Here Comes The Rain
July 31, 2017
After nearly three weeks of uncomfortably hot and humid weather, this week has finally boasted some cooler temperatures, not to mention some much-needed rainstorms. Monday afternoon I had the pleasure of enjoying a walk home in the rain, jumping in puddles when no one was watching (sometimes you need to give the inner child a little free rein). The rain has helped to cool things down a bit, and the flowers certainly seem to be enjoying the extra moisture – some on my walk home are bigger than my hand!
A little of this, a little of that
This week, I began research for the blog post I will be writing for Global Zero. With the upcoming anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I’ve been reading several news articles highlighting the stories of some of the survivors. One of the quotes I came across has stuck with me. Sueichi Kido – who was five years old living in Nagasaki at the time of the bomb – said “I have only a small story to offer, but my generation is the last that will be able to share it with the world,” a sentiment repeated by other survivors whose stories I’ve read. It struck a chord with me, as I have read very similar statements by remaining Holocaust survivors who don’t want their stories to be forgotten. Sometimes, its easy for me to forget that the Holocaust and the atomic bombs happened within a few years of each other, since they occurred in the two different theaters of World War Two. I am very aware of the efforts that are being made to preserve Holocaust survivor stories, and my blog post will be about the efforts being made to preserve the stories of the hibakusha (literally: bomb-affected-people).
I’ve continued my work on updating the biographic pieces on Global Zero’s signatories, and continue to be impressed by the variety of experiences and people GZ has pulled to their cause. The level of expertise with some of the experts is quite astonishing, and the breadth of type of profession (professors, ambassadors, former prime ministers, former presidents, etc.) is vast. It has been quite enjoyable to read through all of the different biographies and sources, as well as how much work has already been done to bring the talk of denuclearization to the table.
Panels and Experts
John and Lilly suggested that the interns attend a nuclear-related event once a week or so – something that is actually quite easy to do in D.C. While we haven’t quite managed to do it every week, we have been able to attend a few events covering some of the breadth of nuclear issues. Week one, a panel called Mission Accomplished? Challenges to Safety Culture in the Nuclear Weapons Complex. The next event was Breaking Barriers: Women in Nuclear Security, week three; and this week, the Center for New American Security’s Economic Levers of U.S. Policy Toward North Korea.
The first looked at issues of security at nuclear facilities in the U.S. and the constant tension between the Ph.D.’s and politicians. Since it was the first week and I was still getting used to things, I felt a little overwhelmed and wasn’t able to take things in as well as I’d like, but I still learned a lot. Breaking Barriers unfortunately didn’t quite leave me feeling fulfilled – while the organization that hosted it (CRDFGlobal) has had a lot of success in helping women from developing countries achieve degrees and employment in nuclear fields, the rhetoric was a lot of the same. We need more women in upper-level positions, we need to help them access it, etc. Unfortunately, there’s still a long road to true gender equality, and there’s only so much you can hear before it becomes a broken record, even if there are things people like those at CRDF are actively doing to help alleviate the discrepancy.
The most recent panel – Thursday – discussed the ways in which the U.S. can put pressure on North Korea (especially with sanctions) to assist with halting or at least stalling the development of North Korea’s weapons program. If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, there are some worrisome developments with their missile program, and as a result, the panel happened to be quite timely. While there wasn’t a lot specifically about nuclear weapons, I did learn a bit more about the Iran nuclear deal (which was referenced multiple times as an example of how sanctions can bring about a desired change of behavior).
This weekend, I enjoyed a lazy rainy day Saturday, listening to rain pounding on my roof, getting started on my door decs for this fall, and otherwise enjoying a day without a schedule. Sunday, though, I got started with an Intern Brunch at The Fainting Goat (a cute little place I pass by every day on my way to and from GZ) before heading into D.C.
I rented a bike from the bike share station (it was so nice outside I didn’t want to spend any more time in the subway then I had to) and did my ride around the Mall – very fun except when I had to navigate around groups of people who weren’t always paying attention. From there, I visited the Air and Space Museum where I watched a fascinating IMAX on D-Day, while I knew the basics of what happened, it was really interesting to see how all the different moving parts of the Allied forces came together to turn the tide of the war. I finished up my day with a visit to the zoo, where I enjoyed watching pandas laze about and watch some elephants playing with a soccer ball.
Hannah Robertson is an English literature major from Durango, Colorado.