“Those who are killing the planet won’t change because they feel guilty or drop their addiction to consumerism or find God, or Nature. They don’t change after seeing the fear in factory farmed or vivi-sected animal’s eyes (or in the eyes of the poor) or feeling wild creatures drift away from them. It doesn’t suddenly dawn on them that the landbase deserves better treatment. Because of their self-focus, combined with the many rewards they get from controlling those around them, these abusers change only when they have to, so the most important element in creating a context for change in those who are killing the planet is to place them in situations where they have no other choice. Otherwise, it is highly unlikely that they will ever change their behavior. No other choice. None.” --Derrick Jensen
The death toll of the Great Smog of 1952 was shocking. Pollution, which many had thought was just a part of city life, had killed 12,000 people. It was time for change. It was the black smoke that had caused the most damage. Thus, in 1956 and 1968, Parliament passed two Clean Air Acts, which began the process of eliminating the burning of coal in both people's homes and in factories.”
I had hopes that the events of 9/11 and the universal outpouring of sympathy by the world might create a climate of greater understanding of the consequences of our imperialism. I had hopes that this act might result in a humbling of sorts for our leaders. I had hopes that long stifled warning voices calling for a reassessment of a foreign policy based solely on self-interest might finally be heard.
Unfortunately just the opposite came to pass. I have hopes that the recent difficulties with the Japanese reactors can be a wake up call for humanity and the industry’s false claims of safe nuclear power. I had similar hopes concerning the events at Three Mile Island and
In London the fog related deaths had to finally reach a number that could no longer be ignored and the British government literally had no choice but to finally began passing stringent environmental laws to protect its citizens.
It seems we have yet not had a large enough number of people killed by guns in this country to create an effective ban or regulation. Until now we have not had a disaster large enough to create a universal ban on nuclear power generation.
I have hopes this will change. How can we convince the nuclear industry, their lapdog regulators and insurance underwriters that the time has come when they really have no choice in the matter and we have finally reached the end of the Age of the Atom?
If we are a conscious species (which by now I have begun to seriously doubt) we may someday see Japan as the place where the Atomic Age began under the shadow of the terrible twin clouds of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and where the evil myth of “peaceful use” was finally drowned beneath the tsunami waves that destroyed their reactors.
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|Timothy V. Gatto|