There are nearly 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world today, 4,000 of them on hair-trigger alert ready to be fired at a moment’s notice. The smallest of these are more than six time as destructive as the one which destroyed the city of Hiroshima in 1945, killing 70,000 people instantly and another 70,000 (and more) through radiation poisoning. Just one of the 15,000 nuclear weapons going off in a modern city – even by accident – would cause a humanitarian catastrophe of unparalleled proportions. A full-scale nuclear war involving just a fraction of these weapons would almost certain spell the end of human civilisation as we know it.
Why do we take this risk? Why do these weapons still exist, decades after the end of the Cold War? What is the justification for building an entire defense strategy around the threat to annihilate one’s own country, along with any enemy that may be the theoretical target? Has the world gone mad, and is it still mad after all these years?
Lots of people all across the world want to see an end to nuclear weapons. The time really has come to get rid of them.