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A Glowing Operation

2004-07-22

Category: politics

It seems that a closed Uranium mine in Africa is being illegally mined and that potentially puts Uranium in the hands of terrorists and other morons. (Read the article here.) This is bad news all around. Fortunately, the United Nations is right on top of things!

As noted in the article, Uranium from this mine was used to create America's first atomic bombs. That's right, we used Uranium from the Congo. This particular mine was closed off and filled with concrete, but that isn't stopping poor Congolese locals from digging the stuff up, even though they are usually after cobalt. (Note: Though cobalt is an important mineral in most life forms here on earth, many cobalt compounds are carcinogenic or flammable.)

All of this brings to mind two important points. First, people who believe we will be safer by pulling back to our own borders are really wrong. The materials needed to cause us massive damage exists out in the world. If we don't actively interfere, the bad guys will have little trouble building weapons that can destroy the world, literally.

Nuclear war can cause us great troubles even if no bombs are detonated on American soil. Beyond just the radioactivity and dust thrown into atmosphere, there would be the subsequent spread of disease and such. Of course, no one knows what will happen if we have nuclear explosions in seismically unstable areas. This is all the trouble before we even think about less severe problems such as disruption of trade. I won't go into the problems of radioactive mutant monsters coming out of the Sea of Japan to trample Tokyo.

The second thing that I want to discuss is one of my favorites. You may hear from time to time that environmentalists do not want us burying radioactive wastes because it's wrong to put that stuff in the ground. Uh, where do you think the stuff comes from? We get it out of the ground!

That's right, radioactive materials occur naturally and we dig them out of the ground because they are already radioactive. We make use of that radiation. When the material has lost some of its radioactivity, we can't use it any more. What do we do with it? We put it back in the ground but in a safer way.

So, next time an environmentalist says we shouldn't be burying that stuff in the ground, ask them, "Do you think we should just put it back where we got it?" When they say something like "yes" you can laugh at them and call them stupid. For even more fun, some of them will say we shouldn't have made it radioactive in the first place. Those people can probably be beaten (check the laws in your locality.)

Anyway, free range Uranium is bad. We should try to prevent it from getting around to the general world population. We could always demonstrate the dangers by preemptively nuking somebody. That may not be friendly though. Want to do something about it? Write your congressperson. Make sure the letter is in the form of a poem.


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