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5 Myths about Nuclear Weapons on Wednesday's Access Utah

Most of us think there’s nothing new to say about nuclear weapons. Yes, they’re horrible, possibly immoral, and definitely dangerous, but they feel necessary. If force is the final arbiter between nations, and nuclear bombs are the most powerful weapons, then we’re basically stuck with them. In his new book, “Five Myths About Nuclear Weapons.,” Ward Wilson says that much of what we believe about nuclear weapons is based on emotion and exaggeration.

He argues that our current nuclear policy is shaped by five stubborn myths: that nuclear weapons shock and awe opponents; that nuclear deterrence is effective in a crisis; that killing civilians causes leaders to back down; that the bomb has kept the peace for sixty-five years; and that we can’t put the nuclear genie back in the bottle. His conclusion? Nuclear weapons are enormously dangerous, but don’t appear to be terribly useful. In that case, he asks, why would we want to keep them? Wilson is a senior fellow at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies of the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

The Utah Humanities Council, in collaboration with HEAL Utah and the Utah Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons (UCAN), is presenting an appearance by Ward Wilson at the Salt Lake City Public Library on Thursday, October 17, at 7:00 p.m.

Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996. He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.) He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah.” He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.