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Home Articles Flashpoints Letter on Nuclear Abolition Faxed 6/7Mar to Congress/Duma

Letter on Nuclear Abolition Faxed 6/7Mar to Congress/Duma

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The letter urging the US Congress and the Russian Duma to prioritise
nuclear abolition as a 'Human Survival Priority' has been faxed to the
numbers below.

Text of the letter itself is below the fax numbers, and attached.

POTUS(Obama) - 202-456-2461
Secy of State Kerry 202-647-0122 202-647-6434, 6047
Hagel (Sec Def.) 703-697-6602
US-UN Mission

House Strategic Forces Subcommittee
Mike Rogers Chair, 202-225-5820
Trent Franks Ariz, 202-225-6328
Doug Lambourn Calif, 202-226-2638,
Mike Coffman Colo, 202-226-4623
Mo Brooks Ala, 202-225-4392
Joe Wilson S. Carolina, 202-225-2455
Michael Turner Ohio, 202-225-6754,
Rich Nugent Fla, 202-226-6559,
Jim Bridenstine,Okla, 202-225-9187,
Jim Cooper Tenn. (Ranking Member)
Loretta Sanchez Calif, 202-225-5633,
James Langevin RI, 202-225-5976
Rick Larsen Wash, 202-225-4420
Marc Veasey, Tx, 202-225-9702
Andre Carson Indiana, 202-225-5633

Senate Strategic Forces Subcommittee
Senator Marc Udall Chair, 202-224-6471
Senator Sessions, Ranking, 202-224-3149
Senator Reed 202-224-4680
Senator Mc Caskill 202-228-6326
Senator Donelly, 202-224-5011,
Senator King 202-224-1946,
Senator Vitter, 202-228-5061
Senator Lee 202-228-1168.
Unable to reach Senator Fischers fax machine.


Geneva Mission 41-22-733-1031 UN mission 1-121-628-0252 Australian Emb 6295-1847


UNODA 1-121-693-4066

Aust FM 61-2-6273-4112 6261-2151

Chairs of the US Senate and House Committees on
Foreign Affairs and Defence
Chairs of the Russian Duma Committees on Foreign
Affairs and Defence
President Barack Obama
President Vladimir Putin
US Secretary of State
US Secretary of Defence
Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs
Russian Minister of Defence

Dear Sirs and Madams:
The undersigned  write to you to urge
you to prioritise  nuclear weapons  abolition  as a human survival
imperative  and a critical global security priority.
Your attention is also drawn to a
letter on the same subject by Lawrence W. Krauss, physicist and
vice-chair of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists board of sponsors,
and other highly distinguished physicists.(appended)
The New Year, and a new US Congress, is
a good time to start to think anew about nuclear weapons. New
thinking that puts abolition clearly on the US agenda as a security
priority, is very much needed, which is why we write.  
The US and Russia together possess over
90% of all the nuclear warheads in the world. They possess the
unique capability to render the planet essentially uninhabitable in
less than an hour.The leadership and legislatures of Russia and the US thus have a
primary responsibility to act resolutely and promptly to phase out
nuclear weapons from security doctrines and build the framework for a
secure and verifiably nuclear-weapons-free world.
The Congress and Duma need to debate
and factor into security doctrines the catastrophic humanitarian
consequences of large-scale nuclear weapons use, now the subject of a
number of multilateral statements at the United Nations and of an
international meeting in Oslo in March. These matters, of existential
importance to the rest of the world, have never to our knowledge been
discussed in the Duma or Congress.
The retention and 'improvement' of
nuclear arsenals by both the US and Russia makes neither country more
secure, but rather degrades the security of both countries and the
rest of the world. Elimination of nuclear weapons would mean an
improvement, not a degradation, in security, and the removal of a
vast budgetary burden.  
We urge you to take note of the
Abolition2000 founding statement, and the  organising statement for
the US Campaign for a Nuclear Weapons- Free world. (appended below)  
Both statements call for immediate work
on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament steps such as
ratification of the CTBT, negotiations for a Fissile Material Treaty,
taking all nuclear forces off high–alert status, decreasing the
role of nuclear weapons in security doctrines, reductions in nuclear
stockpiles, curtailing of research and development of new nuclear
weapons, and establishment of nuclear-weapons-free zones. The
Abolition2000 Statement also calls for the immediate commencement of
negotiations for the global prohibition and elimination of nuclear
weapons under strict and effective international control through a
Nuclear Weapons Convention.  
We encourage especially those who sit
on, chair, or advise Duma or Congressional committees that deal with
strategic weapons and security to have a copy of these statements on
their desk.  
Nuclear abolition is THE most urgent
national, multilateral, and global security priority, and remains one
in spite of reductions in nuclear arsenals.
The International Commission on Nuclear
Nonproliferation and Disarmament, chaired by Gareth Evans and Yoriko
Kawaguchi, declared in 2009, that:
“Nuclear weapons are the most
inhumane weapons ever conceived, inherently indiscriminate in those
they kill and maim and with an impact deadly for decades. They are
the only weapons ever invented that have the capacity to wholly
destroy life on this planet, and the arsenals we now possess are able
to do so many times over. The problem of nuclear weapons is at least
equal to that of climate–change in terms of gravity, and much more
immediate in its potential impact.”[ICNND, xvii]
The link made with climate change is
very much to the point. Recent (from 2006) work by Professors Brian
Toon and Alan Robock, both highly distinguished climate specialists,
using the most up to date NASA climate models, has shown both that a
'limited', nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan, using not
more than 100 Hiroshima-sized warheads, aimed at cities, would still
produce catastrophic global climatic effects. A US-Russia nuclear
exchange, (most likely the result of miscalculation, malfunction,
and/or panic, not deliberate policy or design), would return Earth's
temperatures to levels not seen since the last Ice Age for decades,
imperilling the survival of most complex land based living things
including humans.
No other technology has the  capability
to do this in less than an hour.  The maintenance of current nuclear
capabilities is  irresponsible and hazardous in the extreme. Congress
and Duma must therefore regard nuclear abolition as the topmost
security priority.  
Policy prescriptions that argue for
retention of nuclear capabilities, or, worse, for their expansion,
are simply not grounded in the realities of what nuclear weapons do
and the existential risks they pose. Those who argue for them pose as
'responsible' and 'realistic' guardians of national security yet
these prescriptions create extreme global and national insecurity.
They are the very opposite of 'responsible' or 'realistic'.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, when governor of
California, said that:  
“A nuclear disaster will not hit at
the speed of a glacier melting. It will hit with a blast. It will not
hit with the speed of the atmosphere warming, but of a city burning.
Clearly, the attention focussed on nuclear weapons should be as
prominent as that of global climate change.”
We call on Congress and Duma to
give nuclear disarmament the priority it deserves as the worlds
number one security  and human survival issue.
Abolition2000 founding statement and US Campaign for
a Nuclear Weapons-free world are after the signatures.
affiliations for Identification Purposes only)
Letter Editors:
Hallam, People for Nuclear Disarmament/Human Survival Project
Peter King, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies/Human Survival
Rigg, Former chair, NZ National Consultative Committee on
Disarmament (NCCD)
Alyn Ware, Co-Chair of
the World Future Council Disarmament Committee
Other Signatories:
Rene Wadlow, President,
Association of World Citizens,
Aaron Tovish,
International Director, 2020 Vision Campaign, Mayors for Peace,
Klosterneuburg, Austria,  
Jayantha Dhanapala, Fmr
UN Undersecy-General for Disarmament,  
Tony Robinson, World
Without Wars and Violence,
Alfred L. Marder,
International Association of Peace Messenger Cities,
Martin Hinrichs, Ban All
Nukes Generation (BANG), Geneva, Switzerland,  
John Burroughs,
Executive Director, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, New York
City, NY USA,  
Carol Wolman MD,
Fukushima Response Bay Area, Oakland, CA, USA.
Marylia Kelley,
Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities against a Radioactive Environment)
Lise Merriman, Episcopal
Peace Fellowship, Shaker Heights, Ohio, USA,  
Mark Gubrud, Princeton,
David Krieger, President,
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Santa-Barbara, Calif, USA,  
David Hartsough,
Peaceworkers, San Francisco, Calif,
Lowendorf, Chair, Greater New Haven Peace Council, New Haven
Ct, USA,
Reverend John Dear, USA,
Dennis F. Nester, (Roy
Nuclear Waste Disposal Process) Phoenix Ariz

Kathy Wan Povi Sanchez,
Enviromental Health and Justice Program, Tewa Women United, USA

Prof. Irene Gendzier,
Political Science, Boston Univ, Boston, MA, USA.

Mike Helbick, Program
Director, Peace Action Wisconsin, Wisc, USA,
Anthony DiFilippo,
Professor of Sociology, Lincoln Univ, Pennsylvania, USA,
Sabina Sawhney, Hofstra
University, NY, USA,
Steven V. Kobasa, Trident
Resistance Network, New Haven, CT, USA,
Markus Atkinson,
Footprints for Peace, Cincinnati, USA,  
Diane Perlman PhD,
Psychologists for Social Responsibility, Transcend, George Mason
Univ, USA,
Ellen Thomas, Proposition
– 1 Committee, United States,
Prof . John D.
Steinbrunner, Public Policy, Director CISSM, Univ. Maryland, USA,  
Gordon Edwards,
President/Founder, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility,
Professor Pierre Jasmin,
Vice-Pres, Artists for Peace, Pugwash Canada, Canadian Network to
Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Montreal, Quebec, Canada,  
Donald Grayston PhD,
Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada,
Setsuko Thurlow,
Hiroshima Day Coalition, Toronto, Ontario,
Setsuko Thurlow, Canadian
Pugwash, Canada,  
Larry Kazdan,Councillor,
World Federalist Movement-Canada, Vancouver, Canada
Adele Buckley, Past
Chair, Canadian Pugwash,
Ray Morris, Salmon Arms
Kairos Committee, BC, Canada,
Dr H. Peter Langille,
Director, Global Common Security, London, Ontario, Canada,
Catherine Delahunty Green
List MP, Ont,
LGen the
Honourable Roméo A. Dallaire (Ret’d) , Senator, Senate of Canada,
Ottawa, Canada,  
Satoko Norimatsu,
Director, Peace Philosophy Centre, Vancouver, Canada
Steven Staples,
President, Rideau Institute, Canada,
John Bart Gerald, Gerald
and Maas, Ottawa, Canada,
Jennifer Allen Simons,
Simons Foundation, Vancouver, BC, Canada,  
Bev Delong, Chair,
Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons,

Barney Richards, Peace
Council of Aotearoa, New Zealand,
Commander Robert D. Green
RN(ret), Co-Director, Disarmament and Security Centre, Christchurch,
Dr Kate Dewes,
Disarmament and Security Centre, Christchurch, NZ,  
Dr R E White PhD, D.Sc.,
former Director, Centre for Peace Studies, University of Auckland,
Auckland New Zealand, co-founder of Scientists Against Nuclear Arms
New Zealand.
Santa-Barbara, IPPNW New Zealand,
Low, Quaker Peace and Service, Aotearoa/New Zealand,  
Northey Patron Aotearoa / New Zealand Foundation for Peace Studies,
Gerald O'Brien,
President of Honour, Peace Council Aotearoa New Zealand.
Borrie, Chair, NZ DPRK Society,  
Dame Laurie Salas,
DBE,  QSO, B.A.,  New Zealand
Patricia Waugh, Administrator, Alternatives to Violence
Project Maori Focus, Enderley, Hamilton, N.Z
Clendon MP, Green Party Member of Parliament, New Zealand
Street MP, Labour, Nelson, NZ, Chair, New Zealand Parliamentarians
for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament, (NZPNND),  
Irene Gale AM, Adelaide,
SA, Member, Australian Peace Committee (APC)
Bronwyn Marks, Fmr Chair,
Sydney Hiroshima Day Cttee, Manly-Waringah Teachers for Nuclear
Disarmament, NSW Teachers Federation Peace and Disarmament Cttee.
Michel de Mol, Secy,
Jawaid Hussain, World Citizens Association Australia,
Dave Sweeney,
Nuclear-Free Campaigner, Australian Conservation Foundation, (ACF),
Carlton, Vic, Aust,  
Denis Doherty, Australian
Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition, Surry Hills, NSW, Australia,
Andrew Grieg, Non-Lethal
Weapons for Peace Campaign, Sydney, NSW, Aust,
Lyn Allison, Former
Senator and leader of the Australian Democrats, Vic, Aust,
Broinowski, fmr Aust. diplomat, author, adjunct Professor in media
and communications, University of Sydney,
A Evatt AC,  Commissioner, International Commission of Jurists,

Jenny Grounds, President, Medical Association for Prevention of War,

Bremmer, Chair, Alliance for a Clean Environment, W.A.,  

Vallentine, Anti Nuclear Alliance of Western Australia,  

Blyth, People for Nuclear Disarmament Western Australia,

Madigan, Friends of  Westernport, Langwarrin, Vic,

Mulhearn, Coordinator, Australian Campaign to Ban Uranium Weapons

Deane, Marrickville Peace Group,  

Mariann Lloyd-Smith PhD (Law) Senior Advisor, National Toxics Network
Bangalow NSW

Claude Mostowick, msc, Director, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart
Justice and Peace Centre, President, Pax Christi Australia,  

Caldicott, Founder, PSR,  

Arthur Chesterfield-Evans,  Fmr Director, Sydney Peace Foundation,
Fmr MLC,

Purnell, Quaker Peace and Legislation Committee, Religious Society of
Friends, (Quakers) Australia,  
Maria Arvaniti
Sotiropolou, President, IPPNW Greece,
Xanthou, Cyprus Green Party, Cyprus,
M. Cachia, Secretary, Malta Peace Council,
Boztok, MD, IPPNW-Turkey General Secretary, Ankara, Turkey,  
Issa Samandar,
Coordinator, Land Defence Committees, East Jerusalem, Palestine,  
Sharon Dolev, Israeli
Disarmament Movement, Israel,  
Gideon Spiro, Israel,  

George Farebrother,
INLAP/World Court Project, Sussex, UK,
Dave Webb, Chair,
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) UK,
Tony Simpson, Journal
Editor, Bertrand Russel Peace Foundation,  
Jenny Maxwell, Hereford
Peace Council, Hereford, UK,
Philip Gilligan, Chair,
Pat Sanchez Secy, Greater Manchester and District Campaign for
Nuclear Disarmament,(CND) Rochdale, UK,
Dominic Linley, Yorkshire
CND, Yorks, UK,  
Samir Chatterjee, Fmr National Vice-Chair, World Development Movement (UK),  
Fazlun Khalid, Founder,
Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Science, Birmingham
Angie Zelter, founder,
Trident Ploughshares and Action Atomic Weapons Eradication (Action
Monsignor Bruce Kent,
Vice-President,  Movement for the Abolition of War, Fmr Chair CND,
Michael Connarty MP,
Lithgow and East Falkirk, Parliamentary CND, UK,  
Bill Kidd MSP,
Co-President Parliamentary Network for Nuclear Nonproliferation and
Disarmament, Scotland,  

Dominique Lalanne, Chair,
Abolition2000 Europe,
Jean-Marie Matagne,
President, Action des Citoyens pour le Desarmement Nucleaire, (ACDN),
Saintes, France,  
Prof. Andreas Nidecker,
Past President PSR/IPPNW Switzerland, Basel, Switz,  
Herman Spanjaard, Chair,
IPPNW Netherlands,
Karel Koster, Research
Department Socialist Party Netherlands,  
Harry Van Bommel, MP,
Belg, Socialist Party, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson,
Hans Lammerant,
Vredesactie, Belgium,
Dirk Van Der Maelen MP,
Flemish Social Democratic Party, Belgium,
Ludo de Brabander, Vrede
Vzw, Belgium,  

Josep Xercavins, World
Democratic Governance Project Association, (WDGpa) Catalonia,
Jordi Armadans,
director FundiPau (Fundacio per la Pau), Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Xavier Masllorens,
president FundiPau (Fundacio per la Pau), Barcelona, Catalonia,
Puig, PhD, Grup de Científics i Tècnics per un Futur
No Nuclear – GCTPFNN,

Jonsdottir, Icelandic Parliament,
Sigurbjörnsdóttir, verkefnastjóri, MFÍK (Women for Peace and
Culture in Iceland)  

Hallgeir H. Langeland, MP
Prof Kirsten Osen, IPPNW
Bent Natvig, Chair,
Norwegian Pugwash Committee,  
Frederick S. Heffermehl,
Lawyer, Author, 'What Nobel Really Wanted', Oslo, Norway,
Bjorn Hildt, IPPNW
Björn Röe, Head of NEI
til atomvåpen in Trondheim, Norway,
Sigmund Knutsen, NTA
Trondhiem, Norway,
Hans Ebbing, Bergen,
Prof Birgit Cold,
Norwegian Univ of Science and Technology,
Norberg,Vice-chair, Swedish Peace Council,
Ceballos, Riksdagsledamot/Member of Parliament,  
Vesa, Research Fellow, University of Tampere, Finland,
Hassi MEP, Greens, Finland,  

Prof. Sergey
Kolesnikov,member Russian Acad.Med.Sci., IPPNW EC member,Co-President
of Russian public movement "For people safeguarding",
Natalia Mironova, Ph.D.
President of the Movement for Nuclear Safety, Chelyabinsk, Russia

Jana Jedlickova, World
without Wars and Violence, Prague, Czech Republic,
Andreas Pecha, Chair,
Austrian Peace Council, Vienna Austria,  

and Klaus Schittich,  Association of World Citizens, Uberlingen,
Neumann, Sprecher Arbeitskreis, Hamburg, Germany,  
Wolfgang Weber, Senden, Germany,
Fuchs, DFG-VK Gruppe Köln
Mortier, Information Bureau for Peace Work, Meckenhiem, Germany,  
Weinz, Deutsche Gesselschaft fur Sonnenenergie eV,
Albert Magnus Friedrich, Die Linke, Humanistischer
Verband Deutschland,
Fuchs, DFG-VK Gruppe Köln, Germany,  
Zapf MP, Bundestag,
Rospel MP, Bundestag,  
Schmidt-Eenboom, Peace Research Institute, Weilhiem, Germany,
Hall, IPPNW Germany,
Manfred Frank, Philosophical Seminar, University of Tuebingen,
Tuebingen, Germany,  

Ranjith S. Jayashekera, Sri-Lankan Doctors for Peace and Development,
Sri Lanka.

Lai, Secy-General, Institute of International Relations, Nepal,
Executive Cttee Nepali Congress,  

D'costa, Alliances Linkages Convenor, Indian Social Action Forum -
INSAF, Delhi/Mumbai, India
Dhar, VAK, Malad West, Mumbai, India,
Mujibul Haque Munir (Mr.), Assistant Director-Food Security and
Education Advocacy COAST Trust, Member, Coordination Committee of WFF
Vijai K. Nair, Noida, India,
Narayana Rao, All-India Peace and Solidarity Organisation, Nagpur,
Sengupta, All-India Peace and Solidarity Organisation, (AIPSO)  New
Gandhi and Swaroop Dhruv, INSAF Gujarat, Ahmedabad, India,
Kurvey, Indian Institute for Peace, Disarmament, and Environmental
Protection, Nagpur, India,
Krishna, Convener, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), New Delhi,  

Rasul Baksh Rais,  Political Science, LUMS, Lahore, Pakistan,
H Nayyar, Pakistan Peace Coalition,
(Ret) Syed Sikander Mehdi, International Relations, Univ. Karachi,
Dr Syed Husin Ali, Malaysian Parliament, Political Bureau Member
Malaysian National Justice Party,
Fazal, Director, Right Livelihood College, Malaysia,  
Abe, "See Hiroshima Project" coordinator, Ehime, Japan
Tsuchida, Japan Council against A and H Bombs, Tokyo, Japan,  
Fujimoto, Secretary-General, Japan Congress Against
A-and-H-Bombs,(Gensuikin) Tokyo, Japan,  
Belhaim Sakuma, Palau
Nuclear-Free Movement, Palau,
Gutierrez-Esparza,President, Latin American Circle of International
Studies (LACIS)

Thomas de Toledo, Cebrapaz
(Centro Brasiliero de Solidariedade aos Povos e lute pela Paz) Sao
Paulo, Brasil,  

Corazon Valdez Fabros,
Co-Convener, Stop the War Coalition Philippines, Philippines

Belhaim Sakuma, Chairman,
Belau Cares, Inc, Palau Nuclear-Free Movement, Koror, Republic of
Palau 96940

Mamadou Falilou Sarr,
Director, African Centre for Peace and International Development,
Dakar, Senegal,
Paul  Saoke, IPPNW –
Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya,  

The Abolition 2000
Founding Statement
On April 1995, during the first weeks of the
Non-Proliferation Treaty Review and Extension Conference, activists
from around the world recognised that the issue of nuclear abolition
was not on the agenda. Activists met together to write the following
statement that has become the founding document of the Abolition 2000
organizations in over 90 countries have now signed the Abolition
2000 Statement and are actively participating in ten working groups
to accomplish the eleven points listed below.

Abolition 2000 Statement
secure and liveable world for our children and grandchildren and all
future generations requires that we achieve a world free of nuclear
weapons and redress the environmental degradation and human suffering
that is the legacy of fifty years of nuclear weapons testing and
Further, the inextricable link between the “peaceful” and
warlike uses of nuclear technologies and the threat to future
generations inherent in creation and use of long-lived radioactive
materials must be recognised. We must move toward reliance on clean,
safe, renewable forms of energy production that do not provide the
materials for weapons of mass destruction and do not poison the
environment for thousands of centuries. The true “inalienable”
right is not to nuclear energy, but to life, liberty and security of
person in a world free of nuclear weapons.
We recognise that a nuclear weapons free world must be achieved
carefully and in a step by step manner. We are convinced of its
technological feasibility. Lack of political will, especially on the
part of the nuclear weapons states, is the only true barrier. As
chemical and biological weapons are prohibited, so must nuclear
weapons be prohibited.
We call upon all states particularly the nuclear weapons states,
declared and de facto to take the following steps to achieve nuclear
weapons abolition. We further urge the states parties to the NPT to
demand binding commitments by the declared nuclear weapons states to
implement these measures:
    1. Initiate immediately and conclude* negotiations on a nuclear weapons abolition convention that requires the phased elimination of all nuclear weapons within a time-bound framework, with provisions for effective verification and enforcement.**
    2. Immediately make an unconditional pledge not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons.
    3. Rapidly complete a truly comprehensive test ban treaty with a zero threshold and with the stated purpose of precluding nuclear weapons development by all states.
    4. Cease to produce and deploy new and additional nuclear weapons systems, and commence to withdraw and disable deployed nuclear weapons systems.
    5. Prohibit the military and commercial production and reprocessing of all weapons-usable radioactive materials.
    6. Subject all weapons-usable radioactive materials and nuclear facilities in all states to international accounting, monitoring, and safeguards, and establish a public international registry of all weapons-usable radioactive materials.
    7. Prohibit nuclear weapons research, design, development, and testing through laboratory experiments including but not limited to non-nuclear hydrodynamic explosions and computer simulations, subject all nuclear weapons laboratories to international monitoring, and close all nuclear test sites.
    8. Create additional nuclear weapons free zones such as those established by the treaties of Tlatelolco and Raratonga.
    9. Recognise and declare the illegality of threat or use of nuclear weapons, publicly and before the World Court.
    10. Establish an international energy agency to promote and support the development of sustainable and environmentally safe energy sources.
    11. Create mechanisms to ensure the participation of citizens and NGOs in planning and monitoring the process of nuclear weapons abolition.

A world free of nuclear weapons is a shared aspiration of
humanity. This goal cannot be achieved in a non-proliferation regime
that authorises the possession of nuclear weapons by a small group of
states. Our common security requires the complete elimination of
nuclear weapons. Our objective is definite and unconditional
abolition of nuclear weapons.
US Campaign for a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World Organising Statement
For approval by officers of the
organisation with authority for endorsements
For more than six decades, the world
has struggled to avoid nuclear war and the spread of the bomb. 
Prompted by public concern and pressure to reduce the nuclear danger,
government leaders established a series of international arms control
and risk reduction agreements that have successfully reduced the
risks and dangers posed by the world’s most deadly weapons. 
The foundation of these efforts, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty
(NPT), commits non-nuclear weapon states to permanently foreswear
nuclear weapons and requires the original nuclear weapon
states—Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States—to
pursue and achieve nuclear disarmament.

Forty years later, the nuclear threat
still remains and the NPT system is under stress.  U.S.
leadership is required to build international consensus for reversing
strategic or military reliance on nuclear weapons globally,
preventing their acquisition by terrorists or additional states, and
ultimately establishing a nuclear weapons free world.

Despite the end of the Cold War, the
United States and Russia retain thousands of nuclear weapons, many of
which are on high alert.  The United States has not yet ratified
the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), is actively
upgrading its current arsenal, and is proposing to build new warheads
and a new production complex.  In response, Russia and China are
taking steps to invigorate their weapons production programs to
remain “competitive.”

The continuing military and strategic
reliance on large nuclear arsenals by the nuclear weapons states
(declared and undeclared) is the single most compelling force behind
the spread of nuclear weapons.

Existing global stockpiles of highly
enriched uranium and plutonium, the fissile materials that are the
fuel of nuclear bombs, are growing and are not adequately secured
against theft or sale to terrorists.  The United States must
more effectively engage with the international community—including
all declared and non-declared nuclear-weapon states—to curb the
programs and technologies that can be used to produce material for
nuclear weapons.

We believe it is imperative that the
United States take immediate and bold action to reaffirm its
commitment to the elimination of nuclear weapons, further reduce the
number and alert status of nuclear weapons arsenals, de-legitimise
development, possession and use of such weapons, and strengthen the
global nuclear non-proliferation system.  The U.S. must
demonstrate to the world its resolve to meet its NPT obligations.

Our organisations are joining together in to promote a more
informed public debate on nuclear weapons and international peace and
security in the 21st Century.   Our goal is to catalyse
meaningful action on steps necessary to reduce the dangers posed by
nuclear weapons and bring us closer to a world free of nuclear
weapons.  We will seek support and leadership from lawmakers
from both parties, meaningful commitments from candidates, and a more
robust and high-level effort from the executive branch. 
Priority steps include:
    * Undertaking a fundamental reassessment of the purpose of nuclear weapons, significantly and irreversibly reducing the number and role of all types of nuclear weapons, and more thorough and energetic diplomacy to engage other countries in reducing theirs.
    * Encouraging lawmakers to establish U.S. obligations to the NPT as a baseline criteria for all decisions, programmatic and fiscal, regarding U.S. nuclear weapons policies and programs (including Stockpile Life Extension Program, Complex Transformation, and the Reliable Replacement Warhead)
    * Halting new nuclear weapons research and production activities, which are contrary to the goal of reducing the legitimacy of nuclear weapons and risk the resumption of nuclear testing.
    * Increasing funding to accelerate the pace and scope of cooperative projects to reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism by helping to improve accounting and security at nuclear facilities worldwide.
    * Establishing tighter controls on the spread of technologies that can be used to produce fissile material and more aggressively pursue a global verifiable ban on fissile material production.
    * Convincing the United States Senate to reconsider and provide its advice and consent for ratification of the CTBT at the earliest possible date.

Letter by Lawrence W. Krauss of the Bulletin of the Atomic
Scientists and distinguished others, to President Obama

An open letter to President Obama: The time on the Doomsday
Clock is five minutes to midnight
By Robert Socolow, Thomas Rosenbaum, Lawrence J. Korb, Lynn Eden,
Rod Ewing, Alexander Glaser, James E. Hansen, Sivan Kartha, Edward
"Rocky" Kolb , Lawrence M. Krauss, Leon Lederman, Ramamurti
Rajaraman, M. V. Ramana, Robert Rosner, Jennifer Sims, Richard C. J.
Somerville, and Elizabeth J. Wilson | 14 January 2013
Article Highlights
The Bulletin's Science and Security Board announces its
2013 decision to keep in place the minute hand of the Doomsday
Clock: It will remain at five minutes to midnight. In this open
letter to US President Barack Obama, the Board presents its views on
the key issues that affected its decision and provides the president
with recommendations to consider in 2013 and throughout his second
Editor's note: Founded in 1945 by University of Chicago
scientists who had helped develop the first atomic weapons in the
Manhattan Project, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists subsequently created the Doomsday Clock in 1947 using the imagery
of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary idiom of nuclear
explosion (countdown to zero), to convey threats to humanity and the
planet. The decision to move the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock is
made every year by the Bulletin's Science and Security Board
in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 18 Nobel
Laureates. The Clock has become a universally recognized indicator of
the world's vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons,
climate change, and new technologies emerging in other domains.
January 14, 2013
Dear President Obama,
2012 was a year in which the problems of the world pressed
forward, but too many of its citizens stood back. In the US elections
the focus was "the economy, stupid," with barely a word
about the severe long-term trends that threaten the population's
well-being to a far greater extent: climate change, the continuing
menace of nuclear oblivion, and the vulnerabilities of the world's
energy sources. 2012 was the hottest year on record in the contiguous
United States, marked by devastating drought and brutal storms. These
extreme events are exactly what climate models predict for an
atmosphere overburdened with greenhouse gases. 2012 was a year of
unrealized opportunity to reduce nuclear stockpiles, to lower the
immediacy of destruction from missiles on alert, and to control the
spread of fissile materials and keep nuclear terrorism at bay. 2012
was a year in which -- one year after the partial meltdown at the
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station -- the Japanese nation
continued to be at the earliest stages of what will be a costly and
long recovery.
The stasis of 2012 convinces us, the Science and Security Board,
to keep the hands of the Doomsday Clock in place.

President, we see 2013 as a year for vision and engagement. We know
that decisive action can make the world safer. Humanity awaits the US
leadership that can secure a future free of nuclear weapons. US
action can induce the world's nations to negotiate international
agreements to avert the worst calamities of climate change. We turn
to you, Mr. President, to lead us toward a safer world and to help us
turn back the hands of the Doomsday Clock.
It remains five minutes to midnight.
Nuclear weapons. Mr. President, we applaud the steps your
administration has already taken: ratifying the New Strategic Arms
Reduction Treaty (New START), holding to firm account potential
violators of the keystone Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT),
strengthening the global nuclear security regime, and reducing the
opportunities and chances of success for terrorists to get hold of
fissile material. We are glad that your commitment to the Fissile
Material Cut-off Treaty and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
-- for which we are confident you will seek Senate approval -- has
not wavered.
In 2009 you stood in Hradcany
Square and boldly stated: "America's commitment to seek the
peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons," and you
specified that the United States will "reduce the role of
nuclear weapons in our national security strategy, and urge others to
do the same." Four years after the visionary speech, we see
progress, but we also see how much remains to be done.
When the United States and Russia ratified New START, both
countries agreed to limit the number of deployed warheads to 1,550.
But 20 years after the end of the Cold War, this is not enough, and
the United States must commit to cutting well below 1,000 warheads.
The stockpile of non-deployed strategic nuclear warheads should be
significantly reduced and tactical nuclear warheads must be
eliminated. Mr. President, such actions will signal a decreasing role
for nuclear weapons in US national security strategy -- and they will
demonstrate America's
commitment to Article VI of the NPT to significantly reduce
nuclear weapons and to strive for nuclear disarmament.
Mr. President, the 2010
Nuclear Posture Review PDF considered eliminating a leg of
the nuclear triad as part of the planned reductions under New START.
We believe that, by cutting well below 1,000 warheads, the arguments
for keeping all three legs of the triad are less convincing than they
may have been in the past. The triad is an expensive legacy of a
bygone era that makes it increasingly difficult to implement deeper
cuts in the global nuclear arsenal. Now is the time to examine the
options to fundamentally restructure US nuclear forces.
In addition, much more can be done to signal your commitment to
reducing the role of nuclear weapons in national security strategy:
You could increase the dismantlement rate of retired nuclear
warheads, and consider seriously reducing both the 1,152 nuclear
warheads on the submarine-launched ballistic missiles, as well as the
300 nuclear warheads assigned to bombers.
These measures would send a strong message of America's commitment
to work toward a world without nuclear weapons.
As was the case in your first term, we hope that your second term
will also begin with an updated statement articulating your future
plans to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in US national security
Fissile materials. Within months of taking office in 2009,
you announced the goal
of securing all vulnerable nuclear material around the world
within four years. This was a key public acknowledgment that all
fissile material -- whether separated for weapons purposes or
civilian use -- carries substantial proliferation risks. 2013 is the
time to rejuvenate and expand the fissile-material agenda.
In 2010, you convened the first Nuclear Security Summit. However,
these biennial meetings of heads of state have dealt primarily with
securing and consolidating civilian stocks of highly enriched uranium
(HEU) in non-nuclear weapon states, which account for less than 2
percent of the global stockpile of fissile material. Moreover,
civilian HEU is not the only problem. To quote the speech you
delivered last year at Hankuk
University in South Korea: "We simply can't go on
accumulating huge amounts of the very material, like separated
plutonium, that we're trying to keep away from terrorists."
Mr. President, we call on you to launch, immediately, a
comprehensive approach to fissile materials that deals with civilian
and military stockpiles -- plutonium, as well as highly enriched
uranium. Independent estimates of the global stockpile suggest that
there are 1,440
tons of HEU and 500 tons of separated plutonium. PDF In
principle, this is enough for several hundred thousand nuclear
Since the 1970s, the United States has refrained from reprocessing
of civilian spent nuclear fuel and the separation of fissile
materials. In 2013, the United States should discourage Japan from
commissioning its Rokkasho
plant and encourage South Korea to reconsider its reprocessing plans.
This year, the United States should declare excess all fissile
material not in nuclear warheads -- deployed or in reserve -- and
offer this material for international monitoring. 2013 is the year in
which the United States should seek further reductions in its own
fissile material stocks, as well as those held by Russia and other
nuclear weapon states.
Mr. President, in 2013, the United States -- in coordination with
the other NPT nuclear weapon states, as well as India, Pakistan,
Israel, and North Korea -- should announce a moratorium on producing
more fissile material for weapons, pending
a formal treaty.
Climate change. Human activities are now the dominant cause
of global climate change. Emissions of heat-trapping gases continued
to climb in 2012, with atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide -- the
most important greenhouse gas affected by human activities --
reaching levels higher than at any time in the past 800,000 years.
2012 was the hottest
year on record for the contiguous United States. Arctic sea ice
continued to rapidly diminish in extent, reaching a record
low this past year that fell under the previous low by an area
the size of Texas. Glaciers are retreating, and the massive Greenland
and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass. Extreme weather events,
such as last year's Superstorm Sandy and Typhoon Bopha, now strike in
an environment altered by climate change, with higher sea surface
temperatures and more water vapor in the atmosphere to fuel and
sustain their destructive power.
But 2012 also provided further evidence of the viability of
renewable sources of energy and more efficient ways of powering the
global economy, pointing toward an alternative to the high-carbon
development model. Wind and solar power, for example, expanded at
rates greatly exceeding what energy agencies forecasted earlier this
decade. Owing to supportive policies, power
generation from these sources expanded nearly fourfold over the
past five years in the United States, and even more so in other
countries, including Germany and China, where there they enjoyed
stronger support. The new US automobile fuel economy standard was
another welcome development, promising nearly a doubling of vehicle
efficiency by 2025.
This trend, while encouraging, is by no means evidence that the
climate challenge has been met. In fact, the growth in low-carbon
energy sources is dwarfed by the continued expansion of fossil fuels
like coal -- as was exemplified last year by the explosive
development of unconventional fossil resources, such as tar sands,
oil shale, and shale gas. With life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions
that are even worse than their conventional counterparts, these
unconventional fossil resources threaten to crowd out investment in
renewables and to entrench a long-term dependency on carbon-intensive
energy supplies.
Avoiding this scenario will require your administration to
considerably speed the process of reforming the patchwork of federal
subsidies, taxes, and other incentives and disincentives that distort
energy markets. We look forward to substantial progress toward
rational energy markets in 2013, including the pricing of greenhouse
gas emissions throughout the economy.
2012 saw the arrival of an apparently abundant domestic natural
gas resource, which could be an important contributor to a more
environmentally sound energy future. We call on your administration
to see that commercialization of this resource is pursued in ways
that mitigate its environmental impacts, including its climate change
impacts. Specifically, we urge you to create strong regulations for
gas developers to minimize methane leakage and safeguard water
resources, and for power-plant developers to incorporate carbon
dioxide capture and storage.
Mr. President, you have taken some steps to help nudge the country
along a more rational energy path. You kept alive the incentives for
wind and other renewable power, and you strengthened vehicle
fuel-efficiency standards. These are important steps, but without a
concerted effort to launch a comprehensive and ambitious response to
the climate challenge in 2013, we face diminishing prospects for
averting the worst and most costly effects of a disrupted climate.
Since your re-election, you have noted with concern that the Earth
is warming and the Arctic ice cap is melting even faster than
scientists had predicted, while extraordinary weather events -- from
storms to droughts -- are taking their toll in the United States and
around the world. You also stressed that we have an obligation to
future generations to do something about climate change, and you promised that this would be a priority of your administration.
In September 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) will publish its fifth assessment of climate science, which
will authoritatively document the changing climate. We call on you to
commit your administration to firmly accept the panel's scientific
findings, urgently integrate these findings into national policy, and
confidently face those who irresponsibly argue that climate change
science is not relevant.
Emerging threats. In 2012, Mr. President, it became clear
that cyber technologies, for all their benefits, could trigger a new
kind of self-inflicted Doomsday. But how, when, and for whom remains

Developments in 2012 underscored the vulnerabilities
of government, international banking, finance, and industry to cyber
attack. Saudi Aramco suffered the most damaging cyber attack on a
company to date when three-quarters of its corporate computers were
attacked by a virus that erased all data, replacing it with an image
of a burning US flag. The malware used in the attack at Saudi Aramco
has been linked to the same malware used in Stuxnet and related
malware, Wiper and Flame. Such developments have advertised the
destructive possibilities of hostile cyber operations, governments'
plans to use them, and the blowback that can happen when they do.  
The proliferation and commoditization of digital data has, in the words
of one senior US government official, contributed to a "new
threat matrix of digital espionage, crime and warfare" that puts
personal security and liberties at risk.
What should we make of this new technological challenge? Is the
evolution of cyber technology outpacing societies' capacities to
manage it equitably -- the same kind of socio-scientific gap that
inspired scientists in the nuclear domain to press for international
institution-building and arms-control initiatives so many decades
ago? The Science and Security Board is studying a way forward on this
issue, and hopes your administration, Mr. President, will continue to
do so as well.
Next steps. Mr. President, with your second inauguration
one week away, we have as much hope for your presidency as we did in 2010,
when we moved back the hands of the Doomsday Clock after your first
year in office. You have an extraordinary capacity to articulate the
global desire for peace and security, and you have the tools to
deliver tangible progress. Your Prague speech on nuclear disarmament
and your efforts at Copenhagen to coordinate world leaders to slow
the onset of climate change are high water marks in their respective
basins of activity. We call on you to reinvigorate these initiatives.
    * Implement your Prague vision to diminish the role of nuclear weapons in US security strategy by committing to cut -- to under 1,000 -- the deployed strategic nuclear warheads.
    * Announce an effort to stop all new production and eliminate existing stocks of separated fissile materials, both civilian and military, worldwide. It would greatly strengthen the nonproliferation regime, support nuclear disarmament, and provide the ultimate protection against nuclear terrorism.
    * Prioritize climate change at a level that recognizes the gravity of the climate threat. You have the ability to educate and inspire the United States to launch an ambitious response, confront entrenched interests that have forestalled action, and, if Congressional dysfunction prevents legislative action, you are able to use your executive powers to achieve progress on a rational energy and climate strategy for the nation.
    * Partner with other world leaders to forge the comprehensive global response that the climate threat demands, based on equity and cooperation across countries. A global solution will only be within reach if the United States commits to doing its fair share by investing at home and globally to curb greenhouse gas emissions, while building resilience in the face of the climate disruption that is now unavoidable.
    * Reform the patchwork of federal subsidies, taxes, and other incentives and disincentives so as to encourage large reductions in US greenhouse gas emissions.


Last Updated on Sunday, 08 February 2015 21:51