People Standing against Tanks: The Civil Resistance of August 1991 and Its Ambiguous Legacy

Nonviolent civil resistance helped change history 30 years ago this August. When a group of hardline Communists within the Soviet Union attempted a coup in August 1991, they were met with significant resistance from other Soviet citizens, including both ordinary people and elites. The civil resisters ultimately prevailed over the coup plotters. The failed coup … Continue reading People Standing against Tanks: The Civil Resistance of August 1991 and Its Ambiguous Legacy

Encouraging Words That Require Action: Comments on the Geneva Summit

President Biden met, for the first time since his inauguration, Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 16 in Geneva. While the summit meeting didn’t produce any dramatic breakthroughs in US-Russian relations, it did provide some encouraging signs. The two countries’ joint statement, released after the summit, contained an important declaration on the evil of nuclear … Continue reading Encouraging Words That Require Action: Comments on the Geneva Summit

Lethal from the Start: Uranium Mining’s Danger to the Most Vulnerable

Nuclear weapons kill directly when they are exploded in wartime or in tests.[1] They also kill indirectly: obtaining uranium, the metal used to produce both nuclear power and nuclear weapons, can expose people to radiation or other hazards. The results are often harmful, even lethal. As with nuclear testing, the people exposed to these hazards … Continue reading Lethal from the Start: Uranium Mining’s Danger to the Most Vulnerable

“The Affairs of a Handful of Natives”: Nuclear Testing and Racism

While nuclear weapons haven’t been used in war for over 75 years, they have still killed and hurt people since 1945. Testing of nuclear weapons has exposed many people to radiation, with its terrible health consequences. Further, the people harmed by nuclear testing have frequently been from different, far less powerful, ethnic groups than the … Continue reading “The Affairs of a Handful of Natives”: Nuclear Testing and Racism

The Biden Administration and Russia: Steps to Build a More Stable Relationship

Among the many challenges Joseph Biden will face as the new president of the United States is how to handle the American relationship with Russia. US-Russian relations have now deteriorated to a level of mutual hostility comparable to that during the Cold War. Hostility between nations is always a serious concern for peace activists, and … Continue reading The Biden Administration and Russia: Steps to Build a More Stable Relationship

A Global Effort to Protect Life: The UN Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons

Honduras became, at end of October, the fiftieth nation to ratify the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.[1] The Treaty, which was finalized in the summer of 2017, has been signed by 84 nations.[2] Now that 50 of those nations have ratified it, the treaty will officially enter into force as international … Continue reading A Global Effort to Protect Life: The UN Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons

Catastrophe by Mistake: The Button and the Danger of Accidental Nuclear War

The most likely way for the United States to end up in a nuclear war today is not because of an aggressive nuclear attack by Russia or North Korea or some other nation. Nor is it likely to be because the United States launches such an aggressive attack on another nuclear-armed nation. The most likely … Continue reading Catastrophe by Mistake: The Button and the Danger of Accidental Nuclear War

East Germany’s Peaceful Revolution: Remembering the Berlin Wall’s Fall

The Berlin Wall fell 30 years ago this year, on November 9, 1989. This massive barrier that since the 1960s had effectively imprisoned the residents of Communist-ruled East Berlin was also a symbol of the larger Cold War division between Eastern and Western Europe and the Soviet Union and the United States. When Berliners broke … Continue reading East Germany’s Peaceful Revolution: Remembering the Berlin Wall’s Fall

To Save Humanity: What I Learned at the “Two Minutes to Midnight” Conference

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists decided earlier this year to adjust the “Doomsday Clock,” the organization’s index of probable nuclear and other dangers facing humanity.[1] Tensions between the United States and nations such as North Korea, Russia, and China, among other factors, prompted the Bulletin to move the Doomsday Clock’s hands to two minutes to midnight—“midnight” … Continue reading To Save Humanity: What I Learned at the “Two Minutes to Midnight” Conference

Apocalypse Averted: The Brink’s Tale of Near-Nuclear War

The world might have come close to ending in the early 1980s. Tensions had been rising between the United States and the Soviet Union for years, and Soviet leaders were convinced that their American counterparts were planning to launch a nuclear war. The Soviets became hypersensitive to possible warning signs of an impending American or … Continue reading Apocalypse Averted: The Brink’s Tale of Near-Nuclear War