To the Editor:
In a recent Catholic Messenger Sister Nancy Miller, OSF, wrote a fact-filled letter about several nuclear weapons treaties over the years with the latest, the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty, signed by 191 countries. However, as we have just marked the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the U.S. is preparing to spend more than a TRILLION dollars for the next three decades on the modernization of nuclear weapons.
Since the beginning of the Nuclear Age, by some estimates, the world has already spent well over $6 TRILLION on nuclear weapons (“Sojourners,” Aug 2015).
Our country already has an estimated 7,260 nuclear weapons (www.nukewatch.org); there are an estimated 15,580 to 20,000 nuclear weapons in the world. The bomb dropped on Nagasaki, which was 21 kilotons, pales in comparison with the bomb the U.S. detonated in 1954, which was 15,000 kilotons (“Business Insider”). Just 50 bombs could kill 200 million people, or the combined population of Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Germany (“ICAN Nuclear Weapons Today,” 2008). Physicians For Social Responsibility assert that the use of a few hundred nuclear weapons, say between India and Pakistan, would cause a global winter that could render the human species extinct.
How much better would our nation be served if the U.S. — rather than spending a trillion dollars in the next 30 years on modernization of nuclear weapons — would rebuild our country with jobs for new bridges, highways, hospitals and schools? This makes more sense than modernizing nuclear weapons which governments claim they do not plan to use.
Our nation’s religious leaders have spoken out on many occasions about the dangers and immorality of nuclear weapons. My hope is that the electorate will join our faith leaders and insist we abolish nuclear weapons and wars of all kind.