Sunday, August 6, 2017

August 6

Since the building is still standing, this scene – a child jumping rope – had to have been miles from the epicenter of the Hiroshima bomb. Yet the intensity of the blast radiation permanently etched her shadow on the wall.
It's August 6 again, what can be said?  I want to say again what I said last year on August 6, about the madness of a Department of Energy program that would spend $4 million per hour for 30 years on nuclear weapons.  

That was an Obama program, and of course subject to budget cuts or elimination by the Trump administration. But so far I haven't seen any sign that this particular madness is being slowed or stopped. Vanity Fair has just run a long and compelling article titled "Why the scariest nuclear threat may be coming from the White House," including a summary of the recently announced Trump budget for DOE, calling for deep cuts in basic science research at the national science labs, zeroing all research on climate change, and cutting in half all funding for work to safeguard the national electrical grid. No cuts on spending for nuclear weapons. 

The article also documents the Trump administration's failure to staff DOE with scientifically and technically competent people, putting ideologues, not experts, in key positions. Since DOE is responsible for safeguarding our entire nuclear arsenal, as well as dealing with nuclear waste and cleaning up the mess made by nuclear weapons production, not having competent people to do the jobs needed increases the probability of accidents. That, for the Vanity Fair writer, is the scariest nuclear threat. 

Under Trump's misrule,  on this August 6 we have even more reasons to fear the worst.

No comments: