MARK WILLACY – Rising seas caused by climate change are seeping inside a United States nuclear waste dump on a remote and low-lying Pacific atoll, flushing out radioactive substances left behind from some of the worldâ€™s largest atomic weapons tests.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – â€œJust as we stood for freedom in the 20th century, we must stand together for the right of people everywhere to live free from fear in the 21st century. And . . . as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act. We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it, we can start it. â€œSo today, I state clearly and with conviction Americaâ€™s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.â€ Uh . . . These words, the core of President Obamaâ€™s first major foreign policy speech, delivered in Prague in April 2009, now resonate with nothing so much as toxic irony â€” these pretty words, these words of false hope, which disappeared into Washingtonâ€™s military-industrial consensus and failed to materialize into action or policy.
ROBERT F. DODGE, M.D. – On Aug. 6th, sixty-nine years ago, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, killing 80-140 thousand people immediately. Three days later on August 9th, a second U.S. nuclear bomb was dropped over Nagasaki, killing an additional 74,000 people. From that week to the present moment the world has been held hostage to the insane threat and potential annihilation by these weapons that now number in excess of 17,000 worldwide. However daunting, we have witnessed this past year some of the most significant progress and awareness of this threat and work to eliminate nuclear weapons, thus realizing the long standing desires of people everywhere, to live in a world free of nuclear weapons. It is time for our elected officials to support the international efforts toward this end.
DAVID SWANSON – Three years later a Soviet Lieutenant Colonel acted out the same scene, with the computer glitch on his side this time. Then in 1984 another U.S. computer glitch led to the quick decision to park an armored car on top of a missile silo to prevent the start of the apocalypse. And again in 1995, the Soviet Union almost responded to a U.S. nuclear attack that proved to be a real missile, but one with a weather satellite rather than a nuke. One Pentagon report documents 563 nuclear mistakes, malfunctions, and false alarms over the years â€” so far.