Michelle Bachmann, a member of the United States House of Representatives serving the 6th congressional district of Minnesota recently announced her impending retirement from Senate, stating 2016 would be her final year. She’s served the district since 2007, and sought the GOP nomination in the 2012 presidential race before eventually losing to John McCain and his wrinkly, old face.
She’s also what you might call “profoundly Republican”. She like Minnesota, I think. She hates taxes, immigrants, gays, abortions, and apparently, the EPA. She considers diplomacy as “an option”, which is sort of a foreboding term when you realize the alternative plan of action involves eviscerating an entire country.
You see, Ms. Bachmann recently told President Obama “Mr. President, you need to bomb the Iranian nuclear facilities.” It must have caught the poor guy off guard, because he answered her question with a more eloquent version of “lol wut.” She then told him that he is in fact the president, and then walked away. By the way, this whole exchange happened at the White House Christmas Party.
I’m not one to besmirch anyone’s political ideals, and far be it from me to criticize an acting member of the US House of Representatives, but I feel like her suggestion was a little…well to out it frankly her suggestion was “frank.” I feel like the issue of “destroying nuclear plants with bombs” is a really good idea.
Really, whether your crazy uncle, crazy aunt, or crazy anything has ever suggested “bombing a nuclear plant”, have you ever stopped to consider the consequences. Well I have.
Nuclear reactors and power plants, without an ounce of hyperbole, are some of the most unstable environments in the world, and this is despite the numerous, rigorous safety standards in place. If a nuclear power plant were to have “an issue”, the consequences would be tremendously severe.
Right now, think of some notable incidents involving nuclear power plants. Go ahead, take a second. Okay, that’s one second. If you picked three, I’m assuming they are the Chernobyl disaster, the Fukushima disaster, and the Three-Mile Island disaster. The International Atomic Energy Agency and their super-group sounding name developed a scale for the sole purpose of rating disasters in the event of a nuclear meltdown, which are usually caused by accidents. For example, the Three-Mile Island disaster was rated a 5 out of 7, defined as “an accident with wider consequences.” This is an accurate statement because a partial meltdown occurred because of operator error (an accident) and an unknown amount of nuclear material and radioactive gas was released into the atmosphere (wider consequences). No one died as a result of the Three Mile Island disaster, and any long-term health effects of the general population around Harrisburg (where the accident happened) haven’t been determined to have a causal relationship with the meltdown or not.
Okay, so Three-Mile Island was a five, so what’s a seven, also known as a “major accident”? Well Chernobyl and Fukushima are certainly more insidious in nature. During the Chernobyl disaster, a steam fired started as the result of an accident during a test, leading to a complete meltdown, release of material into the environment, 56 deaths at the site of the accident, and over 4,000 cancer-related deaths in the years that followed. Fukushima melted down and released nuclear material as the result of a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, which isn’t so much an accident as a direct attempt by mother nature herself to destroy Godzilla. nearly 1,600 people died as a result of Fukushima.
So if you’re keeping score, there have been two nuclear disasters in history which have registered a 7 out of 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale, the most deadly of which killed around 4,000 people. Remember way back when I was talking about Michelle Bachmann casually suggested we bomb a bunch of Iranian facilities? Well, according to the Center for Research on Globalization, if we bombed several of the Iranian compounds, the death toll could reach nearly three million. We may not get along with Iran, but is eliminating nearly 4% of their population really necessary?
Just ponder that. If an acting member of the Senate is advocating an attack that would kill as many people as 25 Hiroshima bombings or almost 1,000 9/11 attacks, then maybe it’s best she’s hanging it up to ride into the sunset.