Should nuclear weapons ever be used again, the risks of catastrophic escalation are great. A nuclear winter could ensue, risking billions of casualties and a global environmental crisis. President Ronald Reagan warned, “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.
The Doomsday Clock represents the likelihood of a man-made global catastrophe (the clock reaches midnight). In January 2020, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists assessed the time as the closest ever to reach midnight since the clock was implemented in the 1940s. This is due to two existential threats: nuclear war and climate change.
Peace Action Montgomery has adopted the Back to the Brink framework for nuclear disarmament. The five principles are:
- Renounce the option of using nuclear weapons first.
- End the sole, unchecked authority of any U.S. president to launch a nuclear attack.
- Take U.S. nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert.
- Cancel the plan to replace its entire nuclear arsenal with enhanced weapons.
- Actively pursue a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.
In December 2019, the Montgomery County Council adopted a resolution to support the US Nuclear Ban Treaty and called upon Congress and the Trump administration to exercise global leadership in adopting the five disarmament principles above. Prior to Montgomery County the resolution was adopted by Washington DC, Baltimore, the US Conference of Mayor and 40 municipalities and state legislatures.
Read the Baltimore Sun Oped coauthored by Montgomery Councilmember Tom Hucker about the resolution.