Nobel-winning conference of scientists seeking abolition of nukes kicks off in Nagasaki

From Dr. Gordon Edwards:

Background: November 1, 2015

“Hibakusha” is the name given to persons who were present in either of the two cities that were devastated by the atomic bombs dropped by US bombers in August 1945, and who somehow managed to survive. Literally, Hibakusha means “explosion-affected people” or “children of the bomb” and is used to refer to people who were exposed to atomic radiation — alpha, beta, gamma and neutron radiation — at the time of the atomic explosions. This includes rescuers or helpers who came within 2 km of the hypocentre within the first two weeks following the detonations, as well as unborn children who were exposed “in utero” due to the exposures of their pregnant mothers.

In November of 1945, a Joint Declaration by the three countries that had cooperated in the World War II Atomic Bomb Project (the USA, the UK and Canada) made three fateful pronouncements:
1. that nuclear weapons are “a means of destruction hitherto unknown against which there can be no adequate military defence;” 2. that “no system of safeguards will of itself provide an effective guarantee against the production of atomic weapons;” 3. that “no single nation [or group of nations?] can, in fact, have a monopoly.”
These pronouncements, taken together, imply that in the future, either no nation will have nuclear weapons, or all nations will have nuclear weapons. In the latter case, any conflict anywhere in the world can turn into a nuclear war. This will probably mean the end of human civilization and perhaps the end of most higher forms of life due to the devastating consequences of a “nuclear winter”, blotting out the sun and plunging the earth very quickly into another ice age.

As Albert Einstein famously remarked, “The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything, save our modes of thinking, and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.”

Inspired by the 1955 Einstein-Russell manifesto calling for a nuclear-weapons-free world, the Pugwash Conference held its first meeting in 1957, bringing together high-level scientists from both sides of the Cold War to meet away from the glare of the media in order to discuss ways of ridding the world of nuclear weapons. Joseph Rotblat — the only scientist working on the World War II Atomic Bomb Project who quit the project as soon as it was clear that Nazi Germany had not developed its own atomic bomb — was a tireless worker for the Pugwash ideal until his death in 2005. His scientific work on nuclear fallout was a major contributor to the ratification of the 1963 Partial Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, which put an end to the above-ground testing of nuclear weapons.

Gordon Edwards.

Nobel-winning conference of scientists
seeking abolition of nukes
kicks off in Nagasaki
Japan Times, Kyodo, November 1, 2015


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