WHEN I first got involved with Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) around 1980, we feared that life would end in a nuclear conflagration. Sadly, that possibility is no less likely. And climate change, already a campaign issue for the environmental movement in 1980, is now visible to all.

Nuclear war and climate change are twin existential threats. Nuclear weapons vaporise everything at their point of impact and leave land polluted for future generations. Imagine what was evaporated by the multiple atomic tests on pristine wildlife-rich coral atolls and other fragile ecosystems.

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The tests of the 1940s-1970s left a radioactive signature across the whole planet, and their contribution to cancers and climate change remains uncounted. Reducing the risk of nuclear catastrophe remains Scottish CND’s priority, but the links between nuclear weapons and environmental calamity demand attention. Not least because Scotland can make a stronger contribution to the future of the planet if the network of organisations that make up our peace movement and environmental movement combine.

The twin threats are linked through a shared colonial and exploitative approach that always did harm to indigenous peoples and does a disservice to our future.

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The stewardship that our planet urgently needs is totally at odds with a willingness to “press the nuclear button”. The “nuclear deterrence” claim starts from a presumption that our “defence” involves the suicidal right to end the world for half the planet. That’s what the bombs on one of the UK nuclear-armed subs would achieve.

Despite being a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty in which all nuclear states promised to take steps that led to total nuclear disarmament, the UK Government has committed £41 billion to pay for replacing the current nuclear weapon system with new submarines, missiles and bombs.

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Meanwhile, the majority of the non-nuclear countries of the world have had enough of waiting for the nuclear powers to get serious about disarmament. They are signing the UN Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and slowly exposing the absurdity of a world at a trigger point of nuclear death.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will be the legal mechanism that would help an independent Scotland become a nuclear-free state. Once Scotland signs, the force of international law is on our side to assist with nuclear disarmament.

At the same time as committing money to nuclear weapons, the UK Government is threatening to commission new oil and gas fields – instead of throwing resources at action to combat climate change. The Scottish Government is rightly seeking to decarbonise our economy, halting Scotland’s contribution to the human-induced global warming caused by the rich world’s history of fossil fuel consumption.

The National: The successful applicant will be based at Faslane

However, the military is largely outside their jurisdiction and has very high fossil fuel consumption, or “carbon bootprint”. Here the peace movement needs to try to call them to account.

There are very strong links between the military and arms industries, some based in Scotland, and between the Scottish-based UK nuclear weapons and the nuclear power industry. Both nuclear weapons and nuclear power cause additional environmental injustice and harm by adding dangerous ionising radiation to the environment.

The toxic processes include uranium mining at the beginning of the production cycle and the end product of highly radioactive waste that is dangerous for thousands of years. Nuclear power and nuclear weapons remain interlocked, sharing skills, infrastructure, and a legacy of devastating accidents, harmful to all species and future generations. The continued existence of both means a constant low-level risk of terrifying catastrophe.

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Some advocate nuclear power as “clean and green”. The military, the fossil-fuel, nuclear, and arms industries are all very effective at lobbying for ever more resources, but only drive the twin threats of climate change and nuclear war. Millions that could be spent on turning around environmental harm go on advocating for the nuclear industries. This includes the lobbying of Scottish MPs and MSPs. Scientists for Global Responsibility estimated that the UK’s military-related activities contribute to the fossil-fuel-consuming annual equivalent to 6 million cars on the road.

It is because of these linkages that Scottish CND has called the Festival for Survival.

Scottish CND is part of a vibrant set of grassroots organisations in the UK, linked with strong international movements, that work for the common good of the planet. Think tanks like Common Weal are one of several political and civic institutions in Scotland with a strong vision of a just and green future that will participate alongside an incredible lineup of politicians, academics, campaigners, cultural figures and faith groups.

Together we will push for a just transition and nuclear disarmament to defend the thousands of species being brought to extinction by human activity and build a safer, fairer and greener future. I very much hope you will be part of it.

Lynn Jamieson is the chair of the Scottish CND. She will be joined at the Festival for Survival in November by speakers including MSPs Bill Kidd and Ross Greer, Archbishop of Glasgow William Nolan, and the University of Edinburgh's Dr Claire Duncanson.

More information at festivalforsurvival.com