Today is the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster. It is a day of remembrance for the world's first permanent nuclear refugees.
For them, and for the struggling people in Japan, I dedicate this:
Our Lady of Unintended Consequences
I'm unsure what to think of nuclear technology. I like the vast amounts of non-polluting energy it can provide, but the stakes seem unbearably high in case of human error or natural disaster.
My native New Zealand doesn't allow nuclear powered vessels within some distance, which i think is wise, though perhaps not practical for all countries, except landlocked ones.
As far as weaponry, i consider it an abomination for any person, group, or nation to have sufficient capability to destroy all life on Earth or even any sizable portion of it. I further hope that Japan may be somewhat better equipped to deal with radiation victims by reason of being the only nation ever to have suffered a direct nuclear attack, referring of course to the US bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If any good can come of such things, let it come now.
Along that line of thought, here's a butchered excerpt from a book which a friend was kind enough to find again for me. A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter M Miller, who in my opinion got it right:
And the prince smote the cities of his enemies, and for three days did his wrath rain upon them. Over each city a sun appeared, brighter than the sun of heaven, and immediately that city withered and melted as wax under the torch, and the people thereof did stop in the streets and thier skins smoked and they became as sticks thrown on the coals. and when the fury of the sun had faded, the city was in flames; and a great thunder came out of the sky to crush it utterly. Poisonous fumes fell over all the land, and the land was aglow by night with the afterfire and the curse of the afterfire which caused a scurf on the skin and made the hair to fall and the blood to die in the veins
"And a great stink went up from the Earth even unto Heaven. The stink of the carnage was exceedingly offensive unto the Lord, Who spoke unto the prince, Name, saying: "WHAT BURNT OFFERING IS THIS THAT YOU HAVE PREPARED BEFORE ME?"
(God had his caps lock on because He was really pissed off)
But the prince answered him not, most likely because he was all charred and crispy, and God said: "YOU HAVE MADE ME A HOLOCAUST OF MY SONS!"
more on Hiroshima's aftermath on youtube, a documentary of present day survivors.