Global Awareness — 13 October 2012

Abhiyana sent us this chilling video created by Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto, currently working as a curator for Lalique Museum, Hakone, Japan.

Humanity at large has been extremely concerned about last year’s radiation fallout caused by the Fukushima meltdown and the dire consequences for our planet. And yes, also remembered is the Chernobyl disaster from 1986 and – maybe – even that Pakistan conducted nuclear tests in 1998. The most recent nuclear test we might remember was announced by North Korea in 2009 but has not been confirmed.

nuclear weapons
the greatest
immediate threat
to the health
and survival
of mankind

Of course people remember the horrific bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, and there are memories of nuclear tests conducted in the USA and in the Pacific. What with all the worries most people are concerned with nowadays – terrorism, global health threats, economic collapse, wars and revolutions, I doubt many are aware of the staggering 2,053 nuclear explosions that have taken place on our planet between 1945 and 1998.

Hashimoto started his project in 2003 and said he created it with the aim to show “the fear and folly of nuclear weapons.” On the video, each nation gets a blip and a flashing dot on the map whenever they detonate a nuclear weapon, with a running tally kept on the top and bottom bars of the screen, and builds up to a silent, overwhelming finale.

Every nuclear explosion generates radioactivity. The amount varies according to the size of the bomb and location of the blast, and large amounts of radionuclides are disbursed into the atmosphere. According to a report by the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation in 2000,

The main man-made contribution to the exposure of the world’s population [to radiation] has come from the testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, from 1945 to 1980. Each nuclear test resulted in unrestrained release into the environment of substantial quantities of radioactive materials, which were widely dispersed in the atmosphere and deposited everywhere on the Earth’s surface.”

The total yield of all nuclear tests conducted between 1945 and 1980 is estimated at 510 megatons and a horrific 428 megatons are attributed to atmospheric tests alone; that is the equivalent to more than 29,000 Hiroshima bombs.

The impact of radiation is one of the major causes of the overwhelming increase of cancer in the population, and of ‘new’ diseases – such as neurobehavioral disorders, Alzheimers, autism and more, much more. The WHO wrote in a 1983 report that “nuclear weapons constitute the greatest immediate threat to the health and survival of mankind.”

The question arises, what have all those countries – USA, Russia, Great Britain, France, China, India and Pakistan – learned from those tests? What has improved based on the findings of radioactivity carelessly dispersed over our entire planet? Why so many tests? I have not found any clear answers but do know if all the money invested had been used to increase people’s livelihood, it would have been money well spent.

Bhagawati, Osho News