David KriegerNuclear weapons are monstrous – obscene – explosive devices that have no function other than to threaten or cause mass annihilation. They kill indiscriminately and cause unimaginable suffering. The world knows well the death, destruction and lingering pain caused by these weapons used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nuclear weapons could end civilization and have no place in a civilized society. Nukes are nuts!

Nuclear weapons are very effective killing devices. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki demonstrated that a single, small nuclear weapon is capable of destroying a city and causing mass death and suffering beyond any society’s capacity to cope with such a humanitarian tragedy. The City of Hiroshima 2013 Peace Declaration, issued 68 years after a single atomic weapon destroyed the city, reflected on the effects of the US atomic bomb: “Indiscriminately stealing the lives of innocent people, permanently altering the lives of survivors, and stalking their minds and bodies to the end of their days, the atomic bomb is the ultimate inhumane weapon and an absolute evil.” Nuclear weapons corrupt our humanity. Nukes are nuts!

Atmospheric scientists inform us of what would happen in a relatively small regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan, in which each side used 50 Hiroshima-size nuclear weapons on the other side’s cities. It would result in putting enough soot into the upper stratosphere to restrict warming sunlight, shorten growing seasons and cause crop failures leading to global nuclear famine and the deaths by starvation of some 2 billion people. Nukes are nuts!

The possibility of nuclear famine is horrendous, but even more terrifying would be an all-out nuclear war, which could send the planet into another ice age and make precarious the continued existence of human life. Nuclear weapons threaten not the planet itself, for the planet can recover after hundreds of thousands of years. They threaten the human species and all other forms of complex life. The nuclear-armed countries are playing Russian roulette with the human future. Nukes are nuts!

In November 2013, the Council of Delegates of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement passed a resolution on “Working towards the elimination of nuclear weapons: Four-year action plan.” The council reiterated “its deep concern about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons, including the unspeakable human suffering that their use would cause and the threat that such weapons pose to food production, the environment and future generations.” Nukes are nuts!

By any measure, the possession, threat or use of nuclear weapons is immoral and exceedingly dangerous. Continued reliance on these weapons of mass annihilation by the nine nuclear-armed countries encourages nuclear proliferation and keeps open the door for terrorists to obtain nuclear arms. A nuclear war could be initiated by accident, miscalculation or design. Nukes are nuts!

Those of us privileged to be alive on the planet now have responsibilities to be good stewards of the planet and its varied life forms, and to pass the planet on intact to new generations. What kind of stewards are we? Are we fulfilling our responsibilities to future generations of humans who are not yet here to speak for themselves? Nukes are nuts!

Is it not extreme hubris for the leaders of nuclear-armed states to assert that the manufacture, possession, deployment, modernization, threatened use and use of these weapons, capable of omnicide, the death of all, can be controlled by human beings without proliferating to other countries or being used by accident or design, putting at risk all that we treasure, including the future of the human species? Nukes are nuts!

Nuclear weapons are creations of the human mind that came into being through political decisions and scientific and technological expertise. While these weapons are products of human invention and effort, our human capacity to control the destructive uses of this technology, by means of law or morality, has been grossly inadequate. We need to change our mindsets about nuclear weapons. They do not protect us but, rather, bring us to the precipice of catastrophe. Nukes are nuts!

Humanity cannot afford a sequel to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We must learn from our past and assure that nuclear weapons and nuclear war are not our legacy to the future. Nukes are nuts!

This article was originally published by Truthout.

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