Lobby MPs to avert ‘boom’

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - Ger­ard Daech­sel, Alexan­dria

The Ed­i­tor, Sci­en­tists moved the minute hand on the Dooms­day Clock half a minute closer to mid­night on Jan­uary 25. It’s now only two min­utes to mid­night. The last time it was this close to mid­night was in 1953 after the Amer­i­cans and then the Soviets six months later tested their first hy­dro­gen bombs.

The sci­en­tists, mem­bers of the sci­ence and se­cu­rity board of the Bul­letin of the Atomic Sci­en­tists who over­see the clock stated that, “In 2017, world lead­ers failed to re­spond ef­fec­tively to the loom­ing threats of nu­clear war and cli­mate change, mak­ing the world se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion more dan­ger­ous than it was a year ago and as dan­ger­ous as it has been since World War II.”

The sci­en­tists cited nu­mer­ous risks; North Korea’s nu­clear pro­gram; dis­cord be­tween Rus­sia and the U.S.A.; ten­sions in the South China Sea; the buildup of the nu­clear ar­se­nals of Pak­istan and In­dia; un­cer­tainty over the Iran nu­clear deal; the un­abated pro­duc­tion of green­house gases warm­ing the planet; the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s plans to re­make and ex­pand its nu­clear arse­nal.

“In­ter­na­tional diplo­macy has been re­duced to name-call­ing ow­ing it a sur­real sense of un­re­al­ity that makes the world se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion ever more threat­en­ing,” the sci­en­tists said.

A fi­nal draft of a Nu­clear Pol­icy Re­view by the U. S. A. ad­min­is­tra­tion was leaked to The Huff­in­g­ton Post ( HP) re­ports El­iz­a­beth Ren­zetti in The Globe and Mail Jan. 27. “What the pos­ture re­view makes clear... is that the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion wants to pro­duce a con­sid­er­able num­ber of new nukes,” the HP says.

On the same day that the sci­en­tists moved the minute hand ahead, Ge­orge Shultz, Ron­ald Rea­gan’s sec­re­tary of state was tes­ti­fy­ing be­fore the U.S. Se­nate armed ser­vices com­mit­tee. “I fear peo­ple have lost that sense of dread and now we see ev­ery­thing go­ing in the other direc­tion,” he said.

When sev­eral weeks ago the mil­lion peo­ple on Hawaii had a false warn­ing for 28 min­utes that mis­siles were on their way, peo­ple stuffed their chil­dren into sew­ers and sent good­bye mes­sages, E. Ren­zetti wrote in The Globe and Mail.

“If nu­clear mis­siles were on the way, would you want to be warned?” asked the Ot­tawa Sun in their daily on­line poll on Jan. 21. Sev­enty per cent of those who an­swered said, “Yes.”

“Get en­gaged, get in­volved and help cre­ate the fu­ture. The time is now,” the Dooms­day Clock sci­en­tist said.

Who­ever wants to get in­volved in Glen­garry could ask the SDG li­brary to lend them “The Dooms­day Ma­chine,” by Daniel Ells­berg, which came out on Dec. 5.

The Alexan­dria branch said on Jan. 17 that it would try and get a copy.

Schools should also or­der copies or would they rather just stuff their stu­dents into sew­ers?

Now that their MPs have re­turned to Par­lia­ment Jan. 29, after their long Christ­mas break, Glen­gar­ri­ans should ask them to get our gov­ern­ment to sign the United Na­tions Treaty to Pro­hibit Nu­clear Weapons and then have Par­lia­ment rat­ify it.

Don’t let the minute hand move any more sec­onds fur­ther to­ward the mid­night “boom.”

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