Monday, November 2, 2009

More Chernobyl


I've had the link over there to the right, in the blog list, for a few years now... inviting you to take a look at the evidence of man-made failures, through the eyes of the website Artificial Owl. Some of the most moving sites visited there are of the ruins of the nuclear power station at Chernobyl and the related and equally abandoned town of Pripyat. Well, here's more...
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"Elena" visits Chernobyl and Pripyat by motorcycle, and the story and photos are as disturbing as you'd imagine.
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Just consider.... The clock strikes a certain time, and a government official arrives at your door. You must leave. You. Nothing else. No clothes, pictures, toys for the kids. Nothing.
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I think the thing that interests me about this subject, and for that matter, many of the subjects outlined on the Owl, is the process that humans undertake in the decision to 'discard'. Sure, sometimes forced and sometimes chosen, but still the thought processes we use to determine which things and places have no value are fascinating. A ship that washes ashore and gets parted out where it stalls, more valuable as parts than as a floating collective machine. Subway systems deemed too expensive to maintain. Playgrounds and amusement parks that no longer are considered 'fun'. The waste of it all.
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Humans, and specifically Americans, do a horrible job at using their resources wisely. Think about it the next time you toss something even remotely functional in the trash. In that one moment, your quick and thoughtless decision goes into a landfill somewhere, like so much discarded collective tonnage from forgotten decisions over the years, preserved for a lifetime like your own private Pripyat, only conveniently buried and ignored somewhere rather than sitting ominously aglow on the surface.
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Out of sight, out of mind.

1 comment:

Steve said...

I don't think this lesson will really hit home until there's nowhere to put all the refuse...when people have to live with it in their faces, they'll find better ways to manage it all.