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Humanity Should Get Rid Of Nuclear Weapons To Avoid A Global Catastrophe

Whenever we hear the terms like nuclear power, nuclear policy and nuclear age, instinctively our mind directs us towards the fear of war; not an ordinary war but the nuclear war which will ultimately lead to the Doomsday. Interestingly, to cater this fear, most of the countries have been fluctuating between deterrence and disarmament policies since the first nuclear bomb was tested on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945.

States do believe that such an unfortunate event of destruction can be avoided if only they act rationally and think as a pacifist, yet they are not able to create a harmony in theory and practice.

Amidst this struggle of understanding where we are headed, we simply forget that nuclear weapons are not discovered but made. A nuclear bomb is a very lucid proof of how easy it is to invent when we turn our mind and heart to it. If we shed light on the history, it really amazes one that how scientists, who invented this ticking clock, later on regretted for putting their mind and heart in an invention which they knew had the capability of killing mankind massively and indiscriminately.

On knowing that Germany had begun the construction of the atomic bomb, the Manhattan Project was initiated and so by the summer of 1945, the United States had built the world’s first atomic bomb. Interestingly, Germany never succeeded in acquiring the nuclear power status owing to its weak economy and dwindling government; however Otto Hahn’s contribution, a German scientist who is credited with the discovery of nuclear fission, served to be the cornerstone which later on modified the three levels of war; strategic, tactical and operational.

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To smash the simple atom

All mankind was intent

Now any day

The atom may

Return the compliment.

(Otto Hahn)

 According to a report on Forbes website, “nuclear-weapons development required a massive commitment of government funds, funds that would have to be diverted from the conventional prosecution of the war. It depended critically on how much scientists trusted their governments and how much governments trusted their scientists.”

In the United States the trust was there, however, in Germany the trust was not there on either side, hence the German programme fragmented and stalled.

After World War II, Hahn became an antiwar activist against the use of nuclear energy as a weapon. Moreover, he believed that the practical application of the discovery would take 25 years however much to his disappointment less than seven years later, the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan to end World War II.

The New York Times writes, “Hahn later said that he had never believed that his discovery would have military implications. “I am a scientist,” he said, “and like all scientists I am interested only in discovery and not application.”

74 years on, with the irony of calling their own weapons as ‘sovereign nuclear deterrents’ and other countries’ as ‘weapons of mass destruction’, tens of thousands of tonnes of plutonium and enriched uranium have been produced. ‘The global nuclear arsenal stands at about 27,000 bombs. Nine countries very probably possess nuclear weapons, while 40 others have access to the materials and technology to make them.’

According to an arms control report, most recently, on March 27, 2017, a process began at the United Nations: most of the world’s nations convene to negotiate a ban on nuclear arms with the ultimate goal of a world free of these weapons of mass destruction. In support of this proposal, thousands of scientists along with 23 Nobel Laureates from around the world released an open letter urging our national governments to achieve this goal of banning nuclear weapons.

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Considering the futile-past-record of such proposals, there is a dire need of self-initiative. Instead of looking up to governments and states as the ultimate saviour, the scientists should put their heart and mind in inventing an alternate for the nuclear weapons.

They should dedicate their services in discovering ‘another kind of energy.“ As Einstein wrote in one of his letters; “If we want our species to survive, if we are to find meaning in life, if we want to save the world and every sentient being that inhabits it, love is the one and only answer. Perhaps we are not yet ready to make a bomb of love, a device powerful enough to entirely destroy the hate, selfishness and greed that devastate the planet.”

And while scientists involve themselves in creating the ‘bomb of love’, we should keep along the ‘Doomsday Clock’ so that in case it strikes near to midnight (which it will in case of any global catastrophe); we’ll know it’s time to go to Mars.

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