ICV is pleased to announce The Back from the Brink Fund, which will initially support Move the Nuclear Weapons Money, a global campaign to shift nuclear weapons budgets and investments to better purposes, such as economic development, ending poverty, protecting the climate, supporting renewable energy, creating jobs, and providing adequate healthcare, housing and education for all.

 
 
The Back from the Brink Fund will employ a strategy to help global citizens understand the enormity of worldwide climate disruption caused by a limited, regional nuclear war; the great and increasing danger that nuclear weapons will be used; and, the reality that nuclear weapons are the greatest threat to our health, safety, and security. We use all possible tools and donor resources available to solve this most pressing problem that no one nonprofit can solve alone.

Through Back from the Brink Fund, we call on the United States to lead a global effort to prevent nuclear war by:

  • Renouncing the option of using nuclear weapons first
  • Ending the sole, unchecked authority of any President to launch a nuclear attack
  • Taking US nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert
  • Cancelling the plan to replace its entire arsenal with enhanced weapons
  • Actively pursuing a verifiable agreement among nuclear armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals

 
 
 

“The only rational course of action is to cease living under the conditions where our mutual destruction is only one impulsive tantrum away. A moment of panic or carelessness, a misconstrued comment or bruised ego could easily lead us unavoidably to the destruction of entire cities.”

 – Beatrice Fihn, executive director of ICAN, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

 
 
 

Status of World Nuclear Forces

Since the height of the Cold War, the United States and Russia have dismantled more than 50,000 nuclear warheads, but 15,000 of these weapons still exist and they pose an intolerable risk to human survival.

95% of these weapons are in the hands of the United State and Russia; the rest are held by seven other countries: the United Kingdom, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea.
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

Global Impact of Limited Nuclear War on Agriculture, Food Supplies, and Human Nutrition

The use of even a tiny fraction of these weapons would cause worldwide climate disruption and global famine.  As few as 100 Hiroshima sized bombs, small by modern standards, would put at least 5 million tons of soot into the upper atmosphere and cause climate disruption across the planet, cutting food production and putting 2 billion people at risk of starvation.
 
 
 

 
 
A large scale nuclear war would kill hundreds of millions of people directly and cause unimaginable environmental damage. It would also cause catastrophic climate disruption dropping temperatures across the planet to levels not seen since the last ice age.  Under these conditions the vast majority of the human race would starve and it is possible we would become extinct as a species.

In the words of Robert McNamara, one of the most influential defense secretaries of the 20th century, “nuclear weapons serve no military purposes whatsoever.” “They are totally useless — except only to deter one’s opponent from using them. The devastation would be complete and victory a meaningless term,” he said.
 
 
 
 

Close Calls with Nuclear Weapons

Despite assurances that nuclear arsenals exist solely to guarantee they are never used, there have been many occasions when nuclear armed states have prepared to use these weapons, and war has been averted at the last minute.

Nuclear weapons do not possess some magical quality that prevents their being used.
 
 
 

“All we have built, all we have worked for, would be destroyed in the first 24 hours.”

 – President John F. Kennedy

 
 
 
Our current nuclear policy is essentially the hope that our good luck lasts. Furthermore, the danger of nuclear war is growing as climate change puts increased stress on communities around the world increasing the likelihood of conflict.
 
 
 
 

The Planned Expenditure on Nuclear Forces

The increasing tensions between nuclear powers has moved the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists this year to move the hands of the Doomsday Clock to 2 Minutes to Midnight. These risks are exacerbated by the corporations manufacturing nuclear weapons, who have a vested interest in keeping the nuclear weapons budgets high. Such budgets divert resources from other areas of need. Over $1 trillion is earmarked for nuclear weapons over the next ten years, most of it being spent by the United States (see below).
 
 
PartnershipsThis money could instead cover all the following:

  • $280 billion could feed 780 million malnourished people in the world for 10 years
  • $200 billion could build 2-100 million houses
  • $100 billion could build 300-400,000 hospitals or clinics
  • $100 billion could provide yearly salaries for 2–10 million teachers
  • $80 billion could provide preventive health care for all Africans reducing infant and maternal mortality by 80%
  • $55 billion could allow the UN to meet its budget for 10 years
  • $30 billion could provide solar panel systems for 3 million homes
  • $30 billion could provide 1 million wind turbines
  • $25 billion could provide 1 million electric cars
  • $25 billion could provide tuition for 200,000 students for 5 years each at top USA universities
  • $20 billion could provide 10 years of ART drugs for all 28 million HIV infected people in Africa
  • $14 billion could rebuild Haiti after the earthquake
  • $8 billion could provide 20 billion trees in Africa
  • $8 billion could help to eliminate malaria in 10 years, saving half million lives per year
  • $5 billion could provide for 1 million fresh water wells in Africa

 
 
 
 
 
 

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.”

 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower

 
 
 

Philanthropy: Love of Humankind

The Back from the Brink Fund exists on individual contributions like yours. At the end of the day, at the end of our lives, we will ask ourselves whether we could have done more for the health and well-being of the planet, of humanity and all living things. Leverage your charitable giving to create social change with ICV’sICV’s Catalytic Philanthropy.
 
 
 
 


 
 
 

Resource Library

 

 
 
 
 

 
 

“We stand today, I believe, in greater danger of nuclear catastrophe than we faced during the Cold War.”

 – William Perry, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, 2017