Thursday, April 26, 2012

Press Conference by IDPD on Nuclear Famine

A Billion People at Risk: IDPD warned Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) has since long being campaigning for complete elimination of nuclear weapons as these could annihilate not only the man kind but whole the flora and fauna on earth. Even a limited use of these weapons could put crores of peoples at risk. The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) has carried out a study in this regard which is being released internationally now said Dr.L.S.Chawla while addressing the press conference today at IMA House Ludhiana. He said that latest study by the IPPNW has warned that even a limited nuclear exchange could endanger the lives of 100 crorers people in the world.
Dr Arun Mitra – General Secretary IDPD said that Dr. Ira Helfand, the author of Nuclear Famine: A Billion People at Risk—Global Impacts of Limited Nuclear War on Agriculture, Food Supplies, and Human Nutrition, said the new evidence that even the relatively small nuclear arsenals of countries such as India and Pakistan could cause long lasting, global damage to the Earth’s ecosystems “requires a fundamental change in our thinking about nuclear weapons.”
Working with data produced by scientists who have studied the climate effects of a hypothetical nuclear war between India and Pakistan, Dr. Helfand and a team of experts in agriculture and nutrition determined that plunging temperatures and reduced precipitation in critical farming regions, caused by soot and smoke lofted into the atmosphere by multiple nuclear explosions, would interfere with crop production and affect food availability and prices worldwide.
Dr Bharti Uppal- Finance Secretary IDPD gave a presentation.
Among the specific findings:Corn production in the US would decline by an average of 10% for an entire decade, with themost severe decline (20%) in year 5. Soybean production would decline by about7%, with the most severe loss, more than 20%, in year 5.

There would be a significant decline in middle season rice production in China. During the first 4 years, rice production would decline by an average of 21%; over the next 6 years the decline would average 10%.

Increases in food prices would make food inaccessible to hundreds of millions of the world’s poorest. Even if agricultural markets continued to function normally, 215 million people would be added to the rolls of the malnourished over the course of a decade.

Significant agricultural short falls over an extended period would almost certainly lead to panic and hoarding on an international scale, further reducing accessible food.

The 925 million people in the world who are already chronically malnourished (with a baseline consumption of 1,750 calories or less per day), would be put at risk by a 10% decline in their food consumption.

While the IPPNW report calls for further research into the effects on additional crops in additional agricultural regions, Dr. Helfand said this preliminary study “raises a giant red flag” about the danger of nuclear weapons and the urgency of their elimination.

“The death of one billion people over a decade would be a disaster unprecedented in human history,” he said. “It would not cause the extinction of the human race, but it would bring an end to modern civilization as we know it.

“The danger identified in this report requires a fundamental change in our thinking about nuclear weapons. We must now recognize that it is not just the arsenals of the nuclear super powers that threaten all humanity.  Even the smaller arsenals of emerging nuclear powers like India and Pakistan pose a global threat.”

Noting, however, that even one US Trident submarine has the ability to destroy 100 cities and create a global famine, Dr. Helfand said “Even the most ambitious current proposals for nuclear arms reductions would leave the US and Russia with many times the nuclear fire power needed to create a global disaster on the scale described in this study.”

Dr D P Singh Arora – President IMA Ludhiana while paying homage to victims of Chernobyl Nuclear disaster in Ukraine on 26th April 1986 where 93000 people lost their lives demanded that this accident followed by the Fukhushima Nuclear disaster should be eye opener. Learning lesson from these Government of India should put moratorium  on the nuclear power plants. The electricity produce by these plants is neither safe nor economical. There is no foolproof method to manage the nuclear waste. Moreover the nuclear power plants pose a potential threat for the production of nuclear weapons.

Dr N S Bawa – Vice President IDPD said that the doctors have to realize their duty to save the world from catastrophe. Dr Deepak Prashar was also present on the occasion.  

Dr Arun Mitra
General Secretary – IDPD
Phone: 94170 00360

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