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Monday, June 11, 2012

Once Upon a Time Can Be Now: Rescuing Planet Earth and Restoring Paradise | David Krieger, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

I can't begin to summarize the inspired, informative and thought-provoking words in this essay by David Krieger, president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. I encourage you to read it.

But I'll highlight a few quotations Krieger included and some of his key comments [emphasis added]. He writes:
In describing our time, the Argentine poet Jorge Luis Borges, writes, “The planet had been parceled out among various countries, each one provided with loyalties, cherished memories, with a past undoubtedly heroic, with rights, with wrongs, with a particular mythology, with bronze forefathers, with anniversaries, with demagogues and symbols. This arbitrary division was favorable for wars.” Our time has been favorable for wars, but the development of our technologies of warfare and the resources we have devoted to war and its preparations have made wars unfavorable for us.
Later, Krieger writes:
The principal points that I want to make are these: first, we are destroying our paradise by our own actions; second, nuclear weapons are incompatible with a sustainable future; and third, the future is in our collective hands. We must abolish nuclear weapons before they abolish us. We must also abolish war as a means of settling our conflicts. By doing so, we would release vast amounts of capital and human creativity.
After describing the threat of the nuclear arsenals held by the United States and Russia, Krieger writes:
The US and Russian presidents would have only a few minutes, perhaps 12 minutes at the most, to evaluate a warning of attack and decide whether or not to launch their own missiles and initiate World War III. This is an intolerable situation. President Mikhail Gorbachev recognized this when he said, “It is my firm belief that the infinite and uncontrollable fury of nuclear weapons should never be held in the hands of any mere mortal ever again, for any reason.” This is sound advice. We mortals, all of us, are not gods, and none of us should be trusted with nuclear weapons when the future of our planet, our species and other forms of life are in our hands. All of us are threatened by the power of our nuclear arsenals and the all-too-real possibilities of nuclear proliferation, nuclear war and nuclear famine.
As Krieger moves toward his conclusion, he writes:
In 1955, a group of scientists, led by Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein, issued the Russell-Einstein Manifesto, which stated, “There lies before us, if we choose, continued progress in happiness, knowledge, and wisdom. Shall we, instead, choose death, because we cannot forget our quarrels? We appeal as human beings to human beings: Remember your humanity, and forget the rest. If you can do so, the way lies open to a new Paradise; if you cannot, there lies before you the risk of universal death.”
And Krieger concludes:
It is up to us to choose. Let us choose peace and hope and a sustainable future. May we show by our actions that we take seriously our roles as trustees of the Earth for our children and their children and all children of the future – that they may enjoy a peaceful and harmonious life on our planetary home.

If you're interested, check out the website for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.  

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