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EP55: Mutually-Assured Dysfunction (ft. Jessica Hurley & Mark Winfield)

The war in Ukraine has brought nuclear technology to the forefront. There’s the threat of nuclear weapons, and the danger of nuclear power plants melting down under military fire. Yet, the nuclear industry also promises to deliver us from our dependency on fossil fuels. It’s an interesting duality with nuclear: is it the end of the world, or is it salvation? Professor Jessica Hurley, author of Infrastructures of Apocalypse: American Literature and the Nuclear Complex, walks us through the history of nuclear dystopia and nuclear utopia, and how they have always been closely connected.

Also: happy Earth Day, even though we are not feeling particularly optimistic about the state of our planet. The war in Ukraine has brought environmental politics front-and-centre, with countries racing to extricate themselves from Russian oil and gas. Yet, in Canada, we are seeing industry push to ramp up dirty tar sands production. How will the war change energy policy? We wonk out and get into the nitty-gritty of the state of climate policy with, Mark Winfield. 

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Darts and Letters is hosted and edited by Gordon Katic. The lead producer is Jay Cockburn. Our managing producer is Marc Apollonio. Our theme song and music was created by Mike Barber, our graphic design was created by Dakota Koop, and we have marketing support from Ian Sowden.

This is a production of Cited Media. This episode received support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. It is part of a series of episodes on the politics of technology and techno-utopian thinking. We had research advising from Professor Tanner Mirrlees at Ontario Tech University and Professor Imre Szeman at the University of Waterloo.

Darts and Letters is produced in Toronto, which is on the traditional land of Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat Peoples.

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