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Sun Apr 29, 2012, 08:13 AM

Nuclear Famine: Global Impacts of Limited Nuclear War on Agriculture, Food Supplies, and Nutrition

Mikhail Gorbachev: "I am convinced that nuclear weapons must be abolished ... this new study underscores in stunning and disturbing detail why this is the case"


Prevent Nuclear Famine
by Barbara Warren, MD, MPH on Apr. 28, 2012



More than a billion people around the world would face starvation following a limited regional nuclear weapons exchange (such as a clash between India and Pakistan) that would cause major worldwide climate disruption driving down food production in China, the U.S. and other nations, according to a major new report released today by International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and its US affiliate, Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR).

Dr. Ira Helfand, the author of “Nuclear Famine: A Billion People at Risk—Global Impacts of Limited Nuclear War on Agriculture, Food Supplies, and Human Nutrition,” said: “The grim prospect of nuclear famine requires a fundamental change in our thinking about nuclear weapons. The new evidence that even the relatively small nuclear arsenals of countries such as India and Pakistan could cause long lasting, global damage to the Earth’s ecosystems and threaten hundreds of millions of already malnourished people demands that action be taken. The needless and preventable deaths of one billion people over a decade would be a disaster unprecedented in human history. It would not cause the extinction of the human race, but it would bring an end to modern civilization as we know it.”

The findings and the methodology on which the study is based will be published in a forthcoming issue of the peer-reviewed journal Climatic Change. Released during the World Summit of Nobel Laureates in Chicago April 23-25, 2012, the Helfand report was made possible with the financial support of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

Among the specific findings outlined in the report:


Commenting on the report, Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala, president of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, a member of the governing board of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and the former UN Under Secretary General of Disarmament Affairs, said: “Scientific evidence continues to confirm empirically what we already know – that nuclear weapons are the most destructive weapon of mass destruction ever invented with unrivaled genetic and ecological effects. And yet, unlike biological and chemical weapons, they have not been outlawed because of vested interests. Nine countries have 20,530 nuclear warheads among them 95 percent with the US and Russia. As long as these weapons exist others, including terrorists, will want them. As long as we have nuclear weapons their use by intention or accident; by states or by non-state actors is inevitable. Their total elimination through a Nuclear Weapons Convention is therefore the only solution.”

Former Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the founding chairman, Green Cross International, said: “I am convinced that nuclear weapons must be abolished. Their use in a military conflict is unthinkable; using them to achieve political objectives is immoral. Over twenty-five years ago, President Ronald Reagan and I ended our summit meeting in Geneva with a joint statement that ‘nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,’ and this new study underscores in stunning and disturbing detail why this is the case and why we must discard Cold War-style plans for the possible use of these weapons and move rapidly to eliminating them from the world’s arsenals.”



Physicians for Social Responsibility is the largest physician-led organization in the U.S. working to prevent nuclear war and proliferation and to slow, stop and reverse global warming without using expensive, unsafe nuclear power and toxic degradation of the environment. PSR’s 50,000 health professionals and concerned citizen members and e-activists, 30 PSR chapters, and 41 student PSR chapters at medical and public health schools, along with national and chapter staff, form a unique nationwide network committed to a safer and healthy world. For more information, go to http://www.psr.org on the Web.

The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War is a non-partisan federation of national medical organizations in 63 countries, representing tens of thousands of doctors, medical students, other health workers, and concerned citizens who share the common goal of creating a more peaceful and secure world freed from the threat of nuclear annihilation. See http://www.ippnw.org on the Web.

CONTACT: Will Harwood, for PSR, +1 (703) 276-3255 or wharwood@hastingsgroup.com.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A streaming audio replay of a related news event will be available on the Web on April 24, 2012 at 1 p.m. EDT/noon CDT/6 p.m. London BST/10 p.m. Lahore PKT/10:30 p.m. Mumbai IST at http://www.psr.org.

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Reply Nuclear Famine: Global Impacts of Limited Nuclear War on Agriculture, Food Supplies, and Nutrition (Original post)
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Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:21 AM

1. Asia: Dangers Of Extended Nuclear Deterrence – Analysis


Asia: Dangers Of Extended Nuclear Deterrence – Analysis

Written by: IDN
April 28, 2012
By Neena Bhandari

With India and Pakistan testing nuclear-capable ballistic missiles this April, close on the heels of North Korea’s unsuccessful test launch of a long-range rocket, a new report by the Sydney-based Lowy Institute for International Policy says it is Asian strategic mistrust that is holding back nuclear disarmament.

According to Lowy’s international security programme director Rory Medcalf, who is also principal editor of the report titled Disarming Doubt: The Future of Extended Nuclear Deterrence in East Asia, the nuclear disarmament push in Asia had stalled, owing to the region’s tangle of strategic mistrust.


Asia is steadily becoming increasingly militarised, as a result of rapid economic growth and strategic uncertainty. The International Institute for Strategic Studies in London said in March 2012 that arms spending by Asian nations will this year for the first time overtake that of European countries. China, Japan, India, South Korea and Australia accounted for more than 80 per cent of total Asian defence spending and Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam were all investing in improving air and naval capacities.


The Lowy report makes policy recommendations for governments to untangle Asia’s nuclear dangers. Dr Sue Wareham, Member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons’ (ICAN) Management Committee in Australia, says: “The recommendations are a mixed bag. While there is recognition of the devastating consequences of any use of nuclear weapons, there does not appear to be enunciation of the logical goal of getting rid of the weapons.”


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