David Price (david_price) wrote,
David Price

Nuclear Politics: a defining moment?

Humanity’s struggle to contain the threat of nuclear weapons and to exploit nuclear energy safely is approaching a defining moment.

Demand for civil nuclear power has intensified in response to climate change concerns, promising new civil nuclear technologies are starting to emerge, and Presidents Obama and Medvedev have just reached a substantive arms control agreement. But the risk of nuclear terrorism is increasing and the international stand-off with Iran, along with scepticism about the long-term interests of the existing nuclear weapon states, threatens to undermine the nuclear non-proliferation framework.

The next two months are likely to shape international nuclear policy for the next decade: with 44 heads of state due to gather at President Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit in Washington in April to develop a plan to secure loose nuclear materials and forestall nuclear terrorism and the 2010 NPT Review Conference—which opens in May at the UN General Assembly Hall in New York—aiming to revivify the nuclear non-proliferation framework.

The policy challenges involved are complex and daunting: and during this period The Independent will be using Debategraph to map the contours of the international policy debate in an interactive, visual form to which all are welcome to contribute.


(click here to open the live map)

As before
, the structure of the interactive map is like a wiki – every aspect is provisional, and open to further iterative improvement – and everyone one can add new points to the map.

The aim across the next couple of months will be to articulate all of the salient issues, positions and arguments in a single, coherent and transparent structure – in which each idea and argument is expressed just once – so that anyone can explore the subject quickly and gauge the relative strength of the different arguments and policy options.

You can move around the map by clicking on the spheres: clicking on the smaller spheres takes you deeper into an argument, clicking on the largest sphere takes you back up.

To contribute to the map and to view the underlying details for each point click here (or on the “+ button” below the embedded map).

To rate the different ideas, click on the arrows that connect the spheres – you will be asked to log in first time (to stop people voting for the same idea multiple times). The thickness of the arrows changes to signal which ideas are perceived to be stronger (thicker) and weaker (thinner); with the map becoming a visual, multi-dimensional poll of the community’s perception of the issues.

As with the other maps in the series you can you can follow developments via @TheIndyDebate on Twitter. And you are welcome to embed the map on your own website or blog (like a Google map) using the code shown below:

<iframe src='http://debategraph.org/Flash/fv_indep.aspx?r=53836&sc=small' frameborder='0' width='490' height='500' scrolling='no'></iframe>


Tags: arms control, bill gates, debategraph, diplomacy, disarmament, foreign & commonwealth office, iaea, international policy, iran, medvedev, new york, new-start treaty, non-proliferation, npt, nuclear, nuclear power, nuclear security summit, nuclear terrorism, obama, politics, start, treaty, un, united nations, washington, weapons

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