Weapons of Mass Destruction

Climate models indicate it would only require 50-100 Hiroshima-sized (i.e. small) nuclear bombs to end civilisation in a nuclear winter. World stockpiles currently hold around 15,000 such devices, and the risk of their falling into terrorist hands is growing as nuclear materials are stolen, on average, every ten days (IAEA). A new technology-based arms race is underway among the major powers featuring things like pilotless nuclear drones and artificial intelligence. Nuclear conflict remains the most likely route by which civilization may be destabilized and terminated. We have already seen conflict spiral out of famines, quarrels over resources, people displacement, and mass migration.  Conflict also arises from collective delusions, such as political, religious, monetary and nationalistic ideals. The United Nations has initiated a process to ban all nuclear weapons and their materials, and this is supported by over 100 countries. Regrettably, 35 governments – including Australia’s - and the nuclear industry remain opposed.

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Australia21This website was commenced by a group of Members of The Emeritus Faculty at The Australian National University and is administered by a steering group of the not-for profit think tank, Australia21. The views expressed on this website are those of the initial author and are not necessarily shared or endorsed by the University, the Emeritus Faculty or Australia21.

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