September 26th is International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. With Nuclear War only a hair trigger away, the Union for Concerned Scientists calls on us to do something about this threat that could destroy the world.
According to www.Ploughshares.org, nine countries in the world control 15,695 nuclear weapons. This graphic from their site makes this number visible. [Go to the site to download the supporting reports.]
Current United States policy is to keep missiles on hair trigger alert with round the clock crews ready to launch in minutes. This policy dates from the Cold War when the idea was seen as a deterrent. If the Soviets launched missiles at us, they would be destroyed even if they hit us first. This was called Mutually Assured Destruction or MAD - a truly mad policy we seem to have forgotten. And yet, there are still hundreds US submarines and 450 silos ready to be released in the event of an attack even though the Soviet Union is gone and Russia is no longer a threat.
The people in charge of these weapons are only human. They make mistakes. Three major nuclear hair-trigger catastrophes have been averted only because in each case one unsung hero used common sense and didn't press the button. Does that worry you? It worries me.
Learn more. The Union of Concerned Scientists has numerous articles on nuclear weapons and produced a very informative fact sheet.
Write a letter to President Obama urging him to end the hair-trigger alert policy.
And on September 26th, read The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Zeus in which the stupidity of war is made clear enough for even a child to understand.
Yes, there are a lot of other things to fear right now. Global Warming, terrorism, outright war, but we can't let the fact that nuclear weapons can put an end to all our worries in a hair's breath for no reason at all, unless we use a little commonsense.