Sean Howard

Mushroom cloud above Nagasaki after atomic bombing on August 9, 1945. Taken from the north west. Charles Levy from one of the B-29 Superfortresses used in the attack. (Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Heeding the Message of Nagasaki

August 9, 2017 at 12:03 pm

At 11:02 A.M. on 9 August 1945, an American B-29 bomber dropped a single bomb on the Japanese port city of Nagasaki. The bomb, nicknamed ‘Fat Man,’ contained a baseball of plutonium surrounded by 64 packs of high-explosive, timed to compress the warhead to a critical mass. As Susan SouthardRead More

Ambasssador Elayne Whyte Gómez, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG) and President of the Conference. (Source: United Nations)

United Nations Bans the Bomb

July 12, 2017 at 12:20 pm

At nearly the eleventh hour – 10:47:53 A.M. – on Friday 7 July,  122 states, two thirds of the UN General Assembly, voted to adopt a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, a dramatic step which may prove instrumental in determining the fate of the planet. The Netherlands, theRead More

Portrait of Siegfried Sassoon by By Glyn Warren Philpot, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Siegfried Sassoon’s Great Refusal

July 5, 2017 at 12:10 pm

On July 28, 1917, the left-wing British newspaper Workers’ Dreadnought (founded as Woman’s Dreadnought by the suffragette leader Sylvia Pankhurst) published an Open Letter from an unlikely source: the highly-decorated, reputedly-fearless Infantry Officer Siegfried ‘Mad Jack’ Sassoon. Recuperating from a throat wound, and nursing secret doubts about the nearly three-year-oldRead More

Joined-Up-Thinking: A Connected Approach to Disarmament

Joined-Up-Thinking: A Connected Approach to Disarmament

June 7, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Author’s Note: This article is dedicated to the memory of Celia Lorway (1944-2017), a member of Peace Quest Cape Breton and for many years a dedicated, articulate champion of human health, social justice, nuclear disarmament, and a world free of the scourge of war. At UN Headquarters in August 2002,Read More

Participants at UN Conference on Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty, March 2017 (UN Photo)

To Ban or Not to Ban: A Canadian Dilemma

May 24, 2017 at 12:40 pm

On May 22, Ambassador Elayne White of Costa Rica, president of a UN disarmament panel, released a ‘Draft Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.’ The draft treaty, while certain to be subject to scrutiny and revision, faithfully reflects the determination of the 130 states attending the panel’s March sessionRead More

Image via Women's UN Report Network http://wunrn.com/2017/04/womens-march-rally-to-ban-the-bomb-june-17-march-to-support-a-treaty-banning-nuclear-weapons/

Radical Diplomacy & Resurgent Protest in Nuclear Age

May 3, 2017 at 1:20 pm

On March 27 over 130 states, strongly supported by international organizations and civil society, convened at the United Nations General Assembly in New York to open negotiations on a treaty outlawing nuclear weapons: the momentous goal set by the Assembly in its inaugural resolution of January 1946. In the interveningRead More

Painting by Mary Riter Hamilton, (cropped), “Isolated Grave and Camouflage, Vimy Ridge,” May 20, 1919 (Source: Library and Archives Canada, CC by 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

Vimy Ridge: Victory or Vortex?

March 29, 2017 at 12:25 pm

On 9 April 2007, after a $20 million, two-year restoration project, the Vimy Monument, the centerpiece of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France, was reopened to the public. In an elaborate ceremony also marking the 90th anniversary of the assault on Vimy Ridge, Prime Minister Stephen Harper told aRead More

Doomsday Clock, 2.5 min to midnight.

Disarmament or Doomsday? UN Responds to Nuclear Emergency

March 8, 2017 at 11:40 am

On March 27, over 130 states will meet at UN headquarters in New York to commence negotiations, mandated by the General Assembly last December, on a treaty outlawing nuclear weapons. This country, alas (see my January column, ‘Divided Nations: Canada Ducks Disarmament Challenge’), will be joining most of its NATORead More

US Judge Allows Trucking of Radioactive Chalk River Waste to South Carolina

US Judge Allows Trucking of Radioactive Chalk River Waste to South Carolina

February 22, 2017 at 1:55 pm

In my October column, “Roads to Hell: Nuclear Waste on the Move,” I reported on legal efforts to block shipments of highly-radioactive liquid waste from the Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories in Ontario to the Savannah River National Laboratory in South Carolina, a journey of over 2,000 kilometerss passing the GreatRead More

Nuclear Weapons & Human Nature: An Open Letter to Barack Obama

Nuclear Weapons & Human Nature: An Open Letter to Barack Obama

February 2, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Dear Mr. Obama, During your momentous visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial last May, the first by a sitting US president, you placed the quest for a nuclear-weapon-free world in the profoundest of contexts: the struggle of humanity to transcend the darkest vices of its own nature. As you leaveRead More