Sean Howard

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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

Divided Nations: Canada Ducks Disarmament Challenge

Divided Nations: Canada Ducks Disarmament Challenge

January 11, 2017 at 12:04 pm

On December 23 – the day after US President-elect Donald Trump tweeted his intent to “greatly strengthen and expand” American “nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes” – the United Nations General Assembly voted to open negotiations next year on a treaty outlawingRead More

Lockheed Martin & CBU: Green Energy or Blood Money?

Lockheed Martin & CBU: Green Energy or Blood Money?

December 7, 2016 at 1:06 pm

On  7 November 2011, to great fanfare, the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment (CSEE) was officially opened at Cape Breton University (CBU). A prominent participant in the ceremony, and key partner in the venture, was Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest weapons manufacturer. Tom Digan, then presidentRead More

Canadian troops returning from the trenches. November, 1916. Battle of the Somme. (Photo via the Library and Archives of Canada.)

Snapshot from Hell: A Day in the Life of the Great War

November 9, 2016 at 8:55 am

As we approach Remembrance Day, at the midpoint of the centenary of the First World War, it is instructive to consider a day in the life of that terrible time: Saturday, November 11, 1916. An online chronology documents the weather on the Western Front—“Rain, trace. 55°-32°, misty day with lowRead More

Special nuclear materials convoy, Aldermaston. (Photo via AWPC)

Roads To Hell: Nuclear Waste on the Move

October 5, 2016 at 1:40 pm

“It was an awesome spectacle,” the Austrian physicist Otto Frisch wrote in 1979, recalling the world’s first atomic explosion, the ‘Trinity’ test at Alamogordo, New Mexico, 44 years earlier. What most struck him was not the lethal radiance of “what has become so well known as the mushroom cloud” butRead More

NATO expansion.

Sacred Honor & Lizard Brains: Let’s Talk NATO

September 2, 2016 at 3:51 pm

Since the end of the Cold War, discussion of nuclear disarmament has been conspicuous by its absence from US politics—and, indeed, from debate and coverage in most countries. While the dangers of nuclear proliferation receive more attention, the intimate link between banning the Bomb and preventing its spread is rarelyRead More

Japanese school children near Hiroshima Peace Memorial, also known as the Atomic Bomb Dome ("Genbaku Dome"). An exhibition hall, it was the only thing left standing in the area after the bomb. Photo by Catherine Campbell (June 2014)

Chain Reactions: Bad Faith and Bold Moves in the New Nuclear Age

August 3, 2016 at 12:02 pm

Seventy-one years after the atomic destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, “the danger of some sort of nuclear catastrophe is greater than it was during the Cold War, and most people are blissfully unaware of this danger.” The warning comes not from a lonely peacenik prophet-of-doom but a chastened member ofRead More