Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The top of the food chain, Humans, yes we, who once buried our treasures now bury our most dangerous creations. Radioactive waste produced from nuclear power. Yes, we all throw out our garbage. It is a big problem where to put it. What can we recycle? How can we clean up the land fills and oceans full of the stuff? Few of us even think of where we put our most dangerous garbage anyway. Before we got so “smart” we didn’t have these worries or concerns. Did we really have to invent all that plastic? Do we really need nuclear power? Why didn’t we invent a place or a good way of using the waste of these inventions?
There is a interesting new documentary called “Into Eternity” that dwells on the subject. The film features a Finnish nuclear waste storage site called Onkalo. The name means hiding place. Here we are taken on a tour of the series of tunnels and vaults deep in the forests of Finland. The place has been designed to keep hazardous radioactive material out of reach for as long as it remains dangerous. Onkalo is nowhere near completed and is a philosophical problem in that we have to take so much care into safeguarding our dangers. We are the Supermen trying to bury our kryptonite.
In this film the director’s cameras capture the eerie grandeur of the physical structure as it is blasted and carved into the rock. One basic question is, “ How will we be able to communicate to future generations the dangers that are entombed in this location?” When the archaeologists boldly tore into the ancient Egyptian burial sites, they could clearly see the treasures of gold and gem stones. Stuff that is still very valuable in our generation as in the past generations. This generation seems to be only leaving trash of a totally unnatural substance and very dangerous nuclear waste. If the power shuts down, all our technological advances on computers is totally useless. (Pay the power company bill)
The ancient Egyptians wrote in their language of hieroglyphics on the walls of the tombs to leave the stuff alone and we understood and we still took all the relics out and scattered them everywhere over the globe. Are we going to carve messages on the walls of our caves about the dangers of our man made hazardous waste? What drawings or symbols can we make to send the message? Thousands of tons of radioactive waste are produced in the generation of nuclear power and this documentary “Into Eternity” takes a somewhat guilty view into the problem of storage needs.
The Director, Mr Madsen points out the selfishness of this generation serves our immediate need for more power and doesn’t care how it imperils life on the planet for many generations to come. The tunnels are our generation’s Pandora’s deadly boxed gift to the future living things. However, we ARE trying to save the planet by burring our deadliest creations.
If these tunnels are to last as long as it is supposed to- and every precaution is being taken to fortify it against earthquakes, political chaos and the ice age predictions- this enormous feat of engineering may well be the only thing that survives us. HOW SAD!! It may, in other words, constitute the whole of the human legacy for a long, post-human time to come. We can only hope that the place is forgotten and never found. This is a film to watch. Save your eyesight on all the other junk in the theaters.

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