Never again shall humanity face such devastation

Destruction through wars, genocides, epidemics, famines, natural catastrophes, technology, nuclear bombs, and soon, climate change and global warming

By Michael Atchia

From the ravages of wars and genocides to the silent killers of epidemics and famines, humanity has borne witness to its own vulnerability time and again. Today, as we confront the existential threats posed by climate change and nuclear proliferation, the imperative to safeguard life on our fragile planet has never been more urgent. Dr Michael Atchia, a former United Nations Programme Director and advocate for global peace, calls upon us to heed the lessons of the past and unite in a steadfast commitment to prevent the recurrence of such catastrophic events

We are a small planet out of billions of others, supporting life, especially conscious human life. How precious! How unique! We can only be grateful for life. All our actions and words must respect, protect, and cherish life. There is no place for destruction.

Has our real concern about climate change and global warming made us forget the threat of atomic war and other causes of death to human beings? Having written on numerous occasions on the nuclear safety issue in the past and being the author of the Nuclear Rectangle theory (a major nuclear war could modify the orbit of planet Earth around the sun), I urge readers to join the worldwide campaign of the seventies to ban the bomb, to fight for nuclear safety. It is more necessary than ever in 2024.

At present, nine countries out of 193 possess nuclear weapons (atomic or hydrogen bombs): Russia, USA, France, China, UK, Pakistan, India, Israel, and North Korea. With North Korea expanding its nuclear arsenal, other countries are trying to acquire the bomb (Iran, for example).

On the positive side, four countries, including South Africa, that formerly possessed nuclear weapons, gave them up. One of the greatest fears today is that a terrorist organization gets its hands on a nuclear device, some of which are small enough to fit into a large lorry.

Radiation remains the greatest enemy of life on Earth, evident in disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima, where radioactive material affected people, animals, and plants. In this nuclear world, what is the meaning of ‘safe’? Are we reassured knowing who in these countries has their finger on the nuclear trigger? Joe and Vladimir? Narendra and Shehbaz Sharif? Benjamin and Kim Jong-un? Emmanuel and Rishi? Xi Jinping? Can we trust them?

The United States detonated two atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, killing an estimated 130,000 and 225,000 people, respectively, most of whom were civilians. The USA remains the only country to have used nuclear weapons to destroy cities and structures and inflict death, admittedly in an armed conflict, during the Second World War. Therefore, a pertinent question for us: Are nuclear missiles and bombs stockpiled by the USA in the Chagos?

Never again: to the deadly destruction of humanity, for example through wars (e.g., during the 30 or so wars of the 20th century, two of them World Wars, 100 million people were killed); genocides (such as that of the Nazis on Jews, which eliminated 5 million people, and that in Rwanda, which saw 850,000 people murdered); epidemics (such as the Black Death in the Middle Ages, or the Spanish flu, which infected 500 million people, one-third of the world’s population, leading to at least 50 million deaths, and the Covid-19 epidemic, with 19 million infected and 2 million deaths); famines (such as the Irish famine of 1845-52, the blockade of Biafra by the Nigerian federal government during the Civil War (1967–1970), resulting in a famine that cost at least a million lives, and the ongoing genocide through famine and destruction imposed by Israel on the 2 million Palestinians of Gaza); natural catastrophes (such as earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones, floods, and fires); technology (such as the 1.35 million people who die each year as a result of road traffic crashes, the 250,000 gun deaths worldwide, and collectively, substance abuse, namely smoking, alcohol, and illicit drug use, which kills 11 million people each year); nuclear bombs (such as the 355,000 people who died in 1945 when an atomic bomb was dropped on them).

We must pray for the world to control this madness of making and stockpiling nuclear weapons, which, if used, can only bring death and destruction to the living environment, rendering some parts of the planet uninhabitable (like the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific, on which the USA detonated its first hydrogen bomb, after its inhabitants were relocated (like the Chagossians), never to return. With the UN, all 192 countries assembled, must watch, and indeed control any national leader (such as Putin, Netanyahu, Biden, who, if Russia uses nuclear weapons, will find it necessary to retaliate, and Kim out of unpredictability) who is possibly tempted to use a nuclear device on a nation perceived as an enemy.

For Democracy Watch Mauritius
Dr Michael Atchia – Former United Nations Programme Director


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