Why are we spending $1.5 trillion on nuclear weapons?

The December 2023 issue of Scientific American contains three articles and an editorial about our nuclear weapons production, plans to spend tons of money “modernizing it”, and the environmental consequences.

  • BOOM TIMES: The new costs—and long shadow—of living in a nuclear nation. by Abe Streep
  • SIDE THE PIT FACTORY: For the first time in decades the U.S. is ramping up production of plutonium cores for nuclear weapons. by Sarah Scoles
  • SACRIFICE ZONES: What happens if silo-based nuclear missiles are attacked? by Sebastien Philippe
  • SCIENCE AGENDA: The U.S. wants to spend more than $1 trillion to update existing nuclear warheads in a move that will exacerbate diplomatic discord and further threaten life on Earth. BY THE EDITORS
‘Cold War Horse’ by Jeff Gipe, monument for Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Facility: steel, fiberglass and epoxy (photo by Josh Ellis)

From the editorial:

THE U.S. IS PLANNING to modernize its unwanted, unneeded, and unsafe nuclear triad of land-sea- and air-based weapons. Perfectly poised to refight the Cold War, these overhauled bombs will waste $1.5 trillion and threaten life on Earth for the century to come. We should rethink this miserable folly rather than once again squandering our wealth while driving a new arms race.

Time to end this nonsense, and while we are at it, give up our status as the most militarized nation on the earth.

Or, on a per capita basis, we spend $2,634 per capita on war, while the next 10 countries spend an average of $225 per capita on war