Tate Ulsaker, an environmentalist living in the Nelson area in New Zealand joins the program.
Tate starts the program by asserting how real this phenomenon actually is: "This is happening, and it is a reflection of the times that we live in. Now, people who have an income of a couple of million dollars which is expendable are casting an eye out, as their peers have already done, for places with bunkers or places to put bunkers. For those of us who live in New Zealand; a relatively small country with a population of 4.6 million people, it is very disturbing that people come here to weather the storm of a nuclear nightmare…"
The ‘doomsday bunkers' could also be used in the case of widespread civil unrest. Tate comments: "Yes, this has been written about quite a lot, and many people have commented that America, for example, is heading towards a Russian Revolution scenario….There is the possibility of the outbreak of diseases, there is the climate chaos which is coming up, and there are the companies which are producing these multi-million dollar bunkers, and they are working overtime…."
There is also an interesting religious side to the appearance of such bunkers, as host John Harrison points out. Fundamental Christians could view having a place in a bunker akin to buying your own ticket to salvation on Judgement Day. Tate comments: "I have no problem with ‘traditionalist' thinking, but there is an aspect of their thinking that can get very one sided, and unfortunately that has taken a hold of some Christian communities, as well as other communities…."
Tate mentions that ‘Rising S' has reportedly shipped 35 bunkers to New Zealand. That's just one company, but the local press in New Zealand has not reported this in great detail, and owners are not keen to disclose information about where these bunkers are. "It is hard to get data on this," Tate says, and the question of why New Zealand has become a popular location for ‘doomsday bunkers' is discussed. "I guess these guys want to feel safe, they have a lot of money, they play one up on each other with their cars and their vacation homes. Now they have their ‘bunker homes' in New Zealand with a pool, which is underground…" The idea that a bunker in such a country as remote as New Zealand could actually save your life when a nuclear war could break out in 10 minutes and it might take 10 hours to get to your bunker, is of course rather ridiculous, which does make one seriously wonder if the human race has gone insane. "It is insane," Tate says. "There are underground cities as well, that are in mountains in the US, this is from declassified information. The government has these contingency plans, so it may be a trickle-down effect of this psychology. We need to fix the world, we don't need to wreck it for profit and have to defend it against actions that we take to prove our financial standing against a fellow human being… We need to look far and wide for the solutions and start dealing with the actual issues rather than this nonsense about putting a bunker underneath Ground Zero…"
All this can indeed be dismissed as a passing fad, but the more people buy bunkers, the more likely it is that nuclear warfare will be considered as a serious option, because bunkers will provide a way to protect key personnel, and facilities. "This is a valid point, we are already at a point where calculations have been made; nuclear strikes are seen as being a viable option according to the US military….The Cuban Missile Crisis is nothing in comparison to what could happen any day now, and I wonder how many risks per year we need to endure before we start to really look at the problems."
Meanwhile, the locals in New Zealand regard the bunker craze as nonsense. Tate comments: "It's just more of this foreign thinking brought to the territory that makes no sense. The communities are relatively small and relatively sane, they've got problems that are local….It's not something that society thinks is a good idea, in fact that may also pay a part in people keeping it quiet because they come here with their big money and they mostly keep it quiet. Out of sight, out of mind…"
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