After my last article (Success for the Nuclear Ban Treaty), I thought it might be helpful to define some of the jargon around nuclear weapons as I received a few questions on this.
If you think of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) as a group of weapons which include nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological or other weapons that can kill on a large scale, and also cause great damage to the atmosphere. Nuclear weapons are a type of WMD and less than 10 countries in the world have a type of nuclear weapon. For example, the UK has Trident, and Russia has the Borei-Class Ballistic Missile Submarine - both of these a type of nuclear weapon.
The reason why there is a treaty banning them is because they make the world a more dangerous place.
Case in point; the current debacle with the U.S. and North Korea: could this cold Twitter war turn into a hot nuclear catastrophe?
If for some reason you missed it; President trump referred to military dictator and North Korean "President" (term used loosely) as "rocket man" and Kim Jong Un responded by calling the U.S President (also loosely used) a "dotard"- which apparently refers to a type of imbecile in medieval literature. They then pretty much threatened to wipe each other off the map with nukes.
Why should you care?
Well we should all care, because the very existence of nuclear weapons puts your life and mine at risk. The fallout from any country launching a nuclear weapon would be catastrophic damage to basic facilities such as water, gas and electricity, and destruction to the environment, this affects us all.
If you don't care about human life, consider this; the UK government is spending over £100,000,000,000 on the trident nuclear weapon system. Those of you who belong to the Britain First crowd should know that this is money better spent on the NHS, reducing UK child poverty and then with millions left over, perhaps we could even help people in emergency situations around the world. You never know, if you spend some money investing in the land where refugees are coming from it may help them in the long term, as most refugees would rather go back to their homelands but cannot.
What can I even do about it?
Glad you asked. Well everything has already been put in place for nuclear weapon states to give up their weapons, we just have to encourage our MP's to get the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons signed.
For years, many people, myself included, have argued that nuclear weapons are so destructive, cruel and immoral that they should actually be made illegal. We live in a world that had the sense to ban landmines - an indiscriminate weapon that leaves people without limbs. This same world, until now, has not had the sense to ban a weapon that could destroy millions of lives, leave generations affected, and contribute even more damage to the world around us. But we can change this.
Isn't it too hard?
The straightforward answer is no. There are only around 9 countries that have nuclear weapons, considering there are 195 countries in the world today, 9 is not that many. At the moment, governments don't believe people care about nukes. Considering how many near accidents there have been with countries nearly, unintentionally setting off nukes, we should care about these weapons being on UK shores, every country should.
If we contact MP's and get our country to take the lead in showing commitment to giving up nuclear weapons, other countries will follow. If strong states such as Germany and UK show that they have no need for them nuclear weapons, other countries will also see no need for them. The new treaty has underlined the fact that it is illegal to obtain a nuclear weapon, which is why North Korea is under such heavy sanctions from the UN now. We have to make these countries see that nuclear weapons are worse than some of the weapons they have already banned. We can only do this if we raise our voices, so please write to your MP now and get them to sign the Treaty Banning Nuclear weapons: https://www.writetothem.com/