The Starfish Prime blast, as seen from Hawaii in 1962. Source: Wikipedia

Environmental Legacy of the Limited Test Ban Treaty

The Starfish Prime blast, as seen from Hawaii in 1962. Source: Wikipedia
The Starfish Prime blast, as seen from Hawaii in 1962. Source: Wikipedia

We know that the treaty signed fifty years ago was an important arms control document.  Was it an environmental document too?

On the face of it, the Limited Test Ban Treaty of 1963 seems like two giant leaps forward, for world peace and for diminishing the contamination of the earth.  But the closer we look at the events surrounding the treaty, the less clear the environmental legacy becomes.  That’s especially true given the nuclear testing extravaganza that preceded the treaty.

I wrote a historical reflection for Oxford University Press’s blog to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the signing.  It’s available if you click here and I welcome comments, disagreements, and discussion here (or there).

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