The Physicians for Social Responsibility released a study estimating that one billion people—one-seventh of the human race—could starve over the decade following a single nuclear detonation. A key finding was that corn production in the United States would decline by an average of 10 percent for an entire decade, with the most severe decline (20 percent) in the fifth year. Another forecast was that increases in food prices would make food inaccessible to hundreds of millions of the world’s poorest: the 925 million people in the world who are already chronically malnourished (with a baseline consumption of 1,750 calories or less per day) would be put at risk by a 10 percent decline in their food consumption.
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) released its 180-page study showing that nuclear-armed nations spend over $100 billion each year assembling new warheads, modernizing old ones, and building ballistic missiles, bombers, and submarines to launch them. The US still has about 2,500 nuclear weapons deployed and 2,600 more as backup. Washington and Moscow account for 90 percent of all nuclear weapons. Despite a White House pledge to seek a world without nuclear weapons, the 2011 federal budget for nuclear weapons research and development exceeded $7 billion and could (if the Obama administration has its way) exceed $8 billion per year by the end of this decade.
Nuclear-armed nations spend over $100 billion each year on weapons programs. The institutions most heavily involved in financing nuclear arms makers include Bank of America, BlackRock, and JPMorgan Chase in the United States; BNP Paribas in France; Allianz and Deutsche Bank in Germany; Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group in Japan; Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) and Banco Santander in Spain; Credit Suisse and UBS in Switzerland; and Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, and Royal Bank of Scotland in Britain.
Merchants of Death and Nuclear Weapons
Student Researcher: Jessica Eccles (Sonoma State University)
Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips (Sonoma State University)