October 30, 1961, sets a crystalline example of what sort of power we have over nature: we cannot damage a fraction of what liberals, for a quarter-century or so, have believed we can. Yet, when viewed only at the scale that matters to human life, the hell we can make of nature is as terrible as imagined.
Put the following coordinates in Google Earth’s satellite view — 73.809948 N, 54.545890 E — and you can see what the worst blow man ever struck against nature actually did to the planet:
That red marker marks the site where Tsar Bomba, the most destructive hydrogen bomb ever detonated, left a pinprick scuff on the Earth. The estimated 50-megatons-of-TNT explosion released a fraction of the energy unleashed by a late summer tropical depression.
To one who makes political decisions based on a worldview that man can cause or halt a rise of the seas, the Tsar Bomba detonation site represents reality. Industrialized humanity is not locked in battle with nature, as Secretary of State John Kerry believes; in reality we can’t get her attention. But on the scale of years and miles, irrelevant to nature, on which we measure our lives, Tsar Bomba is a terror.
Zoom in on that marker. Silly ideas like Man vs. Nature disappear, but real horrors like Man vs. Man take its place:
You are looking at about 25 square miles of molten rock, cooled 50 years.
Gaia doesn’t care; she’s cooking a few trillion tons of rock under your feet right now. But Man certainly cares — 25 square miles of vaporized civilization would brings the species to economic and moral armageddon. Kerry and Obama direct their decision-making as if Man vs. Earth is a very real war, yet Man vs. Man’s evil is a topic for paranoids.
Could a nuclear Iran eventually produce a hydrogen bomb of this caliber? Folks, a nuclear anyone can eventually produce a nuclear anything. Once Iran is able to produce a nuclear weapon, no matter the yield, it represents the ultimate leverage. A bomb is bargaining power to put an immediate stop to any further inspections, after which the Iranian nuclear program continues unfettered.
It took 50 years of further technological development to produce a tool such as satellite photography with which to view the true scale of Man’s effect on nature. Look at the whole of Earth in comparison with our greatest explosion, and you’ll see mankind is irrelevant to nature when considered on nature’s scale.
But look much closer, at the miles and the Earth that we can grasp: Man’s point of view reveals Iran’s intentions to be a horror, and President Obama’s worldview irrational.