Enough is enough: The U.S. doesn’t need more nuclear weapons

By David Horowitz

 

It is very hard to understand why any sane and knowledgeable American would support expansion of our weapon nuclear arsenal when even a regional nuclear skirmish involving 100 warheads would likely devastate all life on Earth.

 

Yet President-elect Donald Trump stated his support for nuclear expansion on Dec. 22 on Twitter: “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”

 

He followed up his statement with Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe program.“Let it be an arms race,” he told her. “We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”

 

It would be absurd to begin a nuclear race, because nuclear weapons are pointless for anyone who cares about human life or understands their environmental consequences.

 

Nuclear weapons are unholy disasters waiting to happen, and only useful as threats which do not distinguish between an infant and a terrorist.

 

A study published by the science journal Earth’s Future in 2014 found that if even 100 of the smallest (15-kiloton) nuclear bombs were detonated, firestorms would blow five megatons of black soot 80 kilometers high.

 

The soot would block the sun, absorb its heat and destroy 20 to 25 percent of Earth’s ozone layer. This blacking out of sunlight would then reduce global surface temperatures to their lowest level in 1000 years.

 

Arctic and Antarctic ice would increase by up to 25 and 75 percent, respectively. Such an expansion of ice at the earth’s surface would cool Earth further by reflecting a larger amount of sunlight back into space.

 

Increased cooling and ultraviolet radiation would threaten food supplies across the globe, possibly triggering a nuclear famine.

 

Yet, the U.S. still has more than 5700 nuclear warheads today, according to the Federation of American Scientists. That being the case, the Earth’s Future study takes into account only 1.8 percent of the U.S.’s nuclear capabilities—without factoring in how much more powerful nuclear bombs have become.

 

The U.S. has been making hydrogen bombs since 1952, which are sometimes more than a thousand times as powerful as “Little Boy”—the 15-kiloton bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

 

A single 300-kiloton W-87 warhead dropped on San Francisco’s epicenter would kill an estimated 200,000 people and leave 332,000 others with third degree burns, according to a digital map designed by nuclear historian Alex Wellerstein.

 

I will be the last to use nuclear weapons,” Trump told NBC’s Today program last year when discussing his plans for dealing with the Islamic State terrorist group. “I will not be a happy trigger like some people might be. I will be the last. But I will never, ever rule it out.”

 

My own feeling is that only someone with the moral standing of a mass terrorist would consider using nuclear weapons as political leverage.

 

The president of the most powerful nation on the planet should be the last person to view them as a option.

 

Furthermore, it makes no sense to spend $20 billion a year funding an enormous nuclear arsenal when all the nuclear warheads any nation would ever need already exist.

 

Luckily, the world has made some progress in the anti-nuclear movement. In terms of numbers, there are less than one-fifth of the 63,000 nuclear weapons stockpiled during the Cold War.  
It would be a crying shame if our country should allow one woefully misguided human being to bring anti-nuclear progress—of our country and the world—back to square one.

The Doomsday Clock was created by scientists to demonstrate how close scientists believe Earth is to its destruction, with midnight symbolizing annihilation. Original photo of Donald Trump by Nathan Congleton. Changes were made. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode (David Horowitz / The Guardsman)
The Doomsday Clock was created by scientists to demonstrate how close scientists believe Earth is to its destruction, with midnight symbolizing annihilation. Original photo of Donald Trump by Nathan Congleton. Changes were made. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode (David Horowitz / The Guardsman)

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