Note: This article is adapted from a speech I delivered on October 27, 2017 in Corinthos, Greece, at a conference commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Russian revolution.
The year 2017 is not only the 100th anniversary of the Russian revolution. It is also the 70th anniversary of the “Doomsday Clock”, which was established by the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
For the last two years, the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock stayed set at three minutes before the hour, the closest it had been to midnight since the early 1980s. In 2017, however, the Science and Security Board finds the danger to be even greater, the need for action more urgent. The Doomsday Clock is now at two and a half minutes to midnight.
According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, “the Clock is ticking, global danger looms. Wise public officials should act immediately, guiding humanity away from the brink. If they do not, wise citizens must step forward and lead the way.”
Today, the United States, Russia and the other nuclear powers possess enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world many times over. The U.S. alone possesses a staggering 6,800 nuclear warheads. Now, in blatant violation of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the United States has embarked on a $1 trillion ‘modernization’ program. This program began not under Donald Trump, but under Barack Obama, who began his presidency with a lofty vow to rid the world of the existential nuclear threat.
Experts believe that America’s so-called nuclear weapons ‘modernization’ program will increase the temptation to employ them in a first strike, and will precipitate a new nuclear arms race.
In July of this year, sensing that the U.S. government is taking us down a disastrous path, 122 states negotiated a treaty calling for a complete ban on these monstrous weapons of mass destruction. To its great shame, my country, Canada, which does not possess nuclear weapons and has no plan to develop them, boycotted the negotiations over a nuclear weapons ban. That is precisely what the Trump administration wanted Canada to do, and Canada obliged. Continue Reading ›