The world lived for half a century with the constant specter of nuclear war and its potentially devastating consequences. The end of the Cold War took the potency out of this Armageddon scenario, yet the existential dangers have only multiplied.
Month: November 2012
This week the Associated Press reported that unnamed officials "from a country critical of Iran's nuclear program" leaked an illustration to demonstrate that "Iranian scientists have run computer simulations for a nuclear weapon that would produce more than triple the explosive force of the World War II bomb that destroyed Hiroshima." The article stated that these officials provided the undated diagram "to bolster their arguments that Iran's nuclear program must be halted."
In a democracy, there is no greater responsibility than voting for our government representatives. Whether choosing a state legislator, mayor, congressional representative, or president, selecting among candidates and sending them off to formulate and enact laws on our behalf is the single most important duty of a citizen. And many of us Americans exercised that right in last Tuesday’s national elections. Many also canvassed communities, talked to neighbors, called strangers, got out the vote, and volunteered at polls on Election Day.
Atomic Comics: Cartoonists Confront the Nuclear World By Ferenc Morton Szasz University of Nevada Press$34.95
In the Sherlock Holmes story, Silver Blaze, the key to solving a mystery turns out to be identifying what did not happen (and, as so often with things that do not happen, had therefore been ignored).
Gregory (Scotland Yard detective): “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?” Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.” Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.” Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”
“The Russian Government informs you of its intention to terminate the provisional application of the agreement on the International Science and Technology Center and withdraw from the associated protocol.” So read a diplomatic note to the United States, the European Union, Japan, and other interested parties in July 2011.
In August, as suspicions about the scope of Syria’s chemical weapons program came to light, a Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman acknowledged his country’s willingness to use its horrific chemical weapons against any would-be foreign invaders.
The possibility of radioactive material falling into the hands of criminal organizations or terrorists remains a real and persistent security threat. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports that, since 1993, there have been more than 2,000 confirmed incidents of lost regulatory control over potentially dangerous material, including nearly 150 incidents last year.