Please consider adding your name to the letter to President Biden from the Sierra Club Nuclear Weapons Grassroots Team. When you click on the link, you will see an opportunity to add your name and comments as well as other actions you can take.The Biden administration is undergoing a Nuclear Posture Review process so it is especially important to contact him now. Mark Muhich from the Nuclear Weapons Grassroots Team will present a Columbia Friends Second Hour Zoom program on this topic on April 18 th , 2021 at 11:30.
Sierra Club and a coalition of national environmental, peace, and public health groups celebrate the entry into force of the TPNW. We congratulate the United Nations, our affiliate the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), and the fifty one countries who have ratified the historic TPNW. The Sierra Club has long called for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Sierra Club, Physicians for Social Responsibility, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear war also call on the Biden Administration and the 117th Congress to deny further funding for the development of a new generation of nuclear weapons or upgrades of existing warheads. Endorsed by more than 120 nations, and ratified by fifty one so far, the TPNW prohibits parties from participating in, or assisting in any way, the engineering, manufacture, testing, deployment or transfer of nuclear weapons within their jurisdictions. The legacy cost and environmental damage caused by the development of nuclear weapons from 1943 to the present is incalculable. The Congressional Government Accounting Office estimates the remediation of sites across the U.S. associated with nuclear weapons production at $505 billion. This cost could easily double to one trillion dollars, as the GAO’s Office of Legacy Management adds more nuclear weapons production sites to its list. Some sites like Rocky Flats, CO or Hanford Site, WA, will never be reclaimed.
In response, Sierra Club Nuclear Policy Director John Coequyt released the following statement: “The Sierra Club looks forward to this landmark international treaty coming into full effect, and continues to urge all nations to work towards the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons worldwide.”
Physicians for Social Responsibility, Jeff Carter International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Ira Helfand Nuclear Ban U.S., Timmon Wallis
The path to a nuclear free United States could begin with a practical reordering of the nuclear budget as proposed by Global Zero in the report summarized below:
The U.S. can reduce its nuclear force by over two-thirds, saving billions while maintaining an effective deterrent and setting the stage for all nuclear-armed states to work together on real steps toward zero.
The U.S. plans to replace the Minuteman III ICBMs with the new Ground Based Strategic Deterrent. The Alt NPR calls for ICBMs to be taken off high alert and phased out of the nuclear force. These weapons are vulnerable and redundant, causing more risk than any perceived benefit.
Estimated savings: $149 billion over 30 years*
2. Reduce the submarine force from 12 to 5 subs.
The U.S. also plans to replace its nuclear ballistic missiles submarines with 12 new submarines, spending an estimated $14 billion on the first sub and an average of $7.4 billion on each additional sub. Under the Alt NPR, the U.S. would maintain a second-strike capability through a survivable monad of five submarines, patrolling the oceans virtually undetectable.
Estimated savings: $65 billion over 30 years
3. No new sea-launched cruise missile.
The Trump NPR calls for a new sea-launched cruise missile with no evidence for such a need. The Alt NPR recognizes there is no military value in these weapons as they discount the value of non-nuclear deterrent forces and would increase the risk of nuclear use and uncontrollable escalation to all-out nuclear conflict.