Issue #269 – December 2019
- Interview with David Krieger by Green Legacy Hiroshima
- Address of the Holy Father on Nuclear Weapons by Pope Francis
- Hopkins Must Take a Stand Against Its Nuclear Weapons Production by the Editorial Board of the Johns Hopkins News-Letter
U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy
- Navy Places $22 Billion Order for Nuclear Submarines on Cyber Monday
- Despite Putin’s Offer, U.S. Still Refuses to Extend New START Treaty
- Hanford Nuclear Waste Glassification Faces More Delays
- Germany Has No Solution for Its Nuclear Waste Problem
- New Members of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
- Major U.S. Cities Speak Out for Nuclear Disarmament
- Rick Perry Considers Trump “God’s Chosen One”
- The Pope and Catholic Radicals Come Together Against Nuclear Weapons
- Schools of Mass Destruction
- The Long-Term Effects of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Testing in the Marshall Islands
- Holiday Gifts for Your Peace-Loving Friends and Family
- Award-Winning Author on Nagasaki Bombing, Nuclear Abolition, and Peace Literacy
- New Compilations by David Krieger
Interview with David Krieger
Technology development nowadays is a double-edged sword for mankind’s future. How should we balance technological progress and human ethics? Where does nature fit in this equation?
We need to learn the lesson that technological progress without commensurate ethical progress in the nuclear age poses the risk of omnicide. Technological progress without an ethical belief system for guidance is dangerous in the extreme. Nature, for which humans should be stewards, is equally threatened. It is incumbent on humans everywhere to up their ethical posture and assure that nuclear weapons are abolished before they abolish us and the rest of life on the only planet we know of in the universe that supports life. It is a tremendous responsibility that we must face squarely and accept for the sake of all life.
To read the full interview, click here.
Address of the Holy Father on Nuclear Weapons
This place makes us deeply aware of the pain and horror that we human beings are capable of inflicting upon one another. The damaged cross and statue of Our Lady recently discovered in the Cathedral of Nagasaki remind us once more of the unspeakable horror suffered in the flesh by the victims of the bombing and their families.
One of the deepest longings of the human heart is for security, peace and stability. The possession of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction is not the answer to this desire; indeed they seem always to thwart it. Our world is marked by a perverse dichotomy that tries to defend and ensure stability and peace through a false sense of security sustained by a mentality of fear and mistrust, one that ends up poisoning relationships between peoples and obstructing any form of dialogue.
To read the full remarks by Pope Francis in Nagasaki, click here.
Hopkins Must Take a Stand Against Its Nuclear Weapons Production
[Johns Hopkins] University continues to brand itself as an ethical research institution. However, its direct involvement with the development of weapons of mass destruction is contradictory to these actions.
We believe that Hopkins should remove itself from all contracts associated with nuclear weapons. Instead, [it] should focus on research that does not have the same devastating and inhumane implications that nuclear weapons do.
To read the full editorial in the Johns Hopkins University newspaper, click here.
U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy
Navy Places $22 Billion Order for Nuclear Submarines on Cyber Monday
In what CNN called “the most expensive ship-building contract ever,” the U.S. Navy placed a $22.2 billion order for new nuclear-powered submarines on December 2, which coincided with the online consumer holiday “Cyber Monday.” While these particular submarines are attack submarines and are not intended to deliver nuclear warheads, it demonstrates a pattern of high-priced weapons systems that are supported without question by most U.S. politicians.
As part of the Obama-Trump plan to “modernize” the entire U.S. nuclear arsenal at a cost of $1.7 trillion over 30 years, the U.S. plans to also build an entire new fleet of nuclear-armed submarines. U.S. taxpayers will foot the bill for this new nuclear weapons delivery system.
John Queally, “US Navy Places $22 Billion Cyber Monday Order for Nuclear Submarines, But Who Is Asking How We Gonna Pay For It?,” Common Dreams, December 3, 2019.
Despite Putin’s Offer, U.S. Still Refuses to Extend New START Treaty
On December 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) “without preconditions.” The treaty, which entered into force in 2011, is set to expire in February 2021. Putin said, “Russia is willing to immediately, as soon as possible, before the year is out, renew this treaty without any preconditions.” He continued, “I am stating this officially so that there are no double or triple interpretations of our position later on.”
The United States has indicated that it wants to bring China into any future arms reduction treaty, even though the U.S. and Russia continue to possess over 90% of all nuclear weapons in the world.
Ankit Panda, “Putin: Russia Ready to Extend New START With U.S. ‘Without Any Preconditions’,” The Diplomat, December 6, 2019.
Hanford Nuclear Waste Glassification Faces More Delays
Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the most radiologically and chemically polluted spot in the Western Hemisphere, faces further delays in a project to transform radioactive waste into glass. Since the 1990s, Hanford’s plan has been to construct a facility to hold radioactive waste in glass cylinders, capable of holding in the radiation for 10,000 years.
Glassification of high-level radioactive waste was supposed to begin 12 years ago, but is now set to begin in 2036, 29 years behind schedule. The price of the project began at $4 billion in 2000 and has risen to about $17 billion today. In September, the Department of Energy expressed concerns about meeting those deadlines. While these delays continue to be pushed back even further, more than 1 million gallons of waste from this nuclear site has seeped into the ground, with some already reaching the Columbia River.
John Stang, “Effort to Lock Hanford’s Radioactive Waste in Glass Faces More Delays,” High County News, November 20, 2019.
Germany Has No Solution for Its Nuclear Waste Problem
Due to increasing safety concerns, Germany has decided to shut down all of its nuclear power plants by the year 2022. One of the biggest challenges Germany faces is where to safely bury lethal radioactive waste for the next million years. High-level nuclear waste needs to be buried at least 1 kilometer underground and in a location that is geologically stable.
Politicians have discussed building nuclear facilities in the village of Gorleben, but public opposition to burying toxic waste in their community has necessitated the search for an alternative nuclear graveyard. Communicating the danger of these nuclear waste sites to future generations that will not necessarily speak the same language is an additional challenge that communication experts are currently working on.
Sheena McKenzie, “Germany Is Closing All Its Nuclear Power Plants,” CNN, November 30, 2019.
New Members of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
On November 22, Nauru signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and on November 25, Antigua and Barbuda ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This brings the total number of countries that have ratified the treaty to 34, with 80 having signed. The treaty will enter into force 90 days after the 50th country ratifies it.
For a running list of which countries have signed and ratified the treaty, click here.
Major U.S. Cities Speak Out for Nuclear Disarmament
In November, Honolulu, Hawaii and Portland, Oregon passed resolutions in favor of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and in favor of the Back from the Brink Campaign.
In Honolulu, the resolution was encouraged by activists from Veterans for Peace (VfP). VfP’s boat, the Golden Rule, is currently in Hawaii to raise awareness of nuclear weapons issues. The Honolulu City Council resolution cites Veterans for Peace’s mission to “end the arms race and to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons.” The resolution also points out the history of the Golden Rule in Hawaii, which includes the crew being arrested in 1958 after attempting to sail to the Marshall Islands to protest the horrific atmospheric nuclear weapons testing that was taking place there.
“Honolulu Passes Back from the Brink Resolution,” Back from the Brink, November 13, 2019.
Rick Perry Considers Trump God’s Chosen One
Rick Perry, who resigned as U.S. Secretary of Energy on December 1, told Fox News in a recent interview that he believes that President Trump is “the chosen one.” As head of the Department of Energy, Perry was in charge of the maintenance and production of all U.S. nuclear warheads.
Perry said, “God uses imperfect people through history. King David wasn’t perfect. Saul wasn’t perfect. Solomon wasn’t perfect. And I actually gave the president a one-pager on those Old Testament kings about a month ago. And I shared it with him and I said, ‘Mr. President, I know there are people who say that you say you were the chosen one.’ And said, ‘You were.’”
Eugene Scott, “Why Evangelicals Like Rick Perry Believe Trump Is God’s Chosen One,” Washington Post, November 25, 2019.
The Pope and Catholic Radicals Come Together Against Nuclear Weapons
Paul Elie has published a long feature in the New Yorker about Catholic efforts to abolish nuclear weapons. The author examines the case of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, a group of seven nonviolent activists who were found guilty last month for their action at the Kings Bay Naval Base in Georgia. He also looks at the strong stance that Pope Francis has taken against nuclear weapons during his time as the head of the Catholic Church.
To read the full article, click here.
Schools of Mass Destruction
A new report published by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons names nearly 50 U.S. universities that are involved in the research and design of U.S. nuclear weapons, largely in secret and in contradiction of their mission statements. Students and faculty must demand their universities stop helping to build weapons of mass destruction.
To read the full report, click here.
The Long-Term Effects of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Testing in the Marshall Islands
The Los Angeles Times has published an in-depth examination of the consequences of U.S. nuclear weapons testing in the Marshall Islands. The United States conducted 67 nuclear weapons tests in the Marshall Islands from 1946-58, and has consistently refused to take full responsibility for the environmental and humanitarian consequences.
To read the full special section in the November 10 edition of the LA Times, click here. The section on the Marshall Islands starts on page 91.
Holiday Gifts for Your Peace-Loving Friends and Family
The NAPF Peace Store has books, t-shirts, tote bags, and more. There’s something for every peace lover on your holiday shopping list.
There are original NAPF books like “Speaking of Peace,” as well as Peace Literacy t-shirts.
Click here to go to the NAPF Peace Store.
Shipping rates are automatically available for shipping within the United States. For shipping outside the United States, please contact email@example.com for a quote.
Award-Winning Author on Nagasaki Bombing, Nuclear Abolition, and Peace Literacy
Caren Stelson, a new Peace Literacy supporter, is the award-wining author of Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story. This striking work of narrative nonfiction was published in 2016 to critical acclaim.
Stelson attended a recent Peace Literacy workshop. Afterwards, she said, “As I listened to Paul Chappell and Shari Clough, I reflected back on my experiences interviewing Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb survivors who witnessed as young people the apocalypse of nuclear war. Their stories always end with ‘Never again.’ But how do we get to ‘Never again’? In the United States the word ’peace’ can be a throwaway word. Not in places like Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Given that nuclear war is still a possibility, given the climate crisis is coming, given unbridled technology is here, Chappell’s compelling and urgent philosophy of Peace Literacy offers a curriculum, a vocabulary, and a universal skill set for survival so we can live in the world together.”
To read the full interview with Caren Stelson, click here.
“Better than a thousand hollow words is one word that brings peace.”
— Buddha. This quote appears in the book Speaking of Peace: Quotations to Inspire Action, which is available to purchase in the NAPF Peace Store.
“A society can—and should—actively debate the extent to which universities are to serve explicitly national interests. But there should be no debate when it comes to supporting weapons of mass destruction. American academia must stop enabling mass murder.”
— Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and a member of the NAPF Advisory Council, in a recent op-ed in Newsweek.
“The use of atomic energy for purposes of war is immoral. We will be judged on this. Future generations will rise to condemn our failure if we spoke of peace but did not act to bring it about among the peoples of the earth.”
— Pope Francis, speaking in Hiroshima on November 24, 2019.
Carol Warner Carley Weiler