Doomsday clock reads two-and-a-half minutes to midnight | Letter

  • Friday, March 31, 2017 9:22am
  • Opinion

This week is the first of three meetings to negotiate a historic treaty to ban nuclear weapons. We are concerned because the United States is not participating in these negotiations despite controlling 6,800 nuclear warheads, many on hair-trigger alert.

The use of even one nuclear weapon would be a humanitarian and environmental disaster beyond human comprehension. The only cure for a nuclear attack is prevention. Use of less than 1 percent of the total global stockpile would threaten up to ¼ of the world’s population.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists reset the “Doomsday Clock”, a measure of how close we are to destroying our own world. The clock now reads two-and-a-half minutes to midnight, the closest we’ve been since 1953.

You can do something to stop this clock! The President currently has sole authority to launch a first-use nuclear strike. Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Ted Lieu have introduced a bill “Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017” requiring congressional approval and a declaration of war in order to launch a nuclear first strike. Write or phone your senators and representative asking them to support this bill. Sen. Patty Murray 202-224-2621; Sen. Maria Cantwell 202-224-3441; Rep. Suzan Del Bene 202-225-6311.

Shirley Shimada and Nancy Hansen, Kenmore

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