Page 3


Did they understand what they had done, these young men? Most did. Oppenheimer certainly did. Just as the fireball was at its most brilliant he recalled the words Shiva speaks in the Bhagavad-Gita: “I am become death, the Shatterer of Worlds.” Another scientist, this one in his mid-thirties but older than most, put it more prosaically: “Now we’re all sons of bitches.” The Day the Sun Rose Twice was first published in 1984, and although reprinted for the first time last year, it was not updated. This is unfortunate, since the last decade has provided us not only with more historical details of that interesting period, but with newer insights as well. THE FINAL VOLUME is not easy reading, but compelling nonetheless. In fact, the book may be best de scribed as chilling. Nuclear Wastelands provides a concise history of the weapons program of every declared and de facto nuclear nation. More importantly, it describes the health and environmental effects of these programs. For example, it is frightening enough to learn what happened in this countrythe tons of radioactive waste generated, the billions of dollars spent but almost unspeakable what happened in the former Soviet Union as a result of the Cold War. Worldwide, cancers and birth defects plague the residents of test areas; environmental contamination continues unabated in many nations; the storage of nuclear waste is haphazard and potentially lethal. Moreover, according to the author’s sources, there were over fifty thousand nuclear warheads in 1990, thirty-two thousand in the former Soviet Union alone. This represents over two hundred fifty metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium, and over two thousand tons of highly enriched uranium. Neither of these substances is easy to store or dispose of, and both are in evitable targets for today’s terrorists. But behind these figures are even more shocking numbers. It is staggering to learn that beyond the warheads themselves are an additional one hundred to two hundred million metric tons of uranium mill tailings, containing one hundred thousand curies 226 and thorium-230; over four hundred thousand metric tons of depleted uranium; about three billion curies of high level radioactive waste from plutonium production; twenty million curies of other radioactive wastes; and thousands of square miles of highly contaminated land. Not to mention global contamination caused by fallout from nuclear weapons tests and accidents. This is a somber book, one laced with tables and charts that will perhaps intimidate some readers. That is unfortunate, because Nuclear Wastelands contains a wealth of information, both historic and current, much of which has never been available before. It is also a frightening bookone that reminds us in no uncertain terms that the real cost of the Cold War has only begun to be realized. Just as the fireball was at its most brilliant he recalled the words Shiva speaks in the Bhagavad Gita: “I am become death, the Shatterer of Worlds.” CLASSIFIEDS ORGANIZATIONS WORK for single-payer National Health Care. Join GRAY PANTHERS, intergenerational advocates against ageism and for progressive policies promoting social and economic justice. $20 individual, $35 family. 3710 Cedar, Austin, TEXAS AIDS NETWORK dedicated to improving HIV/AIDS policy and funding in Texas. Individual membership $25, P.O. Box 2395, Austin, TX LESBIAN/GAY DEMOCRATS of Texas Our Voice in the Party. Membership $15, P.O. Box 190933, Dallas, 75219. SICK OF KILLING? Join the Amnesty International Campaign Against the WORK FOR OPEN, responsible government in Texas. Join Common Cause/Texas, 1615 Guadalupe, #204, TEXAS TENANTS’ UNION. Member ship $18/year, $10/six months, $30 or more/sponsor. Receive handbook on tenants’ rights, newsletter, and more. 5405 East Grand, Dallas, TX 75223. CENTRAL TEXAS CHAPTER of the ACLU invites you to our noon Forum, the last Friday of every month, at Furr’s Cafeteria Banquet Room in Northcross Mall, Austin. For information call HELP STOP CLEARCUTTING and protect roadless areas in our National Forests!! Join the largest nationwide coalition of groups, businesses, and individuals united to protect and restore America’s wild and natural forests. For a free brochure contact Save America’s Forests, 4 Library Court SE, Washington, D.C. 20003. 202-544-9219. LIBERTARIAN PARTY Liberal on personal freedoms, but conservative in economics? NATIONAL WRITERS UNION. We give working writers a fighting chance. Col lective bargaining. Grievance procedures. Health insurance. Journalists, authors, poets, commercial writers. Forming Austin local. Noelle McAfee, 450-0705; Bill Adler, 443-8961. PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. Join The Texas Civil Rights Project, 227 Congress #340, Austin, Texas 78701. $20/year. Volunteers also needed. Contact Jim Harrington or Fara Sloan. PROTECT TEXASJoin Sierra P.O. Box 1931 Austin, TX 78767 512-477-1729. EMPLOYMENT EXPERIENCED CANVASS DIRECTOR and/or organizers wanted for new, innovative campaign to give progressives a way to be heard! Positions starting in California, offices opening across the country. Send resumes to: 3303 Pico Blvd. #C, Santa Monica CA 90405 or COAIJ11ON FOR JUSTICE in the MaquiladorasBilingual Program Director needed. Call 210/732-8957 in San Antonio. COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS ACORN, the nation’s largest grassroots organization of low and moderate income people, seeks organizers to fight for better jobs, wages, schools, neighborhoods and lending. Hiring for Houston, Dallas, and Austin. Attn: Jeff, 704 E. 11 1/2 St., SERVICES MARY NELL MATHIS, CPA, 20 years experience in tax, litigation support, and other analyses. 901 Rio Grande, HIV ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION HOUSEBUYERS, The Consumer’s Agent. Specialists in representing central Austin residential buyers. WORLDWISE DESIGN, awardwinning graphic design studio. For creative, effective and professional designs for your educational and promotional materials, CLASSIFIED RATES: Minimum ten words. One time, 50 cents per word; three times, 45 cents per word; six times, 40 cents per word; 12 times, 35 cents per word; . 25 times, 30 cents per word. Telephone and box numbers count as two words, abbreviations and zip codes as one. Payment must accompany order for all classified ads. Deadline is three weeks before cover date. Address orders and inquiries to Advertising Director, The Texas Observer, 307 West 7th, Austin, TX THE TEXAS OBSERVER 19