What You Can Do

Getting society to rethink its approach to national security is such a huge task that many people ask, “What difference can I make? What can I do that could possibly help?” No single individual can solve these problems alone, but if enough of us move things a little, together we can change the world. That’s how slavery ended, women got the vote, and more. This page lists a number of effective actions that you can take, many of which take just minutes. By itself, that will not solve the problem. But you’ll have done your share. Here’s hoping you’ll join the effort!

Martin Hellman

5 minutes

Read the short summary statement on Rethinking National Security and check out the impressive list of signers. If you agree, post on social media with links to this page. Do the same with any of the following resources. The basic idea: In 1945, the US was totally secure. Today, after spending vast sums to improve our national security, we can be destroyed in under an hour. To survive, we need to rethink national security.

2 minutes each time

If the setting is appropriate, when people ask you what’s new, mention the statement and how it’s gotten you thinking in a new way and suggest that they check out this site at tinyurl.com/RNSweb. It helps if you create small, business-card-sized slips of paper with that URL (and any of those that follow) that you can give them. If you like, include the basic idea (see above) on it.

10 minutes

If you find the statement thought provoking, read all twelve questions raised in the report.

1 minute

Read the story about “the man in the TNT vest.” An influential congressman told me it was the best way to communicate the need for action to his colleagues and that seems to be true for the public in general.

2 minutes

Read my one-page summary of seven post-Cold War nuclear risks which shows why society is wrong in believing that the nuclear threat ended when the Berlin Wall came down.

35 minutes

Watch my invited talk on "The Technological Imperative for Ethical Evolution" at the 2019 annual meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany. This talk approaches the need (the imperative) to rethink national security from a perspective that is simultaneously scientific and ethical.

1 hour

Write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Find a way to mention the name of your Representative in the House and your Senators. Their offices watch for their names being mentioned in local papers and that will bring your letter to their attention. Encourage a local newspaper or TV reporter to read the report and to cover it.

4 hours

Read the book my wife and I wrote on “creating true love at home and peace on the planet.” You can download a free PDF or buy a hard copy from Amazon. The book tells how we transformed an almost failed marriage into one where we reclaimed the deep love that we felt when we first met over 50 years ago. Surprisingly, we found that working on interpersonal and international challenges at the same time accelerated our progress on both. Former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry recommended that our book “should be read by couples seeking peace at home, as well as by diplomats seeking peace in the world.”

8 hours

Arrange a meeting with your mayor or another elected official, ideally with a few other interested constituents who support Rethinking National Security.

8 hours

Arrange a meeting with your representative in Congress at their local office. It may take a couple of months to get an appointment and the more supporters you will have at the meeting, the more likely you are to get it and the more impact it will have. It helps if you get a mayor or other local official to join the meeting.