The Nuclear Genie and Omar Khyamm

Nothing and nobody is able to put the nuclear genie back into its bottle.

Nuclear fission is a fact, and whether you worry about who has 'the bomb' and what they might be planning to do with it or about the disposal of waste fuels from nuclear power stations, it is here to stay. Just one more force of nature in the hands of imperfect Man; the loaded gun in the playful hands of an idiot child.

So today go on and sign your nuclear power development deal with France, Mr Cameron. It might heal your fractured relationship with M Sarkozy and preserve your cosy relationship with the UK banking fraternity even if it does condemn your grandchildren to untold, unknowable misery.

The question of future power sourcing should start not with the satisfying of escalating demand but with the controlled descalation of demand. That, Mr Cameron, is called change by leadership vision and persuasion.

Fly over the UK, especially the south of it at night. What in hell are we doing with all those street lights? Have a glance at those infr-red pics of mother earth from space. Do we really want and need all of that massive efflux if heat from our over-warmed cities and buildings generally? Of course we do not.

Almost exactly one thousand years ago a Persian by the name of Omar Khayamwrote ...

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
  Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit,
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
  Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
But helpless pieces in the game He plays,
  Upon this chequer-board of Nights and Days,
He hither and thither moves, and checks ... and slays,
  Then one by one, back in the Closet lays.
And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
  The Tavern shouted - "Open then the Door!
You know how little time we have to stay,
  And once departed, may return no more."
A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
  A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread --and Thou,
Beside me singing in the Wilderness,
  And oh, Wilderness is Paradise enow.
If chance supplied a loaf of white bread,
  Two casks of wine and a leg of mutton,
In the corner of a garden with a tulip-cheeked girl,
  There'd be enjoyment no Sultan could outdo.
Myself when young did eagerly frequent
  Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument
About it and about: but evermore
  Came out of the same Door as in I went.
With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,
  And with my own hand labour'd it to grow:
And this was all the Harvest that I reap'd -
  "I came like Water, and like Wind I go."
Into this Universe, and why not knowing,
  Nor whence, like Water willy-nilly flowing:
And out of it, as Wind along the Waste,
  I know not whither, willy-nilly blowing.
And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
  Whereunder crawling coop't we live and die,
Lift not thy hands to It for help - for It
  Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.

Sometimes I have to wonder quite what our species has actually achieved during these past thousand years. Shakespeare and his contempories believed fervently that Man had reached his apogee fifteen hundred years before, and was already into his inevitable decline and fall. I do hope not, but is there anyone today capable of creating something with as much force and prescience as those words of Mr Khayyam?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.