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PSR REPORT SHOWS NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT MORE THAN EVER A HUMAN SURVIVAL PRIORITY

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PEOPLE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT NSW
HUMAN SURVIVAL PROJECT Sydney

PSR REPORT SHOWS NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT MORE THAN EVER A HUMAN SURVIVAL PRIORITY:
GOVERNMENTS SHOULD ACT ACCORDINGLY


A report released on 10Dec by Dr Ira Helfand of Physicians for Social
Responsibility (PSR), the US affiliate of International Physicians
for the Prevention of Nuclear War shows that the elimination of
nuclear weapons is more than ever a human survival priority.

The report, entitled 'Two Billion At Risk' is available on:  

http://www.psr.org/assets/pdfs/two-billion-at-risk.pdf
It's author, Dr Ira Helfand of PSR can be contacted on:
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

According to the Human Survival Project's John Hallam and Prof. Peter King:
“Full credit goes to Ira Helfand and PSR for this vital report. We simply
want to emphasise a few points that flow from reading it.

“The first is that the full count of humans at risk from famine induced by
global cooling from the smoke of burning cities in a regional nuclear
exchange between India and Pakistan has been doubled from one billion,
in the report's first edition, to two
billion. This alone ought
to give governments pause, and redouble efforts to eliminate nuclear
weapons.”

“The second point is that massive crop losses in the US and China are well
accounted for—but the report does not analyse losses elsewhere. The
report suggests, for instance,  crop losses of 10-20% over a 10
year period for rice in China, with a massive 40-50% loss  for
winter wheat in the first year and a 10 year average decline of 31%.”

“These figures alone are staggering, but the report is erring on the
optimistic side by not including further losses that would take place
globally, notably here in Australia, and in Europe, South America,
and Africa, as well as in India and  Pakistan themselves, where
agriculture will have largely ceased. The "two billion at risk"
figure  if it is based solely on lost production in China and
the US,  could actually be  overoptimistic.”

The report covers a 'regional' nuclear war in South Asia, between India
and Pakistan, using as its model not more than a total of 100 10-20
kiloton sized warheads. (Actual warhead numbers are close to double
that.) Even then, it neglects the detail that the clouds of smoke
which blot out the sun for a decade afterwards are incinerated South
Asian cities and people.”

“More importantly, the report (deliberately, of course – that wasn't its
mandate) does not consider the results of a major nuclear exchange
between the US and Russia, who continue to aim over 2000 missiles
with warheads of 150Kt-1Mt size at each other and maintain these
missiles in a state in which they can be launched in less than a
minute, necessitating lightning fast presidential decision-making
with utterly apocalyptic implications. There have already been a
disturbingly large number of occasions about which one can say that
the world nearly ended, most notably 26 Sept, now recognised as
International Nuclear Disarmament Day”

“The indications are that the accidental use of US and Russian on-alert
arsenals will create the coldest conditions since the last ice-age
for well over a decade. Under those conditions, the survival of
humans as a species could well be problematic.”

“Finally it is well to note that as few as five large warheads exploded in
space above continental landmasses could, through electromagnetic
pulse, destroy or make inoperable all the infrastructure of high-tech
society that we take for granted and cause the global financial
system, for instance, to literally disappear.”

On 13-14 February 2014 in Nayarit, Mexico, a conference will be held on
catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons use at which these
issues will all be discussed. It's vital that governments come
prepared to accept the apocalyptic nature of nuclear weapons use and
the consequences of that, namely that nuclear weapons are an
existential threat and need to disappear immediately.”


“It is clear that the Australian government, which will be at Nayarit,
still needs to  fully internalise the  threat that nuclear weapons pose to humans as a species.  
It should adopt a  proactive approach that not only engages the nuclear weapons states,  
but does so in a way that actively pushes them to abolition and global zero.”

John Hallam, PND/Human Survival Project
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
ph 61-2-9810-2598  
Prof. Peter King, Human Survival Project, CPACS, University of Sydney
Peter
King
Last Updated on Sunday, 08 February 2015 22:02