Leaders speak about the Ban Treaty

Enviro Close-Up #671 with Karl Grossman features representatives from the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance.

Writes Grossman: “This Enviro Close-Up focuses on the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA)—especially it being a leader in getting action on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This visionary pact was passed at the UN in 2017. In the words of the UN, the treaty is “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.” It’s a nuclear counterpart to the treaties enacted in the 1920s that outlawed chemical weapons in the wake of their horrific use during World War I. It could put the nuclear genie back in the bottle. But nations with nuclear weapons—including the U.S., Russia and China—have refused to sign or ratify it. Moreover, communications media have almost totally omitted mention of the treaty’s existence in the huge number of reports on the threats by Russian President Putin to use nuclear weapons since his invasion of Ukraine. OREPA is active in the Nuclear Ban Treaty Collaborative, which is calling for media to “pay attention” to the treaty, explains OREPA’s coordinator, Ralph Hutchison (pictured). Cody Dishner, community organizer for OREPA, says many people are now “for the first time in their lives” faced with “nuclear annihilation.” The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved forward its “Doomsday Clock” to 100 seconds to midnight, the closest it has been since it was set up in 1947. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says “we must eliminate nuclear weapons before they eliminate us.” OREPA is calling for “educating, mobilizing, organizing” for a world free of nuclear weapons.”

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