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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


Two more protesters freed

Feature story | 12 April, 2002 at 0:00

Two more Greenpeace activists today walked free from court in Los Angeles, after pleading guilty to conspiring to trespass at a military installation, during a peaceful protest against the Star Wars missile defence programme last July.

Schoolboys line up to draw increasing scarce

Image | 10 April, 2002 at 1:00

Schoolboys line up to draw increasing scarce water from a Mongolian well.

Old woman in pain

Image | 10 April, 2002 at 1:00

Old woman in pain. With the increasing drought and the rise in desertification, communities have become poverty stricken. Villagers in the area lack food, fresh drinking water and cannot afford medicines for the sick and elderly.

Once productive lands destroyed by desertification

Image | 10 April, 2002 at 1:00


Mongolian villagers migrate to the ever descreasing

Image | 10 April, 2002 at 1:00

Mongolian villagers migrate to the ever descreasing grassland regions to escape the desertifaction of areas of Inner Mongolia

Boy drinking unclean water

Image | 10 April, 2002 at 1:00

Boy drinking unclean water. Scarcity of water has lead to unclean water being sold to local people. With the increasing drought and the rise in desertification in the area fresh drinking water has become a precious commodity.

Call for Action for the Ancient Forest Summit

Publication | 8 April, 2002 at 0:00

The world's original forests are in an alarming situation. Of the original forest cover half is gone and only 20 percent remain as large tracts of ancient forest – i.e. intact and fully functioning areas of primary/ natural/ old growth forest...

Farming Solutions site launched

Feature story | 8 April, 2002 at 0:00

Farming Solutions is a new web site that shows how the world can combat hunger and achieve food security using environmentally-sound farming practises that are available now, but are too-often overlooked.

Partners in Crime: Malaysian loggers, timber markets and the politics of...

Publication | 2 April, 2002 at 0:00

The Paradise Forests of Papua New Guinea are among the largest and most biologically diverse ancient forests left in the world. The future of these forests, and of the people who depend upon them, is currently at the mercy of an international...

'I was the man in charge of law and order

Image | 1 April, 2002 at 1:00

'I was the man in charge of law and order that night. Everyone else had fled to safety, leaving the city and its people to their own devices. But I have paid a heavy price. I have survived, but with a clutch of ailments.' says Swaraj Puri, as he...

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