February 28 – March 1st 2015 – New York – Symposium – The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction.
As a physician I am trained to assess a patient, taking a detailed medical history then conducting a careful physical examination. This is followed by a series of laboratory tests which guide me to a diagnosis. Appropriate treatment follows after the illness is diagnosed and the cause is defined. It is imperative that the main disease is attended to and the assessor not be distracted by peripheral issues or unrelated complaints.
I look at the world and its ongoing pathology from a similar perspective. There are many serious issues facing the world at the moment but it is necessary to triage the most serious threats, those to our very survival. It is easy to be diverted or distracted by lesser threats. This must be avoided. As a physician, I see the ever-present threat of nuclear war as an ongoing existential risk that threatens almost all planetary life with extinction. The situation is even more acute because most people and politicians have become inured to, or are unaware of, the existential nature of this threat. This is a dangerous form of psychic numbing.
The truth is that Russia and the U.S. possess 94% of the 16,400 nuclear weapons in the global nuclear arsenal. The U.S. maintains its first strike winnable nuclear war policy, and both countries have raised their nuclear arsenals to a higher state of alert because of the trouble in the Ukraine.
Furthermore it has just been announced that the administration has plans to replace every nuclear warhead and their delivery systems via ship, submarine, missile and plane, at a cost of one trillion dollars over the next thirty years. And recently Stephen Hawking and his collaegues have been postulating that there is a real possibility that computers could launch a nuclear war with no human input
This symposium to be held by The Helen Caldicott Foundation – a 501C3 charitable organization – at the NY Academy of Medicine on February 28th-March 1st, 2015 will be structured to address the following issues:
- What are the human and technological factors that could precipitate a nuclear war between Russia and the U.S., how many times have we come close to nuclear war and how long will our luck hold?
- What are the ongoing technological and financial developments relevant to the nuclear weapons arsenals of the US and Russia?
- What problems are associated with lateral proliferation of nuclear weapons via strenuous corporate marketing of nuclear technology?
- What are the medical and environmental consequences of either a small or large nuclear war?
- What are the underlying philosophical, political, and ideological dynamics that have brought life on earth to the brink of extinction?
- How can we assess this situation from an anthropological perspective?
- What is the pathology within the present political situation that could lead us to extinction?
- How can this nuclear pathology be cured?
Speakers for each issue
Issue number 1
- Eric Schlosser – author of COMMAND AND CONTROL will discuss the many near-misses and multiple accidents with nuclear weapons
- Seth Baum- Global Catastrophic Risk Institute, will address the catastrophic risk of nuclear war
- Max Tegmark – Professor of Physics at MIT will address the new potential threat of artificial intelligence and the real possibility that computers could launch a nuclear war with no human input
Issue number 2
- Hans Kristensen – Federation of American Scientists, will address the current size of the global nuclear arsenals
- Bill Hartung- Center for International Policy, will discuss the inordinate power and pathological dynamics exercised by the US military industrial complex
- Greg Mello -Los Alamos Study Group, the role and funding of the nuclear weapons laboratories inherent within the US nuclear armament dilemma
- John Feffer – Institute of Policy Studies will compare the money spent on the US military industrial complex compared with the paltry amount spent on the prevention of global warming
- Bruce Gagnon – Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, will elucidate the ongoing and dangerous militarization of space
Issue number 3
- Bob Alvarez – Institute of Policy Studies, will discuss lateral proliferation and describe how a small nuclear exchange could trigger a global holocaust
Issue number 4
- Alex Rosen – International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, will describe the horrific medical implications of nuclear war
- Holly Barker – Department of Anthropology, University of Washington, Medical, Teratogenic and Genetic pathology related to US nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands
- Alan Robock – Distinguished Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University, will outline his pioneering work on Nuclear Autumn and Nuclear Winter
- Lynn Eden – author WHOLE WORLD ON FIRE, will discuss the huge subject ignored by the Pentagon, the effect of holocaust firestorms following nuclear war
Issue number 5
- Janne Nolan – Elliott School of International Affairs will outline the underlying psychological pathology of the nuclear warriors
- Mike Lofgren – author of ANATOMY OF THE DEEP STATE, will describe the underlying pathology of US capitalism leading to this current tenuous nuclear situation
- Susi Snyder- (IKV Pax Christi, the Netherlands), Contributor to 2014 report DON’T BANK ON THE BOMB
Issue number 6
- Hugh Gusterson – Professor of Anthropology and Sociology, George Mason University will describe his anthropological research after spending one year at the Los Alamos Labs
- Robert Sheer – author of STAR WARRIORS will describe his research into the young men who do the research on nuclear weapons development at Lawrence Livermore Labs
Issue number 7
- Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor and Professor of Linguistics, MIT will present the pathology within the present political system that could induce extinction
Issue number 8
- Tim Wright – Campaign Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) – some potential and exciting solutions
- Helen Caldicott – President of The Helen Caldicott Foundation – An urgent prescription for survival
Mari is facing charges stemming from speaking out on radiation in Japan and advocacy for families relocating children out of the areas contaminated by radioactivity from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi reactor site, operated by TEPCO. Radioactivity continues to leave that site. It is well established that while lower levels of exposure to radioactivity lowers risk, the greatest hazard from radiation comes when children are exposed, raising the risk of cancer manifold over their entire lives.
The group ETHOS in Japan supports the decision by some to stay and live in contaminated areas. Sadly, some of these families feel they have no choice due to economics and other factors. Certainly young children have no choice. ETHOS advocates monitoring radioactivity, but well established science supports Mari’s views that there is no safe dose of radiation and that children need to be protected. We support open discussion, access to information and free choice. We ask the Prosecutor to agree that writing and speaking about these issues are not a crime.
Please Stand With Mari as she stands for precaution, protection and the rights of children to a healthy future. https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Office_of_the_Prosecutor_Iwaki_Branch_Fukushima_Japan_Support_Mari_Takenouchi_and_Radiation_Protection/?copy
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