Reducing the Threat of Nuclear War

Saturday, May 6, 2017 - 10:00am

Join us on Saturday, May 6 for a full day of information and inspiration. The US federal discretionary budget is $1.1 trillion. Of that budget, 54% is military spending (education: 6%; transportation: 2%; energy and the environment: 3%; housing and community: 6%). In addition, the Obama administration recently targeted over $1 trillion to upgrade our nuclear arsenal over the next 3 decades. The conference will address national priorities including education, housing, health care, transportation and more. We will also discuss the fundamental immorality of nuclear weapons and how national and global security will be at increased risk rather than less. Lastly, we will talk about stratagies for non-proliferation. Please see below for a full outline of the day. On-line registration here.

8:45 am. Registration and Coffee             

9:15 am. Welcome from City of Cambridge: Mayor Denise Simmons

9:30 am. Program for the Day: Prof. Jonathan King  (MIT, Mass. Peace Action) 

9:45 am. Session I.  The Need for Nuclear Disarmament

• Costs and Profits from Nuclear Weapons Manufacture – William Hartung (Center for International Policy)  

• Reasons to Reject the Trillion Dollar Nuclear Weapons Escalation- Joseph Cirincione (Ploughshares Fund) 

• Nuclear Weapons Undermine Democracy – Prof. Elaine Scarry (Harvard University) 

10:45 am. II. Destabilizing Factors

Chair: Hon. John Tierney (former US Representative, Council for a Livable World)

• Dangers of Hair Trigger AlertLisbeth Gronlund (Union of Concerned Scientists).

• Nuclear Modernization vs. National Security – Prof. Aron Bernstein (MIT, Council for a Livable World)

• Accidents and Unexpected events – Prof. Max Tegmark (MIT, Future of Life Institute)

12:00 pm. Lunch Workshops (Listed below)

2:00 pm.  Session III. Economic and Social Consequences of Excessive Weapons Spending

Chair: Prof. Melissa Nobles (MIT):

• Build Housing Not Bombs – Rev. Paul Robeson Ford (Union Baptist Church)

• Education as a National Priority – Barbara Madeloni (Mass. Teachers Association)  

• Invest in Minds Not Missiles – Prof. Jonathan King (MIT)

• Build Subways Not Submarines – Fred Salvucci (former Mass. Secretary of Transportation)

Paul Robeson Ford, Barbara Madeloni, Jonathan King, Fred Salvucci

3:00 pm. Session IV. Current Prospects for Progress

Chair: Hon. John Tierney (former US Representative, Council for a Livable World)

• Congressional Steps Toward Nuclear Disarmament – U. S.  Representative Barbara Lee

• Maintaining the Iran Nuclear AgreementErnest Moniz, CEO, Nuclear Threat Initiative; former U.S. Secretary of Energy

4:15 pm.  Session V: Organizing to Reduce the Dangers

Chair: Jim Anderson (Peace Action New York State);  

• Divesting from Nuclear Weapons Investments – Susi Snyder (Don’t Bank on the Bomb)

• Taxpayers Information and Transparency Acts – State Reps. Denise Provost/Mike Connolly

• Mobilizing the Scientific Community – Prof. Max Tegmark (MIT)

• A National Nuclear Disarmament Organizing Network 2017 -2018 – Program Committee.

5:00 pm. Adjourn.

Conference Workshops (12:00 – 2:00 pm):

a) Campus Organizing – Chair: Kate Alexander (Peace Action, NY State); Caitlin Forbes (Mass. Peace Action); Remy Pontes (Brandeis Peace Action); Haleigh Conway-Cunningham (Peace Action Chapter at Tufts), Lucas Perry (Don’t Bank on the Bomb, Future of Life Institute); Luisa Kenausis (MIT Nuclear Weapons Matter).

b) Bringing nuclear weapons into physics and history course curricula – Chair: Frank Davis (past President of TERC); Gary Goldstein (Tufts University); Prof. Aron Bernstein (MIT); Prof. Vincent Intondi (Montgomery College); Ray Matsumiya (Oleander/Hiroshima Peace Initiative).

c) Dangerous Conflicts – Chair, Erica Fein (WAND); Jim Walsh (MIT); John Tierney (former US Representative, Council for a Livable World); Subrata Ghoshroy (MIT).

d) Municipal and State Initiatives – Chair Cole Harrison (Mass. Peace Action): Denise Provost (Mass State Legislature); Councilor Dennis Carlone (Cambridge City Council); Rev. Bob Moore (Coalition for Peace Action, NJ); Jared Hicks (Our Revolution Massachusetts); Prof. Ceasar McDowell (MIT Urban Studies).

e) Peace with Justice: People’s Budget and Related Campaigns to Shift Federal budget Priorities – Chair, Andrea Miller (People Demanding Action); Mike Connolly (Mass State Legislature); Paul Shannon (AFSC); Madelyn Hoffman (NJPA); Richard Krushnic (Mass Peoples Budget Campaign); Arnie Alpert (New Hampshire AFSC).

f) Reducing Nuclear Weapons through Treaties and Negotiation – Chair, Nazli Choucri (MIT), Kevin Martin (national Peace Action), Shelagh Foreman (Mass. Peace Action); Michel DeGraff (MIT Haiti Project).

g) Strengthening the Connection between Averting Climate Change and Averting Nuclear War – Chair, Frank Von Hippel (Princeton University); Rosalie Anders (Mass. Peace Action); Josué Lopez (Fossil Free MIT).

h) Working with Communities of Faith – Chair, Thea Keith-Lucas (MIT Radius); Rev. Herb Taylor (Harvard Epworth Methodist Church); Pat Ferrone (Pax Christi Massachusetts); Rev. Paul Robeson Ford (Union Baptist Church).

Program Committee:  Prof. Aron Bernstein (MIT, Council for a Livable World), Joseph Gerson (American Friends Service Committee), Subrata Ghoshroy (MIT), Prof. Gary Goldstein (Tufts University), Cole Harrison (Mass. Peace Action), Jonathan King (MIT and Mass. Peace Action), Guntram Mueller (Mass. Peace Action), State Rep. Denise Provost, John Ratliff (Mass. Peace Action, Mass Senior Action), Prof. Elaine Scarry (Harvard University), Prof. Max Tegmark (MIT, Future of Life Institute), Patricia Weinmann (MIT Radius).

Co-sponsored with Massachusetts Peace Action Education Fund, and the American Friends Service Committee.

Registration (includes lunch):  $12.00 through May 1, $15.00 after. Students and low income: $5.00 through May 1, $8.00 after.  If this is a hardship, contact for waiver.  Register online, or mail check payable to “Massachusetts Peace Action Education Fund” to 11 Garden St, Cambridge, MA 02138 and write “MIT Conference” on memo line.  For information call 617-354-2169 or email; MIT community members may also contact Radius.