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Four cooling chimneys in sunset.


In effect, we are consciously and deliberately accumulating a toxic substance on the off-chance that it may be possible to get rid of it at a later date. We are committing future generations to tackle a problem which we do not know how to handle.

Working Party on the Control of Pollution (1972)


Are we, in 2023, at last becoming more conscious of the inheritance we are leaving to our children? It is fifty years since that warning, from a Working Party at the UK Ministry of the Environment, of the moral laxity of bequeathing a problem we cannot solve to future generations. The problem of the disposal of nuclear waste has remained with us all these years; Simple class room with teachers and pupils seated on the ground. A page noting the same lag in a parallel social sphere.
it is an issue so familiar we seem no longer to even notice it. Maybe this is partly because the problem has shifted its place in our understanding of humanity’s predicament: Group of boys fishing at a stream.
A good example of "dis-embedded" history.

it has become just one in a long line of examples cataloguing the way we have lived beyond our means; Looking across Ha Noi from a tower block. This is an example of a far older problem: nature's relationship to humans. a profligacy Turbulent river waters. What does it take for us to act on such problems?

that appears to have been outstripping resources, to our knowledge, since the 1970s.

Schumacher in Small is Beautiful (1973) on page 118 of the Abacus edition (1974), has this quotation from the Report to the Secretary of State for the Environment in February 1972 by the Working Party on Pollution entitled Pollution: Nuisance or Nemesis? which was published by HM Stationary Office.

This photograph of the Chapelcross Nuclear Power Station shows it going ‘great guns’ with the steam pouring from its cooling towers in 1988.

Above, hovering on blue introduces a link: click to go, move away to stay.


Saturday 19th August 2023

Murphy on duty to this site