Why aren’t more people freaking out about the nuclear warheads sitting 20 miles from downtown Seattle?

By Ron Judd, Seattle Times, August 30, 2018

JADE LAUW WOULD LIKE to upset you. Maybe even ruin part of your day or, better yet, question your very existence.

None of this is born of surliness. She simply has assigned herself a civic duty (remember those?): to make the rest of us look unimaginably destructive nuclear weapons in the eye. Or, failing that, at least glance at them over our shoulders, where surprising numbers of nukes have long lurked, right on Puget Sound.

At age 20, the University of Washington senior already has enough experience in anti-nuclear activism to accept the reality: Most local people, natives or newbies, are willfully ignorant about the massive stockpile of nukes — a number sufficient to wipe out a good portion of the planet — sleeping in their midst every day.

Lauw thus leaves herself open to the charge of being Not Much Fun at Parties, one of which she recently dampened by asking celebrants whether they knew about the still-lingering radiation effects of U.S. weapons-testing in Micronesia, nearly seven decades ago.

“People were like, ‘Are you drunk?’ ” she recalls.

Sober as a judge. And frustrated. Her university peers, she points out, are far from alone in paying as little attention as is humanly possible to the unpleasant subject of nukes, which, since the Cold War that gave birth to them, have become broadly accepted as a safe/sane part of America’s military deterrence. Even many Americans old enough to remember the big bomb’s coming-out party tend to think of them as a relic of their own dusty, duck-and-cover past.


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