Our present generation is living out of the spiritually vacuous philosophies of modernism and post-modernism, the cancerous ideologies of free-market economics and unrestrained economic growth, and the corporate and political tyrannies that have nurtured an energised ethos of transience. The triumphalism of modernity has effectively wiped from our collective memories a coherent view of just what has gone down in the flourish and flash of the late twentieth century. The immensity of human misery and the degree of cultural waste wrought over the past century have been largely forgotten.
We have succeeded in erasing from our consciences the terrible crimes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We have similarly glossed over the outpouring of vast torrents of radioactive elements into the earth’s atmosphere. Every living human being now carries radioactive elements in their bodies as a result of the 520 atmospheric nuclear tests– with an explosive power equivalent to 29,000 Hiroshima bombs – that were conducted between 1945 and 1980. We also choose to ignore the insidious infiltration of radioactive elements throughout the biosphere from every stage of the nuclear cycle, from the mining and processing of uranium to the routine ventings of nuclear power plants. And despite the global dispersal of a devil’s brew of long-lived radionuclides from the catastrophic accidents at Chelyabinsk, Chernobyl and more recently Fukushima, our technocratic minders and their political puppets continue to steer public opinion towards the embrace of a salvific nuclear renaissance that will put to rest all nasty prospects of runaway climate change.