'I pray that words spoken at this conference may carry beyond walls and reach thousands of ears hitherto deaf to warnings of the final catastrophe.' So said Patrick White in June 1983 at an important symposium organised by the Australian National University to examine the whole issue of nuclear war and its implications for Australia.
Many prominent Australians - including H. C. Coombs, Senator Susan Ryan, leading academics and medics - attended the conference along with distinguished experts from overseas, and mingled and talked with many representatives of Australian peace movements. In two intense and emotional days they discussed many different aspects of the crisis that threatens the world, from the latest scientific thinking on possible effects on the atmosphere to the increasingly important role of the women's peace movement and the efforts of ordinary people around the world to stop the nuclear arms race.
Originally published in 1983, this book presents the upshot of these deliberations, including unforgettable illustrations of some of the consequences of nuclear war. The book does not pretend to provide the answers, nor does it take any political viewpoint. It does present the authoritative opinions of some of the world's leading minds on the extent of the threat that faces Australia alongside powerful statements from committed men and women from around the world - opinions that will inform and disturb all thinking Australians.
Acknowledgements. Notes on Contributors. Preface P.H. Karmel. Introduction Michael Denborough. Part 1: The Nuclear Arms Race 1. Will There Be a Nuclear War? Frank Barnaby 2. The Nuclear Threat to Australia Desmond Ball and R. H. Mathams 3. The Economic and Social Consequences of Preparing for Nuclear War John Langmore Part 2: The Consequences of Nuclear War 4. The Medical Consequences of Nuclear War Michael Denborough 5. Can We Survive a Nuclear Attack upon Australia? J.A. Ward 6. Dark Circle Judy Irving and Heather Ogilvie 7. The Economic and Social Impact of Nuclear War for Australia and its Region H.C. Coombs 8. The Atmospheric Effects of Nuclear War A. Barrie Pittock 9. Some Changes in the Atmosphere over Australia That May Occur Due to a Nuclear War I.E. Galbally, P.J. Crutzen and H. Rodhe Part 3: The Prevention of Nuclear War 10. The Role of the Scientist Bernard Feld 11. The Role of the Medical Profession Oleg Gavrilov 12. A Soldier's Report David Hackworth 13. Ecology and Peace: Some Experiences of the Green Party Roland Vogt 14. The Role of the Australian Government Susan Ryan 15. Women and the Prevention of Nuclear War Patrick White. Index.