L AST WORD
54 · MONEY
The Bluesman is a Maltese sound engineer working in New York.
Nuclear accidents and the use of nuclear weapons are preventable man-made disasters. The Bluesman delves into what is the cause of major danger to man and the environment. Darren ducked behind the rusted remains of what possibly had been a Hummer-type vehicle. His mind trying to process the information his ears had detected. Was that a whisper or the sound of the wind as it picked up dry leaves and scattered them along what used to be a blacktop. The silence was so intense it would have been almost painful to one who had not grown up in it as Darren had. Darren wasn’t sure if his name was Darren. He thought the people he assumed were his parents called him that but they might not even have known it themselves. They were there at the last skirmish in the area that killed a number in the little group he belonged to, including, possibly, his parents. The hostiles suffered their own casualties but the survivors were not seen or heard of again. Twenty years had passed and it was just him now. It wasn’t a whispering voice that caught his ear he determined so he started heading back towards the cache of canned food where he currently foraged. He often spoke to himself in a low voice, it was comforting. Intolerance. That’s what started it all. Opinions based on very little, if any, information. Religion took both those traits and ran, ran, ran with them. Why should anyone care what another’s thoughts regarding ‘the meaning of life’ were, the age-old question, a quasi joke, a comedian’s vaguely stereotypical fallback line. These
divisions solidified into tribalism and then extreme nationalism. The trouble was that nobody delved into history anymore. People felt that apologies had to be made for incidents that occurred hundreds of years prior. It became something simpering students thought insensitive to discuss. It was only a matter of time. Hate begat clash, clash begat death, death begat escalation. Darren made his way along the cracked tarmac to the storage bunker he had discovered some years ago with the remnants of the group. There had been some emergency preparations and supplies stashed by municipalities as the world humours had ebbed and flowed eventually settling on the yellow bile of the four which catapulted humanity about 50 years earlier to the madness of M.A.D. The perishables had long gone of course and when the power gave out, so did cold storage. Before the escalation there had been movements to step away from energy produced by refining oil but old habits die hard and too many people had their hand firmly in pockets that yielded much lubrication to the machinery that kept the black stuff flowing. These same, who wielded deciding power, tended to not give public credence to warnings that polluted skies and polluted seas were choking the planet so
NO SURPRISE THEN THAT PEOPLE HAD GROWN SUSPICIOUS OF, AND HAD MANY CONCERNS ABOUT, THE TRUSTWORTHINESS OF NUCLEAR PILES SIMMERING IN PRESSURE COOKERS alternative methods of generating electricity were dismissed as fanciful crackpot ideas and thus wind and solar energy farms were relatively few and far between. Certainly, nuclear plants vaunted since the 1950 would have been capable of producing power cleanly for longer except for the dire consequences when things went wrong through poor maintenance or malfunction, and when they did it was in a big way. In Cumbria, England in late 1957, a heating problem developed causing a fire with the subsequent release of sizable amounts of radioactive iodine into the atmosphere. Much backpedaling and minimising as the then government attempted to hide the full extent of the event, although they did ban