Monday, May 6, 2013

Summary of Dr. Schelling's discussion on the Nuclear Test Ban, Global Zero and Climate Change

Upon my arrival Dr. Schelling was discussing the US Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.  Dr. Schelling stated that in the 1960’s it was considered a symbolic act that was much appreciated. At the time there was much ongoing discussion about the effects of nuclear radiations and how people were worried about their children being affected. At the time nuclear tests were the problem, but not the nuclear war. The tests were more symbolic, and similarly when they began to do underground tests it did not arouse people’s antagonism that much as it did previously. If there was a comprehensive test ban, Nations would cheat. Those who want to cheat will do so with or without the ban. It is a simple task to hide nuclear fissile material without it being detected. The United States must make sure that its own nuclear arsenal is up to date. Some people in the senate and President Obama would want a comprehensive test ban. However, this test ban is more important in a symbolic way.
Dr. Schelling commented on global zero, stating that it may be possible to achieve global zero, but it will be a much dangerous world than it is now. The United States had Nuclear weapons when the world did not have them. What will happen if a major war breaks out? All nations would still try to build a bomb for that extra safe measure. Even if we could get India, Pakistan and Iran to eliminate their facilities, they still have knowledge of the weapon and how to make them. You cannot eliminate them entirely. It is hard to believe that a responsible government would not keep enough nuclear fissile material hidden without detection. Thus, in case of war any government could make a weapon in five months or even five weeks. This would mean that a global zero situation, the world would be a more nerve racking place---unless we can guarantee no war.
Upon being questioned upon his views on climate change Dr. Schelling stated President Obama would probably be the one who leads responsible energy use in America. But he faces strong opposition. Climate change would probably ecologically affect the poorest countries in Asia and Africa. He encouraged students to study the new interdisciplinary fields of climate and the effects of climate change.