09/21/2011 02:54 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Danger Signs: America's So Nuclear Wasted

Let's go through it again, shall we?

We'll keep it simple, and not even wander into the economics of it.

First of all, human beings make mistakes. You simply can't argue with that -- no one can argue with it. Historically proven beyond all doubt. Therefore, having humans run devices that (when they go out of control, for instance windward of a large population center) can kill literally millions of people is a mistake. A bad idea. A seven-year-old can tell you that. This is what gave us Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.

Secondly, Mother Nature can (I hope you'll forgive the phrase) kick our asses any time she decides to. Anywhere she pleases. And to any degree she feels like.

"We're engineered here... we're prepared for a 7.0 earthquake and the biggest that's ever happen here was only a 5..."

...which is fine until she does a 9.6. That kind of thinking gave us Fukushima.

Third (and this is the one my son James wrote a song about):

We have NO PLACE to put nuclear waste.
None... 0.0... zip... zilch... NONE.

He saw in the paper that there was a contest to find the right words for a sign to be put on Yucca Mountain in Nevada, which is where they want to store all the nuclear waste in America if they can ever figure out how to get it there. And the sign is supposed to say to whomsoever shall show up in ten thousand years: "Don't. Dig. Here."

On the face of it, that sounds like a good idea. They did run into a kind of a problem though trying to figure out what language to write it in. My suggestion, of course, is cockroach. My son James wrote a pretty wonderful song about it, called "Don't Dig Here", which I invite you to listen to here:

The sign-writing contest eventually arrived at a winner -- Ashok Sukumaran -- whose proposal was to cover Yucca Mountain with fields of genetically mutated yucca plants that have a vibrant blue color. A marker of mutant plants warning of the mutant elements buried below, the way poisonous animals sometimes warm predators with iridescent colors on their skin.

Here's how it might look:


Yes, it's whimsical. And ironic. Yucca plants aren't naturally found on Yucca Mountain. Blue or any other color.

Meanwhile, the energy companies who have their heads buried in the sand while they count the money are still just holding their nuclear waste right next to the reactors (see Fukushima and over a third of the nuclear plants in the United States based on the same blueprint).

The result is that waste is currently scattered all over the country -- which is, by the way, a terrorist's dream... pre-made dirty bombs... just... waiting... while every hour the sun spills more energy onto the surface of the Earth than is needed to satisfy the entire world's energy requirements for a whole year.

We have but to gather it.

- Croz

Crosby-Nash are now touring in Europe, and their latest live performance DVD will be released on October 11th.