Evidence, Commentary, and Judgment

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3.2.6 Tribunal Conclusions on Global Ecosphere Effects

After careful consideration of all the evidence submitted on the nuclear winter the members of the Tribunal were drawn to a number of significant conclusions:

  1. There appears to be genuine controversy within the scientific community on the certainty or severity of a nuclear winter after a nuclear exchange. However, a number of major computational studies carried out independently in the USA and USSR appear to come to the same conclusion: that a nuclear winter is a likely consequence of nuclear war.
  2. Experimental evidence has shown that dust emitted by volcanoes can encircle the globe within 20 days and that there is an historical correlation between frost damage to tree rings and occurrences of major dust-creating volcanic eruptions.
  3. A nuclear winter arising from a theatre or strategic nuclear exchange may render human life impossible in one or both hemispheres of the Earth on a long-term basis. This effect may far outweigh the short-term effects of nuclear weapons on civilians and combatants.
  4. In view of the fact that the nuclear winter theory cannot be indisputably disproved short of a test in the form of a real war and that the evidence seems to point to it as a real and likely outcome of even a theatre nuclear war (for example, limited to Europe), then it is apparent that the use of nuclear weapons within a limited scenario must be regarded as a grossly irresponsible act on a global scale having consequences far beyond any conceivable military objective within the theatre of use.

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