To: Jay D. Hair, April 16, 1984

From: Ellen Benjamin

Subject: Resignation

Jay, as we discussed last week, I am resigning my position as Executive Assistant effective today in order to conspicuously communicate my conviction that the single most pressing issue facing the world is the threat of nuclear holocaust, and that each individual can rise above hopelessness and raise his or her voice to protest the continuation of the folly of nuclear arms.

I have enjoyed working for National Wildlife Federation, and am pleased that the resolution passed at the Annual Meeting reflects my own concern. Hopefully if NWF works from inside the system with the same commitment that I intend to bring to the grassroots level we can pull this world out of inertia and apathy and effect a shift to sanity. Let's strike for peace in whatever way we can.

God bless you with your work, Jay. I will definitely keep in touch.


Resolution No. l, 1984

Biological Consequences of Nuclear Conflict:

Recent research has revealed that a full scale nuclear weapons exchange (5,000-l0,000 megatons) would trigger not only devastating explosions, fires and radiation, but equally or more damaging atmospheric and biological effects. The dust and soot injected into the atmosphere would plunge the northern hemisphere, and much of the southern, into darkness and extreme cold for several months or a few years. Severity would depend on the time of year, but photosynthesis would be interrupted, crops destroyed, drinking water frozen, and most farm animals and wildlife would die of starvation or thirst. Marine life would be less affected by cold; but reduction of plants to sustain the food chain, combined with severe toxic contamination from fuel and other chemical tank ruptures, would drastically deplete near-shore fisheries. The period of cold and dark could be wide-spread in tropical areas in both the northern and Southern hemispheres. Major reservoirs of genetic diversity, perhaps the majority of species on earth, would be threatened. Evidence also suggests that many of these effects could occur after much smaller nuclear exchanges over cities. It appears that such drastic destruction of human life and the earth's ecosystems would befall all nations.

The Federation urges the President of the United States to join with other world leaders to bring about verifiable treaties to totally eliminate nuclear weapons by the end of this decade.