4 August 1998
Save Our Nukes!
Despite the fact that the cold war ended seven years ago, the US public believes it still faces the threat of nuclear attack. The public also believe it is important to maintain the existing nuclear arsenal and that reducing it is not necessarily a good idea. These are the results of a survey conducted for Sandia Labs, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, by the University of New Mexico's Institute for Public Policy. Ahem.
The survey addressed public perceptions of nuclear weapons risks to Americans that have existed since the early years of the Cold War. They include risks from nuclear weapons possessed by those outside the US (external nuclear weapons risks) and risks to the US associated with its own nuclear weapons and how they are managed, safeguarded, and employed (domestic nuclear weapons risks).
The study surveyed three groups, including the general public, legislators from all 50 states, and members of American Men and Women of Science. The 1 639 randomly selected survey participants from the general public were interviewed by phone, while the 1 212 scientists and 603 state legislators from throughout the US responded to written questionnaires by mail.
The survey results we looked at did not indicate in which industries the scientists surveyed were employed.
When we at Science à GoGo looked at the results of this nuke survey, we couldn't help but be reminded of another survey conducted a few years back as to "How the US Public Spends its Time".
In that survey, over 90 per cent of respondents said that they "did not have enough time in the day to do all the things they needed to". And in the very same survey 65 per cent of the respondents said that they "watched more than three hours of television a day". Sheesh, work that one out. Or better yet read some of the results of the nuke survey.
- 43 per cent of the public believe that the risk of nuclear conflict has increased since the break up of the former Soviet Union,
- A majority of all three groups considered the elimination of all nuclear weapons world-wide within the next 25 years to be unfeasible,
- 53 per cent of the public thought that funding to maintain and improve nuclear capability should be increased (up from 38 per cent in 1993),
- Women were significantly more likely to agree with the statement "eliminating all nuclear weapons world-wide within the next 25 years is feasible",