I was born in 1940 when the World War II conflict was in full swing. On the night of my birth, Bradford, a town just 6 miles away from our small town, suffered its heaviest bombing raid allowing me to claim that I came into the world with a bang! The Nuclear Age started just five years later with the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that led to 200000 deaths. Since then the power of nuclear weapons has vastly increased and these weapons have proliferated despite international attempts to limit them such as the signed in 1968. The United States, the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom signed the treaty, which limits the spread of military nuclear technology by the recognised nuclear-weapon states – U.S., U.S.S.R., U.K., France and China – to non-nuclear nations wishing to build or acquire atomic weapons.
Israel, Pakistan, India and North Korea are now nuclear military powers and, although the threat to Spaceship Earth of nuclear annihilation has lost first place in the public debate to threats such as climate change, sea level rise, terrorism and a new Cold War, the nuclear threat remains ever-present as this link ‘Ten worst acts of the nuclear age’ reminds us: Even the 23 June 2016 Brexit vote and the disintegration it may produce would pale to insignificance if this particular nuclear genie were, again, to be released from the proverbial bottle.
NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION North Korea is busy testing nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them as this BBC article from 09.07.2016 tells us. This article from The Conversation (09.12.16) reviews the state of the Nuclear Age, central to the Anthropocene Era, in which there are 9 nations with nuclear weapons. The nuclear-industrial complex – economic motives for arms proliferation; H-bomb testing – 57 megaton Tsar Bomba
COLLAPSE OF GLOBAL SYSTEMS – This article by Richard Heinberg in August 2016 – “So you can’t handle the truth” – reflects on current events in the US. This broadcast discusses the possible end of civilisation as we know it and how imminent this might be.
THREAT OF WARS – “Only 10 Countries in the World are not Currently at War” outlines the huge cost of human conflict: 3.3 percent of the globe’s total economic activity, $13.6 trillion in purchasing power parity, concerned violent conflict. That’s the equivalent of “$1,876 for every person in the world.” In December 2016 John Pilger film “The Coming War on China” – Like the renewal of post-Soviet Russia, the rise of China as an economic power is declared an ‘existential threat’ to the divine right of the United States to rule and dominate human affairs.