Overcoming rain and interstate blockages, two teenagers' testimony supplemented that of 10 from WNC at the Department of Energy's Nov. 17 hearing in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The 12 opposed our government's proposed new $3.5 billion H-bomb factory. Despite Obama's avowal to phase out nuclear weapons, our militarists endorse a sustained global arms race for another century.
Unless we on Main Street stop the military-industrial complex, it will, through the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration, build the new bomb plant at Y12 in Oak Ridge, an act likely to provoke unprecedented global nuclear-weapons proliferation.
Working to prevent extreme environmental degradation for which there is no cure, Western North Carolina Physicians for Social Responsibility is a medical and public-health voice working to prevent the greatest environmental threats to human existence, specifically the use or spread of nuclear weapons, and working to slow, stop and reverse global warming and the toxic degradation of the environment.
On April 5 in Prague, President Obama told the world that the United States was prepared to move towards a world free of nuclear weapons. The president offered several steps, including ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
In addition, the president is negotiating with Russia for new nuclear-weapons reductions, and the U.S. is preparing a new Nuclear Posture Review.
The United States is at the brink of either, 1) promoting nuclear proliferation by continuing the present status quo course that we have been pursuing for 60 years, or 2) demonstrating our resolve to seize the opportunities to renew and strengthen commitments to treaties to which we have agreed, but with which we have not been in compliance. Over the next few months, our executive and legislative branches will have perhaps one last opportunity to reduce the risks of nuclear disaster by carrying through on arms-reduction negotiations with Russia and other nations and on good-faith negotiations to solidify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
It would be globally dangerous for the United States to construct the proposed facility, which would produce secondaries and other nuclear-weapons components that would reverse these opportunities and signal to the rest of the world that we guarantee our weapons will be capable of inhumanely killing millions of people, mostly innocent civilians, for the next 100 years. Such would be a colossal environmental disaster, catastrophically affecting the health and lives of all earth's inhabitants.
For more information: www.stopthebombs.org. You may challenge continued production of nuclear weapons in Oak Ridge by responding to the Draft Y12 Site Wide Environmental Impact Statement by sending comments to: LY12sweis.firstname.lastname@example.org before Jan. 29, 2010.
— Lewis E. Patrie, Chair, WNC Physicians for Social Responsibility