12. Nuclear weapons and power: activist issues which are surrounded by form, and which are yet another measure of real progress. Nuclear technologies, weapons or power, are among the most extreme examples of the form of scientists and technologists, and the corporations which support them, pursuing their interests blindly without any regard for their effects on others, including people, society, other species and the planet. As such, they are perfect examples of the human selfishness that is one of our core problems, and among the clearest targets of our opposition.

We cannot have real and enduring peace until nuclear weapons are eliminated, but given the effects of chaos it is likely that we will never be able to accomplish this. We are trapped in a cage of our own design. Also, as we saw earlier, this demonstrates that the worst technology will always get into the worst hands. The world of the twentieth century was completely remade - the effects cannot be overstated - by Soviet espionage of American nuclear secrets. The world of the twenty-first century may well suffer a similar fate due to the recent Chinese espionage. (There is a greater need for the end to dictatorship in China than ever before.)

(Regardless of the involvement, or lack of involvement, of Los Alamos scientist Wen Ho Lee, such espionage did take place. The Cox Commission found that “the Chinese government sometime in the late 1980s acquired sensitive design information, in particular regarding the miniaturized W-88 warhead used on the Trident D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missile.” Wall Street Journal, September 19, 2000)

As for nuclear power, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Since we are using our non-renewable energy sources with wild abandon, and without developing new, renewable sources, we may well feel compelled at some point - the nuclear energy industry will certainly tell us that we are - to end our opposition to such power on “practical” grounds. And, with such an opening not only will we have a far greater potential for nuclear accidents, and ecological damage, but we will also lose our ability to halt the proliferation of nuclear weapons. While it seemingly has evaporated into the background, at least in Western consciousness - India and Pakistan’s and North Korea’s actions notwithstanding [and now Iran] - this remains one of our greatest threats, and it likely will surface again [it has]. But rather than wait for this to happen, for the next nuclear war or “incident” to occur, we must reenergize our activism and do our best to prevent it.