Close to fifty science fiction/fantasy fans attended a lively and informative panel about land mine clearance (Are you as smart as a rat?) on August 17 at the 69th World Science Fiction Convention in Reno, Nevada. I moderated. My co-panelists included Todd Brun, Howard Davidson and Dave O'Neill.
Wars end but buried land mines become the surprise gifts that keep on giving. Angola alone has six million hidden, unexploded ordnance. Furthermore, it costs around $3 to plant a land mine and $300-$1,000 to get rid of it. Rats have been trained to sniff out land mines but additional low-tech detection solutions are needed.
A number of audience members at this WorldCon panel expressed surprise regarding the immense scope of the land mine problem worldwide, which involves approximately 70 countries and possibly as many as 110 million unexploded land mines. I hope other science fiction/fantasy cons will hold similar panels and encourage people to put on their current and futuristic thinking caps. One small idea could potentially prompt one large step for mankind.
Share your ideas about land mine clearance via the Land Clearing Landmines Wordpress blog (http://mindsclearinglandmines.wordpress.com) or Facebook page.
Laurel Anne Hill (Author of "Heroes Arise")
Causes Laurel Hill Supports
Winter Nights Shelter and Shelter, Inc.