Vail Daily letter: Real and present danger |

Vail Daily letter: Real and present danger

This week’s TEDx Vail event themed “Naturally, Global. Grateful! Sustainable … Xtreme” had a presentation by a leading authority on global sustainability when Dr. Ira Helfand, co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, presented at the event.

With the news of North Korea testing another nuclear weapon, its leadership continues the fallacy of nuclear deterrence promoted by the nuclear powers of the world. This action by North Korea must be condemned just as the continued possession of nuclear weapons by all of the nuclear states. It is against the growing international consensus for a universal treaty banning all nuclear weapons and making their possession illegal just as chemical and biological weapons have been prohibited. The continued existence of nuclear weapons is not sustainable.

The latest climate science corroborated by Boulder’s National Center for Atmospheric Research confirms that even a small regional limited nuclear war using only one-half of 1 percent of the global nuclear arsenals has the potential to cause the deaths of more than 2 billion people from the ensuing climate change following such a war.

This is a real and present danger and is not sustainable. Continuing the status quo with existing arsenals drives the arms race and promotes nations like North Korea to develop their own capabilities.

Time is not on our side. The chance of accidental or intentional nuclear war is placed by probability theorists at 1 percent per year or more. A child born today is not likely to reach their 30th birthday without some nuclear event occurring in their world. Is this the world we want for our children and grandchildren?

We cannot rely on the hope that someone else will take care of this or the notion that I cannot make a difference. In our democracy each of us has a duty and responsibility to be informed and to take action.

Robert Dodge

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