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About Me

I spent most of my working life in the nuclear business. But I’m now with CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament). What made me switch sides? Two things. The truth about the atom bombs dropped on Japan; and the deadly risks we face today. I didn’t know these things, even after many years working in the industry. Maybe a lot of people don’t know either. So this blog aims to help fill the gap a little.

Past

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”  (George Santayana)

Atom bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Most of the victims were civilians. Many died a lingering and tortuous death. Survivors also suffered, even today. No education is complete without a knowledge of these two terrible events.

Hiroshima

To mark 60 years since the Hiroshima bombing, the BBC produced the film Hiroshima. It includes first-hand accounts from Japanese survivors and the US bomber crew. Here are a few short clips from the film (rated 12, contains some distressing images).

Sadako Sasaki

Sadako Sasaki was two years old when the bomb fell on Hiroshima. She was blown out of a window but had no outward injuries. But ten years later she got leukaemia because of the radiation from the bomb. This video tells her story, and how her fight for recovery inspired the world to make origami peace cranes.

Hibakusha (survivors)

The atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed many thousands of people in seconds. But for most it was a slow and painful death, stretched out over months and years. But some also survived, and in Japanese they are called hibakusha. Hibakusha still travel the world today, with a message of peace and disarmament.

Present Dangers

“I know not with what weapons WW3 will be fought, but WW4 will be fought with sticks and stones”  (Albert Einstein)

Although the Cold War has ended, the risk of nuclear war has not. In fact some experts think the risks are higher today, because more countries have nukes. A mishap, miscalculation or madness could one day be the trigger.

Mishaps

The US and Russia have thousands of nukes facing each other on hair-trigger alert. Every second we face the unseen threat of nuclear war. Here are 10 times we came too close for comfort.

Miscalculation

A conflict between any nuclear-armed state could quickly spiral out of control. Former US Defence Secretary William Perry describes one such scenario.

Madness

Could terrorists get hold of a nuclear bomb? Some experts think it’s not only possible, but probable. Former US Defence Secretary William Perry describes his greatest fear.

Future

“The best way to predict your future is to create it”  (Abraham Lincoln)

No-one has a crystal ball. But it is worth thinking about worst/best case scenarios. Why? To work out how to avoid the one and achieve the other.

War?

A nuclear war anywhere in the world would affect everyone in the world. The smoke and dust released into the air would block out sunlight. Crops would fail, and many people would starve. Just 100 nukes are enough to do this (the world has 14,000).

Peace?

On 7 July 2017 the United Nations agreed a treaty to ban nukes. But none of the nine countries with nukes signed. Many people still think this treaty is the best chance for a world without nukes.

Action

These three simple steps will make a difference:

Get Organised – join CND, or subscribe to their mailing list.

Get Talking – invite a free CND speaker to your group.

Get Heard – write a letter to your newspaper or MP.

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