If You Love This Planet, Dr. Helen Caldicott

Jonathan Schell on nuclear weapons, the environment and the economy


Jonathan Schell (The Nation Institute)

Jonathan Schell has been writing and speaking out about the global nuclear situation for more than 20 years. Schell is the Harold Willens Peace Fellow at the Nation Institute, and the Peace and Disarmament Correspondent for The Nation magazine. His bestselling reflective work on the nuclear question titled The Fate of the Earth (1982) was hailed by The New York Times as “an event of profound historical moment.”

In this interview, he discusses with Dr. Caldicott the five areas he believes the new U.S. administration needs to focus on: the economic crisis; the shortage of natural resources; the spread of nuclear arms; the ecological threat of global warming; the failure of the American bid for global empire and the consequent decline of American influence abroad.

While Schell welcomes President Obama’s plan to negotiate with Russia about reducing their nuclear arsenals from three to six thousand down to just one thousand, he labels this goal as a ‘modest reduction in flat out insanity’. [The detonation of under 1,000 nuclear warheads would likely induce nuclear winter and the end of all life on earth.]

Schell’s most recent book is The Seventh Decade: The New Shape of the Nuclear Danger (2007). The New York Times says Schell’s book reveals how “[t]he prospect of serial proliferation could be returning us to an era of nuclear dread, much like the years of the cold war.” He is also the author of The Unfinished Twentieth Century (2001).

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