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George Bush leads the US toward a policy of unilateral, pre-emptive counterproliferation warfighting strategy.

Abolish nuclear weapons

The Cold War may be over, but this does not mean nuclear weapons have disappeared. Far from it: There are over 30,000 nuclear weapons in the world, with more than a thousand of them ready to launch at a moment's notice, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Over 400 reactors in warships and nuclear submarines are still circlingthe globe. Some are rotting away on the bottom of the ocean or in adistant port somewhere in Russia. Accidents such as the Russiansubmarine, the Kursk, tragically sinking in the Barents Sea can happenevery day, anywhere.

Over 2,000 nuclear weapons tests have left a legacy of global andregional contamination. People living near the test sites have sufferedfrom cancers, stillbirths, miscarriages and other health effects -- and are still suffering today. Manyhad to leave their hometown or island as it became too contaminated tolive there.

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The nuclear threat has quite literally scaled down in the last twodecades. While the prospect of an all out exchange of arsenals betweenRussia and the US has receded, the 15 kilotons of destructionthat obliterated Hiroshima could today be accomplished with a lunch-boxsized bomb. George Bush talks openly of developing new "more useable"nuclear weapons. Even more alarmingly, the administration continues toseek approval for a programme geared toward designing more robust, more'usable' nuclear weapons.

The prospects of a nuclear weapon actuallybeing used are perhaps greater today than during the cold war.

Today, the number of countries involved in active weapons programsis increasing. A growing number of countries are lining up to join thenuclear club, increasing the chance that a nuclear catastrophe willhappen somewhere on the planet. 

George Bush's war on Weapons of Mass Descruction had its firstconcrete result when the number of countries in the world with declarednuclear weapons increased to 8 from 7, when North Korea announced thatit had built "enough nuclear weapons to deter a US attack."

Nuclear brinkmanship is inevitable in a climate of nuclearhypocrisy. Only when all countries pursue nuclear disarmament in goodfaith can we begin putting the nuclear genie back in the bottle bybanning the use and manufacture of the nuclear materials at the heart of the bomb.

The only thing that will stop the threat is the voice of the second superpower: world opinion.

The latest updates

 

Local people clean up crude oil spilled from

Image | 18 November, 2002 at 0:00

Local people clean up crude oil spilled from the striken 'Prestige' oil tanker on the beach at Malpica, Galacia, Spain.

Bird affected by the crude oil spilled from

Image | 18 November, 2002 at 0:00

Bird affected by the crude oil spilled from the stricken 'Prestige' oil tanker on the beach at Valcovo, Galacia, Spain.

Local people clean up crude oil spilled from

Image | 18 November, 2002 at 0:00

Local people clean up crude oil spilled from the stricken 'Prestige' oil tanker on the beach at Malpica, Galacia, Spain.

Environmental deathstar heads for Chile's 'reserve of life'

Feature story | 18 November, 2002 at 0:00

The raw materials will come from Australia, Brazil and Jamaica. The finished product will go to the US and Japan. But the massive environmental damage? Well, that stays right there with the Chilean locals. The proposed Noranda Alumysa aluminium...

Fences at Hindustan Lever Limited keep public

Image | 15 November, 2002 at 0:00

Fences at Hindustan Lever Limited keep public scrutiny out but they haven't kept mercury waste in.

Newspaper ad for Stauffer Seed

Image | 15 November, 2002 at 0:00

Newspaper ad for Stauffer Seed

Outdoor pharming puts food supply at risk

Feature story | 15 November, 2002 at 0:00

Two recently disclosed cases of contamination of the US food supply drive home the inherent dangers of turning plants into mini-factories, producing protein-based pharmaceuticals in fields right next to fields of food crops.

Workers die after mercury exposure

Feature story | 15 November, 2002 at 0:00

The gas leak that killed thousands in Bhopal 18 years ago was the worst industrial disaster in history and a poignant reminder that multinational companies must not dump their dirty technologies on developing countries. Although Bhopal is the...

Mahogany, sharks, dolphins and whales get protection

Feature story | 15 November, 2002 at 0:00

Creating free trade zones has become a hot topic in South America, but this week trade of another kind was on the minds of many in Santiago as world governments met to discuss the international trade in threatened and endangered species.

Turkey rejects toxic ship...

Feature story | 15 November, 2002 at 0:00

Every year, hundreds of sea vessels retire to the once clean beaches of Asia. In addition to their valuable steel, these old ships often contain hazardous substances that place their workers and the environment in danger. Despite agreement...

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