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Transcript
Nuclear Weapons & Climate Change
The connection
GUERRES ET ECOCIDES:
responsabilités et engagements
l’Université du Québec à Montréal
le 6 février 2008
Adele Buckley
Les Conférences Pugwash Canada
1
06/02/2008
Global societies face two crises

Nuclear conflict would destroy life on earth
–

BUT we have not achieved nuclear disarmament
Climate change could make the earth uninhabitable
–
BUT effective action has not occurred
International tensions will increase
2
06/02/2008
Effects of climate change




3
Disruptions to human security and the
economy
Human suffering, especially in developing
countries
Armed conflicts over resources
Involvement of states that have nuclear
weapons, and threats of use
06/02/2008
Avoidance of double disaster


4
Climate change acts as a threat multiplier
Nuclear disarmament must be achieved
before the most serious effects of climate
change are upon us
06/02/2008
Undermining the world food supply


5
Droughts, floods, change of growing season,
pest infestations, loss of arable land to food
production>>>> stress>>>> open conflict
“Regional” nuclear war, cools the climate
BUT adds long lasting particulates to the
atmosphere. For years: reduction of solar
energy; reduction of precipitation; loss of
crops and arable land due to radiation
06/02/2008
Climate induced food stress made
worse by “regional” nuclear conflict
6
06/02/2008
Water availability

Unsustainable water consumption – already exceeds
natural replacement by 1/3.
–




7
WATER USERS: Industry, agriculture, cities & individuals
Glacial melting to extinction – many global
communities rely on glacier water
Ecological best practices – water should stay in its
own watershed; resist pressure to export bulk water
Water wars?
Middle East – serious water problems; nuclear
threats? Israel has nuclear weapons; proliferation
is possible in other ME states (Iran, Saudi Arabia…)
06/02/2008
Economic slump


8
Economic stress through measures taken to
combat climate change – emission
regulation, cost of carbon (trading and tax),
infrastructure changes (e.g.water), alternate
energy technology, carbon capture
In the past, war has lifted a country to
economic viability. Very dangerous, when at
least 8 states have nuclear weapons
06/02/2008
Large scale population movement

Coastal flooding will result in millions of people
seeking refuge internally in their own country and in
nearby countries. EXAMPLES OF PROBLEMS:
–
–
–
–
9
Border tensions will be increased
India and Pakistan [possessors of nuclear weapons] will
experience extreme tension, will require army personnel,
leading to a built-in conflict situation in S.E. Asia
Developed nations: ill prepared for rescue and evacuation
(e.g. Hurricane Katrina)
Infrastructure destruction: 40% of Asian population lives
within 45 miles of coastlines
06/02/2008
Military Operations
“We found that climate instability will lead to
instability in geopolitics and impact American
military operations around the world,” said
retired General Gordon Sullivan, chairman of
the U.S. Military Advisory Board, releasing
the report “National Security and the Threat
of Climate Change” April 16, 2007 (1)
10
06/02/2008
Technical personnel, material and
resources

We need an all-out “war” effort to adapt to climate
change
–
–

At the same time, the nuclear weapons industry has
been expanded in the U.S., and other countries
consider having their own nuclear weapons
–
11
Not enough new science and technical graduates
Not enough resources being applied
Attractive job opportunities are offered to new graduates
and skilled personnel BUT we need their work in the next 2
decades to get control of greenhouse gases
06/02/2008
Consequences of nuclear terrorism or
a nuclear accident
POSSIBILITIES
 A nuclear weapon explosion – accidental, or
deliberate by terrorists
 A dirty bomb releasing widespread radiation
 An accident in nuclear power generation
CONSEQUENCES [climate change problems get worse]
 Regional water systems compromised
 Land that previously grew food is contaminated
12
06/02/2008
Nuclear energy renaissance
a favoured choice for India, China, U.S. and others
Accidents must be prevented
Terrorists must not have access
_____There must be no opportunity for proliferation_____
 IAEA, the United Nations “watchdog”, can perform inspection and verification in nonnuclear weapons states that have signed the Non-proliferation Treaty. There is no
inspection for nuclear weapons states.
 IAEA provides extensive technical advice to nuclear power plant managers, BUT it
has no authority to enforce
 A centralized supply system for nuclear fuel may be established.
 NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group) & WANO (World Ass’n of Nuclear Operators) provide
a framework and assistance, but there are gaps in the protection offered there.
The present control system is dangerous and is inadequate to prevent accidents
and mandate sound operation. Citizens around the globe must have much
better protection
13
06/02/2008
PROPOSAL: Universal inspection and
verification



14
Every nuclear reactor has a global presence
A universal inspection system must include new
owners in developing countries AND all the nuclear
weapons states, and all their nuclear reactors
As soon as possible, third party verification must be
an integral part of the system. The “third party”
inspection team would be international and must
have no conflict of interest
06/02/2008
US Federal Audit showed that NRC staff did not verify the
authenticity of technical safety information submitted by
nuclear power plant operators. “Citizens Petition to Halt
Flawed U.S. Nuclear Plant Relicensing” [ENS Jan 3 08]
BELOW: Ginna, Oyster Creek, and Indian Point nuclear power plants
15
06/02/2008
Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT)



16
FMCT moves us toward nuclear disarmament and
ALSO connects to climate change
Could be a first step toward safety for all citizens
(who have been encouraged to believe that nuclear
power is the energy solution to combat climate
change)
Because…FMCT requires comprehensive
verification, so it would set in place a universal
system that could be extended for inspection and
verification of all nuclear reactors.
06/02/2008
Arctic Climate Change



17
Global warming is relatively greater in the
polar regions
Climate change endangers the lifestyle of the
indigenous people of the Arctic, and
threatens the long term survivability of the
wildlife
HOWEVER, there are new opportunities for
the circumpolar nations
06/02/2008
Arctic territory in Canada
18
06/02/2008
Opportunity – a Nuclear- WeaponFree-Zone (NWFZ) in the Arctic




19
Ice-free navigation through the Northwest
Passage will be possible [CLIMATE CHANGE!]
Now Canada must have a greater presence
in its Arctic lands and waters
Canada could declare a NWFZ in the
Canadian waters of the Northwest Passage
A UN General Assembly resolution could call
for NWFZ north of the Arctic circle
06/02/2008
NWFZ and nuclear disarmament



20
Northwest Passage, undersea, is convoluted,
shallow, inhospitable to submarines
The Nuclear Weapons States (NWS) have
nuclear submarines in waters north of the
Arctic Circle – NWFZ would be a significant
achievement toward nuclear disarmament
Withdrawal of submarines would be evidence
of great statesmanship– others would follow?
06/02/2008
Recent Studies on Security and
Climate Change
1.
2.
3.
21
“National Security and the Threat of Climate
Change”, U.S. Military Advisory Board; report April
16, 2007
“An Uncertain Future: Law Enforcement, National
Security and Climate Change”, Chris Abbott, Bristol
University, for Oxford Research Group, UK;
January, 2007
“Climate Change and Conflict”, International Crisis
Group www.crisisgroup.org; Nov, 2007
06/02/2008
Prognosis: Two global problems –
climate change and nuclear weapons



THESE CRISES CAN BE HANDLED WITH
PRESENT KNOWLEDGE AND USE OF EXISTING
TECHNOLOGY
POLITICAL WILL IS MISSING
ACTION NOW - Individuals and NGOs can raise
awareness:
get understanding and involvement of the public
– push governments to act, nationally and internationally to
establish broad-based international coalitions
–
22
06/02/2008