Some things are worth Waging Peace for: our planet and its diverse life forms, including humankind; our children and their dreams; our common future. All of these are threatened by the possibility of nuclear catastrophe.
We live on an amazing planet, the only one we know of in the universe that supports life, and does so in abundance and diversity. Our planet is worth Waging Peace for – against those who are despoiling and ruining its delicate and beautiful environment.
On our unique planet are creatures of all shapes and sizes: Birds that fly, fish that swim, animals that inhabit jungles and deserts, mountains and plains, rivers and oceans. Life is worth Waging Peace for – against those who are disrespecting and destroying the habitats of creatures great and small.
Among the diverse creatures on our planet are human beings. We are homo sapiens, the knowing ones, and are relative newcomers to the planet. Yet, our impact has been profound. We are creatures capable of learning and loving, of being imaginative and inventive, of being compassionate and kind. We are worth Waging Peace for – against those who would diminish us by undermining our dignity and human rights.
Human beings, like other forms of life, produce offspring who are innocent and helpless at birth. These human children, all children, require care and nurturing as they grow to maturity. The world’s children are worth Waging Peace for – against those who would threaten their future with war and other forms of overt and structural violence.
Children as they grow have dreams of living happy and decent lives, dreams of building a better future in peaceful and just societies. These dreams are worth Waging Peace for – against those whose myopia and greed rob children anywhere of a better future.
Each generation shares a responsibility to pass the planet and civilization on intact to the next generation. Accepting this responsibility is an important part of Waging Peace. It is a way of paying a debt of gratitude to all who have preceded us on the planet by assuring that there is a better future.
In the Nuclear Age, we humans, by our cleverness, have invented tools capable of our own demise. Nuclear weapons are not really weapons; they are instruments of annihilation and perhaps of omnicide, the death of all. Waging Peace in the Nuclear Age requires that we awaken to the dangers that these weapons pose to humankind and all life, and work to rid the world of these insane tools of global devastation.
For too long humanity has lived with nuclear policies of Mutually Assured Destruction, with the appropriate acronym of MAD. We need a new and distinctly different formulation: Planetary Assured Security and Survival, with the acronym PASS for passing the world on intact to the next generation.
Among the greatest obstacles to assuring survival in the Nuclear Age are ignorance, apathy, complacency and despair. These can only be overcome by education and advocacy; education to raise awareness of what needs to change and advocacy to increase engagement in bringing about the needed change.
The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation has three major goals: the abolition of nuclear weapons, the strengthening of international law, and the empowerment of new peace leaders. The Foundation was created in 1982 in the belief that peace is an imperative of the Nuclear Age and that the people must lead their leaders if we are to assure a safe and secure human future. We need your generous support to continue to educate and advocate for a brighter future for humanity.
David Krieger is President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.