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It’s in the DNA

By Stephen Fitzgerald

The continued existence of nuclear weapons is an ongoing existential threat to the human race, one that may still get us in the end. If nuclear weapons were easy to obtain we’d have gone extinct years ago. There are enough omnicidal maniacs out there that one, sooner or later, would press the button.

Passing alien would look down at the desolate and lifeless earth and debate why we would developed the technologies that could power our advancing civilization and then use them to destroy ourselves? They would need to look no further than their own evolution to answer that question. We evolve beyond a certain point or we don’t.

The conclusion would be that humans clearly had one foot in the future but also had one foot firmly planted in the animal kingdom and were still prone to behaviour controlled by basic animal instinct. Their inability to grasp what humanity and civilization is all about was overridden by the self serving needs of the animals among them. It all boils down to some humans being a bit backward on the evolutionary scale.

When it comes to nuclear holocaust, collective global action has been in play since 1945 to protect the fate of humanity. Simplified, the fear of global destruction and the world being uninhabitable has prevented WWIII. We grasp the issue and we act accordingly but, there is another existential threat facing humanity that collectively we don’t seem to comprehend and that’s called climate change.

Most of us see where we are heading and, catastrophic climate change will be no less destructive than nuclear war. So what’s stopping affirmative action? It’s the same people dictating nuclear arms policy that are dictating climate action policy so, why the inaction on climate change? Well, there’s not a lot of money to be made in the nuclear arms race but tens of trillions to be made in the fossil fuel industry. So, I guess greed overrides common sense and self preservation, but why?

“Climate change is,” writes Bryan Walsh in Medium:

… essentially, the sum of all our decisions. Our decisions to use fossil fuels. Our decisions to travel by car or jet. Our decisions to support politicians who deny the reality of global warming and work to thwart action to address it. And most of all, our decisions to prioritize the comfort of the present at the cost of the future.

It’s not that any of us consciously want to screw over the generations to come with hotter temperatures and more extreme weather. It’s that we’re each pursuing what we perceive as our individual good, the good of our family and close circle — the good of now. And through our collective actions, we create the catastrophe that is climate change, which will fall most heavily on the generations to come.

You can’t really blame us, we are acting the way we evolved to act — biased towards the near future and the nearby, reluctant to sacrifice for the sake of those we’ll never meet and who have yet to exist. And that worked well enough for 10,000 years of civilization — until today, when this global village has the power to destroy itself through new weapons, through biotechnology, and through climate change.

“Our morality and our moral dispositions evolved to stop us from killing ourselves within our small group and to make sure that we cooperated with our small group,” says Savulescu, the Uehiro Professor of Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford. “But they didn’t evolve to provide benefits to strangers or to deal with large numbers of individuals at risk. All those features mean we’re particularly badly placed to deal with large statistical threats like the use of biological weapons or global collective action problems like climate change.”

There are those among us who lack the moral capacities to deal with the sort of world we’ve created for ourselves. They are still blinkered by basic animal instinct.

We need to take that quantum leap into the future, we need to evolve beyond our primitive state. The Neanderthals in climate change denial need to take a small step out of the cave and take one giant step into the future for the sake of humanity. We need those in power to get a grip on what civilization and humanity is all about and, it’s not about pack mentality. It’s not all about looking after themselves, their own little tribe and their extended family of cronies at the expense of society. We need leaders with human qualities, moral fibre, ethics, empathy, intellect and a vision that protects our collective future.

In the primitive state, acting against the collective good would have seen us driven out of the village and isolated or worse. We are now a modern global village all facing the same threat. Any politician not fully committed to taking action on climate change is in it for themselves driven by animal instinct. They are in government under pretence and exist on lies and deceit at the expense of our society and then all of humanity. I see quite a few politicians dragging their knuckles across the floor of parliament but the numbers are starting to thin.

Our ancestors made sacrifices to get us through previous global conflicts and as humans, we have that wonderful capacity. To protect our future, we need to stand beside our new breed of ethical leaders and be prepared to prove our humanity once more, for the collective good.

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  1. Perkin Wartruck

    Only one country has used nuclear weapons, and in my admittedly jaundiced opinion, that same country is the only one likely to use them again.

  2. Alcibiades


    Two nuclear weapons, and the second nuke had not a shred of credible justification, not that the first had much either … military necessity was non-existant. Truman danced on the head of a pin, with ever more fanciful excuses till his dying day.

    In fact the Japanese had been earnestly attempting surrender for six months prior, unconditionally, as long as the Emperor was not held to account. So, TWO nukes later, unconditional surrender, and the Emperor was not tried. Things that make you go hmmm….

  3. Michael Taylor

    Can’t for the life of me work this out:

    Trump pulls out of whatever that agreement was called with Russia to downsize their country’s nuclear arsenal … Putin responds by announcing that he’s gonna start stockpiling … Trump jets off to Hanoi to tell his new best friend that he has to discontinue his nuclear weapons program (which he hoped to get a Nobel Peace Prize out of).

    Who is America to tell other countries they can’t have a nuclear program, while they themselves are expanding their own? And thanks to Trump … Russia will go rogue.

    I hate nuclear weapons full stop. Why does America need enough nuclear power to destroy the planet ten times over?

    If they are going to blow it up, I request that they spare Australia and Scotland (if I had a choice of only two).

  4. Alcibiades


    The INF, Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, which was US-Russkie bilateral only and applied to weapons of 500-5500Km range.

    10Mins or less launch warning til strike …

    US wanted out because other nations, ie China for example, were not constrained … in reality they intend to forward deploy what are first strike weapons on other nations (vassals) soil … good luck with that, times have changed … to complement the already forward deployed Anti-Ballistic Missile (also first strike cruise missile capable by the way) batteries already encircling the evil Russkies and increasingly China, too.

    Under Bush the younger the US unilaterally withdrew from the ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile) treaty back in 2001, IIRC, and have been deploying Patriots, THAADS, ground and sea based AEGIS wherever they can shoehorn them in ever since.

    The SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation) Treaty (I or II ?) expires in ~ 1 year, which currently limits US & Ruskies to ~5500 max ICBM ‘launchers’ a piece (though now they are fitted with not one or three simple warheads, but up to 10 independently targetable and maneuverable nuclear warheads (MIRVs), plus decoys).

    The Trump is not expected to renew the treaty unless he negotiates an entirely lopsided deal, hence, no renewal.

    The Russkies now have next generation long endurance and extreme maneuverability hypersonic air launched and soon ground and submarine launched missiles that are incapable of being targeting by current or even next generation ABMs, that can be ‘on station’ in flight and circle the globe numerous times, not just intercontinental. A nuclear powered and armed submarine Drone, ultra high speed, highly maneuverable, exceptional endurance, is coming into operational deployment, capable of nuking cosstal cities and harbours, ie Diega Garcia,Guam, E & W coast of the US, Hawaii and so on. All in direct response to the 17 year US ABM worldwide buildup.

    The Trump has authorised his Spaaaace Force be created as a sixth arm of the US military, and will next likely withdraw from the International Space Treaty, which limits WMDs in Spaaace, as the US believes it has a technological lead and advantage to the deployment of such. Read up on ‘Rods from space’.

    Combined with the expansion of NATO to even countries such as montenegro(?), to allow for forward deployed launchers, etc, entirely encircling the evil Russkies right up to their physical borders over the last decade, in breach of Reagans assurance to then Gorbachev …

    China can manufacture and deploy literally 100’s of intermediate nukes in a matter of months if sufficiently threatened. It’s actual current ICBM launcher & warhead numbers are at best an opaque, wild-assed guess.

    Japan and South Korea can go fully nuclear capable in less than six months, if imperiled.

    Buckleup, ’cause the Cuban Missile Crisis Redux, if it happens, will be over one way or the other, in a lot less than 13 days,or drag on for months on end, next time around.

    Just sayin’.

  5. Alcibiades


    PS Scotland is probably okay re risk of direct strikes, OTTOMH.

    We’ll almost certainly be hit in two locales in Darwin (low & high yield), one vicinity Perth (high yield), two in central Australia (low yield) and as a bonus, likely Sydney too (low yield), at least, if it all goes up. No ‘On the Beach’ Scenario. That’s what we get for being in AUSCANUKUS(+NZ), ie the Five-Eyes, fully integrated into the global strategic US Intelligence and Strategic Nuclear Arms & communications systems, as a willing, suborned … vassal.

  6. Deidre Zanker

    Pine gap would be the first to be hit. Americas eye in the sky

  7. Andreas Bimba

    “Any politician not fully committed to taking action on climate change is in it for themselves driven by animal instinct. They are in government under pretence and exist on lies and deceit at the expense of our society and then all of humanity.”

    This quotes worth framing.

    That quote should become law so our courts can prosecute any politician that fails to take decisive action to prevent catastrophic climate change.

  8. Jack Cade

    My favourite Aussie quote – and it should be the motto of the Liberal Party – is ‘If I win this I will be made for life’…the incomparable Sophie Mirabella.

  9. Ken Linder

    The conclusion would be that humans clearly had
    one foot in the future but also had one foot firmly
    planted in the animal kingdom

    Just ONE foot in the animal kingdom? So what is the rest of the author made up of. Are they plant, part slime mold, part prion?

    Humans are animals, just like the rest of the animals on the planet. We are not in some special class. We are just animals that happen to be intelligent enough that we can do a lot more damage than other animals can.

  10. David Bruce

    Perkin Wartruck: there is one other country which has used nuclear weapons. However I cannot name the country as I would be a target for the anti-defamation league!

    The weapons in questions were nuclear pits from US artillery shells Some buildings in New York may have been involved.

    In September 1999, the New Zealand Government Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade released its 53 year old top secret files in the National Archives on Project Seal, the development of the Tsunami Bomb by New Zealand for the British Ministry of Defense.

    Project Seal was a top secret series of experiments in which the New Zealand Army set off underwater explosions triggering mini-tidal waves at Whangaparaoa, New Zealand in 1944 and 1945. The initial tests were conducted in a specially constructed dam. Later, a series of much bigger experiments were carried out near Tiritiri MatangiIsland in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland, New Zealand.

    The original purpose of the Tsunami Bomb Project was to get the US Air Force to drop a large hydrogen bomb off the coast of Japan and thereby flood the strategic ports in the country and end the war (hence the name “tsunami” was adopted for the bomb – Japanese “tsu” meaning ‘harbor’ and “nami” meaning ‘wave.’ Technically, a tidal wave is not a tsunami). As it turned out, the experiments showed that the tsunami generated by the explosions increased in size with explosive yield, until the explosion was sufficiently large that the seabed was exposed (the radius of the bubble formed by the explosion equals the water depth). Beyond this point, larger explosions produced smaller tsunami. Because the ocean depth around Tiritiri Matangi was less than 100 meters, it was concluded that for a big tsunami bomb to effectively work what was needed was much deeper water. They were also experimenting with underwater explosions detonated against walls, rocky reefs and the like, and groups of sequenced explosions designed to direct the main force of the tsunami wave in a particular direction and not all around. (Not in Aceh.)

    Since the ocean depths close in around the strategic target zones in Japan were considered to be of insufficient depth, and the deep water in the Japan Trench was considered too far out or unsuitably located, it was decided to simply drop the bombs directly on the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki instead. (not Fukushima.)

    The Seal Project that developed the tsunami bomb in New Zealand was under the command of an Australian, Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Leech, an Auckland University engineering professor credited with the device’s invention. He was the university’s dean of engineering from 1940 to 1950. In 1947 he was awarded a CBE by the British Sovereign for his research and development of the weapon and he died in his native Australia in 1973. (see pages 121-122)

    Now back to climate change; how can we prevent another Ice Age?

  11. Stephen Fitzgerald

    Leave a Reply – If you have landed her you may have already read
    “ARTICLES: Our Children’s Future – Oil Wars and Ice Melt”.

    It’s themed on the raging wars for control of oil and natural gas and, the global consequences if we burn it all. The solution is to remove the demand for fossil fuels with a rapid transition to renewable energy.

  12. Stephen Fitzgerald

    With CO2 stabilized at 450 ppm and acceptable warming of 2°C we still infer a likely long-term sea-level rise of more than nine meters above the present.

    The least we can do for future generations is leave the world how we inherited it. We need to stop pumping green-house gasses into the atmosphere by transitioning to renewable energy and, aim at reducing CO2 to pre-industrial levels.

    To be in with a chance of doing that, we need to look at all the options. We need a rapid, large scale fix on a global scale and, there is a possible solution using a natural process to manage atmospheric CO2: It’s difficult to get big business and government to engage so we need to push harder.

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