Why we must abolish nuclear weapons

By Jean Stevens
Posted 1/30/20

A nuclear weapon economy is dangerous for New Mexicans and the world. The year 2020 is the 75th anniversary of the invention of the nuclear bomb. The "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists" announced the 2020 Doomsday Clock on Jan. 23. It is closer than ever - 100 seconds to midnight:

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Why we must abolish nuclear weapons

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A nuclear weapon economy is dangerous for New Mexicans and the world. The year 2020 is the 75th anniversary of the invention of the nuclear bomb. The "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists" announced the 2020 Doomsday Clock on Jan. 23. It is closer than ever - 100 seconds to midnight:

"Humanity continues to face two simultaneous existential dangers--nuclear war and climate change--that are compounded by a threat multiplier, cyber-enabled information warfare, that undercuts society's ability to respond. The international security situation is dire, not just because these threats exist, but because world leaders have allowed the international political infrastructure for managing them to erode."

Nuclear bomb production is not a deterrent. Accidents happen, have happened and will happen again. We are living on borrowed time.

For example, two of the most famous close encounters of a nuclear war:

1. 1962: Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov, a Soviet Navy officer, is credited with preventing a Soviet nuclear strike (and, presumably, all-out nuclear war) during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

2. 1983: Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov was a lieutenant colonel of the Soviet Air Defense Forces who played a key role in the 1983 Soviet nuclear false alarm incident and saved the world (from an all-out nuclear war).

Los Alamos Nuclear Lab's primary purpose is to develop weapons of mass destruction.

Plutonium pit warhead production will not make the United States or the world safe. In addition, the laboratory sits on sacred Native American land that was "borrowed" for the Manhattan Project. It needs to be cleaned of all toxicity and returned to the Native Americans, its rightful owners.

We need to support: Honor Our Pueblo Existence (honorourpuebloexistence.com), Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety (nuclearactive.org), Nuclear Watch New Mexico (nukewatch.org) and the Los Alamos Study Group (lasg.org).

The United States already has a large arsenal of nuclear weapons. It has plenty of plutonium pit warheads and enough nuclear weapons to decimate most of the world's population. There is no reason to make more. The only sustainable economy is investments in education, electric vehicle transportation, health care, renewable energy and an economy based on peace and the welfare of all.

We must support Pope Francis and his recent proclamation: "A world without nuclear weapons is possible and necessary." We must also support the former president of the former Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, and his address to the United Nations: "Nuclear weapons must be destroyed. We must rid ourselves of this threat."

We are all living on borrowed time.

Jean Stevens is a retired educator, directs the Taos Environmental Film Festival and has been a Taos County resident for 29 years.

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