In view of the growing risk that in future wars weapons, nuclear and otherwise, will be employed that threaten the continued existence of humanity, we urge the governments of the world to realize, and to acknowledge publicly, that their purpose cannot be furthered by a world war, and we urge them, consequently, to find peaceful means for the settlement of all matters of dispute between them.
We also propose that all governments of the world begin to convert those resources previously allocated to preparations for destructive conflict to a new constructive purpose: the mitigation of climate change and the creation of a new sustainable civilization on a global scale.
Why is this important?
This effort is endorsed by Foreign Policy in Focus, the Asia Institute, and World Beyond War, and is being launched on July 9, 2015.
You can sign, and ask everyone you know to sign, this declaration here:
Exactly 60 years ago today, leading intellectuals led by Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein gathered in London to sign a manifesto voicing their concern that the struggle between the Communist and Anti-Communist blocs in the age of the hydrogen bomb guaranteed annihilation for humanity.
Although we have so far avoided the nuclear war that those intellectuals dreaded, the danger has merely been postponed. The threat, which has reemerged recently with the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, has only grown more dire.
Moreover, the rapid acceleration of technological development threatens to put nuclear weapons, and many other weapons of similar destructiveness, into the hands of a growing circle of nations (and potentially even of “non-state actors”). At the same time, the early possessors of nuclear weapons have failed to abide by their obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty to destroy their stockpiles.
And now we are faced with an existential threat that may rival the destructive consequences even of a full-scale nuclear war: climate change. The rapacious exploitation of our resources and a thoughtless over-reliance upon fossil fuels have caused an unprecedented disruption of our climate. Combined with an unmitigated attack on our forests, our wetlands, our oceans, and our farmland in the pursuit of short-term gains, this unsustainable economic expansion has brought us to the edge of an abyss.
The original 1955 manifesto states: “We are speaking on this occasion, not as members of this or that nation, continent, or creed, but as human beings,” members of the human species “whose continued existence is in doubt.”
The time has come for us to break out of the distorted and misleading conception of progress and development that has so seduced us and led us towards destruction.
Not only intellectuals but anyone informed, aware, and caring bears a particular responsibility of leadership by virtue of their specialized expertise and insight regarding the scientific, cultural, and historical forces that have led to our predicament. Between a mercenary element that pursues an agenda of narrow interests without regard to consequences and a frequently discouraged, misled, and sometimes apathetic citizenry stand the responsible individuals in every field of study and sphere of activity. It falls to us to decry the reckless acceleration of armaments and the criminal destruction of the ecosystem. The time has come for us to raise our voices in a concerted effort.
The original text, issued in London on July 9, 1955, is here:
SIGNERS OF THE NEW PETITION INCLUDE:
Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus, MIT
Helen Caldicott, author, activist
Naomi Klein, author
Larry Wilkerson, Retired United States Army Colonel.
Benjamin R. Barber, President, Global Parliament of Mayors Project
David Swanson, Director, World Beyond War
John Feffer, Director, Foreign Policy in Focus
Emanuel Pastreich, Director, The Asia Institute
Leah Bolger, Chair, Coordinating Committee, World Beyond War
Ben Griffin, Coordinator, Veterans For Peace UK
Michael Nagler, Founder and President, The Metta Center for Nonviolence
John Horgan, Science journalist & author of "The End of War"
Kevin Zeese, Co-director, Popular Resistance
Margaret Flowers, M.D., Co-director, Popular Resistance
Dahr Jamail, Staff Reporter, Truthout
John Kiriakou, Associate Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies and CIA Torture Whistleblower
Kim Hyung yul, President of The Asia Institute, Professor of History, Sook Myung University
Choi Murim, Professor of Medicine, Seoul National University
Coleen Rowley, Retired FBI agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel
Ann Wright, Retired U.S. Army Colonel and former US diplomat
Mike Madden Vice President, Veterans For Peace, Chapter 27
Chante Wolf, 12 year Air Force, Desert Shield/Storm veteran Member of Chapter 27, Veterans For Peace
William Binney, Former NSA Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, Co-founder of the SIGINT Automation Research Center.
Jean Bricmont, professor, Université Catholique de Louvain
How it will be delivered
Plans in the works in various countries, help appreciated.