Method #29,405 by which humanity may extinguish itself: Don't forget nuclear

With humanity so busy creating innovative new threats to our continued existence (like drilling holes miles under the Earth’s surface where we know potentially life-obliterating methane bubbles are trapped), let’s not forget an oldie but goodie we long ago grew complacent about but which is actually more dangerous than ever before:

Ms. Walker conducted nearly a hundred interviews on camera (and many more off), with physicists, writers, nuclear weapons experts (including the former C.I.A. officers Valerie Plame Wilson and Rolf Mowatt-Larssen) and a hefty roster of world leaders (including Tony Blair, Mikhail Gorbachev and Pervez Musharraf). She also observed security agents in the former Eastern bloc and landed an interview with Oleg Khinsagov, a Russian smuggler who was arrested by Georgian officials while trying to deliver highly enriched uranium to a man believed to be affiliated with a terrorist group.

One of the crucial arguments of “Countdown to Zero” is that while nuclear arsenals might have worked as a cold war-era deterrent, they have no place in a world as volatile as ours. “No matter what you used to think, the only stable solution today is zero,” Ms. Walker said.

Of the statesmen who have changed their minds about nuclear weapons, few are more prominent than the four cold warriors — former Secretaries of State Henry A. Kissinger and George P. Shultz, former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry and former Senator Sam Nunn — who together wrote an op-ed article for The Wall Street Journal in 2007 titled “A World Free of Nuclear Weapons.” Conspicuous by their absence in “Countdown to Zero,” these four men are the headliners of another pro-disarmament documentary titled “Nuclear Tipping Point,” produced by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a group founded by Mr. Nunn and Ted Turner.

Posted by James on Monday, July 19, 2010