I just finished up reading a new-old book and was struck just how mirrored I could see each and every wood-gasser fellow I’ve ever encountered. Ha! Including myself!
“DAY ONE: Before Hiroshima and After” by Peter Wyden. Published in 1984 on the 40th anniversary of the first nuclear bomb. As the title of the book indicates the whole last half of this book is about the 40 years after August 6th 8:16, 1945.
First half about the 20-30 years of stairs stepping to boom thinkers/developers leading up to the American/Canadian-British/German/Japanese & Russian race for an Atom Bomb.
About the different ones of these fellows (and a few gals) who would opt’out, and not participate for future effects moral reasons. Leave this Dragon safe it it’s bottle, unknown, undisturbed.
Those who would slow walk it (a German scientist, and a Japanese scientist) to not be available in the then current war available. Hoping for cooler heads to decide in the future. Chapter 7.
Those who would push it forward along, “for the science”.
And then those who would push it along for bigger, better booms . . . smaller and smaller delivery systems capable.
Those who would foreign enemy, pay-back, demonize, justify using it. Those who would justify using it to not to have squander all of those years and millions of dollars of efforts. And those who would justify probably accurately to save overall lives from continued months of war, using it.
Whole chapters in this book about the fierce internal developers debates to pre-demonstrate the big-boom, or go directly into cities/moral busting use.
As the author Peter Wyden points out in 1984 very evident the Who’s, who prevailed in that argument back then. And the fear-arms-race tech cold war that the Doubters-of-Development&Use had predicted would take place between the Americans/British, and the then Soviet Union.
Peter Wyden’s third book. The others “The Passionate War” and, “The bay of Pigs”.
All chains of events that seemed driven to go off-the-tracks no matter how little sense and unwanted they were.
Hey. I am an American and can be critical of some of our historical mistakes. I could add two more in recent modern history endeavors gone on-and-on-and-on refusing to die away from just accepting non-accomplishment. Ain’ta’ goona’ ever.
Another book, different author, “Why Do We Keep Making the Same Mistakes?” (failure to read study broad slices of history’s and find your own place in-currnet-age wisdom’s of Do’s, Don’ts, and Never-Every-Again, from them)
So it really isn’t that anyone of us is exactly like one of these 1920’s thru 1954 big-bang Nuke developers.
But we do fall into repeating human characteristics patterns.
Oh? And me? Niels Bohr is probably the closest. With a large smattering of hands-on Deke Parsons blended for balance.
And who would be General Grove’s " The Biggest Sonofabitch I’ve Ever Met" (chapter 5) who would, and did push for doing it? The burn-all-up biomass gasifier.
And who would be the Edward Teller racing to make the biggest, baddest “Super” duper? The power whole cities Gasifier.
And who would be J. Robert Oppenhiemer doing it for the adoration, fame-name, see-me, worship-me? by making a “for-the-People social Gasifier”
Ah . . . the real reason history repeats. Again and again. Human natures are difficult to face into. So many, so sure, they are right. Too many willing to leave the heavy thinking and efforts lifting to others. Not enough willing to say, no-way-Jose. Especially when not-doing is really, really going to get you beat around the ears.
tree-farmer Steve unruh