CENTER FOR CITIZEN INITIATIVES – CCI calls for results-oriented dialogue to rediscover the road to a world free of nuclear weapons.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – Most countries are moving down the road toward a nuclear weapons-free world. This past July, the official representatives of most of the worldâ€™s nations, meeting in a UN-sponsored conclave, voted 122 to 1 (with 1 abstention) for an international treaty prohibiting countries from developing, testing, manufacturing, possessing, transferring, or threatening to use nuclear weapons. However, the nine nuclear-armed nations boycotted the conference and are not among the countries backing this Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weaponsâ€•at least not yet. Given the staggering economic and human costs of nuclear weapons, isnâ€™t it time that the nuclear nations got on board?
ROBERT F. DODGE. M.D. – Fridayâ€™s (Oct. 7) award of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) draws attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and the global movement to abolish these weapons as the only reliable way to guarantee that they will never be used again.
ALICE SLATER – One hundred and twenty-six nations voted to move forward with negotiations to prohibit nuclear weapons â€” just as the world has already done for biological and chemical weapons.
RAMESH JAURA – Despite protests by Republican congressional leaders and the heads of Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, President Barack Obama is garnering wide support for his reported plan to implement at least a part of his cherished nuclear agenda through a series of executive actions during the next months before leaving the White House.
IRA HELFAND – Recently, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced it was keeping its famous Doomsday Clock at three minutes to midnight. In making this decision, their panel of experts, including 16 Nobel Laureates, cited the growing danger of nuclear war. The danger of nuclear war? For most people today, the threat of nuclear war isnâ€™t even on their radar screens. It needs to be.
JAMSHED BARUAH – The 33-member Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) formally endorsed at its third annual summit in San JosÃ© on January 28-29 the â€˜Austrian Pledgeâ€™ delivered at the close of the Third International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons (HINW) last December in Vienna.
XANTHE HALL – This week I read an email exchange that made me think. Actually, it worried me deeply. In one of the messages an old friend described the Nuclear Weapons Convention â€“ an idea many of us fought for since the early nineties â€“ as a â€œfairy tale.” A second mail called it a â€œdistraction.” The authors of these mails are not government representatives from nuclear weapon states or their allies, although you might be forgiven for thinking so. Both those descriptions have been used by states that want to brush aside the idea of a convention summarily, as if only for the very stupid or naÃ¯ve. No, these were colleagues. Since the strategy of pursuing a so-called Ban Treaty has been advocated by the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear weapons (ICAN), at least by its International Steering Group and staff, a fierce debate has been raging between two groups. These are principally the younger and the older generation.
JOHN LAFORGE – Weakening radiation standards, a cap on accident liability, reactor propaganda vs improvements, old units running past expiration dates, revving the engines beyond design specs â€¦. Youâ€™d think we were itching for a meltdown. The Environmental Protection Agency has recommended increased radiation exposure limits following major releases. It would save the industry a bundle to permit large human exposures, rather than shut down rickety reactors.
JOHN LORETZ – Thereâ€™s more bad news from the climate scientists. Not about global warming, where the news is never good, but about the impact nuclear weapons would have on the atmosphere, our climate, and food production if even a very small number were used in a limited, regional conflict.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – Your doctors are worried about your healthâ€•in fact, about your very survival. No, theyâ€™re not necessarily your own personal physicians, but, rather, medical doctors around the world, represented by groups like International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). As you might recall, that organization, composed of many thousands of medical professionals from all across the globe, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 for exposing the catastrophic effects of nuclear weapons.
IRA HELFAND and ROBERT DODGE – As physicians we spend our professional lives applying scientific facts to the health and well being of our patients. When it comes to public health threats like TB, polio, cholera, AIDS and others where there is no cure, our aim is to prevent what we cannot cure. It is our professional, ethical and moral obligation to educate and speak out on these issues. That said, the greatest imminent existential threat to human survival is potential of global nuclear war.
KENT SHIFFERD – What could be worse than a nuclear war? A nuclear famine following a nuclear war. And what follows famine is epidemic disease. What can you do? The only way to assure ourselves this global disaster will not happen is to join the global movement to abolish all weapons of mass destruction.
JOHN LAFORGE – On August 11, more than 750 people converged at Buchel Air Force Base — the largest joint U.S./German Luftwaffe air base — to condemn the retention of 20 U.S. nuclear weapons, in open violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In a show of popular rebellion 150 hearty war resisters blockaded all nine base entrances for 24 hours.
IPPNW — The following is a joint statement from the Palestinian and Israeli affiliates of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) on the recent violence at sea. This statement is the product of unique and powerful collaboration, with physicians transcending political and ideological divisions to speak out with a common voice for peace and humanity.
KELLY CAMPBELL: With great pleasure, I announce the second annual Greenfield Peace Writing Contest, sponsored by Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, and named for Del Greenfield, our first executive director. Any 11th or 12th grade student in Oregon may enter by submitting an original piece of fiction, poem, or essay (maximum 600 words) reflecting on the following question: In a world where we struggle with wars, injustice, violence in our communities and the threat of environmental devastationâ€¦what does peace mean to you?