CAN CHICO ACT TO RESIST NUCLEAR WEAPONS?

 

Our rural city of Chico now (barely) supports a population of over 100,000.  Like so many cities, Chico is struggling with insufficient affordable housing which has led to a sizeable homeless problem, with the constant threat of disastrous wildfires, and for the last six months with no end in sight, a pandemic which has cost the lives of millions throughout the world.  So, what else could go wrong?

 

Something has been wrong for over 50 years: it continues to wend a dangerous path through history, ever since the development and use of the atomic bomb during the 1930’s and 40’s.  Since that murderous first use, in 1945, on 300,000 Japanese civilians and military, visitors, animal and plant life in the region, “weapons of mass destruction” have only developed toward more numerous and more sophisticated nuclear weapons.  It is demonstrably wrong to threaten or even perceive mass destruction as an answer to any conflict or desire for power among nations.

 

Today, nine nations possess nuclear weapons – 14,000 of them.  Nine nations with enough wealth and political structure to join the deadly bandwagon:  United States and Russia (combined 95%), United Kingdom, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, North Korea.

 

According to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons:  www.icanw.org :

  • Over 1000 accidents involving nuclear weapons could have led to nuclear detonation, but (luckily) did not.
  • At least 50 nuclear weapons have sunk with ships or submarines, crashed with airplanes, or simply rolled off ships.  They are still there undetonated….
  • 52 years ago, the US signed and ratified a treaty that said it would negotiate the elimination of its nuclear weapons “at an early date.” That was in the year: 1968.
  • Nuclear mushroom clouds, including from testing, send large quantities of radioactive fallout into the upper atmosphere, and it can come down anywhere on earth.
  • The U.S. alone has earmarked $1.7 TRILLION (adjusted for inflation) just for upgrades over the next 30 years, in addition to the $30-40 billion per year already being spent. So nuclear weapons cost the U.S. as much per year as: about $90-$100 billion per year.
  • The only reason these indiscriminate, inhumane weapons of mass destruction exist is that they make a large amount of money for a small number of people.  All the rest is misinformation, propaganda, fear-mongering, and bribery of politiciansThey do not bring peace, only fear and mistrust among nations.

 

They can wipe out all of human civilization.

 

The frightening momentum of disasters relating to climate change – now crisis – isn’t enough to move us to meaningful reparation? Apparently not.

 

Here is an article from Oct 2019:

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/10/07/were-more-at-risk-of-nuclear-war-with-russia-than-we-think-229436

 

You can even Google Wikipedia on Nuclear War Dangers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_holocaust#Likelihood_of_nuclear_war

 

There are, however, lots of voices “crying out in the wilderness” (ironic, eh?).  Among these is the ICAN Cities Appeal. Some of us in Chico have been pushing this to the City Council since the Treaty on the Ban on Nuclear Weapons was signed at the UN in 2017.  We simply want the city of Chico to sign a short statement affirming the ban, and encouraging (!) the US government to sign on to it.  50 signatory nations are needed to put this treaty in force; there are so far 26 who have signed.

 

In 1983, the City of Chico officially recognized the threat of nuclear armaments when it declared itself a nuclear-free zone.  It is fitting now that our city of Chico add its voice nationally and globally to the hundreds of cities, even the California State Legislature, opposing nuclear weapons and warfare.  We can start by signing on to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons’ Cities Appeal.

 

Write to your City Council.  Tell them you want this.  They already know about it. This one effort is very tiny in the great scheme of things, but it is indelibly there.

 

This is how it is done:

The mayor or administrator of the local government should send an email to info@icanw.org  indicating that the city/town has agreed to endorse the ICAN Cities Appeal. This appeal is for local governments of cities/towns in nations that have not yet ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Text of the Appeal:

“Our city/town is deeply concerned about the grave threat that nuclear weapons pose to communities throughout the world. We firmly believe that our residents have the right to live in a world free from this threat. Any use of nuclear weapons, whether deliberate or accidental, would have catastrophic, far-reaching and long-lasting consequences for people and the environment. Therefore, we support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and call on our government(s) join it.”