"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." — Elie Wiesel

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Welcome to The Nuclear Abolitionist

I grew up in the days of "duck and cover", bomb shelters and the phrase "Better Dead than Red". If you ponder that phrase, you quickly realize that in the context of its time it meant that a large percentage of Americans (who accepted this axiom) were prepared to be incinerated or suffer the horrific radiation effects that would have resulted from a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union (the evil Communists). Of course, the vast majority of these patriotic Americans had no idea just how bad it would have been had the two superpowers decided to go at it with the big nukes.

Our government (in the 50's and 60's) had everybody building bomb shelters, learning to "duck and cover", and even had a plan to ensure that the mail would get delivered even before the (radioactive) dust settled. One really has to wonder how it all would have worked with tens (or hundreds) of millions dead, and the rest trying to survive in a radioactive wasteland. I'm not sure what would have been left, but I think Albert Einstein said it best - "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

I developed a thorough understanding of the effects of radiation while working in the field of occupational and environmental health, and in graduate school became particularly interested in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; much of our knowledge of radiation effects came from studying the aftermath of these tragic events. At some point in my journey I came to the decision that I needed to work for the abolition of the most awful weapons ever conceived and developed. Although I already write another blog dedicated to peace and justice (Subversive Peacemaking Blog), I have decided to start a sister blog focusing on nuclear weapons abolition. There is plenty of material out there to keep this one going.

This will be a blog much like my other one, a bit satirical, filled with stories, opinions and insights, and focused on a single overarching goal - the day when nuclear weapons will no longer hang over humanity like a sword of Damocles. Such a goal is possible, not necessarily in my lifetime; but surely we must work towards that goal, or what will we leave behind for future generations?

There is much to be done, and I will keep this blog focused and help build this community into a (nonviolent) force to be reckoned with. Won't you join me on this journey to abolish nuclear weapons?



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