“…Don’t forget

Of the rose of the rose

Of the rose of Hiroshima

The hereditary rose

The radioactive rose

Stupid and invalid

The rose with cirrhosis

The anti-atomic rose

Without colour without perfume

Without rose without anything”.

(Vinícius de Moraes)

By Olga Pinheiro*

A few months after the 76th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the prospects for the use of nuclear weapons remain as dangerous as at any time since the height of the Cold War, as the UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu, has herself pointed out.

The central argument for defending the maintenance of nuclear weapons is often the possibility of “deterrence”. However, the legitimacy of this strategy is tenuously underpinned by the confidence that states act on the basis of honest correlations in a world increasingly transfigured by fake news.

Thus, the possibility of the annihilation of other nations or the planet itself can originate from a false flag operation or even from a criminal action of information hijacking and manipulation of the system. On the latter conjecture, let us recall the “nuclear terrorism” perpetrated by Israel against Iran last semester, reported by Israel’s own public radio (Kan) as a cyber-attack perpetrated by the Mossad.

The aforementioned terrorist act caused a power outage at the Persian country’s uranium enrichment plant, shutting down the entire facilities of this peaceful nuclear industry, which is located in a country that is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and is monitored by United Nations inspectors, unlike the attacker. Israel, in addition to never having signed the NPT, has an undeclared nuclear arsenal that is not monitored by any international body.

This year, satellite photos analysed by The Associated Press (AP) revealed the largest Israeli nuclear facility project in decades. In the vicinity of the Shimon Peres Nuclear Research Centre, a facility was detected with several underground laboratories involved in obtaining plutonium for Israel’s nuclear bomb programme, as reported by the AP.

All this, under the strict control of only the country that has most boycotted and sabotaged international agreements promoting peace, in addition to promoting systematic massacres of the Palestinian people and being directly or indirectly complicit in political persecutions and assassinations in other parts of the world, and as if by miracles more astonishing than those of the Old Testament, they fall into total oblivion, and consequent impunity.

Israel also counts the US as its main ally, the only country to have dropped atomic bombs on other nations, and to have abandoned the Open Skies Treaty, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and the Iran Deal, which have been strategic to nuclear arms control.

The Glasgow Conference was recently held in Scotland and the repercussions of the Trump administration’s breaking the Paris Treaty are still evident despite the fact that current President Biden has spoken out in favour of the climate agreement. Many analysts referred to the summit as devoid of political density and unified multilateral action.

Although this link is often underestimated or deliberately made invisible, there is an intrinsic relationship between the climate crisis and militarisation, especially when it comes to nuclear weapons and the human and ecological impact they entail, not only when they are fired against other peoples, but also in their development and testing, as well as the toxic waste they expel. All of this, not to mention the enormous diversion of economic resources that are destined to this industry of mass destruction to the detriment of investment in the quality of life of the planet’s diverse beings and ecosystems.

The international organisation Pax Christi has rightly said that “nuclear weapons and climate change are two of the greatest threats facing the world” and that “climate change threatens all lives and responding to it means shifting priorities and resources away from armed forces and war towards a just and sustainable peace”.

On the other hand, there is a very, conveniently, rhetorical confusion spread mainly by the nuclear powers, and this refers to climate security in a loose association with militarised security, as the Transnational Institute (TNI) has pointed out on several occasions.

In the name of the superpower status that nuclear weapons confer on the global chessboard, representatives of these states advocate a militaristic interpretation in which the climate threat is arbitrarily designated according to human activities that might harm the privileges of their establishment and not properly the community-environmental fabric.

Not coincidentally, a US Department of Defense strategist, quoted by TNI, refers, on climate security, to “an era of persistent conflict… a much more ambiguous and unpredictable security environment than that faced during the Cold War”.

Based on these concerns and taking into consideration that, in 2022, the first meeting of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which all states should sign, and the Review Conference of the parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) will take place, a greater multilateral commitment is needed to bring these issues into the arena of public debate, and to remove the obscurantist aura that their content should be restricted to the corridors of certain summits or defence departments.

Until we take a stand, criminal, anachronistic and bellicose organisations such as NATO will continue to contest, literally with all their weapons, that space which claims to respect all of humanity. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said that security and climate are “two sides of the same coin”. It is already well known how expensive the currency of this Alliance is; change always results in enormous loss of life and territorial depredation.

This opacity of data and discussion about the nuclear weapons industry and its modus operandi, behind the public’s back, favours its exponential impact on climate change. The more we mobilise, albeit with actions that represent a mustard seed compared to a “Little Boy” (the name of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima), the more we demonstrate our choice for the springtime of peaceful coexistence between peoples. And, in that spring, no anti-atomic rose will be welcome.

* Olga Pinheiro is part of the magazine The Right to Live in Peace.