Aung San Suu Kyi, a democratically elected leader in Burma, placed under arrest by the controlling military regime, famously wrote,
“It is not power that corrupts, but fear -- fear of losing power and fear of the scourge of those who wield it."
The fear she speaks of corrupts those in power who fear that the truth about their actions and motivations would arouse popular disapproval and opposition. It also silences those who dare not challenge the powerful for fear of reprisal.
Despite all of our differences, the future of humanity is bound to a technology born in the last century, the Pandora’s Box that tantalized scientists into attempting to harnessing nuclear power. Unleashed, the nuclear industry has terrified populations, invisibly threatening them with premature aging, cancers, a host of ailments, and birth defects, not sparing other species and life forms in the process. Shrouded in secrecy, heralded by the most powerful government, sanitized and promoted by the press, nuclear weaponry and nuclear power demand enormous government subsidies to exist while the costs and risks are born by the public. The scientists who witnessed and researched the harmful effects of radiation and began to voice their concerns were vilified and silenced. Those who championed the nuclear industry and developed the technologies were richly rewarded. Nagasaki, Hiroshima, nuclear tests, nuclear weapons, the threat of nuclear war have hovered over the consciousness of current generations, only gradually being replaced by the phantom threat of nuclear terrorism by rogue states and crazed religious extremists. In the wake of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima, the greater threat seems to be human error, hubris, the inability of the entire industry to contain the deadly, deforming radioactive particles from threatening humanity, our air, our water, our food, our ocean.
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