Friday, August 6, 2010

Remember: 6 August 1945

Take time out today to think of 6 August 1945: one of the most significant days in the history of the human race: when we, and the world, were confronted, irrefutably and for all time, with the fact that we are capable of destroying ourselves and the world, through a technology which, uniquely amongst all the works of man, all but the insane think should never again be used.

I'd suggest that the gradual awareness of the environment as requiring stewardship rather than exploitation, for the good of all the life on the planet, arises in part out of a recognition of the horrors of the Holocaust and the fact of nuclear weapons. Here is a link to the extraordinary, deeply troubling photograph taken at high speed by 'Doc' Edgerton of the earliest stage of a nuclear explosion. We are a different species for unleashing, unequivocally and for all time, the gates of hell, and given the choice to enter them.



BlakNo1 said...

Even if the first bomb were by some sick and twisted logic "necessary" to end WWII, the 2nd one sure wasn't. All those people were killed to send a message to Russia.

ProfWombat said...

Then there's the tens of thousands we've accumulated since. They just might not be necessary, either.

Every year I bring up the dawn of the age of nuclear weapons. And folk good and bad, lefty and righty, warrior and pacifist, almost invariably center their responses on Truman's decision to use them, rather than the deep questions arising from their very existence. It isn't easy to wrap yourself around the notion that we're one mistake from destroying the world with madness. Or that, having unequivocally demonstrated ourselves capable of doing so in one manner, we have every possibility of doing so in some other way. Placing, seems to me, limits, grave limits, on human actions that simply never existed before 6 Aug 1945. And which are barely acknowledged.