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Thursday
Jan252018

Doomsday clock is closest we have ever been

This morning, January 25, 2018, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the hands on its Doomsday Clock closer to midnight: at two minutes to midnight, the clock is set at the closest we have ever been since 1953 when the clock was also moved forward to that same time. It sent an ominous and urgent warning to the world that we are risking a global genocide and nuclear winter should we continue on the path of bellicose rhetoric and taunts about the possesion of the most deadly and inhumane weapons ever invented. The clock's time is a sad contrast to the heroic efforts this past year of ICAN and others to secure a nuclear weapons ban at the UN, an achievement that merited the organization the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Bulletin's decision was prompted by the "perilous and chaotic year" since President Trump's election during which "we saw reckless language in the nuclear realm heat up already dangerous situations and re-learned that minimizing evidence-based assessments regarding climate and other global challenges does not lead to better public policies," said Rachel Bronson, PhD, President and CEO of the Bulletin.

"Although the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists focuses on nuclear risk, climate change, and emerging technologies, the nuclear landscape takes center stage in this year’s Clock statement," Bronson said in her statement. "Major nuclear actors are on the cusp of a new arms race, one that will be very expensive and will increase the likelihood of accidents and misperceptions. Across the globe, nuclear weapons are poised to become more rather than less usable because of nations’ investments in their nuclear arsenals. This is a concern that the Bulletin has been highlighting for some time, but momentum toward this new reality is increasing. More

Monday
Jan222018

"Full Body Burden" the movie is coming

Full Body Burden is based on the award winning autobiography of the same name by Kristen Iversen. It tells the horrifying story of the then secret Rocky Flats plutonium pits production facility in Colorado which poisoned workers, residents and the land in the name of "protecting" Americans during the Cold War.

Full Body Burden combines an enthralling personal memoir with a detailed and shocking account of the United States government’s ongoing attempt to conceal the effects of the toxic and radioactive waste released by Rocky Flats, and of local residents’ vain attempts to seek justice in court. Years of protest, lawsuits, and health studies culminated in a dramatic federal raid in 1989, as the FBI and EPA entered the plant to investigate alleged environmental crimes. The lawsuits and investigations that flowed from the raid began to uncover decades of negligence and deception along with the toxic threat lurking in areas where residential development continues unabated.

For more information visit fullbodyburdenfilm.com

Full Body Burden: Teaser from HaveyPro Cinema on Vimeo.

Monday
Jan222018

Leak of Trump's 2018 "Nuclear Posture Review" reveals Doomsday plan

A leak of the unclassified version of the Trump Administration’s Draft Report of its “2018 Nuclear Posture Review” reveals this Administration’s plan to build up the nation’s nuclear weapons arsenal and expand the circumstances for first use of nuclear weapons.  The build-up includes the manufacturing of new “low-yield” (one to two kilotons) tactical nuclear warheads for sea-launched Trident D-5 missiles intended to make nuclear weapons more “usable” for military conflict. The President’s plan also clears the way for the United States to resume nuclear weapons testing “if necessary” in a move that would further enhance the global threat of nuclear war fighting.

The United States is already in the process of refurbishing its entire nuclear arsenal at a cost of $1.2 trillion over the next 30 years, a violation of Article VI of the United Nations Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) calling on nuclear states to negotiate in “good faith" to abolish their nuclear weapon arsenals. The Trump Administration’s move to rapidly expand both the production of new tactical nuclear warheads and justification for their first use intensifies the potential imminence of nuclear war and the unacceptable consequences.  

The threat of a nuclear war is drawing more and more attention and concern. Nuclear war has climbed as a concern of man-made global threats according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report published in January 2018.  The survey of 1,000 international leaders in business, government, academia and civil society recognized the mounting political and military tension between North Korea’s President Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump are bringing the world closer to nuclear war. Pope Francis similarly voiced the Vatican’s concern that the world was perhaps “one step away from nuclear war.”

The threat of nuclear war has also renewed efforts and activism “to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.” There is no choice other than nuclear weapons leading to the elimination of life on Earth. On July 7, 2017, 122 countries in the United Nations signed the “historic” first international nuclear weapons ban treaty with the nine nuclear weapons holding nations conspicuously absent. As the 2017 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has published an informative booklet that aims to focus the education and  of citizens and mobilize them to get their non-signatory countries to join the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty. 

Tuesday
Jan162018

The lessons of those 38 nightmare minutes in Hawaii

The 38+ minutes of terror felt by the residents of Hawaii after receiving a text alert about incoming nuclear missiles that proved to be a mistake, was a reminder that so-called civil defense is fundamentally useless. People sheltered in their bathrooms. There was nowhere to run to and no time to go. It also reminded us that our nuclear warning and even launch systems are vulnerable, too. This was a human error. The same thing could happen along the chain of command, or in a nuclear silo. A human or systems error could even lead to an accidental missile launch instead of an accidental message about one. The Hawaii incident further brings home the one inalienable truth: that no one should have to live with the traumatic prospect of “inbound” nuclear missiles and the only way to avoid that is for the world’s nuclear powers to disarm. And that’s also why diplomacy with North Korea is the essential and only option. The UN has called for an Olympic Truce. Beyond Nuclear is endorsing the Ploughshares Fund organizational initiative — Call for Olympic Truce Actions: Diplomacy NOT War. As an individual, you can also sign the People’s Peace Treaty with North Korea, here. 

Monday
Jan152018

Hawaii’s Nuclear Wake Up Call (And Why We Should Take MLK’s Advice)

An op-ed by Joe Cirincione published in Defense One.

This is a time to have faith in our power to challenge these ominous trends. A time, in fact, to heed the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.

For King, the struggle against racism was part of a larger struggle for peace and justice. He repeatedly spoke out against nuclear war. As early as 1957 he said, “I definitely feel that the development and use of nuclear weapons should be banned.”

Accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, King eloquently spoke to the hopes of many.

I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind. I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history…I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.

I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction…we must transform the dynamics of the world power struggle from the negative nuclear arms race which no one can win to a positive contest to harness man’s creative genius for the purpose of making peace and prosperity a reality for all of the nations of the world.

Amen, brother.