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Citizens arise, apocalyptic dangers facing us

2018-08-09 00:00:41
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Expert scientists are warning that the global warming catastrophe may be reaching a point of no-return with some western countries going through their hottest summers in history and some of them getting as hot as 46 degrees Celsius while California and Greece face their worst ever wildfires. Meanwhile the world this week marks the anniversary of another apocalyptic danger -- nuclear weapons.  

According to a Washington Post report, Hiroshima marked the anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombing with a sombre ceremony on August 6 to remember those killed and injured, with a call to eliminate nuclear weapons amid hopes of denuclearizing North Korea.  

Nuclear deterrence and nuclear umbrellas are “inherently unstable and extremely dangerous” approaches that seek to maintain international order by only generating fear in rival countries, the Mayor said, urging world leaders to negotiate in good faith to eliminate nuclear arsenals instead, according to the Washington Post report.  

The United States’ Hiroshima attack killed about 140,000 people and the August 9 Nagasaki bombing killed more than 70,000. Hiroshima Mayor Matsui said in his speech that Japan’s government should do more to achieve a nuclear-free world by helping the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to take effect. Japan, which hosts US troops and is covered by the US nuclear umbrella protecting it from attack, has not signed the treaty, the newspaper says.   

Japan should live up to the spirit of its pacifist constitution to lead the international community “towards dialogue and cooperation for a world without nuclear weapons,” the Mayor said. About 50,000 people, including Hiroshima residents and representatives from 58 countries, including US Ambassador William Hagerty, attended this year’s ceremony. The anniversary comes amid hopes to denuclearize North Korea after US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at their Singapore meeting, made vague aspirational statements about denuclearizing the peninsula.  

According to a report in the British Express newspaper website the United States and Russia account for 92 per cent of nuclear weapons. Russia has about 6,850 nuclear weapons with the country’s tough-talking dictator Vladimir Putin boasting that Russia now has super-smart nuclear weapons which could penetrate any defence mechanism and hit any part of the world. US has about 6,450 weapons. With President Trump widely known to be inconsistent and dangerously unpredictable, analysts have expressed concern over his power to order a nuclear attack. Some analysts say the US and Russia have some weapons which are tens of thousands of times more powerful than the atom bombs which caused an apocalypse in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.   

The Express report says France has about 300 nuclear weapons, China about 280, Britain about 215, Pakistan about 150, India about 140, Israel about 80 and North Korea about 60. Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, Pope Francis said nuclear non-proliferation treaties were totally inadequate and he urged world religious leaders to come together in seeking a ban on nuclear weapons. The world’s major religions have no doctrinal differences relating to nuclear weapons. They need to meet together more regularly and apply pressure on the world leaders to impose a ban while inspiring the people to carry out massive protests in their countries. Pope Francis has also appealed to world religious leaders to work together in the battle against global warming, though President Trump recently pulled out of the 2016 Paris Climate Change Accords, which virtually all countries have signed. 

President Maithripala Sirisena speaking at a national ceremony on Tuesday to mark the launch of the sustainable development programme said he was proud to proclaim that Sri Lanka was one of the first countries to sign the Paris Climate Change Accord. If global warming trends continue, many countries including the Maldives will be submerged within decades. Sri Lanka also will lose a large section of its coastline. Therefore there is a need for the world’s people to be eco-friendly and act as responsible citizens by putting pressure on leaders and holding demonstrations to curb climate change and ban nuclear weapons.  


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