by Samuel Duru on 3rd June, 2012 at 5:39 PM CEST
“Every thinking person fears nuclear war, and every technological state plans for it. Everyone knows it is madness, and every nation has an excuse.” – Carl Sagan, Astronomer
On August 6, 1945, an American warplane dropped an atom bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, and in an instant took an immense price in human lives and property. This was the first atom bomb to be used in warfare. The explosion completely devastated 13 square kilometers of the city, which had 343,000 inhabitants. Over two thirds of city’s structures were destroyed, leaving at least 70,000 dead and 69,000 injured. Three days later, a second atom bomb was dropped, this time on Nagasaki; 39,000 people were killed and 25,000 injured. About half the city’s structures were annihilated. Never before in the history of mankind had such a powerful weapon been used. The world had changed. It had entered the nuclear age. Within a few years, the United States, the former Soviet Union, Great Britain, France, and China developed the much more destructive hydrogen bomb.
The Cold War––the rivalry between communist and non-communist nations––spurred on the development of superior nuclear weapons and delivery systems. Fear gripped the world as ICBMs (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles) were developed––that could make a nuclear strike at targets in countries more than 5,600 kilometers away in minutes rather than hours. Submarines were equipped with enough nuclear missiles to blast 192 separate targets. Nuclear arsenal stockpiles were once estimated to be up to 50,000 warheads! During the Cold War, mankind stood on the brink of what some people called a nuclear Armageddon––a war with no winners.
“Nuclear conflict remains a very real and very terrifying possibility at the beginning of the 21st century.” Said the erstwhile UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Lamentably, a nuclear disaster––far worse than what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki––is still a threat in our day.
Unquestionably, the two nuclear superpowers and the new members of the nuclear club, still hold ample nuclear weaponry in their arsenals to destroy the entire world population several times over! Maintaining such a large number of dangerous weapons invites yet another threat.
Unequivocally, nuclear war portends a grave danger to human life and world peace.
How can the youth importune World Leaders to grapple with the fact that proliferation of nuclear weapons threatens human life and global peace?
Samuel Duru and Action Team #8