Skip to content

Why Green New Deal advocates must address militarism

December 16, 2018

Where is the call for the New Peace Deal that would free up hundreds of billions from the overblown military budget to invest in green infrastructure?

by Medea Benjamin and Alice Slater

Demonstrators highlighted the enormous and negative impact of the U.S. military during the 2014 People’s Climate March in New York City. (Photo: Stephen Melkisethian/flickr/cc)

In the spirit of a new year and a new Congress, 2019 may well be our best and last opportunity to steer our ship of state away from the twin planetary perils of environmental chaos and militarism, charting a course towards an earth-affirming 21st century.

The environmental crisis was laid bare by the sobering December report of the UN Climate panel: If the world fails to mobilize within the next 12 years on the level of a moon shot, and gear up to change our energy usage from toxic fossil, nuclear and industrial biomass fuels to the already known solutions for employing solar, wind, hydro, geothermal energy and efficiency, we will destroy all life on earth as we know it. The existential question is whether our elected officials, with the reins of power, are going to sit by helplessly as our planet experiences more devastating fires, floods, droughts, and rising seas or will they seize this moment and take monumental action as we did when the United States abolished slavery, gave women the vote, ended the great depression, and eliminated legal segregation. Read more…

Reviving the nuclear disarmament movement: a practical proposal

December 10, 2018

The Nuclear Freeze movement in the 1980s brought millions of protesters into US streets to demand an end to nuclear danger.

In late November 2018, Noam Chomsky, the world-renowned public intellectual, remarked that “humanity faces two imminent existential threats:  environmental catastrophe and nuclear war.”

Curiously, although a widespread environmental movement has developed to save the planet from accelerating climate change, no counterpart has emerged to take on the rising danger of nuclear disaster.  Indeed, this danger―exemplified by the collapse of arms control and disarmament agreements, vast nuclear “modernization” programs by the United States and other nuclear powers, and reckless threats of nuclear war―has stirred remarkably little public protest within the United States and even less public debate during the recent US midterm elections. Read more…

IFMSA and IPPNW students issue joint call for nuclear abolition and peacebuilding

November 29, 2018

Press release, dated 26 November 2018, from the students of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA).

The prevalence of peace is a major determinant of a society’s health and together they represent a vital determinant of a sustainable future and society. The deterioration of peace in many regions of this world has been associated with negative outcomes on health. Recent war strategies have breached international humanitarian law and used attacks on not only healthcare facilities but also healthcare workers and civilians as a tactic causing death tolls to rise. Read more…

Lurching toward catastrophe: the Trump administration and nuclear weapons

November 19, 2018

In July 2017, by a vote of 122 to 1, with one abstention, nations from around the world attending a United Nations-sponsored conference in New York City voted to approve a treaty to ban nuclear weapons.  Although this Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons received little coverage in the mass media, its passage was a momentous event, capping decades of international nuclear arms control and disarmament agreements that, together, have reduced the world’s nuclear weapons arsenals by approximately 80 percent and have limited the danger of a catastrophic nuclear war.  The treaty prohibited all ratifying countries from developing, testing, producing, acquiring, possessing, stockpiling, using, or threatening to use nuclear weapons. Read more…

Time out for nukes!

October 25, 2018

Guest commentary

by Alice Slater

With 122 nations having voted last summer to adopt a treaty for the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons, just as the world has banned chemical and biological weapons,  its seems that the world is locked in a new Cold War time-warp, totally inappropriate to the times.  We were warned last week from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that prior calculations about the risk of catastrophic climate change were off, and that without a full scale immediate mobilization humanity will face disastrous rising sea levels, temperature changes, and resource shortages.

Now is an opportunity to take a time-out on nuclear gamesmanship, new threats, trillions of wasted dollars and IQ point on weapons systems that Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev acknowledged, back in 1987 at the end of the Cold War, could never be used, warning that “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”  Read more…

US and Russia must preserve INF Treaty, begin negotiations for nuclear abolition

October 24, 2018

Gorbachev and Reagan sign the INF Treaty on December 8, 1987

[Donald Trump announced on Saturday that the United States will withdraw from the 1987 Treaty on Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF), a decision confirmed by national security adviser John Bolton earlier this week.  The following is a statement issued today by IPPNW’s executive committee.]

In a world already nervous about the intentions of the nuclear-armed states and their continued modernization of nuclear weapons, the Trump Administration’s announcement that it will withdraw from the historic INF Treaty is grave and unwelcome news. Read more…

World doctors urge world leaders to join the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

October 10, 2018

Nuclear weapons are weapons of mass extermination. In light of the terrible humanitarian and environmental effects that such weapons have, doctors and scientist have always warned the global society that such weapons must never be used again, and should be abolished.

This weekend (October 5-6), I had the privilege to represent IPPNW at the general assembly of the World Medical Association in Reykjavik, Iceland. The WMA is a federation of 114 national medical associations from all over the world.

Upon recommendation from their council meeting held in Riga, Latvia in April, the general assembly adopted a new version of previous resolutions pointing at the unacceptable humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. What is new in this year’s resolution is that the world doctors urge all states to “sign and ratify” the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was adopted at the UN on July 7 last year and opened for signature on September 26.

Once the ban-treaty is signed and ratified by 50 states (there are currently 69 signatories and 19 ratifications), it will become international law putting both legal and moral pressure on the nuclear-armed states and their allies to fulfill their already existing obligation for nuclear disarmament and abolition.

The new resolution of the World Medical Association in support of the nuclear weapons ban treaty is a very strong signal from the world doctors and a significant milestone on our path to a safer world free from the threat that nuclear weapons pose on humanity.

The full text of the resolution can be found on the WMA website.

%d bloggers like this: