Jan 9, 2009 | 10
One of the great things about working at the longest-continually published magazine in the U.S.—born in 1845—is thumbing through the archives. Our environment reporter, David Biello, was thumbing through some bound volumes earlier this week, and he came across a gem from our February 1947 issue.
The piece, which has no byline, is quite timely, despite being more than 60 years old. It hits two of today's growing crises square on—energy and the economy—by suggesting a replacement for silver and gold monetary standards:
That's right. Less than two years after the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, someone thought it would be a good idea to back currency with a radioactive substance. So instead of gold, Fort Knox would be filled with uranium. Or, today, maybe Yucca Mountain, the proposed nuclear waste storage facility in Nevada, could do double duty as a currency standard warehouse. (Worth noting: The "ultrasecure uranium warehouse of the future" is in Oak Ridge, Tenn., just a few hundred miles from Fort Knox in Kentucky.)
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