?

Quinn Emmett: Sure. But yet, completely understandable.

David Schmidt: Right, of course. I texted my parents and just said I love you, but I didn't want to scare them with what it was about.

Quinn Emmett: Did they write back? 

David Schmidt: They didn't. And then I was on Twitter looking for anything and there's just hundreds of people saying, "What is this all about? I just got the scariest alert, what am I supposed to do?"

Quinn Emmett: Right. And everybody went to twitter. 

David Schmidt: Yeah, and saw somebody saying it's a false alarm but didn't have any reason to believe that person. And then finally saw a congresswoman who's name I can't exactly remember right now, but I would definitely know if I heard it, it's like Tulsi Gabbert or something like that, I should probably look it up if you're gonna quote it. And so the congresswoman tweeted that it was a mistake and the first thought was-

Quinn Emmett: Was she a Hawaiian representative? 

David Schmidt: She's a Hawaiian congresswoman. And so it was, I don't know, it's just as likely that her twitter got hacked as somebody made a mistake on this button, but I believed it at that point. And also, between then and now I had been bargaining like crazy, like, "Okay, well we're pretty far from Oahu from the Naval base there. Yeah the pacific missile range is a target, but a tough target to hit because they've got all the defense home. I'm probably gonna be okay. It's still gonna be scary. I wonder what it's gonna look like from here? How am I gonna get home?" You know, but also, "Oh my god, I can die in this second.", all that was incredibly terrifying. When I saw her tweet and then another tweet by the emergency management whatever, who accidentally actually pushed the button saying that it was a mistake, a false alarm, then I started to feel better. 

David Schmidt: This is 20 minutes after the alert. We didn't get another alert that everything was okay for 38 minutes. Which is-

Quinn Emmett: 38 minutes total? Or 38 minutes after?

David Schmidt: 38 minutes after the first alert. They could've sent that 30 seconds afterwards.

Quinn Emmett: Incredible. Right, immediately.

David Schmidt: Maybe they needed to ... the absolute worst thing, I guess, would've been if they had said, "Everybody seek shelter", then said, "this is a false alarm", and then maybe something was happening. So maybe they had to be very, very clear about that. But still, it was way too long.

Quinn Emmett: Interesting that that's the thing they chose to double check. 

David Schmidt: Yeah. I don't know if that's what it was, I'm just speculating. So it was very scary. And then we walked out of the little room we were in, and there were other people in the place where you check in for the emergency room. And they were watching TV, and the TV was saying it's a mistake, and the people were like, "Yeah. I wonder why we didn't hear any sirens? This is weird." Then you look outside and a lot of people are coming out of other parts of the hospital where they had sought shelter.

Quinn Emmett: Right.

David Schmidt: And then, we just didn't really know what to do. So we texted a bunch of family and called people and started back on the road to try to get an early start into our hike and obviously we're delayed by a few hours, stopped for breakfast, and got some comfort food.

Quinn Emmett: Must've been a damn good breakfast.

David Schmidt: It was a damn good breakfast. People were talking in the café like ... it's kind of interesting, because ... sorry. The whole state had a near death experience, basically. But it was quick and aside from the road closure, which happened to be a fatality, the whole state had a near death experience, but nobody was actually harmed from this that I know of. I'm sure some people were speeding probably and something happened somewhere else, but I didn't witness any of that. 

David Schmidt: And so it's like, there's the, I don't know, the shared humanity and shared human experience and kindness that you get from a real big tragedy without the consequences, so it's actually been kind of a nice day in some ways. You're just talking to strangers, and-

Quinn Emmett: Not much to mourn, besides the 20 minutes of your life that probably shaved off five fucking years. 

David Schmidt: Yeah. So then we drove into the canyon and did our hike without service for four miles, we get to the end of it and we're talking to these people who had camped in the park the night before and hadn't had service until they got to the very end of the hike where we met them. And they're like, "Did you hear about this?" And we're like, "Yeah." So it was funny because I think if something had happened it would be awful to be without service, but since nothing happened they're in an enviable position.

Quinn Emmett: Yeah, they didn't suffer any of that. They just, their phones turned on and they probably got both those texts at the same time, which is confusing.

David Schmidt: Dozens of texts from family saying, "Oh my god", you know?

Quinn Emmett: Sure, right.

David Schmidt: But, yeah.

Quinn Emmett: How you feeling?

David Schmidt: I'm feeling worn out, but that might be the hike.

Quinn Emmett: Right. 

David Schmidt: But you know, so much adrenaline rushed through us that we're just kinda broken for a while.

Quinn Emmett: How did Hilary handle everything?

David Schmidt: Really well. She was stoic and calm and all you really want to have your partner be, in that situation. 

Quinn Emmett: Did she reach out to family at all in the moment?

David Schmidt: She didn't in the moment, and I think, wise. She was also driving. 

Quinn Emmett: Don't text and drive kids, even if the apocalypse is coming. 

David Schmidt: Right. But she was great and you know, she had the same adrenaline rush and crash, and all of that that I did. And needed the comfort food too. On the way back from the hike we stopped at Mcdonalds and got our Dr Pepper and chicken nuggets, and didn't feel bad about it at all.

Quinn Emmett: No, no, no, no. Wow. So did you guys ... you were off the grid for a little bit today, but have you spent much time with other folks on the island? Have you gotten sort of the feeling from folks that live there at all today? Or any one else that experienced it? I mean, everybody did, but-

David Schmidt: Yeah. Not a lot. I think so much of our experience in Hawaii has been tourism, and the people who live here that we deal with here tend to be people who work in the tourism industry. So I don't know, they put on a good face, I don't know exactly. But we were also driving for most of it.

Quinn Emmett: Right.

David Schmidt: So we didn't get to see people in the moment that much at the hospitals, they deal with stuff all the time, so.

Quinn Emmett: Sure. 

David Schmidt: They were good. I don't know, I mean I've been on the internet and reading all sorts of people's responses since I got back to cell phone service, and I know people were scared. And what people were really saying was, "Hey, we actually don't know what we're supposed to do when something like this happens."

Quinn Emmett: It's a hell of a test run. 

David Schmidt: And I didn't know what we were supposed to do because I'm a tourist, but it turns out people who live here don't really know what to do either. But what do you do? I don't know. I don't know that anybody's figured out any answers, they've had some hours to think about it, there's no basements in Hawaii from what I understand. And there's not really fallout shelters, and I guess you just hope it turns out all right. We did drive by a church on the way up, it's the west part of the island and the parking lot was full and this is a Saturday. So didn't surprise us but did give us a little bit of a chuckle.

Quinn Emmett: Yeah, sure. Sure. So I mean, in the moment, I know you're pretty good at rationalizing things it sounds like, you did a pretty good job of somehow thinking your way through a lot of the factors involved as this clock is ticking. Did you guys think that you had a pretty good chance of making it through this in the hospital? I mean, I'm just-

David Schmidt: Yeah, I think ... hard to say exactly, you know the all caps, not a drill, was very much on my mind and very scary. 

Quinn Emmett: Sure.

David Schmidt: But even if it had been real and not a false alarm and I think I knew intellectually there was a pretty good chance that where I was I might be A okay, but knowing that I wouldn't know that I was okay until it was over, was very frightening. So I don't know what to say about that.

Quinn Emmett: That's understandable. Well, I won't pester you for anymore. I just-

David Schmidt: It was really hard to figure out any news about what was going on. And you know, that might be because there wasn't really anything to report aside from a fall alarm. But you know, I'm just searching Twitter for Hawaii, and alert, and ballistic, and missile, and all this stuff, and every single thing is the same, which is, what is this, you know?

Quinn Emmett: Yeah.

David Schmidt: And you know, I searched North Korea, 'cause that's what I had expected it could be, and nothing. And so you turn on the radio ... I didn't mention this. We turned on the radio and the local guy breaks into the radio station and plays the alert, which was playing on the radio as well, and then says, "We don't know anymore about this. They say it's not a drill, we have to expect that", and then he starts speculating. And so it's like, "It's probably nuclear.", and I was like, "Oh my god". 

Quinn Emmett: That's not helpful, yeah. 

David Schmidt: So we just didn't know what to look for.

Quinn Emmett: Especially 'cause you weren't finding anything, where in most cases you would find something.

David Schmidt: Right. And I think that that's true, especially since it had been 20 minutes and I'm pretty sure now after I've done some googling that a missile would reach Hawaii within 15 minutes from Grand Peninsula? 

Quinn Emmett: Yeah, if not faster. 

David Schmidt: If not faster. So maybe the second one is gonna get us, or whatever, but there may not be anybody who's confident enough in their reporting to fire something off definitively, anything more than the alert we got in the 10 minutes that it would have taken. 

Quinn Emmett: Nobody wants to be that guy.

David Schmidt: Right. Somebody was that guy. 

Quinn Emmett: Well that guy's definitely that guy. But I mean, nobody wants to be the next guy who also-

David Schmidt: So I still have no real understanding of how that mistake could have happened. It's shocking though.

Quinn Emmett: It's shocking. And it means they have this message preloaded, which is interesting. Which I guess is good, and at the same time, I would hope a lot comes out of this. I would hope Hawaii and plenty of other places like where I am right now, Los Angeles, takes a good look at their preparations and says, "Do people know what to do? We might. We have a plan here in City Hall, but do the people know what to do in the moment when they've got 12 to 15 minutes? Do people know what to do with those 12 to 15 minutes? And, is there anything they can do? Are we gonna tell them that?" It's complicated.

David Schmidt: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Also, I very much think it's stupid to live in fear. I don't remember who said it, but when you worry you suffer twice, it's a true thing. So I know that the nuclear tensions are up these days, but I wasn't all that afraid at any moment, for that reason, when I was in Hawaii, until that alert.

Quinn Emmett: Until it was like, "You should be afraid."

David Schmidt: Right. I mean, I live in New York City and people who don't live in New York City, when they come and visit, some of them say, "Aren't you afraid of terrorism?" And, "No. Of course not. Why would I be?"

Quinn Emmett: Right.

David Schmidt: So I hope what comes of it is not increased fear, because nothing happened. On the other hand, I also hope that what comes of it isn't people taking future messages that are anything remotely like this as possible false alarms.

Quinn Emmett: "I'm sure it's another false alarm.", you don't want to be wrong on that one. It's true, you don't want to live in fear. I mean, yeah, there's a generation of folks, especially in this country, that were told to hide under their school desk for 30 years because that would protect them from a nuclear blast. Which I think they definitely live in a much more state of fear on this front than we ever did, than we ever have, where it wasn't just, "Oh the North Koreans, if they can get it up, might get a missile to one of these five places.", it was, "Oh, well, if this thing goes down the whole world's gone." I mean, both sides have thousands of nukes that will go and that's it, there's no, "Will this hospital shelter us?"

David Schmidt: Right. 

Quinn Emmett: But at the same time, I do think it's important to educate your populous just, again, you know, you live in New York and I live in LA and you don't want to live in fear, but you do want to live with preparation. You know, because a place like New York ... which part of it is an island with about four ways off of it and our place like here, where gridlock is instant on a Tuesday. Outside of those 12 minutes can get incredibly complicated and go south real fast. And even if the instructions are just, "Stay home, be with loved ones."

David Schmidt: Well, another thing that did cross my mind a little bit, in those scary minutes, was, "I can't believe this." And it's not just I can't believe this, that it's happening to me, it's that, "I do not believe this. How could this be happening? How could anything have come to this? Nobody would be that stupid." And turns out, nobody would be stupid enough to push a nuclear button, but I guess somebody was stupid enough to push, "There is a nuclear weapon coming at you" button. 

Quinn Emmett: Oh god.

David Schmidt: And I'm thankful that it's that and not the other one, but I will continue to not live in fear of any of this, after today anyway. Because what's the point? I mean yes, you can be prepared, but don't over prepare to the point that you're afraid to live your life.

Quinn Emmett: No, it's true. And it's also, there's a bit of a macabre side of that, which is preparing for a nuke is different for preparing for, as terrible as they are, an earthquake, or a huge fire, or a hurricane, or tornadoes which are infinitely more random, in that we've got a pretty good shot of making it through one of those. And you can even take off ahead, I mean shit, a hurricane gives you a few days notice most of the time.

David Schmidt: Yeah.

Quinn Emmett: An earthquake out here, the right one, which is gonna come, we're well over due. Or the one they talked about in the New Yorker last year, up in the Northwest, when it comes there's gonna only be so much you can do. But you do those things and you keep them in mind. I have children, I have a list in my house of the things we do if a fire's coming. And you do that and you prepare, and then you live. And if it happens, it happens, but I just ... the nuke thing blows just 'cause it's a mythical thing, but also because the brute force of it, it just makes you, "Well what could you do anyways? So why not just live?" What would you do? And on an island in the middle of the ocean.

David Schmidt: Right. Well, you know, and the other thing is an earthquake you don't punish anybody for, I guess. For want of a better term, the fallout from a nuclear explosion is not just the nuclear explosion. 

Quinn Emmett: Sure.

David Schmidt: So everybody, everywhere, on the entire planet, would have been affected by what was threatening to have happened to the [inaudible 00:29:26] plus tourists in Hawaii.

Quinn Emmett: Right, you're right. The repercussions are entirely different. With any of these things there's a lot of community building and recovery, and that's not the first thing that happens when a missile goes off. At least, that we know of or imagine, because nobody just says, "You know what, all right, well"- ... well certainly not the current administration, or theirs, or you would assume most of them throughout history or anywhere around the world go, "That's fine, you shot one, let's just stop. We're not gonna shoot back." That's not what they're built to do, which is terrifying. 

David Schmidt: And then, I should also say that we're going to Oahu next, where Honolulu is, but also where Pearl Harbor is. 

Quinn Emmett: Sure.

David Schmidt: And so, we'll be spending some time there and it'll be a little bit different, I guess.

Quinn Emmett: That'd be a different tourist experience, certainly.

David Schmidt: You can get in people's shoes a little bit more.

Quinn Emmett: Yeah.

David Schmidt: Obviously nothing like that happened there. But, I don't know, probably a little bit more empathy.

Quinn Emmett: Yeah. Preparation and empathy, I think empathy can maybe hold this thing off, which would be great. You know?

David Schmidt: That would be great.

Quinn Emmett: Empathy and live our lives.

David Schmidt: That will be great.

Quinn Emmett: Yeah, that will be great. That will be great, that's right. And I liked what you said about, that it's not just about what is happening to me, which is a great question to ask. And what are the odds of this happening to me, which is a great question to ask. But also, how did we get here? How did this finally happen after 50 years of people talking about it, and threatening, and worrying about it?

David Schmidt: Yeah. 70 years.

Quinn Emmett: 70, yeah. Wow, I'm old.

David Schmidt: Well, I'm gonna stay true to my faith that it will not happen. And if and when I'm wrong about that, I'll probably be wrong about it for a very short time, that's the way I'm gonna continue to live. 

Quinn Emmett: I like it. Well listen, I won't steal anymore of your much needed semi-honeymoon, pre-honeymoon. I hope you guys sleep well tonight.

David Schmidt: I think we will. Thanks Quinn.

Quinn Emmett: Yeah, for sure. Thanks for hopping on the phone, and enjoy the rest of the trip.

David Schmidt: Thanks Quinn.

Quinn Emmett: All right.

David Schmidt: Talk to you later.

Quinn Emmett: Thanks. 

Quinn Emmett: There it is. 20 minutes you'll remember for the rest of your life. Yeah, wow. I just want to say thanks to David for hopping on the phone tonight in the middle of what is, otherwise a pretty relaxing honeymoon, kind of. Thanks to his fiance Hilary for her incredible stoicism in the middle of a moment of desperate need, and thanks to all of you for tuning in. I hope this episode has made you think, or makes you think about what really matters, and makes you think about your plans, not just for a nuke. If you live where there are hurricanes, or tornadoes, or earthquakes, or volcanoes, they will happen, they do happen, it's important to have a plan. Especially if you've got loved ones. If you have children, or pets, or old people in your home. If you have all of them, I wish you well. It's important to have a plan and it's important to live your life, just like David said.

Quinn Emmett: So, thank you again for tuning in. As a reminder, we have not officially launched yet, we're gonna get going soon. In the mean time, you can subscribe to our free curated weekly email newsletter at, it is the news most vital to our survival as a species, people love it, and you can follow us all over the internet. We're on twitter at @importantnotimp, which drives me insane. We're on Facebook at Important, Not Important. Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr, all the same stuff, follow us, share us, you know the deal. Start a conversation of your own with somebody who needs it, or like-minded people, whatever, be an echo chamber, we don't care, just keep the conversations going and take some action.

Quinn Emmett: You can subscribe to this show, whenever it actually gets going, wherever you listen to things like this. And if you're really, really cool, you can rate us on Apple Podcasts, it makes a big difference. You can find the show notes from today right in your little podcast player, and eventually, at our website Thanks to Tim Blane for our super cool music, thanks to all of you for listening, and thanks to our moms for making us. Have a great day. 

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