Tuesday, 21 September 2010

'Now I Am Become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds'

So said Robert Oppenheimer, when he successfully detonated the first nuclear weapon.

I'm a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament because using or threatening to use weapons designed to kill civilians and poison the land for generations to come are immoral.

Have a look at this slideshow - a collection of weapons test photographs. They're awe-inspiring, artistic, often beautiful, but also a reminder that as a civilisation, we're far happier putting our money and expertise into destruction than creation.

Our government is planning to spend £20bn on a new generation of (illegal) nuclear weapons in the midst of a massive economic crash, because apparently the ones we have won't kill enough millions of innocent people. Currently, Britain rents nuclear warheads from the US (so much for the constant refrain of 'independent nuclear deterrent' - not independent and not a deterrent):
Each Trident submarine carries up to 48 nuclear warheads, each of which can be sent to a different target. Each warhead has an explosive power of up to 100 kilotons, the equivalent of 100,000 tons of conventional high explosive. This is 8 times the power of the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, killing an estimated 140,000 people.  

Of all the government expenditure to be reviewed, the nuclear weapons programme is explicitly protected.

Even if we could afford it, it shouldn't exist. It's time countries earned respect for treating each other fairly and openly, not because some of them retain the ability to destroy the rest in minutes.

1 comment:

Lee HW said...

I have goosebumps each time I watch this video. Dr Oppenheimer's moral injury is worn on his face like a monk's hairshirt.