I thought that the figure of a half-billion dead was the total dead from the conflict, including indirect casualties from disease and famine and the like.
I am grimly curious about the timeline that was created by the death of Gabriel Bell. O'Brien said that the 2048 he and Kira visited was bad:
[T]hat wasn't the mid-twenty-first century that I read about in school. It's been changed. Earth history had its rough patches, but never that rough.
Inasmuch as, by the mid-24th century, Earth still hadn't recovered any spacefaring capacity, the Third World War must have been much worse. The scans of the devastated Earth--and of the apparent Romulan-dominated sphere--must be interesting ...
One thing I found. The script for "A Matter of Time"
, talking about the asteroid impact on Penthara V, says something disconcerting. Picard:
"The resulting dust cloud could very well create a phenomenon not unlike the nuclear winters of twenty-first-century Earth."