Cassi Creek: since the earthquake and reactor disaster at Fukushima, there has been a steady stream of agencies, groups, and organizations predicting that the radiation release taking place on the Japanese coast will destroy all life on earth. It is a true disaster. However, going grocery shopping with a Geiger counter is not yet indicated.
During the Cold War there was widespread open air and underground nuclear weapons testing taking place with seemingly no regard for the populations that lived down wind of the fall out patterns created by the prevailing winds. The airborne particles of cobalt, cesium, and other metals that competed with calcium for uptake by plants made cow’s milk a rather unhealthy component of meals.
About the time it became politically incorrect to detonate nuclear warheads in the open atmosphere, Bonnie Dobson penned a plaintive little song about the risk of fall out on humankind. “Walk me out in the morning dew” had substance but far less impact than it should have had.
Along came The Grateful Dead, who took Dobson’s song and ran it through the Garcia-Lesh treatment, making it a thunderous anthem.
I’ve often seen on-line discussions in which younger Dead Heads wanted to know what the song was about. For Boomers, particularly we older Boomers, it’s always been all too clear. We grew up with “Duck and Cover” Conelrad, fallout shelters in municipal office buildings, and the images of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Bikini Atoll. We recall the days when SAC bombers loaded with nuclear bombs flew around the clock on airborne alert.
The Gen-X and Millenials have never experienced that dark dance with invisible death. Fukushima is their first real exposure to the genie that lurks in the blue glow of a reactor core. They have a right to be worried. Just how worried they should be remains to be seen.
The link below is an impressive and frightening piece of discovery and art. I was fairly well informed about nuclear weaponry. I lived much of my life within 30 minutes of our nuclear missiles. However, while I knew that tests were still taking place here and in other nations, I had no idea that we had exploded so many of these devices. Watch the whole piece of work. Dr. Strangelove is waiting.