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Oppenheimer. The Father of the Bomb and self proclaimed “death, destroyer of worlds.”
Now immortalised in a movie of the same name.
Here in Scotland, his legacy lingers on – sardonically referred to as the “monster in the loch”. This is because the UK’s Nuclear Weapons Programme remains on Scottish soil against the will of the Scottish Parliament.
So what do anti-nuclear campaigners based in Scotland think of the film?
Bill Ramsay (modern studies teacher and Scottish CND exec member) wonders if Oppenheimer will be the anti-nuclear movement’s “Braveheart.”
“At the time of release a history colleague said that in certain schools the Wars of Independence would
now have to be taught. It would be unavoidable, at least in the junior classes. These thoughts went through my head as I sat in a packed multiplex early evening showing the day opened…
Make no mistake, pro-nuclear interests will do what they can to ‘curate’ the media messaging around in their terms. [But] is an opportunity. As the Executive of Peace Education Scotland concluded at our meeting the week after, it is not only an opportunity in terms of aspects of
the curriculum that impact on international relations, security, and the environment, but also in terms of media-related studies, and I’m sure many other angles.”
Janet Fenton (Secure Scotland & Scottish CND) also sees the film as an opportunity but highlights the concerning lack of interest in or sensitivity towards victims of nuclear weapons.
“I don’t want to seem ungracious because I think it’s great for us to have anything that is actually pushing these issues in front of the public. It does some really interesting and useful analysis of the way in which internationally
scientists were fascinated by nuclear power and wanted to work together in a spirit of adventure and discovery. But for me, it doesn’t underscore the appalling political opportunism towards those scientists in creating something that really marked the beginning of human behaviour making major geological change to the planet.”
The nuclear military industrial complex wreaks havoc on the environment. Uranium mining, nuclear weapons testing, and unsafe storage of radioactive waste all contribute to ongoing ecocide around the globe.
So between nuclear weapons and climate change, our earth is being held at gun point, her resources exploited.
Christopher Nolan, director of Oppenheimer, showed us the perspective of the Father of the Atomic Bomb, “Destroyer of Worlds.”
Perhaps it’s time to look at things from Mother Nature’s point of view.