March 19, 2012

On February 15, 2012, Marylia Kelley, Executive Director at Tri-Valley CAREs, a Livermore Lab watchdog organization founded in 1983, published an Op-Ed in the San Francisco Chronicle. Below is Dr. Bob Gould’s comment, published online.

Thank you, Marylia, for an excellent and timely article. At a time when we are cutting money for basic needs such as education and public health, it is egregious that our country is planning to spend over 180 billion dollars on nuclear weapons programs over the next decade, when planned modernized missile delivery systems are included. We are in desperate need for creative programs to develop clean and sustainable forms of energy to avoid an anticipated public and environmental health crisis from global warming, yet the DOE historically, and into the future is hellbent on prioritizing weapons programs (and nuclear power programs) that encourage continued global nuclear weapons proliferation.

As a further example of the potential consequences of this lunacy, and the lamentable behaviors we encourage, an important article from the December 2009 Scientific American (“South Asian Threat? Local Nuclear War = Global Nuclear Suffering”) illustrated that in addition to potentially causing untold millions of direct deaths, a regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan could result in worldwide malnutrition through the blockade of sunlight from incinerated cities that could lead to over 1 billion deaths.

It is time for our country to take leadership, in line with President Obama’s 2009 remarks in Prague, in moving our country, and all other nuclear weapons powers, through rapid nuclear disarmament towards the global abolition of nuclear weapons, in line with our obligations under Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Far better to use our scientific and technical skills to save our planet, rather than subject future generations to a desolate and uninhabitable planet.

Robert Gould, MD (President, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, Physicians for Social Responsibility)