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The World Must Heed Obama’s Call For Nuclear Disarmament

By James Donahue

Among the first things America’s newly elected President Barack Obama did after taking office was to meet with Russian and other leaders of world nuclear powers and discuss a plan for a global dismantling of all atomic weaponry.

After living under the cloud of nuclear annihilation for over 60 years, and after seeing the effects of two real nuclear strikes on Japan at the end of World War II, the world has been living in a frozen state that was appropriately titled a “cold war” that existed for fear that such weapons would ever be used again.

At first only the United States and Russia had such bombs. But slowly, over the years, the secrets of making such weapons have leaked out and it is beginning to be hard to tell who the players are anymore. We know they include China, Israel, the United Kingdom, France, Pakistan, India and possibly North Korea and South Africa. There has long been speculation that Iran also is attempting to join the nuclear arms club.

What is worse, the size and destructive capability of these bombs have been increased. We now have hydrogen bombs, which are 1000 times more destructive than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Also Russia and the U.S. both have missiles with multiple atomic warheads that can attack several places at the push of a single button. The sophistication of the killing machines we have produced since World War II is somewhat astounding.

With the list of players growing, the danger that some irresponsible dictator or military general will play Doctor Strangelove and launch a nuclear attack has increased to a more dangerous level than ever before in history.

A recent study co-authored by Michael Mills of the University of Colorado and published online by Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, warns that even using the model of a small-scale regional nuclear conflict, just the triggering of a few contemporary nuclear bombs would have a terrible effect on the entire planet.

“Our research demonstrates that a small scale regional conflict is capable of triggering larger ozone losses globally than the ones that were previously predicted for a full-scale nuclear war,” Mills said.

The study also showed that the effects would include reduced crop yields and the consequential starvation of hundreds of millions of people, and a cooling of the globe that could be twice as severe as the warming that has occurred in the last century.

The study showed that the impact of exploding five million metric tons of black carbon, or soot, into the atmosphere, the effects of a cluster of cities burning after a nuclear attack, they create a weather storm that would pump soot 20,000 feet into the atmosphere. 

The heated soot would cause many atmospheric changes including a reduction in ozone, the natural sunblock for the earth.  The additional ultraviolet light reaching the earth would cause extreme damage to human DNA, cause an increase in skin cancer and cataracts, and damage not only crops but world ecosystems.

This condition could continue for up to five years, with reductions in ozone remaining a problem for many years after this. It takes thousands of years for ozone to replenish itself naturally.

Basically, the study  notes, that even if the nuclear battle was localized in some isolated place on the other side of the world, everybody in the world would be severely affected by the damage the bombs would do to the atmosphere.

This is why nuclear wars must be declared an obsolete way of settling differences between nations and social groups. In fact, the very state of war should be declared not only obsolete, but something to avoid at all costs. Nothing has ever been settled by war. The reason we still have warfare is because they feed the modern military industrial complex and certain people get very rich.