This is World Watch.
I'm David T. Ives with the Albert Schweitzer Institute at Quinnipiac University.
Fifty years ago at the height of the cold war, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Albert Schweitzer broadcast worldwide via radio his Declaration of Conscience that called for an end to nuclear testing and for the destruction of nuclear weapons.
Up to this point, there had been a strong movement to paint a nuclear war as winnable. For example, school children were taught to duck under their desks if an atomic attack occurred, as if that would help them survive a direct hit with an atomic bomb.
Schweitzer challenged that notion!
Schweitzer explained in detail what the effects of an atomic explosion were. He explained that the residue of an atomic explosion lasted for years in the environment; that people and animals downwind from an explosion also could get sick and die.
His broadcast was not a sound bite. He assumed that his audience was intelligent and that if they understood how bad the use of nuclear weapons would be, widespread opposition to the use of nuclear weapons would grow. This in fact happened after his radio broadcasts!
The world seems to have forgotten this lesson.
Instead, for many nations, possession of nuclear weapons has become a status symbol or a false security blanket and the world has become more dangerous.
The nuclear non-proliferation treaty has been eviscerated, in large part due to the lack of support from the current U.S. administration. Indeed, the use of battlefield nuclear weapons is actually being contemplated.
A member of the British Parliament in the 1950's said that quote He who uses atomic weapons becomes subject to the fate of a bee, namely, when it stings it will perish inevitably for having made use of its sting. He who uses atomic weapons to defend freedom would become subject to a similar fate Unquote.
These words are still true today.
This is David T. Ives with the Albert Schweitzer Institute at Quinnipiac University with World Watch.