An Invitation to Environmental Groups to Join in Peace and Planet Events

Kim Stoner, Board of Directors, Promoting Enduring Peace

Promoting Enduring Peace would like environmental groups to join us in mobilizing a broad coalition in support of nuclear disarmament this April in New York City.

Specifically, we invite you to participate in the Peace and Planet International Conference for a Nuclear-Free, Peaceful, Just, and Sustainable World on April 24 and 25, and the rally and march on April 26. When representatives of the nations of the world gather at the United Nations for the 5-year Review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, we want to deliver the message to these representatives that the peoples of the world want good faith negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons, as required by the Treaty since it entered into force in 1970.

Despite the end of the Cold War and President Obama’s pledge in 2009 to seek a “nuclear-free world,” there are about 17,000 nuclear weapons in existence worldwide, including over 7,000 in the US and 8,000 in Russia. According to a recent federal report on modernization of the US nuclear arsenal, over $1 trillion will be spent to upgrade US nuclear weapons over the next 30 years.

Proliferation of nuclear weapons also increases the likelihood of their use in regional conflicts, such as between India and Pakistan. This would, of course, result in tremendous human mortality and suffering and regional environ-mental effects from the blasts, the pressure waves, direct radiation and radioactive fallout. In addition, even a relatively small regional nuclear war (using 50 weapons on each side) would have devastating global environmental effects by sending vast amounts of smoke and soot into the atmosphere resulting in a nuclear winter lasting for a decade or more.

The continuing threat of nuclear weapons has, for many of us, been present our entire lives. As a result, it requires a big psychological step for us to realize that the nuclear war culture, like the reliance on fossil fuels, is an aspect of our civilization that can and must change.

Please join us in organizing for the Peace and Planet events. For the specific demands of the organizers, please go to www.PeaceandPlanet.org.

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