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PEOPLE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT

THURS 12 MAY 2022

PEOPLE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT

http://www.pndnsw.org.au

HUMAN SURVIVAL PROJECT

END OF THE WORLD CLOSER NOW THAN EVER IN HISTORY?

NOT AN ELECTION ISSUE!

AUSTRALIA NEEDS AN ONGOING PUBLIC DEBATE ON NUCLEAR RISK REDUCTION POLICY.

A global thermonuclear war with the potential to end civilisation and make human survival itself problematic, is considered by those with expertise in the area of strategic stability and nuclear weapons policy to be closer to taking place right now than at any time in history including during the tensest parts of the cold war, with the possible exception of the very height of the cuban missile crisis (where Kennedy guesstimated the chances of a global nuclear exchange at between one on three and 50/50), and short periods on Sept 26 1983 and November of the same year. With the Doomsday clock officially at 100 seconds to ‘midnight’, and with continual threats from Putin and other Russian figures to use tactical nuclear weapons on Ukraine, the use of nuclear weapons – with the escalatory potential to progress to global strategic nuclear war – has never before been so brazenly and unashamedly spoken of.

With the main decision-maker in this matter, President Putin, in bad health and possibly dying, and with his reportedly suicidal moods at times, the mere fact that the use of nuclear weapons would result in his own likely demise cannot be counted on to deter him.

Whether or not the world experiences global thermonuclear war is largely up to decisions that will be taken by a single individual whose rationality and desire for self preservation cannot be taken for granted.

In the (hopefully still unlikely, but we really do not and cannot know) event that things do progress from use of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine to use of tactical nukes against NATO, to use of strategic nuclear weapons, Australia will be a high priority target.

‘Joint installations’ at Pine Gap, and Northwest cape, are critical parts of the US nuclear command and control network. They are not merely just any old target – they are right at the top of the targeting priority list of Russia, China, and the DPRK.

Australian cities are hopefully further down the priority list, but those with naval bases (Sydney, Perth, Darwin) would be targeted for just that. A standard Topol M Russian warhead (800Kt) would produce 3rd degree burns out to Gladesville and damage out to Parramatta if exploded over the CBD.

The ALP has committed (subject to various caveats) to sign on to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) or Ban Treaty. However, the TPNW will not produce the fruit of global nuclear disarmament for years and the urgent need is for action that will diminish nuclear risks in the immediate term.

ICAN is to be congratulated for its work on the TPNW, both within Australia and internationally. However there is also a need for work on immediate term nuclear risk reduction.

One immediate term measure that can be taken is the adoption of policies and postures of No First Use. In theory if all countries were to adopt and stick by such policies, nuclear war would become impossible because no one would fire first.

Other risk reduction policies include lowering of nuclear weapons alert status, and improved or merely resumed, military to military communications.

A list of possible risk reduction measures can be found at:

https://www.abolition2000.org/en/working-groups/nuclear-risk-reduction/

As things currently stand, we can be thankful if we even make it as far as election day. The risk that a possibly dying and possibly suicidal Putin decides to hit the button is just too great.

The cost of living, housing, interest rates, aged care and health care are all important issues – as long as our medium term survival is not in question.

But our immediate term survival (along with that of the rest of the planet) most emphatically IS in question.

40 years ago, a situation like this would have resulted (and did result in) protests with hundreds of thousands of people.

At the very least, nuclear weapons policy, and how it affects Australia, should be both prominent election issues, and ongoing issues of public discussion.

Yet they are nowhere to be seen.

(If I am wrong I would be glad to be wrong. But thus far I have not seen nukes mentioned at all in the upcoming election).

John Hallam

Nuclear Disarmament Campaigner

People for Nuclear Disarmament

Co-Convenor,

Abolition 2000 Working Group on Nuclear Risk Reduction

johnhallam2001@yahoo.com.au

jhjohnhallam@gmail.com

johnh@pnnd.org

0411-854-612

[SCI] Online International Volunteering Fair #2

After the success of the first edition in December, we are so happy to invite you to the second edition of our Online International Volunteering Fair:

  • 📆 9 May 2022 
  • 📍 Online on Gathertown – free entrance!
  • 🔎 Open all day, and with time allocated to meet with organisations at 10:00-11:00 CEST and 16:00-17:00 CEST

JOIN THE FAIR

The Online International Volunteering Fair is a chance for young people and anyone interested in volunteering to get real-time information about the hundreds of opportunities that are available. Sometimes it is difficult to choose among so many different projects, so we are here to help!

You can meet us online, in Gathertown, for a fun and interactive experience, on 9 May – Europe Day.

Anyone can access the fair all day (CEST times), for free, and explore our different rooms:

  • The hallway, with booths from different organisations from all over the world and information about their projects
  • The Fly-in Movie Room, with movies about volunteering and SCI projects
  • The Chronicles’ room, to read testimonies from our volunteers
  • The Info Room, to know more about SCI and volunteering in general, including short-term, long-term and European programmes

At 10:00 to 11:00 CEST, and at 16:00 to 17:00 CEST, participants can meet with our organisations in person: volunteers, activists, camp coordinators, staff members or organisers will be available to answer all your questions about volunteering opportunities, what to expect from their projects, the application process, the impact of your volunteering, and more.

You will be able to meet people from SCI Switzerland, SCI Madrid, SCI Catalunya, KVT Finland, PVN Albania, EST Yes, INEX Slovakia, SCI Slovenia, the International Secretariat, and IVS-GB, who will welcome participants in personalised spaces and activities to discover their work and their workcamps.

This event is part of the European Year of Youth activities and it’s an opportunity for all European and non-European young people to discover and choose among more than 200 volunteering projects where they can learn new skills and ideas, while being engaged in activities that benefit local communities and promote positive peace around the world.

Don’t miss your chance to make a difference this year: come to the fair, get your questions answered, and launch your volunteering journey!

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SCI 2020 Report

SCI has just released the 2020 SCI annual Report.

https://sci.ngo/about-us/who-we-are/annual-report/