Sunday, March 21, 2010

Flying International Flags and Ideas

There is something that makes me feel optimistic when I see flags from so many nations flying together, especially when there is an intent to understand each other and work together for good. These flags fly in the main plaza of the United Nations Office in Vienna, home to several UN organizations including the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization. Good luck to all the well-intentioned persons working there who are trying to make the world a better, safer place for all.


  1. Martha, I had planned to comment on this posting since I saw it for the first time. But then real life had kicked in..

    I like both photography and content here. It is definitely not simple to get flying flags right, especially under those lighting conditions. But you have the flags really fine, with just the right amount of motion blur to make it lively. And the jet black sky comes out really well. I tip my hat!

    And re. the content: Nuclear technology is the one with probably the longest-term consequences. I would favourite minimum usage under strictest possible control. Unfortunately, in this less then ideal world, this seems to be impossible as "nuclear" is still a magic word, connect not only with sheer greed in form of highly profitable legal business, but it also means almost unlimited power of destruction and therefor adds to the potence of its owner. A strict tracking and control system is indespensable for the safety and health of future generations.

    Alas, in our real world all those things are implemented only if the leaders see subjective profits. Even such a self-evident idea like the United Nations get only marginal support or are instrumentalized by the powerful ones. Sorry, but the last years have me made really pessimistic.

  2. Thanks for your comments, Markus. With so many countries in the world expanding or intending to expand their nuclear power capacity combined with the scarcity of experienced operators and regulators and the proven dangers of the technology when something goes wrong, not to mention the increased possibility of weapons development and terrorist theft of nuclear materials, we do need to be careful—society needs to be careful—and protected. Strong, independent, ethical nuclear regulatory bodies made up of highly educated individuals are needed throughout the world. It has been said many times that a nuclear accident anywhere is a nuclear accident everywhere. I was surprised that I cannot find any college or university on the planet offering a single course, much less a degree in nuclear regulation! Yes, there are courses in nuclear safety but not nuclear regulation. You can get a master’s degree in video gaming but not nuclear regulation. Nothing against video gaming, but what’s wrong with this picture? I’ve talked to universities, regulators, and just about anyone who will listen about this situation for the past two years but so far, no real action has been taken anywhere to my knowledge. This is not something that should slip through the cracks.