This year marks the 75th anniversary of the U.S. nuclear attacks on Hiroshima (8/6/1945) and Nagasaki (8/9/1945) and the beginning of the nuclear age. This anniversary is time to mourn the loss of Japanese people and other disproportionately non-white people around the world who suffered and died due to the testing and use of nuclear weapons, uranium mining and nuclear waste dumps. It is also time to celebrate 75 years of activism to prevent nuclear war and call on policy makers to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
Today, we are closer to nuclear catastrophe than we have been in decades. Mainly in the hands of the U.S. and Russia, 15,000 nuclear weapons still exist. Deploying even a small fraction of existing weapons would cause worldwide climate disruption and global famine. A large-scale nuclear war would kill hundreds of millions of people and make the earth largely uninhabitable.
The Trump Administration has withdrawn from the Iran Nuclear Agreement, neglected and denigrated diplomacy and broken trust with our allies. The NEW START Nuclear Arms Control Treaty between the U.S. and Russia is set to expire in February 2021 with no action from Congress and doubt that the Trump Administration will renew it. Letting this agreement expire will lead to a new arms race. The U.S. plans to spend $1.7 trillion over the next 30 years to update its already vast nuclear weapons arsenal. This will consume resources that should be allocated to pressing needs such as health care, jobs, food security, climate change mitigation and pandemic response.
Please join the movement to eliminate nuclear weapons by taking the following steps:
• Endorse the national “Back from the Brink Campaign” to prevent nuclear war by calling on the U.S. to renounce the option of using nuclear weapons first; end the sole unchecked authority of any president to launch a nuclear attack; take U.S. nuclear weapons off “hair trigger” alert; cancel the U.S. plan to replace its entire nuclear arsenal, and actively pursue a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed states to eliminate nuclear weapons. Sign on at preventnuclearwar.org.
• Ask your congressional representatives to renew the NEW START Treaty before it expires in February 2021.
• Learn more at preventnuclearwar.org
Wendy Yost is a member of the Nuclear Free World Committee of the Syracuse Peace Council.
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