I hated post-apocolypse [sic] stuff; I always did. That’s one of the miserable things about the 70s, and its lurid indulgence in these fantasies. Beneath the Planet of the Apes, for example, not only adheres to the requirement of the time that all movies must end with the hero’s death; it not only posits the existence of a nuclear weapon that still works after many centuries (and sheds huge amounts of smoke when powered up, if I remember correctly), but it kills the entire planet for its conclusion, after which an omnipotent voiceover tells us that "a green and insignificant planet is now dead." Roll credits.
I wonder now: who started it, back then? Who started the war that managed to destroy everything? Might their motivations, their morals, their ideas, be held more responsible than the instruments of destruction they used? I know this: that was the least important detail to the dystopian cynics then, and probably now as well.
Stupid dystopian cynics! Thinking it was the act of destroying an entire planet that was important, and not the reasons for doing it! As in the future, where the innumerable corpses will molder and crumble happily if they know they were all killed for a good cause, so it is today, where all the American dead in their thousands and the Iraqi dead in their hundreds of thousands rejoice from their graves because they know they died for freedom, and not at the whim of some petty dictator. IED, sniper, car bomb or ordnance dropped from miles overhead: none of this matters to the decaying cadavers. What matters to them, and to their grieving families, is that our motives are pure and just; that's what makes it all worthwhile.