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Book Notes

BOOK REVIEW | | BY Michael Marien

Don’t Bank on the Bomb: A Global Report on the Financing of Nuclear Weapons Producers. Jan Willem van Gelder, Petra Spaargaren, and Tim Wright. Foreword by Desmond Tutu. International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, March 2012, 178p.

(download at or ).

An overview of the global nuclear weapons industry, identifying 322 banks, insurance companies, pension funds, and asset managers from 30 countries that invest significantly in 20 major nuclear weapons producers. Nuclear weapons spending worldwide in 2011 was US$105 billion for all nine nuclear nations, of which the US accounted for $61.3 billion and Russia was a distant second at $14.8 billion. Together, despite a recent decline, the world’s nuclear arsenal still amounts to >20,000 bombs with a combined force of 150,000 Hiroshima-sized bombs. Public support for a nuclear weapons ban in 2008 was 86% in France, 83% in China, 81% in the UK, 77% in the US, 69% in Russia, 67% in Israel, 62% in India, and 46% in Pakistan. This report urges financial institutions to divest, on humanitarian, legal, and environmental grounds. Includes 19 boxes on such topics as nuclear weapons companies at a glance, making these weapons illegal, environmental effects, the nine nuclear-armed nations, the Norwegian divestment, and what legislators and religious groups can do. [NOTE: A handsomely produced report that clearly states the problem in its many dimensions, offering a fresh approach to abolishing nuclear weapons.]


About the Author(s)

Michael Marien

Senior Principal, The Security & Sustainability Guide; Fellow, World Academy of Art & Science