Knowledge is also key to the salvation of the human race. If people had been educated about the dangers of nuclear war, then the catastrophe might never have happened. Before they die, Peter mentions that newspapers could have prevented the war, if the articles they printed actually educated people about how to achieve peace in the world. Education is the key. Like Peter, Shute realizes that newspapers are filled with sensationalist headlines that distract people from the real issues. Because the newspapers are not teaching about the dangers of nuclear war and how to stop it from ever happening, Shute writes On the Beach to serve the purpose. Shute's message is clear about the need to understand that the inevitable will come about if we do not learn how to stop it.