Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Nuked Coral Reef Bounces Back

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the that's-one-big-clown-fish dept.

Earth 332

sm62704 writes "I found this New Scientist article interesting, as I was actually alive (albeit very small) when Bikini Atoll was H-bombed. The article says that the reason the reefs are now flourishing is because they are mostly undisturbed by humans, who are afraid of the radiation. Background levels there are now 'similar to that at any Australian city,' while nearby islands haven't been so lucky.'When I put the Geiger counter near a coconut, which accumulates radioactive material from the soil, it went berserk,' says Maria Beger of the University of Queensland in Australia."

cancel ×

332 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

vacation (2, Funny)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#23100984)

sounds like a great place to visit. I can see the ad now..."Come see the beautiful, undisturbed coral reefs. Just don't go near the irradiated coconuts!"

Re:vacation (4, Interesting)

Knutsi (959723) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101302)

Would be interesting to look at how long expected development time for the cancers you could get from these coconuts would be. Maybe for people over 65-70, the food is perfectly safe to eat! (:

That may happen (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101498)

Coconuts tend to be blown off of trees during storms. Then they float a LONG distance. Somebody COULD pick one up and eat it. I am surprised that the feds has not decided to use plant remediation to pull the radiation off the island. All they need to do is harvest the grass and even trees every so often. Of course, if it still has high radiation, put a number of animals back there. This is the time to see how humans will do in space.

It's cool (4, Funny)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101538)

that we totally defeat the Bikini Atoll in a nuclear war!! Woo go USA

It was silly though, back when US sentiment was so against Bikini Atoll, that everyone decided to change the name "Bikini" to "Freedom suit."

Bikini (1, Informative)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101764)

Bikini Atoll, that everyone decided to change the name "Bikini" to "Freedom suit."

The term "bikini" had no other meaning back then. The suit you are referring to was so named because of the bomb-testing — a stroke of a marketing genious. I must admit, it is quite rare to find a slashdot-poster less informed than a musician:

Aim for the body rare, you'll see it on TV
The worst thing in 1954 was the Bikini
See the girl on the TV dressed in a Bikini
She doesn't think so but she's dressed for the H-Bomb
by Gang of Four [musicsonglyrics.com] .

Oh, it has to be said... (0, Redundant)

oaklybonn (600250) | more than 6 years ago | (#23100992)

When I put the Geiger counter near a coconut, which accumulates radioactive material from the soil, it went berserk.
I for one, welcome our Berserk Radioactive Coconut overloards.

Re:Oh, it has to be said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23101018)

"Oh, it has to be said..."

No.
No it doesn't.

Re:Oh, it has to be said... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101210)

I for one welcome our redundant radioactive coconut welcoming overlords. I was going to go for the mutated coral angle myself.

its name... (0, Offtopic)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 6 years ago | (#23100998)

...wouldn't happen to be Wickwicky, would it?

Reality TV? (5, Insightful)

Barny (103770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101020)

Would sure as hell make survivor more interesting.

"oh, and by the way, anything you eat is likely radioactive"

Maybe make the first episode with reality TV execs on the island....

Queue Gilligan's Island jokes too.

Re:Reality TV? (2, Funny)

Archimonde (668883) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101552)

The trick would be not to tell them that food is radioactive.

You can always add some more lawyers and politicians to make things more interesting.

Just drop them off with parachutes, give them one and only instruction ("Survive"), sit back and enjoy the mayh^Hshow;)

Re:Reality TV? (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101880)

I'd imagine that it would involve randomly walking about like an idiot for hours, followed by extreme depression and the eventual self-amputation of all limbs [youtube.com] . And syncope.

Nice... (1)

junglee_iitk (651040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101024)

Hmmm... so when are we going to see Giant Coral reefs draining the Gaea out of it's soul?

Nuke the hypoxic dead zones! (2, Interesting)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101030)

Maybe we should nuke all the worlds hypoxic dead zones! That would certainly remove the waste accumulated there. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_zone_(ecology) [wikipedia.org]

Re:Nuke the hypoxic dead zones! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23101520)

Maybe we should nuke all the worlds hypoxic dead zones! That would certainly remove the waste accumulated there.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_zone_(ecology) [wikipedia.org]
This is a really bad idea. The only reason this coral reef is doing so well is that we scared Godzilla away from eating it. Logically, the places that have the least life were made that way by very large monsters.

Re:Nuke the hypoxic dead zones! (0, Offtopic)

rikkards (98006) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101848)

You are incorrect sir! You can't scare Godzilla, he just did a tactical retreat.

Radiation induced changes to coconuts (4, Interesting)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101032)

Were there lots/little/none ? Oh, come on - that would be one of the most interesting things to tell us. We are all so worried about ''nuclear power fading your genes'' - we now have a 60 year experiment that could tell us about long term effects but they are silent.

Re:Radiation induced changes to coconuts (2, Insightful)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101076)

Studying the effects of high background radiation on coconuts is hardly going provide much insight into the effects on, say, human brains.

... at least not in my case ...

Re:Radiation induced changes to coconuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23101346)

lol, especially given your sig: "I don't therefore I'm not."

Re:Radiation induced changes to coconuts (4, Interesting)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101154)

That is an interesting idea, to see the genetic divergence that radiation may have caused. You call always look at Chernobyl though for a glimpse as to what radiation has done to the wildlife there. As far as I know, it hasn't affected it all that much. There is a higher incidence of fatal mutation, but over all what I have read is that it hasn't had a huge impact. Another site that you could look at is Rocky Flats in Colorado. While us humans that contaminated the hell out of the place are trying to figure out how to warn future generations into the thousands of years about what we did there, the wildlife has reclaimed it as their own. It's a wildlife refuge now and as far as anyone can tell there hasn't been that much impact on the animals there. The problem is though that we're only seeing the first few generations of life since these places have been contaminated. We don't know if it will build up over time and cause radical genetic diversion or if life will adapt to it, it could take a very long time to see the effects of what we have done. Oh, and if you're curious about some of the other things that we have done check out a book called The World Without Us, fascinating read.

Re:Radiation induced changes to coconuts (4, Insightful)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101434)

I am not sure that variations in genetic material gathered from the site has been studied yet. You are correct, however, that this is a very interesting thing to be studying. The fact that corals seem to have recolonised successfully (albeit with less diversity) is 'possibly' due to nearby atolls "seeding" the affected areas. The nearby atolls were obviously affected by radiation as well, and therefore subject to possible genetic mutations. Therefore, measuring the difference in genes between the nearby places and ground-zero might show no difference at all (because the mutated corals etc from nearby "seeded" the ground-zero area). I am not sure how this would be resolved, unless the baseline samples were taken from further away, where they were not irradiated... which leads to further problems (the genetic difference--if any is measured--may be caused by other factors)...

Re:Radiation induced changes to coconuts (3, Interesting)

tezbobobo (879983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101594)

One interesting mutation or effect of natural selection would probably flora and fauna with a naturally higher resistance to radiation. At least by slowly killing ourselves we are making sure other species survive.

Terence Boylen - Yeah!

Re:Radiation induced changes to coconuts (1)

lostraven (928812) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101822)

Actually, I'm wondering about a slightly different mutation. The full article (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080415101021.htm) mentions that the water reached temperatures of 55,000 degrees F at the time of the explosion. Would the surviving corals from such extreme temperatures gain an adaptation to higher water temperatures? I mention it because there was another related article about how areas where varying temperatures exist might create corals more resistant to bleaching: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071129183829.htm [sciencedaily.com] I'm just picturing the human race rapidly increasingly evolution of coral by raising the water temperatures to the extremes associated with atomic explosions. I'm no evolution expert but am curious if such a thing could occur?

Re:Radiation induced changes to coconuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23101640)

fatal mutations are just that because nature looks after itself.
anything too weak or different will usually just die or get killed by something stronger.

unfortunately with human there would be much wailing and concern and everything possible would be done to try to help the poor bastards who had problems with radiation. Enough help to get them to the point where they can BREED. this is where the problem with human and radiation comes in.
 

Re:Radiation induced changes to coconuts (0, Offtopic)

sydbarrett74 (74307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101750)

Yeah, let's just kill all the mutants!

Re:Radiation induced changes to coconuts (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23101802)

The effects of mutations on populations or entire ecosystems can not really be accessed within 50 years. Sure, the reality proved much less dire than certain activists of the time would claim, but it's undeniable that increase in radiation do have an effect.

Most mutants will simply die before being born or shortly thereafter. The genes of the few mutants that make it to th adult states tend to be recessive as well and quite likely to just get "neutralized" by selection, genetic drift et al.

All these bombs have done is simply increase the mutation rate within the ecosystem, so a process that might have taken hundreds of thousands of year to have a visible effect may just take centuries. Mutations can not be calculated, simulated (realistically) or foreseen in any other way either. A specific mutation attached to a dominant gene might not have an effect at all for millions of years until that gene itself changes and by doing so "enables" the mutation. Populations may be stable for a long time until the "right" mutation happens and causes the whole thing to transform. Atrificially increasing the mutation rate might increase the probability of this happening, but it definitely doesn't guarantee it.

Re:Radiation induced changes to coconuts (5, Insightful)

Super Jamie (779597) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101626)

Look up what's going on around Chernobyl at the moment.

Whilst humans can't go anywhere near it, or the town of Pripyat, many species of plant and animals have flourished in the 30-odd years since the infamous meltdown. These species display no visible deformations, and continue to breed and live undisturbed by humans.

Almost as if they had just... evolved to cope with the massive doses of radiation they cop every day.

obvious next step (5, Funny)

evwah (954864) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101034)

now we just have to bomb the shit out of Australia so our scientists can proudly proclaim "these coral reefs are far LESS radioactive than any Australian city!"

Re:obvious next step (4, Funny)

Marbleless (640965) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101042)

... and nuking them would be considered as major improvements to some of our cities ;)

Re:obvious next step (1)

nosfucious (157958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101830)

I suggest staring with the Dandenong-Cranbourne area. But leave the rest of Melbourne alone.

Re:obvious next step (3, Funny)

kramulous (977841) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101048)

Great! I might get the day off work. Perhaps a little island hoping will be in order.

Re:obvious next step (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23101122)

There's the Australian work ethic for you :P

You joke, but ... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23101138)

I was rather stunned when, planning my trip to AU a few years ago, I realized that ONE nuclear sub could take out the whole country!
Or at least send it to Mad Max-land.

Physically AU is huge. Roughly the size of the US. Superimposing a map of one on the other gives fairly accurate driving times and distance calculations.
Demographically it is very very small.

I also figured out the real problem is water. While the US, EU, and CN have large navigable rivers running deep into their continents, AU has nothing to bring water to the center of the country (or more accurately there isn't enough rain in the center to drain and form navigable rivers).
AU could be a super-power if it had enough water to support a population of 300 million. Instead it is so dry they are lucky to have 1/10 of that at about 22 million.

Re:You joke, but ... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101256)

I was rather stunned when, planning my trip to AU a few years ago, I realized that ONE nuclear sub could take out the whole country! Or at least send it to Mad Max-land.
Hmm.. so did you ever go on holiday or did you just decide to keep enjoying the tinned food and cable TV in your basement.. uh.. I mean bomb shelter?

berserk? (5, Funny)

polar red (215081) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101072)

When I put the Geiger counter near a coconut, which accumulates radioactive material from the soil, it went berserk.
How did You defend yourself from that coconut?

Re:berserk? (5, Funny)

zoogies (879569) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101152)

We gripped it by the husk. It's a simple matter of weight ratios, really.

Re:berserk? (1)

deroby (568773) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101206)

Apparently a swallow snagged it away and took off towards England...

Re:berserk? (2, Funny)

Justabit (651314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101512)

wow, must have been a very strong swallow?! What type was it?

Re:berserk? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23101240)

By releasing the 16-ton weight of course, then eat the coconut rendering the assailant harmless.

Re:berserk? (2, Funny)

niktemadur (793971) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101770)

But what if he's carrying a pointed stick?

Re:berserk? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23101254)

As a wizard: I cast Fireball and hope the coconut fails its saving throw.

Re:berserk? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101274)

Bravo, I didn't even notice the ambiguity there :) far too early in the morning

I'm thinking the gravity gun would have been enough defense though. At least with the coconuts you can sense them with a geiger counter. You can't be so sure with the head crabs and drop bears though.. :/

Re:berserk? (1)

rastan (43536) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101386)

It was the Geiger counter that went berserk. Easy to defend against: Take the batteries out.

Re:berserk? (5, Funny)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101500)

Luckily the coconut had panicked the turn before and dropped its weapon - and as everyone knows, nonhuman combatants are unable to pick up a weapon once they've dropped it. The researchers proceeded to use the Stun Rod on the coconut, but it later died because the base didn't have a Containment Unit.

(Okay, so most /.ers are not going to get that one. Who cares?)

Hmmmm. (0, Offtopic)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101554)

If you get the nut mod patch working with the open source clone of X-COM, it could be fun. (Coconut being the toughest, walnut for a typical foot soldier, and so on. Replace the different rocket systems with African and European swallows.)

Re:berserk? (1)

Schlage (195535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101726)

When I put the Geiger counter near a coconut, which accumulates radioactive material from the soil, it went berserk.
How did You defend yourself from that coconut?
No, no. It was the geiger counter that attacked her! Since she was holding it at the time, however, defending herself from it wasn't too hard... until the coconut caused it to mutate, of course.

Radiation similar to that at any Australian city (1)

slashgrim (1247284) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101086)

How bad is the radiation in Australian cities?

Re:Radiation similar to that at any Australian cit (4, Funny)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101212)

Its not too bad but it does cause some interesting side effects.

What? You thought kangaroos were natural? :P

Sinister translation: (4, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101100)

REAlly, I think it proves that after we screw things up royally on this planet to the point where we are no longer able to live on it, it won't take the earth too long to bounce back and thrive once more. Hopefully the next set of inhabitants on this planet will look after it better than we do.

Re:Sinister translation: (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101724)

REAlly, I think it proves that after we screw things up royally on this planet to the point where we are no longer able to live on it, it won't take the earth too long to bounce back and thrive once more.
Unfortunately, we're also great at building bunkers and other highly isolated environments. Even if we got hit with a dinosaur-killer i imagine we'd bounce back better than most animals. If we've killed ourself off, the world has to be really really well wiped.

Really? (1, Interesting)

bazald (886779) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101114)

"occasional forays of illegal shark, tuna and Napoleon Wrasse fishing"

Couldn't the criminals find a less radioactive region to illegally fish? Who wants to eat radioactive fish anyway? I know the article says that "ambient radiation is low", but I doubt the fish would be rated A-grade.

Re:Really? (4, Funny)

snkline (542610) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101142)

Or they could be rated AA-grade! Maybe the radiation pre-tenderizes them. Sorta like they have been cooking really really slowly their entire lives.

Re:Really? (1)

The Bender (801382) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101158)

Hey, these fish may have their issues, but they cure cancer and glow in the dark as a bonus. Perfect for barbecues.

Re:Really? (3, Insightful)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101164)

What customer of illegal fishermen checks the stuff with a geiger counter?

And due to alleged radioactivity of the area, patrols are likely scarce, law enforcement not too fond of exposing themselves to radiation.

Re:Really? (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101352)

Couldn't the criminals find a less radioactive region to illegally fish?

Of course they could. But there are more thieves there. This area is empty, so it's probably easier and takes less time to get the same amount of fish, compared to the safe areas.

Re:Really? (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101524)

Fishing in an area that is inherently empty also allows them to blare the Top Gun soundtrack when they take off.

We're going right into the danger zone /
Fishing in the danger zoooone

s/empty/dangerous/ (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101540)

How the hell did I make that mistake?

Anthropologists As Well As Zoologists (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101132)

For those of you who are anthropologists as well as zoologists, it should be mentioned that there were native inhabitants of these islands that were forced to move before the tests.

We did it to Native Americans on the continental United States as well but it really bears mentioning that there was a pretty gross injustice paid to these peaceful peoples in the name of atomic testing. I remember watching this footage on an ABC special as a kid and I luckily recorded it so I could watch it over and over again. When watching project Baker, I kept thinking "Wow, that's impressive, that was somebody's home."

I suppose I'll be called a self-hating liberal but I believe we should never forget the price we pay for the weapons we hold. These weapons that were supposed to be the end of war aren't and any future horror developed to stop war won't be the end to war either.

Just imagine what the look on your face would be if someone showed up and told you to evacuate your state because it was now going to be used for nuclear testing. You probably wouldn't be very happy to leave your home in the name of warfare.

Re:Anthropologists As Well As Zoologists (3, Insightful)

UrinalPooper (1240522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101222)

As sad as it is, if the alternative was fighting a drawn-out conventional war instead of just trying to scare the crap out of one another, the US and the USSR's Cold War took a relatively minimal toll on human life... displaced natives notwithstanding. The proxy wars fought in southeast asia are a testament to how bloody and destructive a conventional war between those two countries would have been. If the bloodshed between India and Pakistan declines, we may be in a position to thank those destructive weapons. It would be wonderful to think that people shouldn't need such things, but humanity has a long history as a destructive and bloodthirsty animal. Either way, I'm heartened to see that some life is beginning to thrive in the region.

Re:Anthropologists As Well As Zoologists (4, Insightful)

Mantaar (1139339) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101416)

That's why I'm always saying Ahmadine-whatever should have his own atomic weapons.
Seriously, Iran may be as islamistic as it gets, but they're humans after all and hopefully not stupid enough start a nuclear war.

Their opponents however, who are trying to do everything to prevent them from producing A-bombs in the first place, are not to be trusted that much, because they (America, Israel) are the ones that have started wars in the last couple of years (the latter only in "defense", but I think they/their PR may be able to produce one such "defense" case quickly).

On the other hand, there shouldn't be yet another A-armed nation. But that's a vicious circle: how is a nation without A-bombs going to defend itself against, say, America? It's nearly impossible to defend yourself against America at all these days - if don't have that bomb, there's nothing you can do. If you do have it, however, it's likely you're not gonna be attacked in the first place.

Maybe this is the reason we haven't seen a war in Iran yet. They are afraid. Uhm... on the other hand it's more likely to be due to the pain in the neck that is Iraq and the upcoming elections in America.

I must admit that those are speculations I'm really just pulling out of my ass... but hey, that's what the comments threads are for, aren't they? Oh dear, I can se the "leftie"/"commie"/"antisemite"-responses rushing in... but please, in the name of whatever deity you believe in: a Semite [wikipedia.org] may just as well be an Arab, so be correct and call me anti-Judaist. Which is not what I am, as I call some Jews my friends... btw: this article [studentpa.info] has not gotten the publicity it deserves.

Re:Anthropologists As Well As Zoologists (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23101698)

Uhh, except that, see, they don't really care if they die to bring the last Mahdi. The russians did care if they died.

Re:Anthropologists As Well As Zoologists (0, Redundant)

MishgoDog (909105) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101408)

I suppose I'll be called a self-hating liberal

You're a self-hating liberal.

Actually, I completely agree with you, so...
I'm a self hating liberal.

Re:Anthropologists As Well As Zoologists (1)

durin (72931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101438)

I wish I could mod you higher than score 5, Insightful.

Well, yes and no (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101614)

These weapons that were supposed to be the end of war aren't and any future horror developed to stop war won't be the end to war either. First, we developed the weapons and these kept USSR and America from going to war. The simple fact is, that both side were terrified of using these. We all knew what would happen. So, it really did accomplish what we wanted. And later, other nations aquired the knowledge. Some by their own work, and others by stealing it. The ones who developed it on their own had an advanced enough form of gov. that they are not real threats to those around them. Of course, until recently, Israel was probably the only one who had any real chance of using theirs.

The real problem is the recent round of nuclear build-out. These countries do not have the maturity to handle these. Basically, Turkey and Pakistan. This can be blamed soley on a number of top pubs who sold our nuke secrets for a few gold coins (relatively speaking). [justacitizen.org] People like RichardPerle, douglas feith, EricEdelman, and Marc Grossman. These guys, and others, sold it to Turkey and Pakistan. This action really could start a war. Pakistan supposedly passed on their knowledge to Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, etc. Hopefully the next president will go after these guys for the treason that they committed.

In the end, I suspect that it will not matter. There are so many other easy ways to attack other ppl. Groups like Al Qaeda could easily mutate the avian flu and then spread it quickly in the west (and all for less than a dozen of their ppl; thank god that they are religious; the mullahs do not want to kill the innocent). Plenty of ways for us to kill each other.

And if could stop a world war, yeah, I would allow the feds to move me to another place, pay for a new home, and provide me with a nice new job, schooling for my children, etc, which IIRC, is what we did.

Re:Well, yes and no (2, Informative)

jrumney (197329) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101728)

The real problem is the recent round of nuclear build-out. These countries do not have the maturity to handle these. Basically, Turkey and Pakistan.

Turkey? The only nuclear weapons on Turkish soil are the ones stored at the USAF base at Inçirlik.

Don't Forget the Price (2, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101872)

First, we developed the weapons and these kept USSR and America from going to war. The simple fact is, that both side were terrified of using these. We all knew what would happen. So, it really did accomplish what we wanted.
You're not really trying to argue that both sides understood we would never ever use the nuclear weapons we had worked so hard to build, are you? Both sides of the coin are madness, as you'd never spend so much money creating these weapons never to use them. I once read a book by Robert Strange McNamara (see also Fog of War) that talked numbers. The numbers he talked about were how many nuclear weapons we built during the cold war and also how much each of these weapons cost. MIRV technology, kill areas, megatonnage, etc. That's what we bought at any cost on taxpayer money. Meanwhile people in the United States still starved. Children around the world over died.

All these countries that you speak of would put their entire population (and some have) into disgusting poverty in order to get their hands on nuclear weapons.

The real problem is the recent round of nuclear build-out.
I don't get it, how do other countries getting the bomb change your logic any further? I mean, the U.S. was religious enough an the U.S.S.R. was so anti-religion it was worse than being religious. You say these countries could really start a war because they lack maturity ... could you please explain how the U.S. or Russia are any more mature than they are? Are you talking technologically mature because that has little to do with how you use nuclear weapons. Or is maturity just the safe way to say we hate them? I'm surprised you weren't calling China immature.

In the end, I suspect that it will not matter. There are so many other easy ways to attack other ppl. Groups like Al Qaeda could easily mutate the avian flu ...
If that's so easy, why don't you tell me how that's done (and why haven't they done it in the past five years). Not even Al Qaeda is as immature as you think they are. Bin Laden has talked number counts of how many Americans he wants dead ... they are not out to create a mass epidemic that would almost certainly spread the world over like Stephen King's The Stand.

Biological warfare would just be the new horror, we'd get strains of all our favorite diseases and so would Russia, China, all the countries you listed. There'd still be conventional war, we'd still dump half our resources into developing these strains and everyone everywhere would still be thinking that it's a good thing we'll never use them. Until the day we do.

This is an endless cycle, we're doomed to repeat this forever. If you want to get a Large Hadron Collider operating in the United States, convince congress it can create black holes that would easily be used as weapons against anyone.

And if could stop a world war, yeah, I would allow the feds to move me to another place, pay for a new home, and provide me with a nice new job, schooling for my children, etc, which IIRC, is what we did.
Money solves everything, does it? I would wager some of these people (as the same special interviewed the older ones) didn't really care about that.

Originally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23101146)

Originally it went:
'When I put the Geiger counter near a coconut, which accumulates radioactive material from the soil, it went nuts,'

Nuke em all (1)

m00nun1t (588082) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101216)

Maybe we should consider nuking all environmentally sensitive areas.

No, wait...

Re:Nuke em all (4, Interesting)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101406)

That has actually been a "jokingly serious" suggestion. Increasing the background radiation in an area so humans don't dare to use it or any products from that area. Works great with Chernobyl for example, the forest around the area has a lot more animal life now than before the incident.

Shouldn't Be Any Surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23101236)

Chernobyl has already bounced back.

what that tells you (4, Insightful)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101238)

Animal life around Chernobyl is also doing well. That's not an indication that radiation is harmless (most animals are shorter lived than humans, so they can tolerate more radiation), it's an indication that human presence is even more harmful than radiation.

Re:what that tells you (1)

imbaczek (690596) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101620)

I believe you managed to misspell "much" as "even".

Re:what that tells you (1)

hummer357 (545850) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101688)

I wouldn't know if this is necessarily correct: if radiation damages the animal's genetic information, wouldn't you see mutations more quickly due to their shorter reproductive cycles?

This mean... (0)

Clarious (1177725) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101242)

Fallout will never happen, only human get wiped away from the planet, and mother Gaia will be happy. As long as we don't use too many H-bombs

Better article and detail (5, Informative)

tick-tock-atona (1145909) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101250)

More informative article here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080415101021.htm [sciencedaily.com]

The full story is that although some of the corals have bounced back remarkably, the nuking has also resulted in the localised extinction of some more sensitive sensitive species

However the research has also revealed a disturbingly high level of loss of coral species from the atoll. Compared with a famous study made before the atomic tests were carried out, the team established that 42 species were missing compared to the early 1950s. At least 28 of these species losses appear to be genuine local extinctions probably due to the 23 bombs that were exploded there from 1946-58, or the resulting radioactivity, increased nutrient levels and smothering from fine sediments.
Article also has some good stats on the nuking itself:

One of the most interesting aspects is that the team dived into the vast Bravo Crater left in 1954 by the most powerful American atom bomb ever exploded (15 megatonnes - a thousand times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb). The Bravo bomb vapourised three islands, raised water temperatures to 55,000 degrees, shook islands 200 kilometers away and left a crater 2km wide and 73m deep.

Radiation and life (4, Interesting)

Knutsi (959723) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101252)

I once heard something fascinating. After the Chernobyk accident, the radioactive cloud that contaminated (mainly) the north of Norway caused allot of fear in people, and for people's health. The gouvernment continued to slaughter and burn massive amounts of raindeer and livestock.

A friend later told me that the meat was actually fully usable, and that it's destruction may have been unnecessary. She suggested we should have fed it to the elderly population, which did not have time to develop cancer from the meat anyhow.

There will be allot of talk in this discussion about the fear of radiation, and that is why this discussion is so good. Life does well with increased radiation! Humans don't however, by virtue of the way we look at human society and human worth. What it does say however, is that fear of nuclear energy, a power source that may have dramatically less consequence for life on this planet than most other energy sources, prevents us from progressing in the energy debate! (and maybe also in space exploration, given worries of launching nuclear-powered space craft)

Check this news item [nationalgeographic.com] for a similar case to the coral reef in the article.

"People in the first world have convinced themselves that chemicals and radiation stand in the way of their personal immortality"
- James Lovelock

Re:Radiation and life (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101662)

A friend later told me that the meat was actually fully usable, and that it's destruction may have been unnecessary. She suggested we should have fed it to the elderly population, which did not have time to develop cancer from the meat anyhow.

I don't think you have a very thorough understanding of how the food chain works. Soylent Green will in turn be eaten by the younger population. We need to be taking care of what we feed our elderly!

Bikini Bottom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23101264)

Sure... reefs can bounce. Next they'll be telling us the sponges can talk.

Oblig: (3, Funny)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101282)

You put the lime in the coconut, and drink it all up... Then die of radiation poisoning.

Coconuts migrate on their own... (5, Interesting)

quibbler (175041) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101284)

Even without husk-gripping, coconuts move... they're supposed to, thats how they get from island to island...

I think this is a note to self: do NOT eat coconuts that you find on the seashore. I wonder if anyone's realized that little issue...

Re:Coconuts migrate on their own... (4, Funny)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101444)

Even without husk-gripping, coconuts move... they're supposed to, thats how they get from island to island...

I think this is a note to self: do NOT eat coconuts that you find on the seashore. I wonder if anyone's realized that little issue...
This is only true if the island's swallow [armory.com] population is sufficiently large.

Re:Coconuts migrate on their own... (3, Funny)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101856)

Well, if they weren't before the nuke testing, now's their chance.

Re:Coconuts migrate on their own... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23101502)

Could be a good thing : coconuts accumulate radioactive material, migrate (with or without swallows) and so doing spread it out over a larger area thus eventually bringing it back to normal background levels.

Re:Coconuts migrate on their own... (1)

Fizzl (209397) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101660)

Thanks for setting us up for some intriguing dialogue involving swallows and their air speed.

Re:Coconuts migrate on their own... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23101784)

do NOT eat coconuts that you find on the seashore.
I found one last weekend. When I smashed it open it was gray inside and stunk like rotten eggs. Radioactive or not, I did not eat it...

Death by Coconut (1)

volcanopele (537152) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101320)

And of course Maria Beger was eaten alive by the mutant coconut.

Yeah but.. (5, Funny)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101388)

With the giant mutant anemones and sponges with teeth and the crushing and the laser eyes!

To people of Japan, your cities are no longer safe. Run for your lives. The coral is back, and this time it's pissed .... and mutant.

Re:Yeah but.. (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101744)

Actually, The Coral [wikipedia.org] are really big in Japan, I've heard.

News at nine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23101400)

Ho Hum. Yet another scientist states the bleeding obvious

Current carried Coral spawn finds way to recently devastated rock in the pacific ocean. Whoopie do

Far more interesting would be a long term study of the changing dynamics of the coral of fast travelling coral (for want of a better term) vs more aggressive coral but slower travelling coral spawn.

ie. is this a first in best dressed scenario?

Other than that this is a Nothing to see here. move along story.

Huh. Huhuhuhuhuuh. (1)

strack (1051390) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101480)

Nuked nuts. Huhuh.

Irradiated coconuts? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101534)

That explains the crazy contraptions the Professor came up with.

Chernobyl: Life in the dead zone (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101570)

Hope I got the title right, but I think this was the name of a great documentary following the resurgence of wildlife in Chernobyl's exclusion zone. I came away with the impression that the radiation is more of a detriment to humans to the rest of the natural world.

Actually, it is not anymore a deteriment to us (3, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101672)

All of life has the same problem. That is the radiation induces faster changes in all. Some on birth defects. The vast majority are simply miscarried (most ppl never realize that many women suffer at least 1 miscarriage and it is due to a fatal defect). But of course, some make it to the world. The recent Indian girl who was born with a duplicated face (probably the best place that she could be born was in northern India; there she is a goddess; elsewhere she would be considered a freak) was possibly induced via radiation or pollution. For the living, it means loads of cancer. No doubt that animal life in any of these radioactive areas are suffering shortened lives due to such. In fact, I am amazed that we (USA and Russia) are not tagging these animals to see how long and what they look like at end of life. These are all living labs. Heck, I am more amazed that Hollywood has not made some interesting movies based on just these areas.

Illegal Tourism in 3, 2, 1... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23101710)

...the reason the reefs are now flourishing is because they are mostly undisturbed by humans...Background levels there are now 'similar to that at any Australian city...
So what do we do? We tell the world about it of course!
If humans were kept away because they were 'afraid' and consequently the reef has recovered why would you tell everywhere it's safe? Doesn't that defeat the point?

200ft mutated iguana? (1)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101772)

Any sign of a 200ft mutated iguana in TFA?

Cue the cut scenes of panicked citizens running away from the shoreline whilst an authoritative man barks orders into a microphone.

berserk? (1)

laejoh (648921) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101794)

When I put the Geiger counter near a coconut, which accumulates radioactive material from the soil, it went berserk.

Well, ofcourse! The coconut thought you were an european or african swallow, ready to pick it up

Science should not include hyperbole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23101850)

Geiger counters indicate the level of radiation received by the sensor. It can either indicate a high level of radiation, or a low level of radiation, and emit the necessary audible tones relative to that sensed level.

Usually, if a piece of equipment is said to "go berserk," it means that the reading seems somehow flawed, as if the device is not operating properly. So, in the author's attempt to exaggerate one meaning, he actually conveyed something quite different through the misuse of language.

So, as far as I am concerned, he could not measure the level of radiation emanating from the coconut because his equipment was broken.

not those nuts... (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101860)

"When I put the Geiger counter near a coconut, which accumulates radioactive material from the soil, it went berserk," says Beger.

At this point Beger realized he was pointing it to his crotch. It's all fun and analysis until someone grows another arm out of their back.

Attack of the mutant coconuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23101900)

The reason those Aussie cities are so radioactive is all the damn coconuts washing up on the shore!

"It went berserk" (1)

Rick Richardson (87058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23101906)


What was the reading?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?