New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted
Subscribe

Archive for the ‘Lawrence Wittner’

Discussing Disarmament

September 18, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Lawrence Wittner, Politics

Eliminating Nuclear Weapons as Important as Eliminating Chemical Ones

by Lawrence S. Wittner

The apparent employment of chemical weapons in Syria should remind us that, while weapons of mass destruction exist, there is a serious danger that they will be used.

That danger is highlighted by an article in the September/October 2013 issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Written by two leading nuclear weapons specialists, Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris of the Federation of American Scientists, the article provides important information about nuclear weapons that should alarm everyone concerned about the future of the planet.

At present, the article reports, more than 17,000 nuclear warheads remain in the possession of nine nations (the United States, Russia, Britain, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea). Over 90 percent of that inventory consists of U.S. and Russian warheads. (more…)

‘Tis the Season

December 11, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Economy, Lawrence Wittner

Consumerism Is America’s Real Religion…

by Lawrence Wittner

Although fundamentalist fanatics have been working for decades to turn the United States into a “Christian nation,” they have not had much success along these lines. One reason for their failure is that religious minorities and non-believers have resisted. And another is probably that a large number of Americans want to preserve religious tolerance and avoid theocracy. But it might also reflect the fact that the United States is now firmly in the grip of a different religion: shopping.

After all, in this “holiday season” the dominant activity does not seem to be traditional religious worship or prayer. The recently concluded Black Friday provided the occasion not only for an orgy of consumer spending, but for ferocious action by screaming mobs of shoppers who engaged in mass riots in their desperate attempts to obtain a variety of products. (more…)

Running Out

April 19, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Economy, Lawrence Wittner

Reflecting on The Race for What’s Left

by Lawrence Wittner

Is it possible to cope with the immense dangers posed by the rapid consumption of the world’s resources? In The Race for What’s Left, Michael Klare claims that it is — but only through a significant change in behavior.

Klare is the author of fourteen books, the most recent of which focus on resources and international conflict. He is also the defense correspondent for The Nation and the director of the Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.

In The Race for What’s Left — a book displaying his stunning knowledge of drilling and mining techniques, obscure minerals, geology, and remote regions of the world — Klare argues that “the world is entering an era of pervasive, unprecedented resource scarcity.” Both government and corporate officials “recognize that existing reserves are being depleted at a terrifying pace and will be largely exhausted in the not-too-distant future.”

In their view, “the only way for countries to ensure an adequate supply of these materials, and thereby keep their economies humming, is to acquire new, undeveloped reservoirs in those few locations that have not already been completely drained. (more…)

International Anthem

January 25, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Lawrence Wittner, Politics

Americans Are Less Nationalistic than Flag-Waving Politicians Think

by Lawrence Wittner

Are American politicians out of sync with the public when it comes to foreign policy?  There is considerable reason to believe so.

Throughout the scramble for the GOP presidential nomination, the major candidates have certainly been rabidly nationalistic.  In a major foreign policy address on October 7, 2011, Mitt Romney proclaimed that “the twenty-first century can and must be an American Century.”  Championing a vast military buildup, he argued that, to secure this “American Century,” the United States should have “the strongest military in the world.”  By contrast, he assailed the “shameful” role of the United Nations and other international institutions and declared that he did not see any reason to obey them — or the international law they represented — when it did not suit the U.S. government. (more…)

The Weapons-Free Dividend

August 11, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Economy, Lawrence Wittner, Politics

How to Save a Quarter Trillion Dollars

by Lawrence Wittner

In the midst of the current stampede to slash federal spending, Congress might want to take a look at two unnecessary (and dangerous) “national security” programs that, if cut, would save the U.S. over a quarter of a trillion dollars over the next decade.

The first of these is the Obama administration’s plan to spend at least $185 billion in the next ten years to “modernize” the U.S. government’s nuclear weapons arsenal.  At present, the U.S. government possesses approximately 8,500 nuclear warheads, and it is hard to imagine that this country would be safer from attack if it built more nuclear weapons or “improved” those it already possesses.

Indeed, President Barack Obama has declared — both on the 2008 campaign trail and as president — that he is committed to building a world without nuclear weapons. (more…)


Switch to our mobile site