by Sherwood Ross
The growing threat of planet-wide nuclear extinction will bring some of the world’s leading scholars and activists to New York City for a two-day symposium Feb. 28-March 1, 2015.
This conference will be held at the New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Ave., N.Y., NY, sponsored by The Helen Caldicott Foundation For a Nuclear Free Future. The press is invited.
Dr. Caldicott is an Australian physician, author, and anti-nuclear advocate who has founded several associations dedicated to opposing the use of nuclear power, depleted uranium munitions, and nuclear weapons. She has been awarded 21 honorary doctoral degrees and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling.
This symposium will be unique, linking the existential threat of Artificial Super Intelligence(ASI) with the current existential threat of nuclear war. It will examine a future in which intelligent machines could launch a nuclear war with no human input.
This threat is compounded as the escalating crisis in the Ukraine has significantly increased nuclear risk. According to Dr. Caldicott: “As the Cold War heats up again, the U.S. and Russia each maintain over one thousand nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert to be launched with a press of a button, increasing the risk of a global conflagration.”
“Between them,” she goes on to day, “the U.S. and Russia possess 93% of the world’s 16,400 nuclear weapons arsenal, a situation which is made worse by outdated equipment, negligence, poor maintenance, viruses, and hacking within the arsenals of both countries.”
Far from his past disarmament promises, “President Obama plans to earmark $1 trillion over the next 30 years to replace every nuclear weapon, missile, ship, submarine and plane.”
Among the Conference discussion topics are:
- How many times have we come close to nuclear war with Russia? What are the precipitating human and technological factors?
- What are the medical and environmental consequences of a limited or major nuclear war?
- How can we cure the present political pathology leading the world to the brink of nuclear war?
February 28, 2015
- Investigative journalist Eric Schlosser, author of “Command and Control,” who will discuss multiple nuclear accidents and near misses.
- Seth Baum, co-founder of the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute, will discuss the catastrophic risk of nuclear war.
- Max Tegmark, professor of physics at MIT, a Swedish-American cosmologist, will discuss the threat of artificial intelligence and of computers launching a nuclear war with no human input.
- Hans Kristensen, of Silver Spring, Md., Director of the Nuclear Information Project of the Federation of American Scientists, will address the current size of nuclear arsenals.
- Bill Hartung, Center for International Policy of Washington, D.C., will discuss the inordinate power of the U.S. military-industrial complex.
- Greg Mello, Secretary and Executive Director of the Los Alamos Study Group, Albuquerque, N.M., will discuss the role and funding of the nuclear weapons laboratories.
- John Feffer, co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute of Policy Studies, Washington, D.C., will compare military expenditures with global warming outlays.
- Bruce Gagnon, co-ordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, will speak on the dangerous, ongoing militarization of space.
- Bob Alvarez, Senior Scholar for Nuclear Policy at the Institute of Policy Studies, Washington, D.C., will discuss lateral proliferation and describe how a small nuclear exchange could trigger a global holocaust.
March 1, 2015
- Dr. Alex Rosen, of Dusseldorf, Germany, vice-president of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, will describe the horrific medical implications of same.
- Holly Barker, Department of Anthropology, University of Washington, Seattle, will discuss teratogenic and genetic pathology (congenital malformations) from U.S. nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands.
- Alan Robock, Distinguished Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., will outline his pioneering work on Nuclear Autumn and Nuclear Winter.
- Lynn Eden, author of “Whole World on Fire: Organizations, Knowledge, and Nuclear Devastation” (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs), will discuss an issue the Pentagon has ignored: the holocaust of firestorms in the aftermath of nuclear war.
- Janne Nolan, Research Professor, Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., will discuss the underlying psychological pathology of nuclear warriors.
- Mike Lofgren, former chief analyst for military spending at the Senate Budget Committee, will describe U.S. capitalism as it relates to tenuous nuclear situation.
- Susi Snyder, Nuclear Disarmament Programme Leader for IKV Pax Christi, Utrecht, The Netherlands, will discuss 2014 report “Don’t Bank on The Bomb.”
- Hugh Gusterson, Professor of Anthropology and Sociology, George Mason University, Fairfax, Va., will describe his research after spending one year at the Los Alamos Labs.
- Robert Sheer, author of “Star Warriors” and Clinical Professor of Communications at the University of Southern California, will describe his research on the young men who do the research on nuclear weapons development at Lawrence Livermore Labs.
- Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor and Professor of Linguistics at MIT, Cambridge, Mass., will present the pathology within the present political system that could induce extinction.
- Tim Wright, Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Geneva, Switzerland, will suggest some potential and exciting solutions.
- David Krieger, Founder and President, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Santa Barbara, Ca., about the law suit brought on behalf of the Marshall Islands.
- Helen Caldicott, President of The Helen Caldicott Foundation, will discuss an urgent prescription for survival.
The conference will begin at 9 a.m. sharp both days; check-in at 8 a.m. Press must register in advance with the Media Coordinator and must have current press credentials to be admitted.
The sessions will be livestreamed globally and broadcast by TUC radio, London.
The mission of the The Helen Caldicott Foundation For a Nuclear Free Future is to educate the public, the media, and public officials about the grave medical and environmental dangers inherent in nuclear power and the nuclear fuel chain, the manufacture and use of nuclear weapons, nuclear war, and climate change.
Sherwood Ross is an award-winning reporter. He served in the U.S Air Force where he contributed to his base newspaper. He later worked for The Miami Herald and Chicago Daily News. He contributed a weekly column on working for a major wire service. He is also an editorial and book publicist. He currently resides in Florida.