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PSR President Reflects on IPPNW World Congress
Jeff Patterson, DO
August 29, 2010
With the 19th IPPNW conference coming to a close, I hope that everyone will consider attending the 2012 20th conference which will be held in Hiroshima, Japan. In addition to allowing one to meet fascinating like minded people from around the world, there is a wealth of information which is both useful and serves to inspire one to return home with renewed energy.
This conference emphasized the need to renew our efforts to work toward the abolition of nuclear weapons. As Dr. Helfand so eloquently pointed out in his well received plenary session, either a limited nuclear war or an all out war would produce climate conditions that would be incompatible with civilization as we know it. Thus we must renew our efforts to work toward zero which is the only way to guarantee that such a catastrophe will not happen. In addition to presentations, PSR was active in this effort at the conference with Ashish Sinha making movies of "1 More 4 Zero". I would recommend visiting the ICANW website to learn more of the campaign to abolish nuclear weapons.
Dr. Martin Vosseler and Dr. Jeff Patterson
It is of interest to note the blending of concern and work on climate change with our traditional work on nuclear weapons. There were many sessions relating the need to work on both issues and the relationship between the two. Dr. Martin Vosseler of Switzerland is a personal inspiration in reminding us that we can succeed in changing the catastrophic path that we are on. Amongst other actions, he and a few others crossed the Atlantic in a catamaran powered by the sun. He reminded us that 99plus % of the energy that we use already is renewable--that is from the sun.
Finally, there was an amazing exhibit by Robert Del Tredici, a famous Canadian photographer who has been documenting the devastation of the nuclear age through very striking photographs, and beautiful but frightening drawing of insects collected by Cornelia Hesse from sites around Chernobyl and other nuclear reactors. If anyone needs further understanding of the dangers of the effects of radiation in our beautiful world just look at the these collections of deformed insects that she has painstakingly reproduced. You can see one of her scientific papers and find further information at http://www.chembiodiv.ch/highlight.htm.
I look forward to the next IPPNW conference in Japan and hope you can all join us.