The issue with nuclear weapons


In the past few days, the topic of nuclear weaponry has been unavoidable. Most recently with North Korea’s threats of testing a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean, nuclear weapons have been pasted to practically every news source in the country.

Although the amount of available nuclear weaponry has significantly decreased over the past few decades due to disarmament measures taken mainly by the United States, the danger these missiles, bombs, and other devices pose to our lives remains larger than ever.

The last surge of nuclear testing occurred during the Cold War era, but as more information came to light through these tests, a multitude of countries have banned testing altogether. The prohibition of nuclear testing was a result of increased knowledge about radioactive fallout.

Radioactive fallout is created when the irradiated core of any given nuclear weapon picks up debris, water, dirt, or other materials and spreads them for miles via the atmosphere. This fallout remains radioactive for thousands of years, in turn causing damage to ecosystems. On top of that, this fallout can cause cancer growth, among other health problems. Simply testing artillery of this measure causes radioactive fallout to spread, in turn damaging our environment as well as the organisms (humans included) that live in it.

Nuclear weapons pose few benefits to modern-day warfare. If an atom bomb were to be set off, the detriments would be so long lasting– almost apocalyptic.

So the question remains: if these weapons aren’t being used to protect citizens from potentially dangerous foes, why are we producing them to begin with?

One of the few reasons countries mass-produce nuclear bombs is to have negotiation power. For example, Russia and the U.S. have the most nuclear weapons available for use, Russia having a little under a thousand more than the United States. That being said, Russia and the U.S. are two of the largest world powers, and few countries are eager to start a feud with either. Simply having nuclear weapons is threat enough to prevent wars.

While the negotiation power can be beneficial, having nuke threats exchanged on a regular basis provokes fear in the hearts of the citizens. To reiterate, the North Korean threats to test a hydrogen bomb above the Pacific Ocean were deemed “the end of the world” by scared citizens. At this point, these weapons are unnecessarily instilling fear within countries.

Overall, nuclear weapons provide countries with a powerful negotiation power and have possibly prevented WWIII. However, the detrimental effects these weapons have on the environment and well-being of citizens outweigh any benefits for having nuclear weapons.

This is not a joking matter. Bombs of this magnitude are not toys; they are life-altering, ecosystem-destroying, possibly world-ending weapons.

Bombs are not toys. They are weapons. They should be used wisely if used at all.