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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

 

As well as showcasing the cultural richness

Image | 25 August, 2002 at 1:00

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.

The UN special envoy to the Earth Summit

Image | 25 August, 2002 at 1:00

The UN special envoy to the Earth Summit, Jan Pronk volunteers to conduct the first solar powered haircut of the Summit.

A solar powered haircut

Feature story | 25 August, 2002 at 0:00

What does Greenpeace want from the Earth Summit? To start with: clean, reliable, renewable energy for two billion of the world's poorest, who are today without electricity. And if anybody says renewables can't power anything practical today,...

South African police intervene with a Greenpeace

Image | 24 August, 2002 at 1:00

South African police intervene with a Greenpeace inflatable and activists in a pre-dawn protest at Koeberg nuclear power plant.

Greenpeace activists from five countries

Image | 24 August, 2002 at 1:00

Greenpeace activists from five countries today launched a pre-dawn protest at Koeberg, Africa's only nuclear power plant as world leaders gather in Johannesburg for the Earth Summit

WWF/ Oxfam/ Greenpeace comments on the Chairmans text on Trade and Finance Means of...

Publication | 24 August, 2002 at 0:00

This joint statement details our deep concerns with issues that insufficient or completely lacking in the text being discussed at the Earth Summit.

LEAKED: The EU and US non-paper on 'Gobalisation, Trade and Financing'

Publication | 24 August, 2002 at 0:00

Globalisation – the growing integration of economies and societies around the world – offers opportunities and challenges for sustainable development and has the potential to improve living standards for all.

LEAKED: Means of Implementation from the Chair

Publication | 24 August, 2002 at 0:00

The implementation of Agenda 21 and the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration as well as in this plan of action requires a substantially increased effort, both by...

Monsanto are WANTED for crimes against the environment

Feature story | 24 August, 2002 at 0:00

Long time corporate scoundrels Monsanto are WANTED for their crimes against the planet. It started innocently enough with the production of Agent Orange for military use in Vietnam. Then came PCBs and Dioxin. Now they are after our food. Their...

Activists raid South African Power Plant

Feature story | 24 August, 2002 at 0:00

Greenpeace found its way into a nuclear power plant in South Africa to kick of the Earth Summit and its call for clean, renewable energy for 2 billiion people within the next ten years.

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