The Christian CND Team

Here’s a list of nuclear weapons activists associated with the Christian CND Team.

Click on a linked name to see further information. Please contact me to request additions, edits, or deletions. Other nuclear weapons groups and their teams can be found here.

You may contact any of the team members by emailing

Martin Tiller (Co-Chair)
David Maxwell (Co-Chair)
Martin Birdseye
Rebecca Dillon
Geraldine Ellis
Kelvin Gascoigne
Caroline Gilbert
Michael Gilbert
Michael Pulham
Patricia Pulham

What Are The Experts Missing?

Here’s an arrogant little post from a nuclear weapons newbie exploring the questions that have arisen in my mind as I explore the realm of nuclear weapons activism.

Please note that I am definitely not a nuclear weapons expert, or anything close, and thus all of the following could be entirely wrong. I do have activist experience on other subjects. Please feel free to contact me to debate any of the following, as additional perspectives are sincerely welcomed.

In writing this post I hope to contribute a view from the general public. If this nuclear weapons nube has these questions, others may as well, and it would be helpful to the disarmament cause for experts to have a reply at the ready.

Ok, here we go with some inconvenient whining….

Trump Bashing

On Twitter at least, there seems to be a fairly consistent pattern of partisan political sniping against Trump by nuclear weapons activists and experts. This doesn’t offend me personally, as I’m a Bernie Sanders voter with no love for Trump.

However, it does trouble me a bit that disarmament experts may not grasp that if America is ever to get rid of it’s nukes Trump voters will have to be largely on board with such a huge decision. It doesn’t make sense to me to be jamming our finger in their eye on a regular basis for no better reason than it makes our fingers feel good.

There doesn’t seem to be a substantial difference between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to nuclear disarmament. Both sides typically ignore the subject, and when they do engage neither party seems particularly effective. Perhaps this should be admitted more often?

Before someone shouts “Iran Deal!” let us please keep in mind that was a deal with a bunch of religious fanatic clerical dictators who routinely shoot their own citizens down in the streets.

Yes, we don’t like Trump, me too. But I like murderous power tripping psychopaths even less. Some balance to such conversations please.

All Or Nothing?

So far at least, I’ve not read any expert or activist commentary which expresses the understanding that it’s extremely unlikely any of the big nuclear weapon states will unilaterally disarm. We all know how that worked out for Ukraine. First they disarmed, and then they got invaded.

As best I can tell, either all the nuclear states disarm, at the same time, or none of them will. I’d like to read more from the experts on this.

Until I find such commentary I’m stuck having to question whether the experts are really experts, a disconcerting experience I’d be happy to soon lose.

Anybody Home?

So far at least, I’ve found nuclear weapons activist websites to be largely unresponsive to emails from the public. The same pattern exists on Twitter. This is of course only an anecdotal report, a first impression, and hardly a scientific survey.

After 25 years of working online I’ve learned that if you want to sell anything to anybody it would probably be wise to be willing to talk to your prospects.

Ok, yes, such response is time consuming, and replying to general public emails is not a job for the experts. So how about rounding up a couple of free college student interns to answer incoming emails? Pretty much any reply to incoming emails would be better than no reply. Even an automated reply explaining why a real person can’t reply would be better than nothing.

Where’s The Community?

How does a new nuclear weapons activist meet and chat with other nuclear weapons activists? I have no idea.

If I have no idea, there must be some number of other folks out there who also can’t figure out how to become part of the nuclear activist community. But they probably aren’t inconvenient loud mouthed bloviators like me, and so they just quietly vanish, never to be seen again.

Sure, there’s Twitter, and I’m following every nuclear weapons anybody there that I can find. However, Twitter is not really a community for nuclear weapons activists, but rather a kinda cheesy device for blasting little slogans at one’s followers.

A real community with real conversations might take the form of an online discussion forum. I keep asking if there is any interest in such a site, and offering to set one up, and so far, no reply from anybody. So I guess that’s the answer.

So for example, all of the above might be wrong, and if I were to join an online forum full of nuclear weapons activists I might learn why it’s all wrong. That would be good! But until then…

I guess I’m stuck writing articles about what the experts may be missing.

Catholics Could Save The World

In November 2019 the Pope visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan and gave a speech declaring the possession of nuclear weapons to be immoral.

This article attempts to sketch out a plan by which Catholics could take decisive action in response to to the Pope’s concerns about nuclear weapons.

Please Note: While this article uses the Catholic community as an example, the following ideas could be put to use by any organization which wishes to help rid the world of nuclear weapons.

The Plan

What if every Catholic pledged a recurring donation of $1 per year to fund a global marketing campaign to amplify the Pope’s teachings regarding nuclear weapons?

The Budget

There are reported to be a billion Catholics worldwide, so at $1 per person per year, the target budget for this marketing campaign against nuclear weapons could be one billion dollars per year.

Some Catholics would of course contribute more and others less (many Catholics live in the third world), but the overall goal for the campaign should be a billion dollars yearly, an ambitious goal clearly within reach of the Catholic community overall.

Catholics have the philosophy of peace, and the required funds. All that’s left is to put the two together.

One billion Catholics. One billion dollars.

Catholics could save the world.

They really could. Seriously.

The Money

All funds donated would go directly to the Vatican. Catholics would not be asked to send money to some outside group that they may not have heard of. Instead, all funds raised would remain with their own community to be managed by their own leadership as part of their own message.

The Mechanism

Automated payments of $1 per year can be handled by PayPal. The contributor clicks a few buttons one time, and that’s all the work they ever need to do.

One minute, one time. One dollar a year. Each contributor is helping to save the world, for close to nothing.

The Message

The marketing campaign would address the existential threat to humanity presented by nuclear weapons from the Catholic perspective as defined by the Pope.

The Marketing Campaign

One of the realities of the modern world is that a well funded marketing campaign is typically necessary for the selling of anything, whether it be shoes, cars, laptops or Presidential candidates.

This is no different. If Catholics wish to play a leading role in saving humanity from nuclear weapons, a well funded marketing campaign will be required.

Moral theory alone won’t get the job done.

Yes, the Pope is famous, and most of his speeches are well covered by the media. But as the leader of a major world religion the Pope has a great many things on his plate and can’t give a speech on nuclear weapons every day.

But a billion dollar marketing campaign can share the Pope’s message on nuclear weapons every day.

Getting Your Campaign Off The Ground

Getting a marketing campaign off the ground could be tricky for some groups, as the budget for the campaign might not exist until you have contributors. Could this help?

Imagine that you plan to reinvest all the money you raise in to more ads, so that you can get even more supporters. In such a case, for some period of time all the money you raise would be going to Facebook, Google, or where ever you decide to buy your ads.

Why not ask the advertiser to help you get the campaign going by running some free ads for you? Maybe you sign a contract which stipulates all funds raised for one year will be spent with the advertiser? Maybe you can make the advertiser in to a partner? If one says no, well, there are LOTS of companies out there that want your ad dollars. Somebody will work with you.

The Concept

From the activist perspective, the concept being offered here goes like this…

Instead of asking any group (Catholics in this case) to support a nuclear weapons activist organization, the group in question is called upon to become a nuclear weapons activist organization.

As example, a billion Catholics working together through an ambitious plan of action have more power than all the nuclear weapons groups put together.

Each group is urged to make the case against nuclear weapons from their own perspective, using their own funds, under the management of their own leadership. Nothing new to join.

What If You’re Not Catholic?

I’ve used Catholics as the example here as that is faith tradition I am most familiar with, it’s a large congregation, and the Pope is a very well known figure that is easy to reference.

If you’re not Catholic, or if you oppose Catholicism, then just forget about the Catholic example used here and apply the principles shared above to your own organization.

Get your own people together. Raise some money. Run some ads against nuclear weapons on Facebook or where ever you can.

Explain your opposition to nuclear weapons in your own way, from your own perspective.

Anything you do to insert the subject of nuclear weapons in to the public discourse is helping to save the world.

The NTI Team

Here’s a list of nuclear weapons activists associated with the Nuclear Threat Initiative .

Click on a linked name to see further information. Please contact me to request additions, edits, or deletions. Other nuclear weapons groups and their teams can be found here.

Steve Andreasen – National Security Consultant

Jessica Bell – Senior Program Officer, Global Biological Policy and Programs

Des Browne – Vice Chair

Elizabeth Cameron – Vice President, Global Biological Policy and Programs

John Carlson – Counselor

Erin Dumbacher – Senior Program Officer, Scientific and Technical Affairs

Corey Hinderstein – Vice President, International Fuel Cycle Strategies

Laura S. H. Holgate – Vice President, Materials Risk Management

Ioanna M. Iliopulos – Senior Consultant

Richard Johnson – Senior Director, Fuel Cycle and Verification

Robert E. Berls, Jr. – Senior Advisor, Russia and Eurasia

Ernest J. Moniz – Co-Chair and Chief Executive Officer

Samantha Neakrase – Materials Risk Management

Andrew Newman – Senior Director for Nuclear Fuel Cycle Activities

Sam Nunn – Founder and Co-Chair

Leon Ratz – Senior Program Officer, Materials Risk Management

Joan Rohlfing – President and Chief Operating Officer

Deborah G. Rosenblum – Executive Vice President

Lynn Rusten – Global Nuclear Policy Program

Douglas Shaw – Senior Adviser for Special Projects

Page Stoutland – Vice President, Scientific and Technical Affairs

Isabelle Williams – Senior Advisor, Global Nuclear Policy Program

Jaime Yassif – Senior Fellow, Global Biological Policy and Programs

Retired Russian And American Experts Should Negotiate A Disarmament Treaty Now

We’d all like the American and Russian governments to negotiate the elimination of their nuclear arsenals. But at least for the moment, that’s not happening.

Could this be the next best thing?

What if retired out of office diplomats, politicians and technical experts from both America and Russia sat down to negotiate a disarmament treaty they think might work?

Retired officials know the issues involved in depth, and are largely liberated from concerns about their careers and the next election etc. The freedom from such constraints might allow a degree of cooperative creativity that could break new ground.

Of course whatever agreement such retired officials might reach would not be binding, as such experts are no longer in power.

But if high ranking former government officials from both countries were to succeed in reaching an agreement that would at least demonstrate that a full disarmament treaty is theoretically possible.

If nothing else, such an effort would be interesting to reporters and help keep the subject of nuclear weapons in the news and on the minds of the general public in both countries.

I’m sure this is not an original idea and that conversations of this nature are likely already underway somewhere. But if a regular citizen such as myself is not aware of such discussions, then conversations of this type need a much higher public profile.

If you’re knowledgeable about such things, please write an article on the subject and drop me a note to let me know where it is. Thank you!

Will All Nuclear Weapons States Have To Disarm At The Same Time?

Under what circumstances could humanity finally leave the nuclear weapons era? As I educate myself about various efforts towards nuclear disarmament the following question keeps coming up in my mind.

Won’t all the nuclear weapons states have to disarm at the same time?

I’m finding it difficult to find a way around the following logic. Pakistan won’t disarm unless India does. India won’t disarm unless China does. China won’t disarm unless Russia does. Russia won’t disarm unless America does. America won’t disarm unless everyone else does.

What nuclear power is going to disarm while it’s perceived adversaries still retain nuclear weapons?

Well, that has happened to some degree. South Africa gave up a few nukes. Libya abandoned it’s plans, as have some other countries.

Ukraine gave up a significant number of nuclear weapons in exchange for promises it’s borders would be respected, a promise that was soon ignored when Russia invaded Ukraine and the rest of the world did little to stop them.

I’m not sure how these examples of unilateral disarmament can be applied to the remaining major nuclear powers. Maybe they do, but I don’t see it yet.

As best I can tell, none of the major nuclear powers will disarm without agreement from all nuclear powers to do the same. If that’s true, this would seem to mean that the internal political culture in each nuclear armed country would have to be receptive to global disarmament, at the same time.

Is it true that either everybody disarms, or nobody disarms? Is it an all or nothing equation?

Arms race protests in the Western democracies are great and I totally support them. Doing something, anything, is a far superior approach to doing nothing. But changing the policies of the Western countries will hardly be enough. Won’t we also have to persuade the leaders of countries like Pakistan, China and Russia?

As just one example, the last time Russia was invaded in WWII they lost 20 million people, which we might remind ourselves is 40 times as many deaths as America suffered. Pretty much everything from the Polish border to Moscow was burned to the ground. Isn’t it going to take some very serious persuasion to get the Russian people, let alone the Russian leaders, to give up nuclear weapons?

Won’t all the nuclear weapons states have to disarm at the same time?

I’m hoping to find thoughtful discussion of such questions. If you can help, please let me know. Thanks!

The Psychological Shockwave

A key problem for nuclear weapons activists is that for most people, the relationship with the threat of nuclear war is largely an abstract intellectual experience, much like reading about crime statistics in the newspaper.

One of the effects of the next nuclear detonation may be to rapidly and radically shift humanity’s current largely detached relationship with nuclear weapons in to a deeper emotional experience. This could generate a psychological shock wave with unpredictable consequences far beyond the blast zone.

Modern civilization is built upon one thing, faith in the future.

Billions of us go to work every day, typically to a job we’d really rather not do, based on the assumption that this investment will pay off for us down the road. We sacrifice the now on the promise of a future reward.

We know about various threats to our future, but we experience the threats intellectually, so they have limited impact upon our thinking and behavior. We listen to scientists earnestly warning of us climate change on our big screen TV, and think, “Yea, somebody needs to do something about that” before changing the channel to our favorite Hollywood movie. Yea, I do that too.

The next nuclear detonation may cause a critical mass of people around the world to start to question why they are investing in the future.

Why am I saving for retirement? Why am I making house payments? Why am I putting up with crap from the boss?

The more real nuclear weapons become in the public consciousness the more such civilization threatening questions are likely to arise in the private minds of a great many people.

The Media Tidal Wave

Should the next nuclear detonation happen it will be the most well covered media event of our lives. 5,000 media outlets will relentlessly shove imagery of the vaporized city in to our minds over and over and over again around the clock, just as they did with the falling towers after 9/11.

And for billions of us, most of whom were not alive at the time of Hiroshima, nuclear weapons will suddenly become very real. The safe intellectual space which now surrounds our relationship with nuclear weapons will be ripped apart, we’ll be thrown in to a deeper more compelling emotional experience, and a psychological shock wave will circle the planet.

The Hippy Shockwave

We can see evidence of such a psychological shock wave phenomena in the hippies of the 1960’s.

As one example to illustrate, when I was ten years old I watched the Cuban Missile Crisis unfold just 90 miles off the coast of Florida where I lived. I would walk a half block to the beach and look out to the horizon attempting to see Russian warships headed for Cuba. We learned how to duck and cover at school. We were glued to our tiny black and white TVs each evening wondering if we’d wake up the next day.

From such experiences arose a new generation which, at least in part, questioned everything about the status quo, and often replaced adult responsibilities with an “eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die” lifestyle.

Ok, it didn’t last. We grew up. I mean, we sank back in to the middle class dream. We typically gave up on questioning the status quo, and traded it in to become the biggest resource hogging yuppies in human history. BURP!

But that hippy psychological shock wave did happen, and in many ways continues to influence our culture to this day.

A single nuclear detonation can’t bring down modern civilization. But it can perhaps psychologically undermine that civilization in profound ways that we’ll only begin to understand once it happens.

And if the next nuclear event is more than a single detonation? Well, that may solve the psychological shock wave problem.