Why Have We Stopped Worrying & Learned to Love The Bomb? – Updated

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Reversing the Normalization of Nuclear Amnesia

Slim Pickens rides the bomb in an iconic scene for the 1964 Kubrick film
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

By James Heddle – EON

From the Nuclear Memory Hole

According to nuclear-heritage net, “The largest anti-nuclear demonstration to [that] date was held in New York City on September 23, 1979 when almost 200,000 people attended. The New York rally was held in conjunction with a series of nightly ” No Nukes” concerts given at Madison Square Garden from September 19 through 23.

As early as 1968 public resistance had already blocked PG&E plans to build a nuclear power station over an earthquake fault at Bodega Bay, as well as a subsequent proposal in Malibu.

Western Digs reports, “For more than 50 years, protesters occupied a makeshift campsite outside the gates of the former Nevada Test Site, now known as the Nevada National Security Site, to protest the U.S. government’s development and testing of nuclear weapons there.”

Peacing it Together, protest art installation at the gates of the Nevada Test site, 1989 – Composite photo: Rachel Gertrude Johnson

Nuclear Heritage notes that, “Many anti-nuclear campaigns captured national public attention in the 1970s and 1980s, including those at Seabrook Station Nuclear Power Plant, Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant and those following the 1979 Three Mile Island accident.

According to
History.com, “A stunningly large and diverse crowd descend[ed] upon New York City’s Central Park on June 12, 1982, demanding nuclear disarmament and an end to the Cold War arms race. By the end of the day, estimates place the number of attendees at over a million, making it the largest disarmament rally in American history.”

Protesters at the Rally for Peace and Disarmament June 2, 1982. WNYC.org

The report continues, “The rally in Central Park brought together activists from all over the world and all corners of the antiwar movement [and civil rights movement]. Delegations arrived from across North America and as far afield as Bangladesh and Zambia. Groups of Roman Catholic priests rubbed elbows with rabbis and members of the Communist Party, and protestors’ signs illustrated the range of their political demands.”

So Soon They Forget – Nuclear Denialism Leads to Nuclear Revivalism

Contrast this with the current zeitgeist regarding all matters nuclear in which ‘limited, surgical’ nuclear war has become ‘thinkable’ and even ‘probably no big deal;’ in which dangerously disinformed memes thrive such as: ‘nobody died as a result of Fukushima:’ ‘the thousand-square-mile human exclusion zone surrounding Chernobyl is teeming with healthy life;’ or ‘nuclear energy is the only clean, green solution to climate change.’

Given the newly admitted and obvious co-dependent connection between the nuclear power, weapons and radioactive waste management industries and the clear demonstration from the Ukraine war that every nuclear power reactor and radioactive ‘spent fuel’ storage area is a ticking time bomb in place, this is an astounding, and potentially catastrophic change in public perception.

As a member of the generation of school children that grew up practicing weekly ‘duck-and-cover’ drills against an imminently expected atomic bomb attack, I can only conclude that such a radical shift in societal situational awareness can only have come about as a result of a long-term project of cognitive engineering, a very successful psyop.

Parsing how that shift from informed resistance to disinformed compliance was induced may be the subject of a future article. 

For the time being, I’d like to offer an antidote to the spell of nuclear amnesia – a reality check refresher course put together by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

I highly recommend it.

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists presentation on global effects of nuclear war.

Nowhere to Hide

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists presentation on global effects of nuclear war.

“5,341,000,000 mortalities worldwide –

Two years after a nuclear war ends, nearly everyone might face starvation.

There is nowhere to hide.”