|A Slowing Pace: Peacework in the 1970s
Though the 1970s began robustly with Linus' receipt of the Lenin Peace Prize from the Soviet government, the decade was more
generally defined by a slowing in the pace of the Paulings peace work. At last, they were finally learning how to do less.
They retired to their lovely house overlooking the Pacific at Big Sur, brought in electricity and phone service, expanded
and modernized it, and installed a swimming pool. Pauling started his own research institute devoted primarily to investigating
the properties of Vitamin C and other nutrients, and began devoting more of his energy once again to science.
Nonetheless, the Paulings did continue to speak out forcefully on a number of issues. In the early part of the decade, Linus
and Ava Helen remained staunch and highly public critics of U.S. military incursions in Vietnam and Cambodia. Later, as the
hot war in Southeast Asia began to cool, the Paulings increasingly turned their attention to the brewing Cold War between
the United States and the Soviet Union, with specific focus upon the stockpiling of nuclear weapons by both countries. And
throughout the 1970s, both Linus and Ava Helen cautioned their audiences against the potential health hazards of nuclear energy
and its resultant wastes, advocating instead for increased reliance upon clean and renewable sources of energy.
Click images to enlarge
"Pauling Pickets." October 1971.
"Lenin Prize to Pauling." April 17, 1970.
"Future generations should...not be deprived of their share of the world's natural resources. Some of these resources are
inexhaustible. An example is sunlight. We may convert some of the energy of sunlight into electric power, which, after doing
useful work, is finally converted to heat and warms the Earth, as it would have done if it had not been converted to electric
power. The sun will continue to shine for future generations, whether we use it for electric power or not. Solar energy,
like energy obtained from the wind or tides, does not rob future generations."