Friday, September 12, 2003

Edward Teller's "contributions"


Edward Teller, 95, physicist and tireless Cold War advocate for nuclear
armaments, died this past week.

He was renown as “the father of the H-bomb.” When I was a grad
student in Berkeley during the middle 1960s, I lived briefly in an apartment
just across the street from Teller and would occasionally see him ambling
down the path to his car. I had to suppress an urge to yell out “Hi, Dad!”

Beyond his work on the atomic and hydrogen bomb projects, Teller is
best known for (1) destroying the career of his friend Robert Oppenheimer
during 1954 government hearings on Oppenheimer’s security clearance
and (2) boosting the idea of the “Star War” missile defense shield to
Ronald Reagan and anybody foolish enough to take the plan seriously.

If any of the devices Teller built and promoted are ever put into use, we
can kiss the planet goodbye. The man may have accomplished some good
during his lifetime, but I am unaware of it.


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