University group attends Vatican conference on nuclear weapons

first_imgSarah Olson | The Observer Professor Michael Desch and University students Mackenzie Nolan and Kathleen Kollman discuss their  recent trip to the Vatican. The group met the pope and attended a conference focused on nuclear disarmament.In a panel hosted Tuesday night, the group discussed their experiences at the Vatican, as well as Pope Francis’s condemnation of nuclear weapons.For the group that traveled to the Vatican, the highlight of the visit was meeting personally with the pope, Powers said. The pope met with over 300 strangers, yet greeted each one with so much energy it seemed as though he was greeting the first, Powers added.Chris Haw, a doctoral student in theology at the Kroc Institute, echoed  Pope Francis’s message in support of nuclear disarmament and said the conference helped him solidify his stance.“Even with what we have … one of the overarching themes is that they are sapping our world of resources and that they are now increasingly destabilizing us,” Haw said. “We need to come to grips that they are increasingly destabilizing international diplomacy.”The use of nuclear weapons was utopian, shortsighted and irrational, Haw said. “Deterrence is building on sand, increasingly building on sand,” he said. “Lasting peace is built by vigilant diplomatic efforts and human development.”Haw said in one sense “the multi-national chorus of peace-builders was even more thrilling than meeting the pope.” “We’re all connected in that whether we destroy or safeguard nature, our fear or our courage, all of these things affect our brothers and sisters,” he said. “We’re living amidst a moral emergency for which we are all co-responsible. We in the nuclear countries live in a haze of moral deprivation and logic distortion. If we don’t change, things won’t change.” Political science professor Michael Desch challenged Haw’s stance.“In general, it was a terrific couple of days. And the high point of the audience with the Holy Father is something I know I’ll never forget,” Desch said. “In terms of the concrete message of the conference, I came away not convinced.” Twelve Notre Dame students and recent alumni and five faculty members travelled to the Vatican to meet the pope and attend a conference on a topic that continues to dominate headlines: nuclear weapons.“This was probably the most public and high-level event on this issue since the end of the Cold War,” Gerard Powers, director of Catholic peacebuilding studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, said. “After the Cold War, the Holy See was increasingly outspoken about the immorality of the use of nuclear weapons. This is the first time that a pope condemned not only the use, but the possession of nuclear weapons.” Photo courtesy of Notre Dame Junior Monica Montgomery shakes the pope’s hand while on a trip to the Vatican. Montgomery joined 11 other University students, alumni and five faculty members in attending a conference hosted by the pope.Desch said nuclear deterrence is not a theory of nuclear use. Rather, it is a theory of purposive non-use of nuclear weapons.“Deterrence is not nuclear use, and we shouldn’t forget that,” he said. “The position of the Church … wrongly assumes that counter-value or population targeting has been a part of U.S. nuclear strategy for most of the Cold War. On that score they’re fundamentally wrong.”There has been significant nuclear drawdown since the Cold War, Desch said.“There’s still plenty of nuclear power out there, but the idea that nothing has changed is very hard to sustain,” he said. “We now have nine nuclear powers. This is a bad thing in one sense, but in another sense we could have a world, and we expected a world of 50 nuclear powers back in the days of proliferation studies. At least five states have walked back from pretty serious nuclear programs.”Desch said he is a realist and thinks it is idealistic to believe a world without nuclear weapons could become reality.“I was very unpersuaded by the integral nuclear disarmament view that everything is connected,” he said. “It seems to me hard to sustain the argument that if there weren’t nuclear weapons that huge amounts of money … that if we cut this out we would be spending a lot of money on other worthy causes, particularly the elimination of poverty. The bottom line for me is we ought to be careful what we wish for.”Junior political science and Arabic major Mackenzie Nolan said the discussion with nuclear weapons does not just stop at deterrence. What is necessary now, she said, is education.“We were lucky enough to go to this conference, and I think it’s our responsibility now to bring it back to campus,” Nolan said. “We all have different backgrounds, so I think understanding those backgrounds will help improve discourse.”Graduate student at the Keough School of Global Affairs Kathleen Kollman said students should be educated on the gravity of the threat of nuclear weapons. Until then, she said, students cannot selectively focus on sole issues such as mass migration or climate change.“Unfortunately we don’t have the luxury of focusing only on those issues. The issue of nuclear weapons stands in our way,” Kollman said. “What it took for me to care was a wake-up call from reality that the threat from nuclear weapons is far from over.”Tags: nuclear disarmament, nuclear weapons, Pope Francis, Vaticanlast_img read more

Weekend Pick: Fly Fishing Expo in Fletcher, North Carolina, Dec. 5-6

first_imgThe days may be getting shorter and chillier, but the fish are still biting! Show your sport some winter love at the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Expo, this Friday and Saturday at the WNC Agricultural Center in Fletcher.WNC-ExpoReturning to the Center for its 6th year running, the Fly Fishing Expo attracts more than 1,000 anglers from all over the Southeast for a weekend packed full of exhibitions, demonstrations, lessons, and talks with the pros.Fishing experts – such as George Daniel, Blane Chocklett, and Jon Hooper – will be ready to up your game and give you the best new tips to improve your skills. Plus, Fly Tying and Casting Clinics alongside these big names will help you put your new knowledge to the test and get you water-ready. The Southeastern Council of the International Federation of Fly Fishers has even sponsored a 3,200 square-foot indoor casting pool, built specially for these clinics.All your favorite manufacturers, shops, and organizations will also be at the Expo. Don’t miss the Flyman Fishing Co., Fishpond, Hatch Fly Reels, Carolina Mountain Sports, Rivers Edge Outfitters, Hunter Banks Company, and tons of other groups ready to gear you up right with good advice and big deals.The 2014 WNC Fly Fishing Expo is bound to be a hit for the fishing community, so mark your calendars. No need to register – tickets will be available at the door for only $16 starting at 12 pm on Friday. Kids under 16 even get in free! Don’t miss this largest fly-fishing event in the Southeastern area.last_img read more

Men’s hockey: Badgers split weekend games against unranked opponents

first_imgAfter a spectacular opening weekend sweeping Boston College, the Badgers suffered their first loss of the season Friday. It was handed to the No. 13 Badgers by the unranked Clarkson Golden Knights during their New York road trip. Although the Badgers showed up on Friday and sophomore Sean Dhooghe had a career night, the team fell short to the Golden Knights losing 2–4.Offensively, the team struggled to find momentum and on power moves, they were overcome by the Golden Knights who just had more dominance on the ice during the important moments. Even though the team would have liked to walk away with a win, some good moments, including Dhooghe’s two goals of the night, made for a strong game overall.Saturday night the Badgers found their groove again, blasting past the St. Lawrence Saints in a 7–1 win on their home ice. An added bonus? For the second night in a row, Dhooghe scored two goals in the victory.Football: Deal, Taylor lead Badgers to dominant 49–20 win over IllinoisIllinois had to have had just about the worst Madison experience possible Saturday. An away game versus a ranked opponent Read…Dhooghe, who had a total of six goals throughout the 2017-18 season, is showing a whole new intensity this season as the forward already has five goals in the last three games. The good news is Dhooghe is not the only Badger stepping up to the plate, and as more Badgers start to meet this intensity, it should chalk up to a phenomenally fun hockey season for the Badgers both to play and watch.Also on Saturday, freshman Daniel Lebedeff, a new goalkeeper, stepped into the ring. Lebedeff went on to make 20 saves in the win over the Saints. Senior Seamus Malone complimented Lebedeff’s play in a conversation with UW Athletics.“He played great. He looked confident. He was making big saves for us,” Malone said. “It’s exciting to see that he was comfortable back there and playing his game.”Men’s hockey: Hoping to build on sweep of BC, Badgers travel to New York for games this weekendThis weekend the undefeated Wisconsin Badgers take on the unranked Clarkson Golden Knights and unranked St. Lawrence Saints in their Read…After their loss on Friday, the Badgers only fell one rank in the USCHO Rankings from No. 13 to No. 14. But early in the season, this change in rank is not extremely significant, as Wisconsin has yet to enter their conference schedule.This weekend, the Badgers take on Michigan Tech at the Kohl Center Friday and Saturday night. Both puck drops are scheduled for 7 p.m. on what is sure to be a fun, hockey-filled Halloween weekend in Madison.last_img read more