The following post was written by Dr. Alan Robock, a Distinguished Professor of Climate Science at Rutgers University.
France’s 300 nuclear weapons were useless to protect them from the horrendous suicide bomb attacks in Paris on Nov. 13, 2016. And if France ever uses those weapons to attack another country’s cities and industrial areas, France itself will become a suicide bomber. Mutually assured destruction gave way to self-assured destructionyears ago when we discovered that, even if a country launches a successful nuclear strike against their enemy, the resulting nuclear winter could kill billions more around the world, including the attacking country’s own citizens. The climate effects of the smoke generated from fires from those attacks would last for more than a decade, plunging our planet into such cold temperatures that agricultural production would be halted or severely reduced, producing famine in France and the rest of the world.
The chance of the use of nuclear weapons by mistake, in a panic after an international incident, by a computer hacker, or by a rogue leader of a nuclear nation can only be removed by the removal of the weapons themselves.
As the important climate negotiations at the 21st Conference of the Parties in Paris in December 2015 continue, we have to keep in mind that the greatest threat to our planet from human actions is not global warming, as important as this threat is, but from the accidental or intentional use of nuclear weapons. We need to ban nuclear weapons now, so we have the luxury of addressing the global warming problem.
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