Anti-Nuclear, Political Activist

Life with Nuclear Weapons

Washington Against Nuclear Weapons

Life with Nuclear Weapons:
Not a Hollywood Movie

Washington Against Nuclear WeaponsWith 13 Oscar nominations, Oppenheimer could make Academy Award history. While Oppenheimer is history, nuclear weapons are not–but they should be. The film’s powerful ending underscores the chain reaction set off by the Manhattan Project, from the shock of the first blast to today’s threats with images of modern nuclear weapons. In a time of extreme risks–even one nuclear weapon is too many. Oppenheimer’s portrayal of nuclear horrors on screen was just the beginning. Today’s reality is even more chilling: nuclear arsenals 80 times more potent than depicted in the film.

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78 years after the dawn of the atomic age depicted in the film Oppenheimer, over 13,000 nuclear weapons exist on the planet — 90% of which are possessed by the United States or Russia. If detonated, only a small fraction of these bombs could kill billions of people and effectively end human civilization as we know it. What’s more, nuclear weapons are also deeply linked with pressing problems like racial and economic justice, militarism, preserving our democracy, and climate change.

WA State: the Hemisphere’s Biggest Nuclear Stockpile

I know, I know, I said I was going to post about my next memoir writing project. But my first memoir Open Borders: A Personal Story of Love, Loss, and Anti-War Activism is more top of mind than ever given the situation in our world today. The only sure way to prevent nuclear war is to rid the world of nuclear weapons, a goal that is possible if we, the people, demand it and join a growing global chorus working to confront this existential threat to humanity. We must hold leaders accountable and envision a future free from nuclear threat. I believe the best way to do that is to join the Washington Against Nuclear Weapons coalition, part of the international effort of Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Published by Betsy Bell

Betsy Bell, born before WWII in New York City, spent her formative years in the Jim Crow town of Muskogee, Oklahoma. As a Girl Scout, she began her social justice activism working with a bi-racial team to integrate public schools after the 1954 Supreme Court decision mandating the end of school segregation. After completing her BA and MA at Bryn Mawr College, she began an academic career in Lawrence, Kansas where her husband taught. In Lawrence, she advocated for reproductive rights with Planned Parenthood. She lives in Seattle where she has held several career positions. Twice widowed, Betsy has published two short memoirs and several poems. For the past fourteen years, Betsy has worked with the Seattle area faith communities toward economic justice through the Jubilee USA Network. Betsy believes in the power of ordinary citizens to create a positive, inclusive and just society.