from The New Inquiry
At Hanford Nuclear Reservation, wildlife is imagined as thriving, and violent state policy is extended into an indefinitely long future
THE Internet of 2016 plays host to an eye-catching subgenre of general interest articles that breathlessly describe the lives of wild animals at sites of nuclear catastrophe. In the fevered language of headlines, they imagine for the reader the post-human life of the contaminated space, where Fukushima’s wild boars and Chernobyl’s wolves have managed to acclimate to landscapes considered totally unfit for human life.
The fact that predators are mentioned most often as thriving is worth noting: these animals living their unimaginable lives on the radioactive frontier flaunt their easy symbolism, as manifestations of the landscape’s inherent threat to humans that stretches into a future measured in impossibly long half-lives.
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