There’s nothing like a good piece of history. Most kids hated history at school… but I loved it! As Forrest Gump once said ‘life is like a box of chocolates’. The same can be said about history. It’s so colorful, all you need to do is look. Admittedly, our history hasn’t always been something to be proud of… but our lives are built on the trials and tribulations of past events… we owe our very existence and way of life to our history — for better or worse.
As with any good historian, I enjoy historical conflict. For all the bad that is involved, humanity almost always achieves greatness in the wake. If you look back through time, man’s greatest achievements are as a direct result of conflict and the necessity to survive. Take one of the more recent pseudo conflicts — the cold war. The nuclear technology that spawned the birth of the world’s first atomic bomb resulted in an explosion (excuse the pun) in energy creation. Nuclear fission reactors were perfected in the years following the Second World War, spawning everything from nuclear submarines to nuclear power stations.
I will be the first to admit that nuclear energy doesn’t have the best track record… but you can’t deny that I provided the world with a glimpse of clean energy that could be scaled. The problem we have now is mostly political and economic. The world’s nuclear are aged and we’re at a cross roads. Do we invest billions in repairing old technology? Do we invest more in building new nuclear power plants? Or do we go back to fossil fuels? What a dilemma.
I’m getting a little off topic now… but you can see that without the Second World War… how long would it have taken scientists to envisage, yet develop and implement nuclear power for the masses? There’s not a doubt in my mind that politicians would have stifled development for many decades.
What about the space race? Now, make no mistake, the space race was politically fueled as a way of gaining military advantage over the Soviet Union. Yeah, so we went to space and we pt a man on the moon a few times… so what? You need to read between the lines and trust me on this one. Intercontinental missile technology for both the US and Russia improved by orders of magnitude in less than a decade. What’s particularly interesting is that this was all done under the guise of space exploration. However… if you happen to need to put a nuclear warhead on said exploratory rocket when the need arises then… why the heck not? Very sneaky… very sneaky indeed. It wasn’t all bad, as these space exploits have fueled many technologies that are used to this day — the microwave oven for example. Also… space programs that are run today, wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the US/Russia conflict back in the mid-1900s. History — it’s great isn’t it? Stay tuned for more history insights.