Thursday, May 26, 2011

Shouldn't have looked.

Jenn came across this post today illustrating all the nuclear testing that's been done in the world since 1945.

It starts slow at first, of course, but then by 1960, the genie is very much out of the bottle.

Like most people, I had no idea that nuclear testing had been so close to home and so widespread as it was. My perception was that there were hundreds, not thousands of tests, and that very few had happened close to our country, that the superpowers had treaties to limit these tests. I was wrong. The hottest spot in the world is the Mojave desert, and I've been there. There are no comprehensive treaties.

And most depressing, before I was born, in 1971, there were over 1100 bomb tests done in the world. Unfortunately, there have been more tests since then.

This is the trinity explosion.
Having a child with abnormal DNA, and a food chain that is poisoned with chemicals from antibiotics to antifungals, to Genetically modified grains  ... when does it all stop? I know it sounds contrite. I know we've all heard it before, but it's these 'holy crap' moments that have to break through the fog of our everyday lives once in a while to make us look hard at what is around us and wonder what it would be like if we still had a clean planet. Would I still have asthma? Would my child be different?

If we all believe it only happens in someone else's portion of the globe, how can we ensure it doesn't happen any more? If they were to test in Lake Ontario, would people of the world help us to get the test cancelled? How close does it have to be before we make sure they stop?

This is all we have is this dot.
I guess what it comes down to for me is utility. If blowing off these bombs was to end global warming, cure cancer, or MS, or to actually give us a lasting world peace, and not a plutocracy, then I would think of it as a necessary evil. But what do we actually get from these tests? Or ... as my father once said, how many times do they have to push the button before they're certain it goes boom?

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