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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

 

The flooded Spolana chemical plant shortly

Image | 15 August, 2002 at 1:00

The flooded Spolana chemical plant shortly after the explosion of chlorine gas

Climate chaos misery

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Eastern Europe under water, continent wide smog clouds in Asia, both floods and droughts in India and China, heat waves in Canada, the US and Australia. Is this a taste of a warmer world where our insatiable desire for fossil fuels causes the...

Bhopal - an ongoing corporate crime

Feature story | 13 August, 2002 at 0:00

This moving exhibition offers a unique photographic insight into the human and environmental tragedy that has engulfed the Indian city of Bhopal since December 1984, when an explosion at Union Carbide's pesticide plant released lethal gases into...

Asian brown cloud antidote

Feature story | 13 August, 2002 at 0:00

Asian brown cloud nothing new. The solution is overdue. The Earth Summit can take action. So can you.

Unlikely hero released from jail

Feature story | 12 August, 2002 at 0:00

Joseph Melloh has spent the last three months in a Congolese jail, not for his former career as a professional poacher, but for campaigning against the bushmeat trade and investigating the operations of one logging company in the Congo.

The Global Retreat of Glaciers

Slideshow | 6 August, 2002

Glaciers melt before our eyes

Feature story | 7 August, 2002 at 0:00

If you could join the Greenpeace time ship and travel back 100 years, what would you see? You would be lucky to see one of the early cars, you would likely see mountains of coal and the beginnings of our fossil fuel dependence. And if you could...

The tale of two logos

Feature story | 7 August, 2002 at 0:00

French court decision supporting Greenpeace's right to criticise French nuclear company, Areva, is a wake up call to ExxonMobil to stop hiding behind trademark law and to support moves to combat climate change rather than continuing to deny its...

Climate Impact Documentation

Image | 6 August, 2002 at 15:15

Photographer Christian Aslund was on board of the Rainbow Warrior when he shot this collection to document the dramatic disappearance of the glaciers over a 80 year period. Greenpeace documentation showing that glacier "Blomstrandbreen" has...

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