We have already trapped ourselves in a small degree of irreversible nuclear damage.
To avoid further harm to ourselves and our children, the people of the world must somehow avoid further nuclear insanity.*
*A leakage on September 11, 1957, and again on May 11, 1969, in the AEC Rocky Flats plutonium plant released plutonium near Denver, Colorado. There has been a 24% increase in cancer in men and a 10% increase in women in the portion of the Denver metropolitan area nearest to the Rocky Flats plutonium processing plant. For details write Jefferson County Health Department, 260 S. Kipling Street, Lakewood, CO 80226.
One million tons of TNT is known as a megaton. A grand total of over three megatons of nonnuclear explosives were used in World War II from 1941 to 1945.
Today, nuclear bombs up to 20 megatons each are poised for action.
Only one of these could destroy a large city and make the land dangerous for eons!
"Nuclear war is bad for the world"
Dr. Bernard Feld, professor, M.I.T., and the editor-in-chief of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists said,
Sometime later in this decade, military plans which are being seriously discussed now by the military establishments on both sides would lead to...an immediate exchange...in a nuclear war of something between 10,000 and 20,000 megatons each.
The fallout in the United States would be total. that is to say, there would be no areas, really, that could escape. There would be lethal fallout covering the entire United States and essentially the entire Soviet Union. Worldwide this would lead to something...somewhere in the region of, let's say, 20 radiation units per capita everywhere on earth.
And this I would regard as a situation which we would all have to consider to be absolutely intolerable.
And, therefore, it seems to me that we have no choice in the direction in which we have to move. The problem that faces us is not whether nuclear disarmament is feasible, but how we can go about convincing our leaders. And, presumably, they will be convinced when all the people, or at least a majority of people, of our countries are convinced of the unacceptability of the current course of events in which missile is piled on top of missile, in which weapon is piled on top of weapon, and in which doctrines concerning their use are being proliferated not only in the insane superpowers but in other so-called civilized countries as well.
How are we going to convince ourselves that this is an intolerable direction, stop where we are, turn around and eventually reduce these stockpiles...?
"Nuclear war is bad for business"
David Hoffman points out, "In a nuclear war, the best defense is not to have an offence."*
*A 1964 Atomic Energy Commission study showed that a serious nuclear accident could kill 45,000 people, injure 100,000 and contaminate "and area the size of Pennsylvania."
War no longer functions for settling disputes between nations.
War itself must be abolished in the twentieth century - just as slavery was eliminated during nineteenth century.
Our survival demands new ways for operating our civilization!
A single conventional bomb can blow up the reactor rods that fuel a power plant.
If Europe had nuclear power plants during World War II, our bombs could have devastated the continent and made it uninhabitable for thousands of years by radioactive pollution of the air, food and water.
"Nuclear war is bad for survival"
Any nuclear reactors anywhere make us vulnerable to aggression and fanaticism by politicians and terrorists - even if they don't have access to nuclear bombs.
When we even maintain a supply of nuclear bombs as a "deterrent," we are dangerously perpetuating the illusion that our safety and security lie in nuclear materials.
Such a consciousness makes inevitable the competitive stockpiling and future use of these materials.
And the passion of many military and political leaders and terrorists are such that sooner or later they will unleash every bit of destructiveness they can get their hands on!
A nuclear war could blow enough fine dust into our stratosphere to filter out our sunlight and create a nuclear winter that could freeze out most human and animal life on the planet.
Here is a report of the conference "The World After a Nuclear War" in Washington, D.C., November, 1983:
Well over a hundred scientists working independently in countries such as the United States, Germany and the Soviet Union presented a grim consensus that was summed up by Stanford University Ecologist, Paul Ehrlich, "The two to three who are at least able to stand up after the last weapon goes off are going to be - at least in the Northern Hemisphere - starving to death in a dark, smoggy world." The World Health Organization has concluded that a major nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union could leave 1.1 billion dead from immediate nuclear effects of the blast, fireball and radiation. Another 1.1 billion would be injured. Since medical facilities would be almost wiped out, most of the injured will die. The ultimate toll within a few months is estimated by this study to be more than 2 billion people or roughly half the world's population.
But will the survivors be much better off? Ehrlich points out that even at noon, the earth will be almost dark because of the millions of tons of dirt and debris that the nuclear explosion will throw into the sky. He points out that rampaging forest and city fires may burn 50% to 60% of the United States and send huge amounts of smoke into the sky. It will take many months to settle back to earth. Scientists estimate that temperatures in the plains of North America and the steppes of Central Asia may drop as much as 40C(72F) - it could literally freeze in July.
With our atmosphere enshrouded in nuclear dust carried up into the stratosphere, sunlight would not sustain photosynthesis, according to Joseph Berry, noted plant physiologist, of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. Several atmospheric chemists point out that in some regions the light would fall to as little as 5% to 10% of the former levels. Carl Sagan said that if a little less than half of our nuclear material are exploded (5000 megatons), the midwest would drop 15 to 20 degrees below zero Fahrenheit for months.*
*Science news, November, 1983. For complete information on this conference, see The Cold and Dark by Paul R. Ehrlich, Carl Sagan, Donald Kennedy, Walter Orr Roberts. W.W. Norton and Co., Inc., 1984.
Have you ever felt overconfident?
Have you ever felt like taking a chance just to see how it comes out?
"Nuclear war is bad for rosy cheeks"
Have you eve felt so angry that you were determined to hurt someone even if you hurt yourself, too?
Have you ever felt so depressed, so discouraged, that you just didn't give a damn?
Have you ever felt like kicking over a game you couldn't win?*
*People close to Nixon in has last days in office reportedly deactivated the signal mechanism that our President can use to hurl our nuclear holocaust at Russia and destroy the world.
The United States and Russia have enough military hardware to destroy every city on this earth seven times!
And other nations are scrambling to acquire this dreadful suicidal power!*
*The U.S., Russia, France, great Britain, Italy and West Germany are selling nuclear and conventional arms to other countries at the rate of over $350 million per day! It's sad to note that our economies and our diplomacy are developing a dependency on our roles as merchants of death.
Eventually, even a large or small country on this planet could have a supply of deadly nuclear bombs.
Nuclear bombs are not that difficult to make....
Eight thousand pounds of plutonium and uranium are now missing from U.S. facilities, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission!
The insane arms race is almost out of control.
Nuclear war by design or by accident is possible and imminent!
"Nuclear war is bad for capitalism"
IT COULD HAPPEN ANY MINUTE!
"Nuclear war," according to Roger Fisher, Professor of Law at Harvard, "is not a solution. It is worse that any problem it might 'solve.'"
An all-out nuclear war between U.S. and Russia could kill hundreds of millions of people and subject the survivors of radiation sicknesses - and cause countless mutations of the genetic blueprints of our species.*
*If our nuclear insanity continues, our descendants may be so mutated that they cannot even be classified as members of our species, Homo sapiens.
"Nulear weapons aren't weapons - they're an obscenity," said Dr. Marvin Goldberger, President, California Institute of Technology.
According to Dr. Herbert L. Abrams of the Harvard Medical School, the corpses produced by a nuclear war between Russia and the Unites States if laid end to end would reach from the earth to the moon.
Could any worthwhile human desire however right, good or needed be actually achieved by this sacrifice of the human race?
"Nuclear war is bad for everyone"
Rear Admiral Gene R. LaRocque, United States Navy (retired), suggests that a nuclear war may be started by mechanical mishap and electronic and personnel errors:
...one of our strategic submarines, the George Washington, ran right into a Japanese ship just a few months ago and sank it! That's just one of our best missile submarines!...We've lost two of our nuclear attack submarines that sank in the ocean and we don't know why to this day - the Scorpion and the Thresher. And earlier this year one of our missiles was accidentally fired from Arkansas because a mechanic dropped a wrench.
We've had several incidents where nuclear weapons have literally fallen out of airplanes, literally just fallen through bomb bays. Probably the most interesting one is the one that fell out of a strategic bomber in the Carolinas some year ago....landed in Carolina in a swamp and they looked all over for that nuclear weapon. We haven't found it yet....*
*The Defense Department bought the land, put a fence around it, and now it's a nuclear safety area! From a talk given on October 31, 1981 at a Los Angeles symposium organized by Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Council for a Livable World.
Daniel Ellsberg, who was an assistant to former Secretary of Defense McNamara, reminds us of an accident in 1961 when an Air Force plane carrying a 24-megaton bomb crashed in North Carolina.
On crash impact five of the six interlocking safety mechanisms on the bomb failed! Only one switch kept the bomb from unleashing the equivalent of 1,000 Nagasaki-type explosions!
"Nuclear war is bad for the military"
We've been lucky so far!
A Russian airplane carrying a nuclear weapon crashed in the Sea of Japan.
U.S. submarines carrying nuclear missiles have collided with Russian ships.
By, mistake, we dropped on Spain four plutonium bombs which fortunately did not explode.
Oops - so sorry!
The failure of a 46 cents computer part has produced a false signal that Russian missiles were on the way.
"Nuclear war is bad for international relations"
On November 9, 1979, a reportedly fail-safe computer responded to a war games tape by turning on all American early warning systems around the world!
On June 3 and again on June 6, 1980, computer errors in our warning system began a rapid chain of events that could have ruined the planet.
You and I may have been only minutes from nuclear death when these technical errors were spotted!!!*
*Military folks will protest that, while true, the above are unfair statements. They haven't blown us apart yet, have they?
What if an error is not detected within minutes?
Up until the last half of this century, civil defense was usually protective against ordinary bombs.
"Nuclear war is bad for sound sleep"
With less than thirty minutes warning of a missile attack, we can forget it!
The fire storm of a nuclear missile will turn most underground shelters into crematoriums, anyway.
TODAY PROTECTIVE MEASURES ARE INEFFECTIVE, AND ULTIMATELY FUTILE.
Nuclear bombs are so hopelessly devastating that at the November, 1980 Conference of the Physicians for Social Responsibility, Dr. H. Jack Geiger said,
It is my belief that any physician who even takes part in so-called emergency medical disaster planning - specifically to meet the problem of nuclear attack - is committing a profoundly unethical act. He is deluding himself or herself, colleagues, and by implication the public at large, into false belief that mechanisms of survival in any meaningful social sense are possible.*
*For more information write Physicians for Social Responsibility, 1000 Sixteenth Street, NW, Suite 810, Washington, D.C. 20036, or phone (202) 785-3777.
Albert Einstein warned:
"we must never relax our efforts to arouse in the people of the world, and especially their governments, an awareness of the unprecedented disaster which they are absolutely certain to bring on themselves unless there is a fundamental change in their attitudes toward one another as well as in their concept of the future.
"Nuclear war is bad for civil defense"
"The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything except our way of thinking."
Nothing is worth playing Russian roulette with the journey of Homo sapiens.
As you and I live out our lives and set up the way for future generations, let us resolve to avoid nuclear destruction.
Why let ourselves be wiped out by not responding to clear signs of future catastrophe?
"Nuclear war is bad for ecology"
Carl Sagan, professor of astronomy of Cornell University and creator of the "Cosmos" series, said:
What a waste it would be after 4 billion tortuous years of evolution if the dominant organism contrived its own self-destruction. We are the first species to have devised the means. There is no issue more important than the avoidance of nuclear war. It is incredible for any thinking person not to be concerned with this issue. No species is guaranteed tenured life on this planet. We are privileged to be alive and to think. We have the privilege to affect the future.
Since nuclear missiles fly both ways, neither United States nor Russia can make itself more secure by making the other less secure.
Nuclear weapons can no longer provide us with security.
Our choice is clear:
A non-nuclear future or none at all!!!
Our life on the planet is more important than money or military power!
Do we have to be such fanatics that we destroy the world by squabbling over conflicting ideas?
Is a "cerebral itch" more important than life itself?
"Nuclear war is bad for your bank account"
Is human destiny a hectic trip from Adam to Atom?
All around we're getting messages loud and clear:
The danger of annihilation of
human civilization should not be made the subject of theoretical arguments, but
used as a basis for creating a common awareness of the alarming situation the
world is facing today and the need for exercising the political will to search
for acceptable solution.
Report of the Secretary-General of the United States.
The overwhelming priority to
do away with nuclear arms has not penetrated the collective consciousness or
conscience of the general public....Nuclear arms must not just be limited, they
must be eliminated.
Rev. Maurice McCracken,Community Church of Cincinnati.
Rear Admiral LaRocque warns us:
It's very important for all of us today to realize that the Soviet Union is not the enemy. Nuclear war is the enemy. We're going to have to learn to live with Russians or we and the Russians are going to die at about the same time.
So urgent is the situation that we must shortcut through our usual ways of thinking.
Humanity and world peace must be given priority above everything else.
"Nuclear war is bad for planet Earth"
Part I Part III Part IV