This article is the introduction to the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s Annual Report.
In 1945 the first nuclear weapon was tested and, within weeks, the next two nuclear weapons were used by the United States on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
By 1986 there were over 70,000 nuclear weapons in the world, nearly all in the arsenals of the US and USSR.
Today there are just over 17,000 nuclear weapons in the world,
which means that, since the mid-1980s, the world has shed some 50,000 nuclear weapons. That’s progress, but it’s far from sufficient.
There are still some 2,000 nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert in the US and Russian arsenals. These weapons are accidents waiting to happen.
Atmospheric scientists tell us that, in a regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan in which 50 nuclear weapons from each side were exploded on the other side’s cities, enough soot would be put into the stratosphere to block warming sunlight, shorten growing seasons, and cause crop failures leading to a billion deaths by starvation globally. Nuclear famine is only part of the havoc that a “small” nuclear war would cause.
Zero is the only safe number of nuclear weapons on the planet. It is what the human future requires of us. For the sake of the seven billion inhabitants of our planet, for everyone who matters to each of us, for everything that matters to each of us, we must strive for and achieve Nuclear Zero.
Another necessary number is One, because each one of us has the power to make a difference with our voice, our actions and our support. When a dedicated portion of the seven billion Ones on the planet are joined together and motivated, they can achieve any great and necessary goal, including Nuclear Zero.
At the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, we are committed to providing Peace Leadership that emphasizes the Power of One in achieving Nuclear Zero.