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Why we must stop investing in nuclear weapons

Why we must stop investing in nuclear weapons, By MIMI LANG, THE MORNING CALL |, JUN 15, 2020 One wonders which threats worry us the most. Certainly, the coronavirus tops the list. My own choice for second place is the threat of nuclear weapons and climate change.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists established the Doomsday Clock in 1970 to warn us about the dangers of nuclear weapons. The closer to midnight the clock, the closer we are to nuclear disaster. Many of the scientists who warned about nuclear dangers had worked on developing the atom bomb.

The clock has been as far away from midnight as 17 minutes. Right now it’s at 100 seconds, the closest it has ever been.

The reason for decreasing the number to 100 seconds is because the risk of climate disaster has been added to the nuclear disaster threat. As we approach the 75th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of this year, the U.S. nuclear program wastes vast amounts of money to maintain its role with Russia as the purveyor of the most weapons of mass destruction.

An article in The Morning Call on May 16 about updating our nuclear weapons states, “the Trump administration’s plan — inherited from the Obama administration — is to pour hundreds of billions of dollars into replacing every major every element of the nuclear weapons complex.”

According to the article, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper feels “nuclear modernization is too important to put off, even in an economic crisis.”
There is strong opposition among those who having been resisting nuclear weapons since their development. In July of 2017, the General Assembly of the United Nations passed the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The treaty bans the use, possession, development, testing, deployment or transfer of nuclear weapons under international law. It is the first legally binding, multilateral agreement to ban nuclear weapons.

So far, 122 countries have signed the document and 37 have ratified it. Once 50 countries have ratified the treaty, it will enter into force. Not surprisingly, the nine countries that possess nuclear weapons have refused to sign the treaty. U.S. allies that do not have nuclear weapons but depend on the U.S. for their defense also refuse to sign.

Members of the local Peace Center, LEPOCO, have worked for years to increase the public’s awareness of the threat nuclear weapons provide to our survival. Each year we have an event remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki to honor those who have continued to work to abolish nuclear weapons.

Along with other peace groups, we have been active in supporting the efforts of the Ploughshares community, a group of brave activists who have spent years of their lives in jail for trespassing onto the facilities where Trident and other missiles await their opportunity to destroy our world.

A current group of seven Catholic Worker activists called the Kings Bay Ploughshares awaits their sentencing in a few weeks. On April 4, 2018, they entered the Kings Bay Naval Base, poured their blood and hammered on monuments dedicated to nuclear weapons and left signs saying that in the face of the threat that the U.S. nuclear arsenal poses to the world, what they had done was not illegal.

Their actions were intended as “symbolic disarmament” — an act of civil resistance.

While our friends spent over a year in jail awaiting their trial, the U.S. announced the deployment of the W76-2, a new, smaller nuclear warhead than the traditional Trident missile. The first to move out with the new weapon was the USS Tennessee, deploying from Kings Bay Submarine Base in Georgia at the end of 2019.

The warhead is designed to be smaller than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Those in favor of the smaller warhead argue that it is needed to counter developments in Russia. Opponents warn of confusion if a submarine has both large and small missiles, forcing an opponent to choose a larger one.

Any investment in furthering our nuclear weapons programs makes our dreams of a nuclear-free world more unlikely. Billions of dollars for nuclear weapons deprive us all of adequate health care, education, housing, living wages, relief from poverty.

Can you make a difference in our country’s nuclear decisions? Consider joining the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. ICAN is a coalition of nongovernmental groups promoting adherence to the United Nations Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The organization received the Noble Prize for Peace in 2017.

You can also join the Don’t Bank the Bomb Campaign (www.dontbankthebomb.com) to stop investments in nuclear weapons. Pressure your local officials to support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Please join me in imagining the future of the world without nuclear weapons.

Mimi Lang, who lives in Bethlehem, is a member of Lehigh-Pocono Committee of Concern.  AT TOP https://www.mcall.com/opinion/mc-opi-nuclear-weapons-lang-20200615-e7sexxxzdneblnvl54kjhs5euu-story.html

June 16, 2020 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war

1 Comment »

  1. POLITICO Pro POLITICO Pro
    @POLITICOPro
    18h
    Senate panel backs funding for preparations to resume nuclear testing, @BryanDBender reports bit.ly/3hvyojd pic.twitter.com/HtgCgOgwBq
    Under the @GOP and @realDonaldTrump we are now very close to a nuclear disaster or war. #Nuclearwar pic.twitter.com/nF1jf9O32B
    2:26 PM – 15 Jun 2020

    A then fascist by on cotton has allocated money for the USA to start testing nukes again at trumps insistence

    🏿🖖

    Comment by Allison maybrey | June 16, 2020 | Reply


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