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Which would you prefer―nuclear war or climate catastrophe?

November 27, 2019

To:      The people of the world

From:  The Joint Public Relations Department of the Great Powers

The world owes an enormous debt of gratitude to Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Narendra Modi, Boris Johnson, and other heroic rulers of our glorious nations.  Not only are they hard at work making their respective countries great again, but they are providing you, the people of the world, with a choice between two opportunities for mass death and destruction. Read more…

A young Hannah Rabin was the peace movement’s Greta

October 23, 2019

by Vappu Taipale

Founders of the Children’s Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in 1982. From left: Susie Dennison, Hannah Rabin, Solves Schumann, Nessa Rabin, Maria Schumann, Max Schumann, Becky Dennison.

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, has become the face of an entire generation demanding urgent action to prevent climate collapse. We older members of the peace movement remember very well our own young activist, 16-year-old Hannah Rabin from the USA, who campaigned to prevent nuclear war in the early 1980s.

Hannah and her friends started their activities against nuclear war by collecting children’s letters to US President Ronald Reagan. They promised to travel to the White House, where they read aloud more than 2,000 letters. Read more…

Sharing a story of survival

October 9, 2019

Setsuko Thurlow speaks during a reception in her honor on October 5. Photo: Steve Lipofsky

[Hiroshima survivor and ICAN campaigner Setsuko Thurlow was honored in Boston on October 5, when the Longwood Symphony Orchestra hosted a special evening at the New England Conservatory of Music’s Jordan Hall as part of its 2019 Healing Art of Music™ program. For the second year, the LSO selected IPPNW and Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility as community partners, and hosted the event as a benefit for the two organizations. Ms. Thurlow delivered the following remarks during a reception preceding the concert. She spoke again just before the concert began.]

My visit to Boston rekindles some sense of kinship within me.  In the late 1970s and early 80s both Boston and Toronto, where I live, were struggling to get disarmament education and advocacy work started in schools, universities, churches, professional organizations, as so on.  I remember in these days one of your organizations, Educators for Social Responsibility, had done a superb job of producing a new curriculum for disarmament education, and that our Toronto School Board benefitted from it greatly. Read more…

An unforgettable memory

October 9, 2019

Setsuko Thurlow addresses audience in Jordan Hall before the LSO performs. Photo: Steve Lipofsky

[Hiroshima survivor and ICAN campaigner Setsuko Thurlow was honored in Boston on October 5, when the Longwood Symphony Orchestra hosted a special evening at the New England Conservatory of Music’s Jordan Hall as part of its 2019 Healing Art of Music™ program. For the second year, the LSO selected IPPNW and Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility as community partners, and hosted the event as a benefit for the two organizations. Ms. Thurlow delivered the following remarks before the concert. She also spoke earlier in the evening at a special reception.]

As a young teenage survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, I have an unforgettable memory.

Only two years after that catastrophic bombing, my school was able to build a new building in the midst of the total devastation of the city.  The school was also able to bring together all these fortunate surviving girls like me, and formed a choral group. Read more…

New scientific study describes severe consequences of a limited, regional nuclear war

October 3, 2019

New research on the consequences of a limited, regional nuclear war, published this week in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances, concludes that casualty levels and long-term impacts on the global environment will be far more severe than previously believed. (Toon, Owen B., Charles G. Bardeen, Alan Robock, Lili Xia, Hans Kristensen, Matthew McKinzie, R. J. Peterson, Cheryl Harrison, Nicole S. Lovenduski, and Richard P. Turco, 2019: Rapid expansion of nuclear arsenals by Pakistan and India portends regional and global catastrophe.  Science Advances, 5, eaay5478, doi:10.1126/sciadv.aay5478.)

The authors of the paper, entitled “Rapid expansion of nuclear arsenals by Pakistan and India portends regional and global catastrophe,” look first at regional blast, thermal, and radiation effects, and conclude that “for the first time in human history, the fatalities in a regional war could double the yearly natural global death rate.

“Moreover, the environmental stresses related to climate changes caused by smoke produced from burning cities could lead to widespread starvation and ecosystem disruption far outside of the war zone itself.“ Read more…

For me it all began with a bet

October 3, 2019

by Lars Pohlmeier, MD

Thirty years ago the Berlin Wall fell. That was the source of my political optimism to abolish nuclear weapons.

In September 1989, I was standing right in the center of Berlin in front of “Checkpoint Charlie,” which was one of the checkpoints between the so-called Soviet Sector and the American Sector in the divided city of Berlin. Several dozens of kilometers of wall divided East and West Berlin and also surrounded the Western part of Berlin.

My friend Hennig and I, both 19 years old at the time, were looking at the heavily armed soldiers ready to kill anyone without notice who would try to cross the border from the East to the West. We were thinking about whether this wall would ever be gone in our lifetime. Read more…

How nuclear power powers the bomb

September 30, 2019

by Alex Rosen, Co-President, IPPNW-Germany

Reuters recently reported that nuclear energy is both too slow and too expensive to present a meaningful response to the climate catastrophe facing our planet So why are countries like the UK, France, Russia, or China still investing in it?

The answer lies in the demands of the military, who require a robust backbone of civil nuclear infrastructure for their nuclear weapons programs. Read more…

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