I came across this great picture of a wolf at Chernobyl. For those of you who don’t remember, that is the nuclear power accident that happened back on April 26, 1986, or exactly 30 years ago today. And laid waste to approximately 360 square miles of land around the plant. In any case, there is a 361 square mile exclusion zone – 19 miles in every direction from the plant – in which no one is allowed to live.
Some photographers went back and took pictures in this exclusion zone. In some cases cameras were set up and left, and various wildlife, such as this wolf, checked the cameras out.
And this reminds us of the dangers we face if we don’t completely think through the decisions we make. In the case of nuclear power it is less the technology that was imperfect than the people who are running it. As one of my friends always reminded me, it’s people like you and me that are running nuclear power plants. And there is still no clear consensus on exactly what was to blame for the accident. Both human error and design flaws seem to have contributed.
We only have one planet to live on, so we’d better take care around the decisions that we make. Nuclear power is still a danger, as the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster clearly demonstrated. But the bigger danger now is global warming, which almost half of American politicians have yet to accept is real.