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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.

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A Rimbunan Hijau truck picking up logs from

Image | 1 January, 2002 at 0:00

A Rimbunan Hijau truck picking up logs from the Baram valley area. The Penan are one of the few remaining nomadic peoples of the rain forest. Their homeland in the Malaysian state of Sarawak is undergoing one of the highest rates of logging on earth.

Map of remaining intact ancient forest in

Image | 1 January, 2002 at 0:00

Map of remaining intact ancient forest in North America. The light and dark areas combined are the original extent of forest cover. The dark area only is what remains of ancient forest.

Map of remaining intact ancient forest in

Image | 1 January, 2002 at 0:00

Map of remaining intact ancient forest in Europe. The light and dark areas combined are the original extent of forest cover. The dark area only is what remains of ancient forest.

Map of remaining intact ancient forest in

Image | 1 January, 2002 at 0:00

Map of remaining intact ancient forest in the Asia-Pacific forests. The light and dark areas combined are the original extent of forest cover. The dark area only is what remains of ancient forest.

Map of remaining intact ancient forest in

Image | 1 January, 2002 at 0:00

Map of remaining intact ancient forest in Russia. The light and dark areas combined are the original extent of forest cover. The dark area only is what remains of ancient forest.

Map of remaining intact ancient forest in

Image | 1 January, 2002 at 0:00

Map of remaining intact ancient forest in Africa. The light and dark areas combined are the original extent of forest cover. The dark area only is what remains of ancient forest.

Map of remaining intact ancient forest in

Image | 1 January, 2002 at 0:00

Map of remaining intact ancient forest in Chile. The light and dark areas combined are the original extent of forest cover. The dark area only is what remains of ancient forest.

The Nisshin Maru

Image | 16 December, 2001 at 1:00

The Nisshin Maru, one of the Japanese catcher vessels, transferring a Minke whale to the factory ship in the Southern ocean.

A view of the abandoned pesticide plant

Image | 10 December, 2001 at 1:00

Union Carbide fled the scene in 1984 and for the last 17 years virtually nothing has been done to clean up the highly polluted site.

Provider now beggar, due to industrial disaster

Image | 10 December, 2001 at 1:00

Bhopal, India is the site of the world's worst industrial disaster, where a Union Carbide chemical plant released 40 tonnes of highly toxic methyl isocyanate. The disaster killed thousands and the polluted site of the abandoned factory still...

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