Skip to content

Bye-bye world: while nuclear weapons and wars exist, annihilation beckons

October 22, 2022
Members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Science and Security Board, Robert Rosner and Suzet McKinney, reveal the 2021 setting of the Doomsday Clock: It is still 100 seconds to midnight. (Photo: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists / Thomas Gaulkin)

It’s been a long time since the atomic bombings of August 1945, when people around the planet first realized that world civilization stood on the brink of doom.  This apocalyptic ending to the Second World War revealed to all that, with the advent of nuclear weapons, violent conflict among nations had finally reached the stage where it could terminate life on earth.  Addressing a CBS radio audience in early 1946, Robert Hutchins, chancellor of the University of Chicago, summed up the new situation with a blunt warning:  “War means atomic bombs.  And atomic bombs mean suicide.”  

Read more…

War is a climate killer

October 17, 2022
Environmental impacts of war include toxic pollution from bombing and shelling.

by Angelika Claussen

War brings death and destruction – not least to the environment and climate. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine offers a depressing reminder of that fact, and further increases the military sector’s already enormous global CO2 footprint. In addition, the eastern Ukrainian cities where fighting is taking place are home to fossil fuel infrastructure such as chemical factories, oil refineries, and coal mines, the bombing of which produces a cocktail of toxic substances that has devastating environmental impacts. Efforts to arm the two sides, moreover, are consuming materials and resources that could otherwise go towards tackling the climate crisis.

Read more…

There is an alternative to war

October 13, 2022

The war in Ukraine provides us with yet another opportunity to consider what might be done about the wars that continue to ravage the world.

The current Russian war of aggression is particularly horrific, featuring a massive military invasion of a smaller, weaker nation, threats of nuclear warwidespread war crimes, and imperial annexation.  But, alas, this terrible war is but one small part of a history of violent conflict that has characterized thousands of years of human existence.  

Is there really no alternative to this primitive and immensely destructive behavior?

Read more…

“A broken system allows nine nations to hold the world hostage”

September 28, 2022
Molly McGinty speaks for IPPNW at the UN: “We reject the complacency of nuclear-armed states and their allies, and thank those who have paved the path to abolition.”

[IPPNW’s Associate Program Director Molly McGinty delivered the following remarks at the High-Level Meeting of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on 26 September.]

Honorable President, Distinguished Delegates, and friends,

I join you as a representative of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and a young person inheriting the world you are building in these very halls. Today, on the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, 77 years after the world stumbled into the nuclear age, we stand on the precipice of nuclear annihilation. 

Read more…

What I learned about governments by reading classified documents

September 6, 2022

Donald Trump’s illegal retention of classified US government records reminded me that I have been reading these kinds of sensitive official files after their declassification―and learning from them―for decades.

The reason is that I am a scholar of international history and, in this connection, have drawn upon such material in my research. Governments keep secrets, and to understand the full story of their behavior, it is often necessary to dig into the documentary evidence.

Read more…

A four-week festival of double standards

August 30, 2022

Hypocrisy & outright lying by nuclear-armed states

Guest commentary by Jackie Cabasso

The 10th NPT Review Conference didn’t fail because it couldn’t produce a final document. It failed because the nuclear-armed states haven’t made good on their fundamental nuclear disarmament obligation under Article VI of the Treaty, undertaken 52 years ago, nor on the promises and commitments to action items that would lead to nuclear disarmament they agreed to in connection with the indefinite extension of the Treaty in 1995 and in the 2000 and 2010 final documents.

Read more…

Why should war criminals operate with impunity?

August 16, 2022

The issue of alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine highlights the decades-long reluctance of today’s major military powers to support the International Criminal Court.

Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman at the opening of his trial for alleged war crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC), in The Hague, Netherlands. ICC photo

In 1998, the International Criminal Court (ICC) was established by an international treaty, the Rome Statute.  Coming into force in 2002 and with 123 nations now parties to it, the treaty provides that the ICC, headquartered at the Hague, may investigate and prosecute individuals for war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression.  As a court of last resort, the ICC may only initiate proceedings when a country is unwilling or unable to take such action against its nationals or anyone else on its territory.  In addition, although the ICC is authorized to initiate investigations anywhere, it may only try nationals or residents of nations that are parties to the treaty, unless it is authorized to investigate by the nation where the crimes occurred.

Read more…

“Limited regional” nuclear war would trigger a global climate catastrophe according to new study

August 15, 2022

It’s long been known a major nuclear war could destroy modern civilization and kill most of humanity. But what about a “limited” nuclear war—a conflict confined to one region, say, or involving just a tiny fraction of the world’s arsenals?

“Nuclear Famine,” a new report published today by IPPNW, summarizes the latest scientific work, which shows that a so-called “limited” or “regional” nuclear war would be neither limited nor regional. On the contrary, it would be a planetary-scale event. In fact, it would be far more dangerous than we understood even a few years ago. A war that detonated less than 1/20th of the world’s nuclear weapons would still crash the climate, the global food supply chains, and likely public order. Famines and unrest would kill hundreds of millions, perhaps even billions.

Read more…

Physicians call for a ban on military attacks on nuclear installations

August 12, 2022

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War is urging governments attending the Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in New York to call for a ban on military attacks on nuclear installations. Obstacles to access for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine must be overcome. 

“Waging war in a country with operational nuclear reactors is previously unknown and breaks a taboo,” says Dr. Angelika Claussen, IPPNW Vice-President for Europe. “With every day that the war in Ukraine continues, the probability increases that a nuclear disaster can occur. That is why we are urging NPT states parties to declare that military attacks on nuclear installations should be banned.”

Read more…

Reflections on the faltering road to nuclear disarmament: from Hiroshima to the Ukraine war

August 11, 2022

Guest Commentary

by Dr. Ghassan Shahrour

August sixth of 2022, is the seventy-seventh anniversary of the launch of the “Hiroshima” and then “Nagasaki” bombs. Our world is again in difficult circumstances due to the Ukraine war, the catastrophic humanitarian and economic consequences of which are growing day after day. With the intensification of the war and conflict, there is the insinuation and statement of an inappropriate and unacceptable threat of more than one party resorting to nuclear weapons, which constitutes an insult to human dignity and the rules of the international humanitarian law.

Read more…
%d bloggers like this: