When we created the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation in 1982 we believed that peace is an imperative of the Nuclear Age. That is, peace is no longer just desirable; in a nuclear-armed world, it is essential. An important part of our work at the Foundation is to awaken people to the extraordinary dangers of living in the Nuclear Age. We are always seeking new ways to break through the complacency of our time through education and advocacy.
I believe that complacency has four principal elements: apathy, conformity, ignorance and denial. Together these four elements form the acronym ACID, and they are corrosive to a decent human future, or to any future at all. We must transform apathy to empathy; conformity to critical thinking; ignorance to wisdom; and denial to recognition of the threats that nuclear weapons pose to our common future.
We are seven decades into the Nuclear Age and the world has nine nuclear-armed countries possessing over 15,000 nuclear weapons, far more than enough to destroy civilization and the human species. The leaders of these nine nuclear-armed countries are all engaged in modernizing their nuclear arsenals. The US alone is planning to spend $1 trillion on modernizing its nuclear arsenal over the next three decades. This is insane. It will make the weapons smaller and more accurate, and thereby more likely to be used.
When we stand alone our voices may be weak, but when we come together and unite we have the potential to be the most powerful force on Earth. People power is far more potent than nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are equal opportunity destroyers, but the people united are a superpower that can take charge of our planet.
The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, with its 75,000 members, is a valuable voice for peace. Our purpose is to find better ways to resolve our differences than by making sacrificial lambs of our children and to lead in finding the way out of the nuclear weapons era, which could make sacrificial lambs of us all.