THE BLOG

+1 Big Red Button, -1Million Lives

17/09/2014 11:11 BST | Updated 16/11/2014 10:59 GMT

The value of a single human life, the right to a certain standard of life and a respect for others are issues that are of increasing prominence in political spheres. As Britain and the world become more socially and culturally interrelated, peace and conflict resolution processes need great consideration and recognition of the innocent individuals that are impacted.

Life is intrinsically valuable, and no one should hold the right or potential to take away the existence of another. So, imagine having the capacity to take away the life of millions, severely damage the life of millions more and negatively impact the health of future generations, all at the push of a button.

This is the destructive effect that just one single nuclear weapon is capable of.

The bomb used in 1945 on Hiroshima in 1945 emitted 16 kilotons of TNT and killed more than 100,000 people. More than half a century after the bombs were dropped effects on health still haunt Hiroshima's innocent citizens, from cancer of the thyroid and salivary glands to birth defects, cataracts and disfiguring scars. The damage is not restricted to time or distance. The radioactive materials that these horrific weapons release spread and linger. Even those who attended Hiroshima and Nagasaki following the bombings to administer support and assistance suffered as a result of the radiation, with death occurring.

Still, we've come a long way since 1945. Today the capacity of Britain's nuclear weapons system, Trident, could inflict an impact that is up to 1,000 times greater than that of Hiroshima.

Commissioning the renewal of a like-for-like replacement of Trident is equivalent to declaring that the possibility of destroying a vast number of lives to achieve a political end is never off the table for Britain. Taking a step-by-step process to an eventual global disarmament must begin now. The debate over the renewal of Trident is the perfect opportunity for an inclusive Britain to declare it is not only nationally respectful of the right to life, but is working to install such a norm in the international playing field.

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