17 February 2021

Video of the day -- lessons of Chernobyl

A look at the long-term effects of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.  There are some disturbing images of mutated animals near the beginning, but the overall picture is a surprisingly positive one.  The wildlife in the affected area has recovered and is doing remarkably well, despite the elevated radiation level and the apparently permanent disappearance of many species of insects.  Ecosystems are not fragile and prone to domino-effect collapses at the slightest disruption -- they are resilient and recover quickly from what humans think of as crippling damage.  (After all, in the course of hundreds of millions of years, life on Earth has recovered from several mass-extinction events which dwarfed the effects of a full-blown thermonuclear war.)  Note also the interesting demonstration of natural selection in action -- grossly-mutated animals died, but lesser mutations actually helped species survive and adapt to the changed environment.


Blogger Hot guys said...

It's seriously a scary story ๐Ÿ˜ I've watched the same-titled TV show, think it was for Netflix or some other online platform and... It was good ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป

17 February, 2021 05:20  
Blogger Mary said...

Interesting, but the odd statement to me was how glad he was that insects were gone. Youโ€™d think heโ€™d know that many, such as bees, are responsible for the pollination of flowers and much of our food sources.

17 February, 2021 06:18  
Blogger yellowdoggranny said...

i watched the tv show they had on it and it was just so sad..I was angry at the Russians and sad for the people..I worry that will happen here..

17 February, 2021 12:34  
Blogger Mike said...

Every so often PBS will do a documentary on how things are progressing there.

17 February, 2021 14:56  
Blogger Sixpence Notthewiser said...

The whole Chernobyl thing is a cautionary tale. Not many have paid attention, though. The idea of radical mutations dying early is not surprising. Those were radical. Every generation of animals would have more built-in resistance to the radiation, I'd think.
And 150 people still live there? Was that Babushka they showed one of them? I'm going to have to watch Chernobyl again.


17 February, 2021 15:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"After all, in the course of hundreds of millions of years, life on Earth has recovered from several mass-extinction events which dwarfed the effects of a full-blown thermonuclear war."

One, the Earth didn't "recover", it usually started over, with countless species disappearing forever. Two, the process takes many millions of years. I don't consider either of those points to be encouraging news.

18 February, 2021 09:36  
Blogger Mary Kirkland said...

That's awesome that the wildlife has bounced back. Kinda crazy that anyone or anything can live there. I remember when that happened, I was 16 years old.

18 February, 2021 10:19  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Hot: Luckily, such scary things only happen in places like the USSR. It's impossible to imagine, say, a major US state managing its energy-generation infrastructure so incompetently.

Mary: Well, it's been 25 years and the plant life seems OK, so I guess whichever of the nasty little buzzing things disappeared weren't really essential.

JackieSue: No doubt the disaster contributed to Ukrainians' resentment of the Russians.

Mike: I'm glad they're keeping an eye on it.

Sixpence: The people in that area have been through a lot. I guess after Stalin and the Nazis, even radiation doesn't seem so scary.

Anon: It recovered in the sense that a stable ecosystem was restored. Within a few million years the prevailing constellation of species changes dramatically anyway, with or without a mass extinction event. That's just how evolution works.

Mary K: It's encouraging that the local life is doing so well. I remember the meltdown too -- I would have been 25, i think.

18 February, 2021 15:34  
Blogger CAS said...

That is good news. Have you seen the HBO/Sky UK series, Chernobyl? It's a bit Hollywoodish but one of my favorite made-for-TV dramatic series.

19 February, 2021 12:05  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Only clips of it on YouTube (I don't have a TV). Maybe one of these days when I have more time.....

19 February, 2021 15:39  
Blogger Tommykey said...

It reminds me of how parts of the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea have become wildlife havens because they are devoid of people.

I remember some years ago National Geographic had a television show called Life After People that showed what the impact would be if all humans suddenly vanished over night. One of the segments was the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and they showed footage of the abandoned city of Pripyat.

21 February, 2021 09:33  
Blogger Kay said...

This is so amazing. I wonder if it's really, really true though.

21 February, 2021 11:20  

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