Or the vengeance of nature.
How many of you realise that just before the detonation of the first atomic bomb, many scientists feared that it would trigger an unstoppable chain reaction that would engulf the world? There was a strong logic behind this potential outcome. In spite of that appalling risk to the whole world they still went ahead and did it. Why? Perhaps it was with the certain knowledge that if it did create the dreaded chain reaction and destroy the world, there would be no-one to complain and accuse. If it didn’t then they had themselves a new weapon (of mass destruction).
One year away from the seventieth anniversary of this decision (July 16, 2015) made on our behalf we can look back, alive and well, at a controversial use of a WOMD as the event that shortened the war in the Pacific. The dice rolled the right way for us. Fortunately. Of course it did mean over 45 years of Cold War followed but that’s definitely a subject for a different blog.
Move forward to 1993. The film Jurassic Park is released. Remember the monologue expounded by Jeff Goldblum about how nature finds a way? Well, it appears that the current crop of biological scientists neither watched that film, nor did they attend to their studies at University. Not only that, but they seem strangely unaware that respective governments and companies spend billions annually trying to keep their pollutants safe from the public. Waste nuclear materials, deadly engineered viruses and assorted mutant deadlies keep our humanity on a constant knife edge – one slip up is all it takes; see my book Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle (links below). If you want to scare yourself silly, do a Bing or Google search on “lost phials audit” – you’ll find quite a list. BTW, phials=vials. For example, on the 16th April this year 2,000 phials of SARS virus were found to be missing in France (or not in France, perhaps), in March 2013 a phial of a bioterror agent went missing – apparently accidentally destroyed in the lab – maybe, but there’s no proof of that.
It seems strange to me that the tale of Pandora’s Box is not compulsory reading for all scientists, along with a study guide explaining the ‘hidden’ meaning to the more literal of their number.
I am not shouting from the roof top “woe is me, beware the wrath of God!” In fact I have scientific training (biological) and have been involved in technology all my working life, so I’m no Luddite; however, that old motto, ‘Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should,” rings clearly in my mind.
It’s a crying shame then that scientists in La Jolla, California, have developed ‘unnatural’ DNA and inserted it into DNA strands of bacteria. I eagerly await the news that they were lost or mislaid – that’s when you get your Apocalypse survival kit out of the wardrobe and dust it off. After all they didn’t choose a strain of bacteria that was harmless to humans, they chose E. coli. So now we have what they term ‘alien life forms’ in labs – and on top of that they are probably quite deadly to us as we have no resistance to this new strain. Excellent! Mr Burns would be so proud. Something else to protect forever lest they get out and change us for good.
Maybe it will not be mutated SARS or any other natural contagion that kicks off the Zombie Apocalypse, maybe we will be the authors of our own downfall, as I’ve suggested many times before, it’s just a question of whether our end been invented yet. After all, civilisations come and go all the time. Why not us? With luck, it will be quick and relatively painless like the chain reaction scientists once feared in 1945, or maybe it will be a protracted war between survivors and The Walking Dead.
Which would you prefer?
Zombie books by David K Roberts:
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Cabin Fever (Sequel)
Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle
Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle – Z Factor
The Story that led to this blog: