On Cli­mate Change

The Economic Times - - Breaking Ideas Weak Fdi Flows -

Nine na­tions have nu­clear weapons; only the US has used one, back in 1945.… The US and its only nu­clear ri­val have been re­duc­ing their ar­se­nals since the Cold War ended.… In 2009, in a speech in Prague, Barack Obama pledged “Amer­ica’s com­mit­ment to seek the peace and se­cu­rity of a world with­out nu­clear weapons”. That speech helped earn him the No­bel Peace Prize.

The reality did not match the rhetoric.… In1981, when Jimmy Carter de­liv­ered his farewell ad­dress, part of it was writ­ten by Carl Sa­gan. “Nu­clear weapons are an ex­pres­sion of one side of our hu­man char­ac­ter,” Carter said, in the words of Sa­gan. “But there’s an­other side. The same rocket tech that de­liv­ers nu­cle­ar­war­head­shasal­so­taken us peace­fully into space. From that per­spec­tive, we see our Earth as it re­ally is — a small and frag­ile and beau­ti­ful blue globe, the only home we have.” An astronomer, Sa­gan be­gan his ca­reer work­ing on a clas­si­fied nu­clear-weapons project. Since the World War 2, the mil­i­tary has funded the pre­pon­der­ance of re­search in the field of physics, and…a close sec­ond was its fund­ing of the earth sci­ences.

In­deed, the term ‘en­vi­ron­men­tal sci­ence’ was coined in the 1950s by mil­i­tary sci­en­tists; civil­ian sci­en­tists only used it a decade later. Be­gin­ning on the day black rain fell on Hiroshima, nu­clear weapons shaped en­vi­ron­men­tal sci­ence.

From “The Atomic Ori­gins of Cli­mate Sci­ence”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.