It’s getting closer to midnight and the horrific possibility of nuclear war. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists just moved the Doomsday Clock forward 30 seconds to 11:58 — two minutes to the dreaded witching hour.The North Korean nuclear standoff and the lack of global progress toward disarmament has increased the alarm. President Donald Trump has not helped either, with his reckless tweets and threats to “totally destroy North Korea.”
Beatrice Fihn of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) warns, “The actions and policies of the nuclear-armed states are winding the Doomsday Clock towards midnight. We have been lucky to avoid conflict through intentional or accidental means, but recent posturing and the false alarms in Hawaii and Japan show our luck is about to run out if we don’t move quickly.”
The Doomsday Clock first appeared on the cover of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists magazine in 1947. It was a warning to the public that nuclear catastrophe could be near. The clock is meant to spur action to control the threat of nuclear weapons. The Bulletin’s recent action put the Doomsday Clock at the closest it’s been to to midnight since 1953 when the United States and Soviet Union tested hydrogen bombs. President Dwight Eisenhower sought nuclear arms control with his Atoms for Peace proposal late that year.
See my full commentary at The Baltimore Sun:
President Trump’s first treaty might be closer than you think, if he chooses peace. It’s the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which bans all nuclear test explosions.
Trump just needs to encourage the Senate to ratify the treaty. With the support of Trump and the Republican led Senate, the treaty could be approved.
Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy were the first presidents to seek a nuclear test ban treaty. Why? Because they understood its vital role in leading to disarmament.
Read my full article at the Huffington Post.
The Republican-led Senate has the power to ratify the test ban treaty. It can finish a journey started by one of their own, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who believed that ending testing was a step toward global disarmament. Ike did not want Americans to have carry the expensive burden of nukes forever.
Read the letter at the New York Times.
Americans do need to pay more attention to nuclear weapons (“Presidential stakes are high for nuclear arsenal,” Editorial, May 25), especially as each citizen carries the heavy burden of their cost. Estimates have the United States spending $1 trillion over the next three decades on our nuclear arsenal.
See my full letter at the Boston Globe.
President Obama makes a historic visit to Hiroshima, Japan this week. He is the first sitting president of the United States to visit the site of the first atomic bomb dropped on Japan during World War II. The threat of this ultimate weapon of mass destruction has loomed over mankind ever since the war. Leading the charge today for nuclear disarmament is a group called Global Zero.
I recently interviewed Mary Popeo, an activist who started the Boston chapter of Global Zero. She talks about getting the group started, what role they will play in this year’s presidential election, and how you can get involved.
Read the full interview at Blogcritics.
It was President Ronald Reagan who said his goal was “to reduce substantially, and ultimately to eliminate, nuclear weapons and rid the world of the nuclear threat.” Reagan set in motion treaties reducing nuclear arms. Likewise, President Obama has also advocated the elimination of nukes.
See my full commentary at The Hill.
Recently, a college student in Boston asked, “How can we get young people interested in nuke disarmament?” As a presidential election year is upon us, eliminating nuclear weapons should be taking center stage as a campaign issue.
Youth, after all, have the most at stake when it comes to nukes. For it is they who will be paying for these weapons of mass destruction for years to come. And it is an expensive tab.
See my full commentary at The Orlando Sentinel: