Can do hype conveys a vastly different message than doing what we can. While positivist populism is often enough for flag-wavers, it’s not exactly the same as problem-solving. In fact, can do hype is often used as cover when doing what we can is an abysmal failure.
When it comes to abysmal failure, it would be tough to top the Hanford Nuclear Waste Dump Superfund cleanup, that costs $2 billion a year, and has no viable solutions in sight. So instead of simply saying they haven’t a clue what to do, the feds continue moving 56 million gallons of highly radioactive waste around — spilling some, leaking some, and wondering if it might just blow up — while cities like Portland and Spokane monitor their Geiger counters.
While Chernobyl knocked Hanford out of the number one slot as most contaminated site on Earth, Chernobyl is closed, while Hanford is still open. Not that we’d wish to see a mushroom cloud over the Yakama Indian Reservation, but there’s still a chance Hanford could again be on top.
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