The great Albert Einstein once said, “The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything, save our modes of thinking, and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe”. As of 2019, there are approximately 13,860 nuclear weapons in total, which is entirely unreasonable. It is theorized that only 100 nuclear warheads have the potential to completely destroy human civilization. Nuclear weapons not only pose as a dangerous threat, they also make people of various countries fear one another as if the world has gone back to the dreadful days of the Cold War.
Nuclear weapons are unnecessary in modern society because the world has already seen the tragedies that have come from them, such as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the Chernobyl disaster, and the countless other calamities that could’ve been prevented. Nuclear weapons should not be made in the twenty-first century due to the exposure of radiation, the outrageously high costs, the deadly health and environmental effects, and the ongoing fear it puts into the American people.
Nuclear weapons should be banned from civilization because of the collateral damage from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. The people have seen the destruction that man-made weapons can cause. During the attacks from August 6, 1945 – August 9, 1945, “People in underground shelters who survive the initial heat flash will die as all the oxygen is sucked out of the atmosphere” (Effects of Nuclear Weapons Campaign). Nuclear weapons are severely detrimental in that not even highly protected shelters could save the lives of the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The damage in Hiroshima was so grand, that the city in 2019 still deals with low levels of background radiation.
Another reason to ban the bombs is the cost of nuclear weapons on the average tax payer’s dollar is monumental. According to Global Zero, “The cost of nuclear weapons is close to $1000 billion for the decade of 2010-2020 (Maman Jen)”. The United States for over thirty years has put billions of dollars into its nuclear program from taxes each year. But for what purpose? To instill fear into the American people, or to falsely claim it is to “protect” Americans from future enemies.
The creation of nuclear weapons should be stalled in society also due to the horrendous health effects. During a nuclear fallout, according to the article, Effects of Nuclear Earth-Penetrator and Other Weapons, “Nuclear blasts produce a shock wave that injure humans by rupturing eardrums or lungs” (73-74). With a ruptured lung, it makes it very difficult for one to breathe. During a nuclear attack, the person affected could likely pass away due to the caving in of the lungs, which makes it a struggle to breathe.
With nuclear weapons still a staggering problem, the average people must prepare for the life-long damage and environmental consequences it has on the planet. When a nuclear weapon reaches soil, it negatively affects the ecosystem, thus resulting in food scarcity across the planet. If a nuclear war were to come about, “Less than 1% of the nuclear weapons in the world today could put two billion people at risk for starvation” (Helfand Ira). With two billion people at risk nuclear weapons not only hurt the earth’s ecosystem, it’ll also cause a crash in the stock market, leading to an all time low in the economy.
Despite the tragedies of health concerns, environmental effects, and radiation, nothing compares to the ghastly dangers of a nuclear winter. A nuclear winter from a large-scale conflict “Would plunge global temperatures around 9 degrees Celsius. Those who survive by bunking down for five to six years will then worry about starvation” (Mcrae Mike). A nuclear winter is predicted to last twenty years, with lethal chills, and increased ultraviolet radiation. A nuclear winter would be equivalent to Europe’s Ice Age of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. A nuclear winter and Europe’s Little Ice Age are comparable because of the long-lasting effects theory could have on the environment. Europe’s Little Ice Age caused massive volcanic eruptions, deforestation, and a decrease in the human population. But, none of those facts live up to the potential of what a nuclear winter could do. The endless effects would be a million times worse, since the population has got exceedingly higher by the year. Because of nuclear weapons, the world could resort back to a European Ice Age like state.
Nuclear weapons should be abolished worldwide, due to the atrocious birth effects it causes to babies. Babies and children are more susceptible to the dangers of nuclear weapons. “In a sample size of 70,073 pregnancies available, it was determined the increase in the risk of birth defects was 25 per 1 million pregnancies” (Yapa Sayuri). The primary group of people who were affected by the Chernobyl disaster were the workers of the power plant, and the children from the close nearby cities. “A study by UNICEF suggested that more than 20% of adolescent children in Belarus suffer from disabilities caused by birth defects” (Verrill Courtney). Nuclear weapons have the capability to ruin an unborn child’s life and their mother’s life in the blink of an eye. Nuclear weapons harm the lives of the world’s future leaders.
Nuclear power is not only filthy, expensive, and extremely dangerous, it is also deleterious to plants and animals that live in water. During the Chernobyl Disaster, the animals were greatly affected. “Defects included facial malformations, extra appendages, abnormal coloring, and reduced size. Domestic mutations were most common in cattle and pigs” (Helmenstine Anne). Nuclear energy negatively influences an animals natural habitat. The various chemicals used to create nuclear weapons, such as chloropicrin, phosgene, and uranium, can destroy animal wildlife. Nuclear weapons will cause habitats to be lost, disrupted, and broken.
Nuclear weapons and war propaganda should be suppressed across the United States, due to the ongoing fear that it brings to the American people. Throughout various news stations such as CNN, Fox News, and USA Today, there is always a sense of paranoia about a “future nuclear war” or “Russian President Vladimir Putin declares war is inevitable”. War propaganda is misleading and can demoralize the American morale.
In the 1950s, during the peak of the Cold War, the children’s film, Duck and Cover had made its debut. The duck and cover drills would inaccurately explain how to “duck and cover” in school and at home, even if there was no shelter around. A school desk in fact could not save a child’s life from a nuclear explosion. “There is a good chance one would not survive a nuclear blast even if seeking shelter, but there is an even greater chance that one would die if inaccurately attempting to duck and cover” (Delwiche Aaron). Contrary to the “warn, but don’t frighten” slogan “Drills seem to create a toxic atmosphere. Will enough students who have to practice duck and cover drills feel the threat, in the way that changes minds and provokes action?” (Onion Rebecca). The Duck and Cover film and drill are harmful and fatal to both children and elderly people.
In conclusion, nuclear weapons should be banned in the twenty-first century, due to the horrific life-long effects. The exposure of radiation, outrageously high costs, deadly health and environmental effects, birth defects in children, a nuclear winter, disasters in plants and animals, war propaganda, and the paranoia it brings to the American people. This is only a minuscule list on why nuclear weapons should be banned. If the United States and other nuclear powers stopped their production of nuclear weapons, the world could feel a sense of unity, integration, and perhaps a true feeling of world peace.
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