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Evacuation is no solution to nuclear weapons

With nuclear weapons, evacuation is not an option, The Hill , The fire, named the Thomas Fire, turned out to be the biggest in California history. ……..We were under mandatory evacuation from our home for 12 days, and then were evacuated from the place we were staying as the evacuation zone was expanded. The fire roared on in the backcountry, continuing to spew ash from the dry brush and trees it was consuming.

Throughout the area, people were wearing masks to keep from breathing in the ash. The sky was a sickening yellow-gray. It looked and felt like we were survivors of a nuclear attack. We were living with apprehension day to day, glued to the news, except when the electricity went out.

The fire was finally brought under greater control, and we were allowed to return to our homes. But a few weeks later, the expectation of heavy rains and possible flooding caused us to again be put under mandatory evacuation.

While still evacuated and feeling the pain of our community’s disaster, news came that on Jan. 13 a worker at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency accidentally released an Emergency Alert warning that a ballistic missile was inbound to the state and that the people should seek immediate shelter. The alert emphasized, “THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” It was all too believable.

People scurried to be with loved ones or to call them to tell them they loved them and to say goodbye. The threat seemed very real, but the solution offered by the authorities was ridiculous. Shelter does not protect against thermonuclear weapons.

Nothing protects against thermonuclear weapons: not shelter, not nuclear deterrence, not missile defenses.

Thirty-eight minutes later came the message that the warning had been a “false alarm.” This is yet another reminder that accidents happen and humans are fallible, even in the best designed systems……..

I would hate to see the catastrophe experienced by our community played out on a global nuclear battlefield, but that is the direction in which the world is heading. The time ending the nuclear weapons threat to humanity is now, before it is too late. The draft Nuclear Posture Review should be scrapped and replaced with the commitment to take nuclear weapons off high alert status; to implement pledges of No First Use; and to commit to negotiate to achieve the only number that makes sense in a nuclear context: Zero.

With nuclear weapons, evacuation is not an option.

David Krieger is a founder of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and has served as its president since 1982.


January 24, 2018 - Posted by | general

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