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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

 

Norway exports toxic whale blubber to Iceland

Feature story | 16 July, 2002 at 0:00

This deadly delicacy is not only being exported in spite of an international ban on the trade of whale products, the contaminated blubber poses a serious health risk to the Icelandic people. But international and neighbourly responsibility are...

Mad scientists trying to save planet will have to stay in labs

Feature story | 15 July, 2002 at 0:00

A CO2 experiment that sounds more like bad science fiction than a global solution has been delayed because of international pressure. But the message is clear. Countries that are not yielding to pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are...

The BNFL Pacific Pintail breaching the Exclusive

Image | 13 July, 2002 at 1:00

The BNFL Pacific Pintail breaching the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Federated States of Micronesia.

Pacific islands continue to suffer nuclear injustice with latest plutonium transport

Feature story | 13 July, 2002 at 0:00

Pacific islands have been nuclear testing and dumping grounds for many years. Islands have been evacuated, the people plagued by birth defects and cancer. And the nuclear injustice continues even now as weapons-usable plutonium is transported...

Exporting pollution: Double standards in UK energy exports

Publication | 12 July, 2002 at 0:00

The last ten years have seen substantial financing by export credit agencies of fossil fuel powerprojects in developing countries – projects that will emit millions of tonnes of climatechanging gases into our atmosphere for decades to come.

Exposed: Dirty energy exports

Feature story | 12 July, 2002 at 0:00

Export credit agencies (ECAs) are little-known but important accomplices in the cynical practice of exporting dirty and outmoded technology to developing countries. This business exposes citizens of the developing world to health and...

Greenpeace campaign against ESSO: during

Image | 11 July, 2002 at 1:00

Greenpeace campaign against ESSO: during a night action slides were projected onto oiltanks in a refinery in Karlsruhe.

Greenpeace joins Bhopal survivors to protest

Image | 10 July, 2002 at 1:00

Greenpeace joins Bhopal survivors to protest moves by the Indian government to reduce homicide charges against Warren Anderson, former Union Carbide CEO, to negligence.

Indian government soft on Bhopal criminals

Feature story | 10 July, 2002 at 0:00

The Indian government's move to reduce charges against a former Union Carbide CEO has met with protests and hunger strikes in India. The 1984 Bhopal gas disaster that has killed 20,000 to date and injured hundreds of thousands continues its toxic...

Ocean dumping of carbon dioxide - No solution to climate change

Publication | 9 July, 2002 at 0:00

Instead of reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, which would cut the problem at its source, many in industry and government want to be able to keep burning fossil fuels, and so are pushing to find ways of storing or "disposing" of CO2. Dumping...

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