Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Opportunity now for the world to turn away from nuclear weapons

A so-called “inalienable right” of nations to the “use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes” articulated in Article IV of the NPT in reality means exposing people and other living things worldwide to a risk of indiscriminate, catastrophic radioactive contamination at any time. Nuclear power erodes the health and rights of future generations. Through its inevitable generation of plutonium, and the intrinsic potential of uranium enrichment plants to enrich uranium beyond reactor grade to weapons grade, it exacerbates the danger of nuclear war and its catastrophic human consequences. Nuclear power thus undermines fundamental human and biosphere rights, responsible custodianship and human security.

To quote Albert Einstein again: “There is no secret and there is no defense; there is no possibility of control except through the aroused
understanding and insistence of the peoples of the world.”
peace globe AustSTUMBLING IN THE DARK, REACHING FOR THE LIGHT, Right Now  By Tilman Ruff, 25 July 13, “………While the extraordinary responsibility we bear is a difficult burden, it is also a precious gift. Few people in all of human history have had as great an opportunity as we now have to avert harm and do good for humanity

The fundamental realities of nuclear weapons are as profound as they are clear. Nuclear weapons are by far the most destructive, indiscriminate, persistently toxic weapons ever invented. Single nuclear weapons have been built with more destructive power than all explosives used in all wars throughout human history. In its landmark Resolution 1 of 2011, the Council of Delegates of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, its highest governing body, “finds it difficult to envisage how any use of nuclear weapons could be compatible with the rules of international humanitarian law, in particular the rules of distinction, precaution and proportionality”. They cannot be used in any way compliant with international law.

While they exist, there is a danger they will be used. The only way to eliminate this danger is to eradicate nuclear weapons. While some nations possess them, others will inevitably seek to acquire them, or the means to produce them in short order. These means are now readily accessible around the world, even to isolated and impoverished countries like North Korea.
The lifetimes of uranium and plutonium isotopes, which can fuel bombs, are measured over tens of thousands to millions of years. Human
intent, nation-states and politics can change on a dime. Hence stocks of fissile materials, the capacity to create more, and nuclear weapons themselves are the problems, irrespective of the intentions of their custodians at any point in time.

Whatever their ostensible justification or purpose, a nuclear weapon
is a nuclear weapon – once detonated, whether through accident,
cyberattack, in retaliation when deterrence fails, or any other human
or technical failing, the searing catastrophe they would unleash is
dictated by the laws of physics alone. Even a single nuclear weapon
exploded over a city would cause a humanitarian catastrophe to which
no effective response capacity exists or is feasible. If nuclear
weapons were used, nuclear retaliation and escalation are likely to
follow. It will not matter whose nuclear weapons were used first,
second or third; the weapons of our allies will kill us just as surely
and indiscriminately as any others.

Einstein reflected that “The splitting of the atom has changed
everything, save our way of thinking, and thus we drift toward
unparalleled catastrophe.” From any vantage, there is a massive
dinosaur in the room. Tiptoeing around hoping it might go away if we
ignore it is not a viable strategy for survival, for sustainability,
for health, for the progressive realisation of human rights, for
anything that matters in the thin shell of planet earth in which all
living things known to us dwell. Since nuclear weapons entered our
world, everything has changed; whether we like it or not; ready or
not…………..The World Health Organization, the world’s leading health agency, has concluded that nuclear weapons “constitute the
greatest immediate threat to human health and welfare”. Preventing use of nuclear weapons necessitates their eradication, a necessary, urgent and feasible precondition for securing global health and sustainability…….
There are fundamental human rights dimensions to nuclear technology, whether weapons or power generation. A so-called “inalienable right” of nations to the “use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes” articulated in Article IV of the NPT in reality means exposing people
and other living things worldwide to a risk of indiscriminate, catastrophic radioactive contamination at any time. Nuclear power
erodes the health and rights of future generations. Through its inevitable generation of plutonium, and the intrinsic potential of
uranium enrichment plants to enrich uranium beyond reactor grade to weapons grade, it exacerbates the danger of nuclear war and its
catastrophic human consequences. Nuclear power thus undermines fundamental human and biosphere rights, responsible custodianship and human security.

Were the Universal Declaration of Human Rights being drafted today,
one would hope that additional rights would be front and centre: the
right to live free from the threat of indiscriminate, inhumane
weapons, most of all nuclear weapons; the rights of future
generations; the rights of people everywhere to access benign,
renewable energy sources; and to be protected from preventable,
indiscriminate, transgenerational radioactive contamination. These
human rights urgently need to become prominent in the global human
rights agenda.

To quote Albert Einstein again: “There is no secret and there is no defense; there is no possibility of control except through the aroused
understanding and insistence of the peoples of the world.”
http://rightnow.org.au/writing-cat/article/stumbling-in-the-dark-reaching-for-the-light/

July 25, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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