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Would you sell matches to an arsonist?

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India, a country currently in a nuclear arms race with Pakistan, signed a new agreement to buy 3000 tons of Canadian uranium. They’ve promised to only use it for civilian purposes, but think about it: India is using up what would be civilian uranium to build nuclear bombs. That’s why they need more uranium. If you sell matches to an arsonist, it doesn’t matter if they use them for cigarettes or abandoned warehouses, you’re part of the problem. 

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was signed by 191 countries. Four haven’t: India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel. I suppose you could call them rogue states if that term had any genuine meaning.

Our government openly worries about a nuclear Iran, a country that has zero nuclear weapons and who signed the treaty. And yet we sell uranium to a country with an active nuclear weapons program that’s had three wars with Pakistan since 1947 and several dangerous standoffs.

During one standoff in 2002 an asteroid caused an air burst over the Mediterranean. If that had happened closer to India and Pakistan, it could have triggered a nuclear war. And that’s just one of dozens of misunderstandings and mistakes involving nuclear weapons that make it a miracle we haven’t Three’s Companied ourselves into oblivion.

It doesn’t matter that the current government of India happens to be allies with Canada’s current government. A nuclear war is like a celebrity boxing match. Everyone loses. Studies show that even a limited nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan would kill millions of people immediately and cause a nuclear winter, agricultural collapse, and a global famine that could effectively end human civilization.

Or at least what we call civilization. If we want to be worthy of the name, we should probably stop actively trying to end ourselves. 

This video originally appeared in The Toronto Star.

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