Kenn Jurgensen, holding his daughter Stephanie, views a display of anti-nuclear opinions at the Bradbury Science Center in Los Alamos, N.M. Jurgensen, who does not share the views, says "it's democracy in action." He is a computer technician at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The Bradbury Science Museum at Los Alamos is an informative mix of exhibits on the benefits and problems of nuclear energy. To encourage balance, the museum provided a display wall for nuclear critics and a notebook for visitors to write their thoughts. Here is a sampling:
"We are free today because of what was done at Los
"I still cringe from the fact that we dropped the first
atomic bomb. A shameful event in our history. Better to have had
the ability to do so, but to have used it to achieve an end to the
war through the threat of its use."
"I personally cannot understand
how we, the human race, can proceed with production of deadly
radio-isotopes of which we have no means for disposal in a
"Dwight Eisenhower had it right, all those years
ago. Even were we to ignore the massive loss and destruction to
human life and the environment (from the arms race) the true
measure of loss is to be found in the theft from human kind -- the
unfed, the forgotten, the uncared for."
"Just remember who started the war -- how many Americans
killed needlessly, and who the liberals would be subject to if we
Cold War is over but nuclear submarines still prowl. Why?"
"We as humans are
imperfect. What makes us think we can perform to the tolerances
needed to safeguard against such perfect instruments of death?
Ego? What if we allowed future generations to vote on programs
that affect them? They would essentially say, 'To hell with your
VCRs, TVs, extravagant cars, homes and garb. We'd rather have
clean air, water and earth upon which to merely survive.'"
"As a member of
the Jewish faith, I fully support development of the atomic bomb,
if it meant that the Nazis could not have developed it first. Had
that happened, many religions would have been exterminated and the
world would be very different today."
"As an engineer I appreciate the enormous
technical challenges overcome here at Los Alamos. As a man of God,
I recognize the horrors that came about as a result. However, I
also know that had this nation not pursued this line of research
and then found the resolve to use it, another less conscientious
nation would have and this world would today be a different, less
friendly place to live."
"Los Alamos: keep up the great work!"
"We are just a speck
in the universe. We have placed too much importance on ourselves
as a species. May we be more humble and not lose our innocence in
the face of nature."
"In August 1945 I was a rifle company commander
engaging in exercises on Leyte Island to invade Japan. When the
bomb exploded over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, every American in the
South Pacific breathed easier. Many -- most? -- survived when they
probably would have perished. War is hell, but if one must be a
part of it, it is better to survive than die."
"In science and technology, we need
an emphasis on ethics that are not based in any particular
religious tradition. We need to focus more on the cancer-like
impact on the planet of human over-population. We'd probably have
fewer wars if we we had fewer people -- people who appreciate the
earth instead of trying to gouge everything possible from
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