The Dark Knight’s Mushroom Cloud via

“The Dark Knight Rises” – in addition to being tied to real life tragedy – is so chockfull of subplots, back stories and caesura for action sequences that critics and viewers don’t seem to care about its primary narrative: After years of wallowing in self-pity and cynicism, Bruce Wayne and his alter-ego, Batman, emerge from Howard Hughes-like reclusiveness to save Gotham City from an evil scheme to detonate a nuclear weapon therein. The device, we’ve been told, has a blast radius of six miles. During the film’s climax, our hero flies the bomb out to sea, a safe distance from shore, with barely a second to spare. When it explodes, Gotham’s citizens watch the resulting mushroom cloud from just over six miles away.

And there you have it! As long as you’re eight or ten or a 100 or 1,000 miles from a nuclear explosion, you’re completely safe. Fallout is contained. The radioactive half-life of the bomb’s fissionable material, we guess, can be measured in minutes.

[…]To be sure, comic book superhero science has never been rigorous. An entire generation of Superman fans believed that if you squeezed a piece of coal hard enough you could turn it into a diamond; after all the man from Krypton did exactly that. But there’s a difference between bad science that results in kids getting their hands dirty while handling briquettes from the family grill and bad science that leads an uncritical population to believe dropping one form or another of hydrogen bomb on Iran, say, is a viable solution to political problems in the Middle East.

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One Response to The Dark Knight’s Mushroom Cloud via

  1. kojimaaiko says:

    I also would like to point out a problem that in the film a nuclear reactor is introduced as a clean energy system in the first place. If I dare to give a credit to the film, it shows the fishiness of nuclear-as-a-clean-energy arguments by revealing that nuclear power and nuclear bomb are two sides of the same coin. But as long as it follows with an idea that “thus good guys must have a control on the nuclear”, the credit is completely marred.

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