Evacuating and relocating cannot save us from nuclear war

We who understand nuclear weapons know that it is an illusion – a deception – that nuclear war is survivable. In the early 1980s when Reagan was escalating the nuclear arms race, people understood that and passed a law in Washington State to prevent the State from wasting taxpayers’ money and deceiving people through “evacuation” and “relocation” plans.

But now some state legislation has been introduced to require that, so another person and I testified on Jan. 22, 2018, to a House committee in opposition to that bill, HB 2214. We offered smart testimony. (I’m attaching my testimony at this link:

TESTIMONY against HB 2214 about planning evacuation for nuclear war 2018.01.22.)

The committee chair and one or more members of the committee seemed totally ignorant of what HB 2214 would do. When they first mentioned this bill they said they could not imagine why the state would prevent planning about nuclear war. They did not seem to know that the VERY CLEAR AND EXPLICIT wording was that the current state law prohibited ONLY planning for “evacuation” and “relocation.”

Also, they did not seem to know the historical context. I remember the “duck-and-cover” drills and bomb shelters from the 1950s as being unrealistic and futile. During the early 1980s I worked against the Reagan administration’s foolish promotion of the mistaken notion that we could survive nuclear wars by “evacuation” and “relocation” and other nonsensical policies.

The other peace supporter and I testified to set the record straight regarding the very narrow scope of HB 2214’s planning regarding nuclear war emergencies. We also noted the historical context. The prohibition came from about 1984, after the public saw the ridiculousness of Reagan’s make-believe protections. The Washington State Legislature passed the existing law to avoid wasting money on such foolishness.

Unfortunately, the committee chair and some other committee members were utterly clueless, so they seemed to support the bill.

We need to continue tracking HB 2214 through www.leg.wa.gov. It is possible to track the bill by searching for the 4-digit number.

I’m attaching my testimony again. When I introduced myself I specified that I was speaking for myself as an individual. In October 2017 Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility produced an excellent statement opposing the kind of nonsense in this bill. I quoted part of the statement and made clear that I was quoting it but not speaking for the organization.



About GlenAnderson 1513 Articles
Since the late 1960s Glen Anderson has devoted his life to working as a volunteer for peace, nonviolence, social justice, and progressive political issues. He has worked through many existing organizations and started several. Over the years he has worked especially for such wide-ranging goals as making peace with Vietnam, eliminating nuclear weapons, converting from a military economy to a peacetime economy, abolishing the death penalty, promoting nonviolence at all levels throughout society, and helping people organize and strategize for grassroots movements to solve many kinds of problems. He writes, speaks, and conducts training workshops on a wide variety of topics. Since 1987 he has produced and hosted a one-hour cable TV interview program on many kinds of issues. Since 2017 he has blogged at https://parallaxperspectives.org He lives in Lacey near Olympia WA. You can reach him at (360) 491-9093 glen@parallaxperspectives.org