Our newest ally: the Governator?

 In Nuclear Weapons

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was slated to give a speech at the Hoover Institution at an event featuring authors of a Wall Street Journal Op Ed calling for a nuclear-free world. While the governor was unable to attend due to the fires in southern California, former Secretary of State George Shultz delivered Schwarzenegger’s remarks on his behalf, which strongly advocated working toward nuclear disarmament:

I genuinely believe we must take steps to stop the destruction of the planet’s environment. Looking at this logically, however—although we must address global warming now—its most dangerous consequences come decades down the road. The most dangerous consequences of nuclear weapons, however, are here and now. They are of this hour and time. A nuclear disaster will not hit at the speed of a glacier melting. It will hit with a blast. It will not hit with the speed of the atmosphere warming but of a city burning. Clearly, the attention focused on nuclear weapons should be as prominent as that of global climate change. After he left office, former Vice President Gore made a movie about the dangers of global warming. I have a movie idea for Vice President Cheney after he leaves—a movie about the dangers of nuclear proliferation. If you Google “global warming,” you will find 6,690,000 entries. If you Google “Britney Spears,” you will find 2,490,000. If you Google “nuclear disarmament,” you will get 116,000 entries. And if you Google “nuclear annihilation,” you will get 17,400. Something is wrong with that picture.

The words that this audience knows so well, the words that President Kennedy spoke during the Cold War, have regained their urgency: “The world was not meant to be a prison in which man awaits his execution.” Here in California we still have levees that were built a hundred years ago. These levees are an imminent threat to the well-being of this state and its people. It would be only a matter of time before disaster strikes. But we’re not waiting until such a disaster.

We in California have taken action to protect our people and our economy from the devastation. Neither can this nation nor the world wait to act until there is a nuclear disaster. I am so thankful for the work of George, Bill Perry, Henry Kissinger, Sam Nunn, Max Kampelman, Sid Drell and so many of you at this conference. You have a big vision, a vision as big as humanity–to free the world of nuclear weapons.

The vision of a nuclear-free world is gaining more and more traction, and has growing support in unexpected places. One of the most critical opportunities to advance this vision will be the 2008 presidential election.  Visit Voters for Peace and Security to hear what the presidential candidates have to say about nuclear weapons.

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