NEW YORK -- Children's Express is an independent, non-profit news service reported by children whose tape-recorded interviews, discussions, reports and commentary are edited by teenagers and adults.
By Adam Davidson, 13, Josh Empson, 12, Gracie Harry, 13.
Assistant Editor: Felicia Kornbluh, 17.
NEW YORK (UPI) -- These are the carefree years, right? Most kids are innocents. Most kids haven't gotten a job. They're not even out of school yet. Kids are supposed to be carefree. But maybe we won't wake up tomorrow.
Adults don't want kids worrying about nuclear war. They want kids to be kids. They get really scared when they turn around and see that their own children are interested in this issue. Because once kids get involved in the issue it has to be important. You know in your heart that kids are right.
Kids our age do worry about these things, so CHILDREN'S EXPRESS interviewed atomic scientist Ruth Adams about children and the nuclear issue. She is the editor of a magazine called The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which was started in 1945 to inform people about nuclear issues. We talked to her about kids and how life should be for them in this nuclear age.
'If we're going to avoid nuclear war, we have to learn how to handle our nuclear power and nuclear weapons,' Ms. Adams said. 'And you can't have children learning about the world they live in without having a big share of that being devoted to nuclear issues.'
Ms. Adams said nuclear education programs should be required in schools, 'the same way that you learn to read and write.'
'In other words,' she went on, 'you have to treat this as something that you should read about everyday, think about everyday and talk about everyday, just like other subjects.'
Power, an awesome power. That's what it's all about. Whatever it is that surrounds atoms is probably one of the most powerful forces in the universe. Most forces have their potential for good and their potential for bad.
Someone once said that every energy or force invented for good, any new kind of energy, like nuclear energy, they'll eventually make a weapon out of it. Nuclear power has the potential for good in the form of nuclear energy and it has the potential for bad in the form of nuclear weapons.
Children should know about it so we can protect ourselves, and protest the threat of nuclear war. So we have to learn everything there is to know about this power. It might kill us unless we fight it.
Can all the children make a difference? As long as we can remember, the Soviet Union and the United States have been enemies. Why don't they just have a peace treaty like the Americans and the Indians? If our country is so free, then how come we don't get just one say in how the government goes?
Most politicians don't think kids fit in at all. You know, they say something like: 'Wait'll they get to vote, then they can start putting their noses in my business. Wait until they're adults.' But Ms. Adams really had an understanding about kids and their feelings.
'There is no way that we can solve this problem of a threat of a thermonuclear war unless we do it with the Russians,' she told us. 'We don't solve it by ourselves. We have to learn to be more open and learn how the Soviet society has changed. I think the people who could do that are the young people and the children.'
'Young people like yourselves are beginning to realize that they have to start participating in the decision-making and take some power in their own hands if their government isn't doing well by them,' Ms. Adams said.
If everybody gets together, maybe something will happen. Because nuclear war can't be allowed to happen. It's a dangerous threat and our world leaders may be leading us in the wrong direction.