During Holy Week and Easter Christians around the world will reflect on the sacrifice made on the cross and the new life offered by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. When the stone was rolled away to reveal the empty tomb, death lost its sting and we are able to look forward to eternal life with Him in heaven.
But this year our reflections on the sacrifice of Christ take place in the shadow of the threat of nuclear war. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent statements from Vladimir Putin about the “readiness” of Russia’s nuclear weapons have once again put the issue right at the top of everyone’s mind.
For decades our leaders have talked about nuclear weapons as if they weren’t weapons of mass destruction, but rather some abstract concept. Even in the past months politicians in complete denial about the realities of nuclear weapons talk about how “prepared” we are to withstand a nuclear war.
As we continue to work and pray for peace and an end to nuclear weapons, it is important that we remind ourselves of the realities of nuclear weapons, and the consequences of a nuclear war. Based on a study published in 2019 it would be nothing short of cataclysmic. Huge numbers of people would be within the 5km radius of a blast which would lead to near instant death. And those who did survive would have little to look forward to.
Around 150 trillion grams of ash are emitted through the various fires blazing around the world. The amount of ash and smoke in the atmosphere means around 30-40% of the sun’s light reaches Earth, resulting in below zero temperatures for almost two years. Summers would continue to see sub-zero temperatures for years to come – leading to crop failure as food production falls by 90%. The much-discussed “nuclear winter” would be much worse than anything we have seen on TV or in films.
By Easter 2024 more than 75% of the world’s population would be dead. Those not killed in the initial blast will fall victim to the global famine. In the UK the reduction in food calories would be 99.5% – a figure mirrored around the world.
This scenario might not be something we want to think about against the backdrop of Easter, but it’s important to remind ourselves why we campaign actively against nuclear weapons. We don’t share this prospect to scare anyone, but to remind ourselves of why we campaign for a nuclear weapons-free world.
The only way to ensure nuclear weapons don’t get rid of us, is to get rid of them first. Please consider making either a one-off donation or a regular contribution. We can’t do anything without the support of peace-loving people like you.
Thanks to donations from our supporters in recent years we’ve been able to expand our staff team and start delivering workshops to young people, engaging them in discussions around peace and nuclear weapons, often for the first time.
Please consider making either a one-off donation or signing up for a direct debit to enable us to even more in the coming months.