During Amherst’s final town meeting before switching to a new town council form of government, members unanimously voted to pass the resolution below supporting the policy points of The Call to Prevent Nuclear War. Lynda Faye, a resident of Amherst for 50 years, took initiative in gathering signatures and bringing it before the 200 plus attendees of the town meeting. She remarked on the consequences of nuclear use, and the ensuing silence after her speech was broken by a unanimous vote of support. And so, as Amherst Town Meeting dissolved after several hundred years and began a council form of government, their very last act was to support Back from the Brink.
ARTICLE 38. Petition: Resolution – A Resolution to Prevent Nuclear War
(Faye et al) VOTED unanimously to approve:
Calling for the United States to “Pull Back from the Brink” and Prevent Nuclear War
WHEREAS, Since the height of the Cold War the United States and Russia have dismantled more than 50,000 nuclear warheads, but 15,000 of these weapons still exist and post an intolerable risk to human survival; and
WHEREAS, 95 percent of these weapons are in the hands of the United States and Russia and the rest are held by seven other countries: China, France, Israel, India, North Korea, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom; and WHEREAS, the use of even a tiny fraction of these weapons would cause worldwide climate disruption and global famine; to wit, as few as 100 Hiroshima sized bombs, small by modern standards, would put at least 5 million tons of soot into the upper atmosphere and cause climate disruption across the planet, cutting food production and putting 2 billion people at risk of starvation; and
WHEREAS, a large scale nuclear war would kill hundreds of millions of people directly and cause unimaginable environmental damage and catastrophic climate disruption dropping temperatures across the planet to levels not seen since the last ice age; under these conditions the vast majority of the human race would starve, and it is possible we would become extinct as a species; and
WHEREAS, despite assurances that these arsenals exist solely to guarantee that they are never used, there have been many occasions when nuclear armed states have prepared to use these weapons, and war has been averted only at the last minute; and
WHEREAS, nuclear weapons do not possess some magical quality that prevents their use; and
WHEREAS, former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara said, speaking about the Cuban Missile Crisis, “It was luck that prevented nuclear war,” yet our nuclear policy cannot be the hope that luck will continue; and WHEREAS, as the effects of climate change place increased stress on communities around the world and intensify the likelihood of conflict, the danger of nuclear war will grow; and
WHEREAS, the planned expenditure of more than $1 trillion to enhance our nuclear arsenal will not only increase the risk of nuclear disaster but fuel a global arm race and divert crucial resources needed to assure the well-being of the American people and people all over the world; and
WHEREAS, there is an alternative to this march to nuclear war: In July 2017, 122 nations called for the elimination of all nuclear weapons by adopting the Treaty of Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Town Meeting of Amherst Massachusetts calls upon our federal leaders and our nation to spearhead a global effort to prevent nuclear war by:
· Renouncing the option of using nuclear weapons first;
· Ending the president’s sole, unchecked authority to launch a nuclear attack;
· Taking the US nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert;
· Cancelling the plan to replace its entire arsenal with enhanced weapons; and
· Actively pursuing a verifiable agreement among nuclear armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the town of Amherst shall cause a copy of this resolution to be sent to U.S. Congressman James McGovern, U.S Senator Elizabeth A. Warren, U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey, and President Donald J. Trump. Action taken 5/21/18.