The UK and Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) welcomes the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, established on the 22nd April to call for greater levels of environmental protection to protect our fragile planet. On this 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the Chair of the NFLA Steering Committee, Councillor David Blackburn has supported the following statement developed by Abolition 2000 on behalf of the wider NFLA organisation: “The year 2020 marks the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day and finds the planet facing existential threats like never before in human history. The threat from climate change is manifesting itself more and more strongly as the years go by through extreme weather events, forest fires on a vast scale, the bleaching of coral reefs, and receding glaciers, among others. This year also sees the world facing a pandemic which, as we speak, is costing thousands of lives every day and seems likely to have an impact on our civilization for years, if not decades to come. Alongside these threats to human existence, however, is the lesser-considered, but more dangerous threat from nuclear disaster, and in this context we recall that the year 2020 also marks the 75th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing an estimated 500,000 people either through immediate incineration by the blast or subsequent death over the following months and years from agonising radiation poisoning. 2020 also marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war,” by putting in place the common security mechanisms to achieve this. Unfortunately, the end of the Second World War also kicked off a race for nations to develop nuclear technology that has the possibility to inflict a more devastating blow to the planet in 10 days than climate change will have in 100 years.
NFLA 22nd April 2020 read more »