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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

 

Invitation: Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol

Publication | 27 August, 2002 at 0:00

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and Greenpeace International organise a joint event in Johannesburg

Invitation Bhopal Exhibition

Publication | 27 August, 2002 at 0:00

One night in December 1984, a lethal gas leaked from the Union Carbide/DOW factory in Bhopal (India), killing 8000 people within days and injuring half a million. Since then, thousands more have died a slow death, and 150 000 are chronically ill.

Wijma: logging illegally in Cameroon's rainforest

Publication | 27 August, 2002 at 0:00

In its company literature, the Dutch logger and timber trader Wijma has made many claims about the environmental and social acceptability of its timber. But in practice, Wijma not only buys from some of the most notorious logging companies in...

Eco Equity, August 27: Hey EU, What are You Doing?

Publication | 27 August, 2002 at 0:00

The European Union is softening on two crucial environmental principles.

Corporate Crimes, The need for an international instrument on corporate...

Publication | 27 August, 2002 at 0:00

In this report Greenpeace presents the Bhopal Principles on Corporate Accountability and Liability, a comprehensive set of principles to ensure that human rights, food sovereignty and clean and sustainable development are not threatened by...

Citizens sue US government for climate change

Feature story | 27 August, 2002 at 0:00

This year we have seen an alarming number of climate related disasters - floods in Europe, devastating storms in Asia, heat waves across North America - and these types of disasters are expected to increase in frequency and intensity as our...

The testament of a Bhopal survivor

Feature story | 27 August, 2002 at 0:00

That night I was sleeping, we had no notion that any thing like this would happen. It was around the middle of the night. I woke up to the pungent smell of irritation of something like burning chilis. Everyone was coughing in the house, everyone...

Where's Warren?

Feature story | 27 August, 2002 at 0:00

The start of the Earth Summit in South Africa, a comfortable residence somewhere in the US and a small Indian court house. One man connects all these things in a 18 year tale of disaster, death and corporate irresponsibility.

Closeup: As well as showcasing the cultural

Image | 26 August, 2002 at 1:00

Closeup: As well as showcasing the cultural richness of South Africa, the opening of the Earth Summit explored themes such as people being tied to a degraded environment.

In partnership for a stronger Earth Summit

Image | 26 August, 2002 at 1:00

In partnership for a stronger Earth Summit.

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