Make a difference in the challenge to confront global warming and prevent nuclear war and the development and use of nuclear weapons.
When natural gas and oil are extracted, methane -- a potent greenhouse gas -- leaks into the atmosphere from the wells, compressors, pipes and other infrastructure. Tell EPA to regulate methane now!
A profound speech on war and peace; a similar speech is needed on nuclear weapon policy
Ira Helfand, MD
December 10, 2009
President Obama's Nobel address was not the speech that many of us had hoped for. He did state again his commitment to nuclear disarmament but he certainly did not use the address to build the case for eliminating nuclear weapons nor to lay out a plan for achieving this aim.
Having said that, the speech was an extraordinarily thoughtful meditation on issues of war and peace. The address is referred to formally as the Nobel Lecture and the President seems to have taken the title very literally.
He began by addressing the irony of a leader at war receiving the Peace Prize, much as he began his address at the Notre Dame graduation this May by acknowledging the opposition to his invitation there by abortion foes. And, as was the case at Notre Dame, he did not offer a facile response to the situation. Many may disagree with his willingness, under certain circumstances, to use force in the pursuit of peace, but his arguments were substantive and eloquent, and it is hard to doubt the decency of his intentions.
In retrospect this may be just the speech that he needed to give at this point and from this place. It was a clear but nuanced statement of the approach he intends to take towards issues of war and peace and a useful insight into the policies he is pursuing, and it was warmly greeted by the audience here in Oslo that gave him a prolonged standing ovation.
But if this was the speech the President had to give today, there is another speech he has to give soon. His commitment to nuclear disarmament needs to be made more concrete, and the case for nuclear disarmament, which he will argue from the perspective of US national security interests, needs to be spelled out more clearly. The slow pace of the START negotiations, which failed to produce a follow on agreement before the old treaty expired last week, is not a cause for despair and it does not indicate a lack of commitment by the US or Russian governments. But it does underline the need for high level attention to, and direction of, the administration's efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons if these efforts are to move forward with the urgency and speed which ending the threat of nuclear war requires.
Comments Leave a Comment
Dr. Ira Helfand Speaks at the UN
Dr. Ira Helfand spoke before the Untied Nations General Assembly on September 10, 2015 as part of a panel addressing the pursuit of a nuclear weapons free world. Read more »
Video: We Have an Iran Deal! Now What?
Watch PSR Security Program's latest webinar to understand the details of the Iran Deal and what you can do to keep the deal safe from Congress. Featuring speaker Kelsey Davenport, Arms Control Association. Read more »
Nukes in Your Backyard
Ever wonder how many nuclear mishaps and facilities are in your own backyard? Then check out our new map featuring pinpoint locations of close calls and the stories behind them. Read more »
In the Spotlight
September 19, 2015
Nukebusters Short Film Awards
The votes are in! Five hundred people and three celebrity judges chose the best films on nuclear weapons.