The human race has always needed weapons. We are not as strong as the other animals and what we have in terms of claws and fangs does not come up favorably either. This made it useful for us to use the tool that we were more proficient with, our brains. Through intense cognitive processes we managed to make rudimentary stone tools that we could use to hunt stronger animals than ourselves. As we split into our own societies, those weapons became more sophisticated as we turned them on neighboring tribes in order to defend what we considered our own. This habit of devising weapons for the destruction of many people at once was behind our first usage of the Atomic bomb in the 1940’s. This essay looks at how that came to be.
Weapons of Mass Destruction came about in part due to the volatile times that the world was experiencing in that decade. With a World War in progress, the powers that be were afraid of being a the mercy of despots intent on worldwide domination, destruction and the discrimination against people for no reason. Preventing this from happening was a huge concern so scientist who fled Germany were enlisted by the United States to create the type of weapon that could stop any nation in its tracks. Its testing in Bikini as well as its use in Hiroshima and Nagasaki changed the face of war and even led to stricter rules on the use of such weapons in war situations.
Footage from the aftermath of the actual bombings in Japan is difficult to watch. Those who survived were often badly scarred by the radiation and many would succumb to their injuries after a time. The land itself was so poisoned that some places were unlivable for a time. Even the testing sites have created significant levels of toxic waste and not all of it has been successfully sequestered. Even the concept of keeping the most dangerous waste apart from the environment is faulty. A significant enough natural disaster could free all trapped chemicals.
While weapons are useful for keeping enemies at bay and protecting the vulnerable it is far to simple to get carried away. We must ensure that our desire for safety does not make us less safe.