ROBERT DODGE – A national collaborative grassroots coalition to abolish nuclear weapons is rapidly emerging in this country. The effort called â€œBack from the Brink: A Call to Prevent Nuclear Warâ€ started last fall after the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted by 122 nations with the U.S. and other nuclear nations boycotting.
ROBERT F. DODGE – 50 years ago on July 1, 1968 the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was signed. This landmark nuclear arms control treaty brought the worldâ€™s nuclear powers together with the ultimate goal of eliminating nuclear weapons by engaging in good faith efforts toward that end.
ROBERT F. DODGE, M.D. – Ignoring international partners, world public opinion and action, the U.S took additional steps these past weeks to renounce another international leadership role, this time in nuclear disarmament.
ROBERT F. DODGE – If we want to abolish nuclear weapons, we must stop investing in them.â€¨The just released â€œDonâ€™t Bank On The Bombâ€œ report draws attention to the â€œHall Of Shame” companies that are either financing or producing nuclear weapons and their components.
ROBERT F. DODGE – Since the beginning of the nuclear age and the dropping of the first atomic bombs, humankind has struggled with the reality of being able to destroy the planet on the one hand and the abolition of these weapons on the other. This yearâ€™s Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear (ICAN) acknowledges these realities and celebrates the efforts to achieve the latter.
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.
ROBERT F. DODGE, M.D. – Following the arrival of spring each year, our nation renews its commitment to our priorities on Tax Day, April 15th, from education to health care, infrastructure and national defense. Included among these expenditures are nuclear weapons programsâ€”weapons that can not and must not ever be used. The funding for these programs, while more transparent than in the past, is still quite secretive. From the beginnings of our nuclear programs in 1940 we have spent as a nation in excess of $6 trillion dollars on them. This Tax Day we will spend ~$56.3 billion more on these same programs. From Los Angeles Countyâ€™s expenditure of $1.785 billion to our nations capitol at $107 million, these are monies that we can ill afford to spend.
ROBERT F. DODGE, M.D. – The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has just announced its latest nuclear Doomsday Clock moving ahead the minute hand to three minutes till midnight. The clock represents the count down to zero in minutes to nuclear apocalypse – midnight. This significant move of two minutes is the 22nd time since its inception in 1947 that the time has been changed.
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.
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.
ROBERT F. DODGE: President Obama reestablished the United States global leadership role in creating a secure tomorrow as he made his U.N. debut this past week. Speaking before the General Assembly he put forward “four pillars” that he said are “fundamental to the future that we want for our children â€” for a safer America and world.