Phineas Anderson
Phineas Anderson

Today we think of climate change as having a detrimental effect on humanity.  But according to Phineas Anderson, there was (and still is) no greater threat to mankind than the use of nuclear weapons.

Why have they not been used since Nagasaki? How did the nuclear arms race come about?  How close have we come to a nuclear war?  What role, if any, has the anti-nuclear movement had in making it politically impossible to use the bomb?  How close are we to achieving the vision of the elimination of such weapons?

Anderson will answer these questions at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 22) in the second of the Arizona Senior Academy’s series, “Life in the Nuclear Age.” His lecture, “The History of Nuclear Disarmament,” will trace the history of nuclear arms control and disarmament efforts since 1945.

Anderson is retired after more than 40 years as a teacher, curriculum developer and headmaster of K-12 college prep schools, including Tucson’s Green Fields Country Day School. He also was Director of Fire Policy, Research and Development in the U.S. Department of Commerce.

His activism regarding nuclear weapons began in earnest in the early 1980s, when he co-founded the Arizona Center to Reverse the Arms Race, debated military officers about nuclear weapons policy and he won a case against The Wall Street Journal for misrepresenting the Nuclear Weapons Freeze.

More recently his focus has been on preventing nuclear terrorism.  He was instrumental in the production of the film “Nuclear Tipping Point,” narrated by Michael Douglas and introduced by Colin Powell, which centered on arguments of former Secretaries of State Kissinger and Shultz, former Secretary of Defense William Perry and former head of the Senate Arms Services Committee Sam Nunn to eliminate nuclear weapons in the world’s arsenals.

The “Nuclear Age” series will feature subsequent talks by Russell Lowes (“The Problems with Nuclear Energy,” 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29), and Philip Kuo (“Nuclear Medicine,” 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6).

Written by Mike Maharry, Academy Village Volunteer

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Nuclear Weapons – Working Towards Zero: October 2014
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