AuthorLueders, Bill

In this issue of The Progressive, we look at existential threats to life on Earth. I wish this phrasing could be dismissed as hyperbolic, but it's not. The threats are real, and growing. They must be addressed, if we are to survive.

No one understands the threat of nuclear war better than Ira Helfand, co-president of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which won the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize. A former longtime emergency room physician, he has spent much of his life calling attention to this danger. It is also a topic The Progressive has covered extensively, most notably in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Last year, Helfand was in Madison for a talk, and The Progressive's editorial intern Lucas Sczygelski interviewed him for an article that ran on our website. "We're in the same kind of moment as back in the 1980s," Helfand remarked. "Trump's extreme rhetoric and incompetence are frightening people again. While that's a very bad situation, because it's extraordinarily dangerous, the silver lining is that people are starting to look at the issue of nuclear war again."

Helfand, who has written a couple of web pieces for The Progressive in recent years, addresses that growing danger in an important story called "Ban the Bomb--Before Our Luck Runs Out." The piece, paired with a chilling sidebar on what a modern nuclear war would mean, lists concrete steps we can take to reduce and ultimately eliminate this risk. We also revisit some of the magazine's past writing on the dangers of nuclear war in "Blast from the Past" and recount some of the many nuclear catastrophe near-misses (that we know about) in "Smoking Gun."

The other great existential threat we face today is climate change, the subject of an entire recent issue. In this issue, we have a piece from Minnesota on one of the great contemporary fights against the foolhardy perpetuation of the fossil-fuel industry. "The Battle Against Line 3" is about the massive grassroots and indigenous peoples' campaign to stop the expansion of a pipeline to transport dirty tar sands oil for the benefit of those who care more about the next quarter's revenues than the future of our planet. And we interview Winona LaDuke, one of the warriors in that and other pressing environmental campaigns.

We look as well at other threats, like those faced by journalists ("The Press Under Fire"), women who want to control their own bodies ("In Defense of Choice"), victims of...

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