Thursday, December 22, 2011

Inspiring--light--TEDxAsheville - Leah Quintal - Beyond handouts in Haiti

This is a beautiful vision of what 'seemingly small' environmental and sustainable actions can do. Bringing light can change lives.

"Hold the light up high!"

This is the season of light... for Channukah, for Christmas, for all world religions.

It is the time to shine the "light up high."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fukushima Safety Level NOT SAFE!

Women Be Kind

always tangled

her eyes look
with
envy
or
her eyes look
with
disdain
or
her eyes look
with
pity


(oh criticism)
ism
ism
critic

why can't
women
be
kind
?

the sun comes up up
it is up up up
see the sun
sun the see
e.e.cummings
said
that
one
morning at
breakfast
see the sun
in us so
pretty

(please)
release
these
dark
dart
shots
will not I
dignify
them
with
nature
images
not not
remembering
are they
worth

see the sun
up up up up
so pretty
so very

waiting

the sun oh
wants
to
see
women
(in
a
dancing
circle)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Benefit for the Women's Anti-Nuclear Movement in Japan

Permanent Wave presents:

A Benefit for the Women's Anti-Nuclear Movement in Japan

WHEN: Thursday December 22nd, 8pm to 12am
WHERE: Big Snow Buffalo Lodge - 89 Varet Street, Brooklyn, NY 11206

WHAT: Live music, bake sale, video screening, flag-making workshop, speakers, calls for solidarity with women in Japan.

WHO: Permanent Wave (organizer) http://thepermanentwave.wordpress.com
BANDS: THE SUZAN, FIELD MOUSE, SPEEDY ORTIZ (mem. QUILTY), ME&MARS
$7, ALL AGES
Facebook

After 9 months, the ongoing nuclear crisis in Fukushima continues to haunt the lives of the people in Japan. Every day, reports indicate high levels of radioactivity in Northeast Japan, including the Tokyo Metropolis. The Japanese government is still withholding information, while failing to provide logistical and financial support for the people who need to move out of the area. Out of the 300,000 children in the Fukushima area, only 3,000 have been evacuated. Kids are still playing in schoolyards that are highly contaminated. People are trapped, and forced to live with radiation without knowing the consequences for their health or the possible effects on their bodies.

In the U.S., however, much of the information has ceased to come to public attention and been almost forgotten after the initial shock of the disaster, when many of us “prayed for” Japan's recovery. In the meantime, radioactive rain has contaminated the people and the land. There is no return to normalcy in Japan.

In this ongoing struggle, women are standing up to oppose the Japanese government’s suicidal logic. In particular, mothers have bravely organized counteractions against the authorities who are abandoning children to be irradiated. They have staged countless demonstrations, both in the form of street action and in the form of negotiation with government officials, in order to protect the lives of children.

As a feminist art collective, Permenent Wave is going to host a benefit event to support women's efforts and learn about the situation that we don't see in the media. The event will feature The Suzan, an all-female rock band from Japan, as well as local female-fronted groups. There will be a special holiday bake sale and speakers who will talk about the current movement in Japan, and the feminist issues within. The proceeds from this event will be sent to a DIY-group Human Recovery Project in Tokyo, a group of musicians and activists who have been working in support of the people in the affected area.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sandra Steingraber Speaks Out Against Fracking: Waste Hearing 12-12-11

Monday, December 12, 2011

Starhawk at Occupy this Week in NYC


Starhawk's Schedule:


Mon. Dec 12, 2:00 – 5:00  Collaborative Groups, training by Starhawk.  We will look at issues of power, group conflict and facilitation for horizontal organizing.  Location: 16 Beaver St.

Tues. Dec 13, 10:00 AM – 1:00Deconstructing Empire, Building for the Long Haul offered by Starhawk and Lisa Fithian this session will explore strategic nonviolent action; how we might topple the pillars of empire and build a sustainable and liberating culture while doing it!  Location: 16 Beaver St.

Tues. Dec 13, 3:00 – 5:00,  Healing Communities: Teach-In and Ritual with Starhawk.   Understanding how trauma affects our work and how we might begin the healing needed to free us all.  Location:  Liberty Plaza

Read more here:

http://www.terraspheres.com/blogs/starhawk-at-occupy-new-york-city-this-week

Sunday, December 11, 2011

wild things

she wanted to watch him dance
like the elephants
his teeth were capped very white
as he swayed back and forth

she did not dress to please him
so wild and unkempt
her belly too soft
her body too old

she saw he still loved her

this earth this wounded earth
reeled again from another blow

this earth watched its heart ache
each horn ripped from itself

this earth

she wanted to stretch
across African
hills now enclosed

this earth no longer
this aching
this aching old lover's heart

a baby elephant watched
her mother
her father
the wounded
the blood
the tusk

just as the last tree falls





(Inspired by Deena Metzger)


Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Call to the Environmental Movement and responding to Enough is Enough

Helen Caldicott, pediatric physician, mother of the Nuclear Freeze Movement and founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, writes that "Enough is Enough" for nuclear power after Fukushima in her New York Times Op Ed piece on Dec 2, 2011

In the meantime, it turns out a core meltdown ate two thirds of the way through a containment vessel in Fukushima.  Tepco says "their latest calculations showed the fuel inside the No. 1 reactor at the tsunami-hit plant could have melted entirely, dropping its casing and melting through the concrete containment vessel."  This information comes now after repeated lies and denials since March 11 by Tepco and the Japanese government.  As many have been saying all along, particularly mothers and concerned citizens in the Fukushima region, the nuclear disaster was and is much worse than the Japanese government or Tepco want(ed) to reveal.

Another possible cover-up: what about the story of Masao Yoshida , Chief of Operations of the Fukushima-Daiichi plant and the 'hero' who led the fight to bring the nuclear stations under control post 3-11?  He has just been hospitalized for 'unknown health reasons'?  Why such secrecy?  Could it be-- after nine months of working in dangerous radioactive conditions, that Yoshida is ill because of exposure to these lethal materials?  Do we have another cover up here, too?  What are the poor Japanese people to believe?  Why not just tell the truth, one way or another?  Could it be that by admitting Yoshida has some radiation-related sickness, the government and Tepco would find themselves with hundreds of thousands of hysterical Fukushima residents on their hands who might demand, with no uncertainty, that they be evacuated?

Meanwhile, the US press remains largely mum about Fukushima, about nuclear energy in general. I wonder why it is that most Americans don't care or notice, or why they believe that our own nuclear reactors are safe. 

There is some temporarily heartening news in England.  Surprisingly, the House of Lords--determined recently that building new nuclear plants might not be such a good idea! They have put off building a proposed 10 new plants for a few years because, the plans "lack credibility" and economic efficiency.  England has been staunchly pro-nuclear since the 1950s, so this is one hopeful sign. 

Daily I ask myself--how to energize the general public on our environmental crises, how to wake them up to the dangers of nuclear power and weapons?

It's true, there are so many environmental problems before us. Probably it is just too daunting for many folks to take it all in.  It is heartening that Americans have begun to wake up to Tar Sands, Fracking,  and Toxics issues--and with Occupy, political awareness and concern in general is most certainly on the rise.  Yet Climate Change and Global Warming  remain ignored or dismissed by our government, as we are seeing in worldwide climate negotiations right now in Durban.   

It isn't just the general public or the US government, though.  The environmental movement in general (other than Greenpeace) has been relatively quiet, on nuclear, too.  Why anti- nuclear power activism has not become a core project of the environmental movement right now, remains surprising to me.  Maybe the key players are tired--spread thin enough already?  Josh Fox, Sandra Steingraber and McKibben must be exhausted.  Or is it that environmentalists are so compartmentalized (perhaps deliberately?); perhaps they focus on their own separate projects and in doing so hope to accomplish much in that single area?  It's true, it is hard to take on everything, and we do need specialists who really know their stuff.  Or is it that the global warming people--buttressed by the pro-nuclear power James Hansen-- believe that nuclear power is a solution to global warming?  Have the climate folks divided the movement to some degree? 
 
We need to come together.  Environmentalists need to be on the same team.  We have enough to do trying to keep the general public on target and our politicians voting for the earth.

What do we do to wake people up to the dangers of nuclear power?  What do we do to change our ways in general--when we have so many environmental problems?  

The nuclear power issue is complex.  

It has to do with the military industry that has been brainwashing the world since the 1950s: Atoms for peace?  Yeah, right.

Nuclear power plants make plutonium and other horrible radioactive material.  Plutonium is used for nuclear bombs!  This is hardly peaceful.  Plutonium lasts for 250,000 years. We have tons of it sitting in pools throughout the U.S.  Some of these are open and exposed.  We have no means for safe disposal of this deadly material, and it sits just outside of metropolitan areas inhabited by millions --such as NYC.  These plants are accidents waiting to happen--earthquakes, terrorist attacks, engineering problems that can lead to meltdowns.  I, for one, don't like living 35 miles away from the equivalent of a possible nuclear bomb explosion.  I love New York, and I don't want to see my fellow New Yorkers poisoned and killed, or see my region turned into a sacrifice zone.

There is also the problem of visibility and know-ability with it all.  We come out of the Age of Enlightenment.  We want empirical proof.  We can't see toxins and radiation, so we think it can't be true that these poisons are responsible for our cancer epidemics, and a host of other diseases.  In the case of global warming, unless you're living near glaciers, the rise in temperature seems remote.  Okay, we've got a lot of storms.  So what's a little wind and rain, a tornado, some flooding?   

Look, we're all junkies. We like our comfortable modern lives.  We're used to it and its all we know.  We like our air conditioning, central heat, cars, airplanes, food flown in from all over the planet, computers, and shopping malls.  We like believing the status quo and thinking everything is peachy keen.  We're all addicts who don't want to admit we're sick, and yet on some level we know that all this addiction might not be so good for us in the long run.  But, like addicts, we're so stuck, so self-destructive, so selfish, so narcissistic, that we don't care.  We just want instant satisfaction now: more, more, more. 

How do we get the monkey off our back?  We need to figure it out, and fast, because while we're shooting up and nodding off,  time is running out.

Yes, we have to get off of this addiction and fast.  We have to. 

Those of us who might be more aware and willing to get off the train or wagon--so to speak-- will have to learn a new way and create a polluters/consumers AA program for those are who are still lost.


We need a plan, we need a vision, and now.    

Some of us are better about getting off the drug than others.  It's our job to get to work to help each other. 

First of all, I think we need an environmental movement that will unify all of our core "issues" into one umbrella. And, no, we can't work within the current ideology--because the capitalist system feeds off of our addiction.  It's our dealer.  It likes us addicted.  

We need a plan that incorporates a sustainable and unified environmental vision.  Such a vision would include a new way of being and thinking--a new sustainable ideology that is child-centric, earth-centric, and future generation-centric.  How to begin to make this vision happen: anti-nuclear groups and the rest of the environmental movement need to work together to create 'solutions' to the enormous problems that face us.  Trading oil for nuclear, or coal for nuclear, won't end well.  Each of these forms of energy produces its own set of catastrophic results.  We must shift to renewables: wind, solar, and geothermal. We have to look forward beyond the immediate moment--what will the earth look like in 100 years?  200 years? 500 years?  How do we want to leave our home for our ancestors?   

We need a strong and loving center for our environmental movement that will hold, and agreement among environmentalists to work together peacably, honorably, and lovingly.  We need a roundtable council that includes everyone--even those who do not have voices--nonhuman species, biotic and nonbiotic-- and the dismissed/ignored/oppressed indigenous folk who know so much about earth and nature.  These latter groups have much to teach Westernized and post-modern humans about earth care.  

Environmental groups need to be careful not to be divisive or to undermine one another.  We need revolutionary thought that embraces all living beings.  In the spirit of Occupy and Gandhi and King, we need love. That love can be firm, but never hostile or violent.  The reformation of our addiction must come with respect and validation for the earth and all beings.  Saving the earth, preserving the beauty and wealth of this planet's resources, must come before economic profit.  This new vision needs to be a national and international priority.

This plan must include the precautionary principle. We must remember that we all live downstream, as Steingraber teaches us.  What we pollute will end up right back inside us.  Always.  We need to put safety and preservation before profit.     

Here are some simple and immediate solutions that we should promote now: reduction of over all consumption and waste; widespread implementation of solar, wind and geothermal; improved recycling methods for every possible waste product; widespread construction of new and energy efficient rapid transit systems; and the promotion of strong and unified community living with localized production and consumption.  Educate, educate, educate.  One thing I know from teaching college: fewer people understand environmental degradation than we realize (those of us who know, already know). Once my students start reading and learning, their minds are forever changed. 

Education is key.  With increased education, anything is possible.  We need new inventions in almost every area of our lives to increase efficiency and less waste.

We need to work with and educate educators, religious leaders and groups, civic organizers and groups, and politicians.  We need to encourage environmentalists to become politicians and get them in office.

We junkies need help.  We need crisis hot lines.  We need detox centers.

Get outside in nature.  Get active.  

Activists need to articulate plans for renewable living loudly and clearly to the American public and the world.  We must drown out  the lies of corporate industries that have only one thing in mind: profit.  They'll say anything to make money.  They do not care if it kills us.  If you think I'm crazy, remember the cigarette industry?  Enough said.

Let the fun begin.  What shall we call this AA?  Eco-cide Addicts Anonymous?  

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Days like these

So, today, one of my students grumbled and said, "I thought I was signing up for a literature and film class, but there's so much activism." I said, "Well, what are you going to do? I didn't plan it this way. There's a revolution going on this semester. Everyone we're reading is on the streets marching. Are we going to sit in here and talk about their work, or get out there and join them?"
What was our reading and viewing list?  Starhawk, Bill McKibben, Terry Tempest Williams, Sandra Steingraber, Gasland, On the Beach, Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry (and lots more).... I mean....  we had to go to Occupy and the Fracking and Tar Sands rallies and DC and NYC.  Most of my students were so fired up.  They went to Trenton on their own, and to the Tar Sands protest outside the white house on their own, and to the anti-nuke rallies on their own.
Another student--this was the real kicker, countered, "oh no, the activism has been great.  I am a Republican. This course woke me up and I can't go back to sleep. This is about saving the earth.  Environmentalism has nothing to do with political parties!  My husband doesn't recognize me anymore.  The people I talk to don't get it right away, but then they do once I explain it to them..." She's a volunteer fire woman who has been out there stomping against Fracking to the fire departments in Long Island.  When her fire chief said she couldn't talk about Fracking because it's "too political," she told him, "That's bull. When you guys talk Republican politics, that's not 'politics'?--but something environmental is too 'political'?  No way!"  Today, the fire was in her eyes....  
Maybe she's the next Erin Brockavitch.  I would not be surprised!
Days like these, I know I've found my calling.  I'm in love.
So, whoever said reading books or watching films has to be passive?  Many of the these writers and filmmakers I teach make you want to jump up and move the world.   Josh Fox, for example, has a way of making his viewers into activists.  I remember listening to him speak at a conference with a lot of flowery environmentalists who were waxing poetic about saving the earth, and he just said, "I think we need activism."  McKibben has jumped off his own page. So have writers like Noami Klein, Noami Woolf, Sandra Steingraber,  and others.  Reading Starhawk makes me cry.  These days her words in Fifth Sacred Thing are so deeply prescient.  May we come to build a village such as she envisions... Occupy has that loving utopian spirit. 
All I want to do is march, write, teach.  (oops, and be a mom, too)  
 
 

Addendum

400 years later
a man with a camera
tells her 
to stop eating
to start eating 
to cover herself
to wear nothing 
to wear everything
to stop talking
to talk more
to wear make up
to wear no make up
to shrivel
to expand 
to work hard
to stop working
to clean
to clean better
to lay this way
to stop lying 
to hide at night
to come out
to hate herself
to feel nothing
He then ate her
He was looking for a feminist

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Victories....and then some leftovers

Some good things to be thankful for on the environmental front:

The US President put off the Tar Sands and the Keystone Pipeline XL decision--which Bill McKibben thinks will effectively kill the plan.  Thanks to the thousands who have worked tirelessly on this issue at and with 350.org, a major victory was won.  Thank you, in particular, to the leader on this one-- Bill McKibben (author of The End of Nature and Eaarth)--and thank you to all the activists!

The vote in Trenton, NJ, set to take place by the Delaware River Basin Commission on November 21, 2011, to allow for Fracking in the Delaware river region was postponed indefinitely-- thanks to the Delaware Governor Markell's letter of opposition to the commission stating that he would not vote in favor of the drilling.  New York was opposed as well.

For this amazing action--a huge thanks goes to to Josh Fox -- the brilliant filmmaker of Gasland and tireless activist, for alerting the American public to the dangers of hydraulic fracking and spearheading "fractavisim"!  Gasland is quite possibly the most important environmental film ever made--it has woken our nation up to the horrors of gas drilling and will save millions of lives.  Thanks, also, to all the impassioned activists who have joined this battle--including the actor Mark Ruffalo, writer and biologist Sandra Steingraber, Bill McKibben, and the thousands of other activists who worked and work to save the water and lives in our region!  The fight is not over yet, but we're on our way...

Fall, 2011, my Stony Brook students and all of us have experienced revolution in action--Occupy--energizing the environmental movement and changing the status quo.  Many of my students went to the rallies for Tar Sands, Anti-Nuclear power and weapons, Occupy and Fracking, and they have written letters to the politicians, called and protested, and spread the environmental word in a myriad of ways. In all my years of teaching, I have never seen such positive action...  It is so heartening to be teaching environmental literature and film at this time in history.

Marches, teach ins, sit ins in New York City and many cities throughout the U.S. have seen the revolution come alive. What the Occupy movement makes so clear: the sinking of our economy and the middle class, the growing rise in poverty, homelessness and hunger, the demise of our educational programs, the high cost and inaccessibility of medical benefits for so many, the destruction of our environment, and the lack of "community and connection"-- throughout the US, are systemic and interconnected crises.  Capitalism benefits the 1% and too many of the 99% are in desperate straits, including planet earth.  We've become nation of shoppers-- not creators, doers, thinkers, lovers, or good citizens.  All that is changing now.  Thank you to all the Occupiers who are working so hard, so joyously, and with love to build a more unified, healthy, and safe world and way of thinking for all!  Unfortunately, and very sadly, police and University officials in some rallies (such as NYC, U.C. Davis and Penn State, among others) have responded with violence.  This is horrific and unacceptable.

Fukushima and Nuclear Power/Radiation: the suffering and much denial continues in Japan by Tepco and the Japanese Government, and many Americans are clueless--we have 23 of the same nuclear plants here.  GE MARK 1.  Whistle blowers (engineers who worked for GE) Dale Bridenbaugh et al warned GE about the design flaws of the GE Mark 1 in the 1980s.  Just a few google searches and I learned this easily.  Why isn't the New York Times broadcasting this?   What are we waiting for?  Another accident here or elsewhere?   Why don't Americans know this?  Why are we not afraid right here in the U.S.A?

Notice how high cancer rates are since the 1950s.  What changed post WWII?  Two major industries were born and have taken root with a vengeance: chemical and nuclear. Since the mid-twentieth century, these industries have been producing and polluting a lethal combination of toxic materials.  Our government does not control them, they control our government.  Our bodies and planet are filled with this lethal combination of contamination and it continues to get worse.  No wonder we're all so sick.

The nuclear industry will tell you there is no factual basis for linking 'much' cancer to low level exposures to nuclear leaks, etc, but this is because they don't want you to connect the obvious dots.... of course lower level radiation causes cancer.   That is why we stopped giving x-rays except when they are absolutely necessary.  That is why we don't x-ray fetuses.  Epidemiologists, doctors, and scientists know this and have known this since the 1950s.  Read the seminal work and studies of Dr. Alice Stewart, Dr. Rosalie Bertel, Dr. Helen Caldicott, Barry Commoners, Linus Pauling, Joe Mangano, among many others.  The nuclear industry downplays the dangers of radiation leaks and exposures, double-speaks it, and creates doubt.  Doubt, as in the climate change debate, causes Americans to get very sleepy and confused--which is precisely what the nuclear industry wants.  Don't worry be happy.  'Clean nuclear energy', as in 'clean coal' is baloney.  Neither are clean!  Exactly how much radiation causes cancer, in whom, and when--is hard to prove, because scientists can't put people (or babies, children or pregnant women--who are the most vulnerable) in a laboratory and test them over the long term for low level exposures--so we don't have nice and neat peer reviewed studies on the subject to show the precise links.  Just because we don't have exact numbers, however, does NOT make nuclear safe.

The people in Fukushima and many areas of Japan right now are, therefore, guinea pigs. 

So, along with one of my heroes, Sandra Steingraber (author of Living Downstream), I'd rather that our children live in safety and precaution.  I'd rather be safe than sorry.  Animals can smell/sense danger--they don't need a data set or computer chart to prove to them their children are not safe.  Mothers and fathers smell it right now in Japan.  We need to heed this horrific event in Fukushima, take warning, and take action all over the world.

Stay tuned with the Safe Chemicals Act 2011, set to overhaul our chemical safety regulations in the US.  Legislation was introduced in April and November.  We'll see what the outcome is.  To learn more and lend your voice, read about the bill introduced by Senators Lautenberg, Schumer, Boxer, Klobucher, here.

My students did projects on food just before Thanksgiving.... timely, but now, how to eat or buy anything. I forked out $80 for a local turkey and I was told it walked around outside, ate healthy food, and had a somewhat acceptable life for a turkey while it lived.  Laugh, but watch a few movies on factory farming and you'll never feel the same way about eating meat again!  I think it is time to go back to being a vegetarian.

Noticing it is way too warm outside this holiday.  I like warm weather, but  New York at 70 degrees in  on Thanksgiving?   As the nun says in the Madeleine stories when she senses mischief is afoot, "something is not right."   Until last year, Thanksgiving was always frigid.  Climate Change.  Not good.

Tomorrow great environmental rally in NYC with all the big names speaking--Fox, McKibben, and Greg Palast....


Climate Day Rally. November 27 @NYC Washington Square, 2pm-5pm  
Followed by a march to Liberty Square
Investigative journalist Greg Palast will prosecute BP for ecocide.
Day will also feature speakers Josh Fox and Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org

I'll be there...


Time to go for a hike!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

How is my body like the land?


A man lies on top of 
woman/land
drinking and digging
sinking himself
planting his seed
Andrew Marvell
  My America
John Donne
   our jewels
Shakespeare
   island madness
John Smith
   virginia’s girl
Pizarro
   gold and Malinche
Our breasts are mountains
Our blood/sea
Our womb/garden
Our hymen/boulder

400 years later
Industrial woman/body
blood fills with cancer
neck
spine
heart

--December, 2008

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Japanese Women As They Complete Their Sit-In In Tokyo



Aileen Mioko Smith sent me this photograph of the final moments of the protest this week in Tokyo.


Alieen writes that the people in the photo above are saying:

Women Don't Need Nuclear Power!
女は原発いらないぞ~う!
Women Will Protect the Children!
女は子どもを守るぞ~う!
Women Will Change the World!
女は世界を変えるぞ~う!

The wool ball at in the center of the circle was woven by Fukushima women. It got so
long they encircled METI with it. Then women from all of Japan
continued to weave it until it became a huge ball. On the last day it was
changed into the earth and was born at 10:30am, Saturday, November 5th, 2011.
It is now traveling around Japan and will circle
the entire earth.

You can read more about the protest here.

In addition: please sign the petition to save the children of Fukushima.  The mothers want the Japanese government to evacuate the children from dangerous areas of Fukushima city.  Please help them by signing on.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Delivering the Petition to the Japanese consulate in NYC--Stop Spreading the Contaminated Rubble





Oh the things we can do.  I stood there with a bull horn on the streets of NYC saying that the children of Fukushima need to be evacuated and the transporting, burning and dumping of contaminated waste into Tokyo Bay must be halted.  I've never imagined doing such a thing before, but it sure felt right.  Right on the steps of the Japanese Consulate!

Tomoi Zeimer, Priscilla Star and I went up to the offices of the Japanese consulate on 49th and Park, but they would only listen to us in the hallway. Two male "robots" as Tomoi called them, stared at us while we read the petition to stop spreading the contaminated rubble.  Then I launched in on why the children need to be evacuated beyond the twelve mile limit and how children are so much more vulnerable to getting cancer than men --and the standard by which "acceeptable" levels are determined are based on adult male bodies.  What craziness.  A fetus is far more susceptible and vulnerable to the dangers of radiation than a grown man.  Who thinks these things up?  I'm no medical genius, but these pregnant women and little kids and babies must be protected... Seems more than obvious.

Well, the Japanese male robots who work for the consulate just stood there.  They were expressionless.  They would have let us speak for hours.  I don't even know if they speak English.  They uttered no words.

A Japanese news station filmed us.  Bianca Jagger has delivered her petition in London.  Kim Roberson is delivering the petition in San Francisco on Nov. 7  at the Japanese Consulate, 50 Fremont St., San Francisco, at 9:30 am.  A bunch of people all over the world are doing the same.  You can see a short film of our afternoon here:

http://www.oneworldnonukes.org/One_World_No_Nukes/OCCUPY_Japanese_Consulate.html

Here is a great video of the Japanese women who are protesting right now for their children in Tokyo.  There are sit-ins and peaceful protests taking place.  Watch here:

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/news-and-blogs/campaign-blog/send-your-message-of-solidarity-to-japanese-w/blog/37467/

Breaking News:  This just in From Kim Roberson who delivered the petition today in San Francisco:


Hi everyone,

Sorry for the delay but I was sending our press release to the AP desk here in SF and following up with more info to the news station who filmed us this morning.  I am assured that they will cover the story tonight on the news, and possibly a further story soon.  Hopefully the AP will pick this up as a national story since FFAN was hard at work today on both coasts, with one group in SF presenting Tomoi's petition, plus Diane D'Arrigo and Cindy Foulkers presenting letters to Senator Feinstein and Boxer's top aides during meetings in DC.  This happened almost simulataneously, PLUS Tomoi was being interviewed on local radio here.  It felt synergistic for sure, in a good way!

Some details of our meeting, Tomoi your petition was presented this morning to Mr Iwata, Consul at the Japanese Consulate office.  The experience was one that none of us here will ever forget.  Mr. Iwata was very cordial and invited us into a room which had three men lining one wall and one man sitting next to him.  Present also were activists Leslie de Taillandie, activist and author Cecile Pineda, activist and artist Kafre James, activist and artist Rachel Gertrude Johnson, activist and filmmaker Marybeth Brangan and yours truly were all present (Jim Heddle interviewed us all however was not given a pass into the meeting).  I'll write in more detail soon of the actual exchanges but suffice to say that Mr. Iwata at one point had to force back tears as he spoke of his grandfather who, at 92, survived the earthquake however died in the tsunami.  Rachel printed the petition in beautiful blue parchment paper and tied with a string and two yellow rose buds. We also delivered 18 yellow roses and 10 large sunflowers.  We conveyed our condolences but were also firm in telling Mr. Iwata that the incineration will prove to be disasterous.  He told us that he will contact the Tokyo office to convey our concerns.
My son is pretty active right now, need to go, but hope at least that this at least gives you an idea of our day. 
take care,

Kim

Mama power!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Save the children of Japan from radiation- Worldwide petition led by Bianca Jagger

New York City, NY - An international event is taking place on Wednesday November 2 , 2011. A
petition is being presented to Japanese Consulates and Embassies worldwide.

Remember Tomoi Zeimer and her beautiful baby whom I blogged about a little while ago?  She's been working on her petition to stop the shipping of contaminated rubble to Tokyo (and burning and dumping it in Tokyo Bay).  The petition also appeals to the Japanese goverment to protect the children of Japan by evacuating them from highly radioactive areas. 

So, tomorrow,  November 2, 2011, Tomoi Zeimer, Priscilla Star and I are going to deliver this petition to the Japanese Consulate in NYC.  Bianca Jagger, Founder and Chair of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, has lent her support and endorsement, and she's hand-delivering the petition in London, to the Embassy of Japan at 101-104 Piccadilly.

A group of powerful women in San Francisco, led by Kim Roberson, will be delivering the petition and protesting there as well.

Other cities participating include Paris, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Munich, Osaka, Washington DC.

The nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has poisoned the air, food supply, soil and
water. Small children have been tested and found to be contaminated with radiation. The Japanese
Government has not evacuated these children, instead they have the raised the limits of exposure. The
petition also addresses the spread of radioactive contamination. Tokyo has officially agreed to accept
500,000 tons of radioactive disaster rubble. In a matter of days the first shipment of 1,000 tons of
radioactive rubble will be delivered to Tokyo to be burned and dumped into the Tokyo Bay.

The world must insist the Japanese government protect the people, not the corporation TEPCO. Two academic journal reports released this month find that the radiation fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident is bigger than that reported by the Japanese government and up to 30 times the amount stated by TEPCO.

In New York City the petition will be delivered to the Consulate-General of Japan at 3pm, located at
299 Park Ave, New York, NY. A peaceful sit-in will take place in front of the building from 11AM to
5PM.

New York City residents greatly concerned about the Indian Point nuclear plant which is located
only 25 miles from the Big Apple will also be in attendance. Residents have voiced concerns about the
accident prone facility and the similarities between TEPCO and the Entergy Corporation in regard to
irresponsible management and the failure to meet required safety measures. Legal contentions against
Entergy have been filed in New York State regarding the relicensing of the aging plant for 20 years
beyond its engineered life.  More information is available at the official website for the cause: ShutDownIndianPointNow.org 

About the organizer of this event - One World No Nukes:  “Through the arts, we aim to raise
awareness regarding the devastation in Fukushima and the ongoing effects of radiation throughout
Japan and the world. Our efforts include art exhibitions, screenings, lectures and performing arts.”


Saturday, October 29, 2011

The GREEN MOVEMENT is ALIVE! Your presence is required!



There is so much energy in the Green Movement right now and there are many opportunities to make a difference.   

Here is a list of really important events that you can attend.  You are needed, wanted, invited.   It is fun, and it is important.  

Bill McKibben says we can't beat the corporations out with money (they have more than we'll ever have), but we can show up and stand up with our bodies and voices. We are the 99%.  We will be heard.  

CLIMATE JUSTICE DAY, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2011  at Occupy in NYC  

Please help build this movement and engage with activists.

Sunday's activities begin at 11AM inside the Atrium at 60 Wall Street (East of Broadway), Subway: # 2,3,4,5 to Wall St.

SCHEDULE: Climate Justice Day #1

11-12:30 Panel Discussion: (60 Wall St Atrium) Nightmare on Wall St: Capitalism and the Roots of the Ecological Crisis, Shut Down Indian Point
12:30-1:00 Lunch
TEACH-INs (Liberty Square, East Stairs, by Red Sculpture)
1:00-2:00 Mountain Top Removal/Coal Mining Tar Sands Action, Beehive Collective
2:00-3:00 Fracking UFA, Frack Action, Gasland, Clare Donohue
3:00-4:00 Nuclear Shut Down Indian Point, Todos Somos Japon, Eco-Logic, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition
4:00-5:00 Tar Sands Tar Sands Action
5:00-6:00 Renewable Energy NYU Prof. Lisa DiCaprio, Michael Roche
6:00-7:00 Closing Remarks / Next Steps Josh Fox, Joshua Kahn Russell, Ken Gale, Gusti Swartz


November 2, 3 pm NYC Japanese Consulate--anti-nuclear and #Occupy Event.  Stop the Spreading of Contaminated Rubble in Japan. 299 Park Ave # 19 New York, NY 10171-0025
A Japanese mother in the U.S. is organizing a protest to stop the spreading, incinerating and dumping of contaminated rubble in Tokyo Bay.  She is delivering a petition (with thousands of signatures on it) to halt this action to the Japanese Consulate.  The event is being staged as an Occupy protest.  On the same day, Bianca Jagger is carrying this petition to the Japanese Consulate in London, and a group being led by Kim Roberson (kimroberson@hotmail.com) are planning a similar action in San Francisco.  (If you wish to join or help Kim, feel frree to contact her directly).  Join us in this Occupy Protest in NYC.  I will be there!  Sign the petition to stop the spreading of contaminated rubble here

November 6:  Tar Sands Action Day in Washington DC: 
This is a critical Action!  We need you in D.C.!  


We will encircle the whole White House to ask President Obama to reject Keystone XL and live up to his promise to free us from the tyranny of oil. In doing so, we want to remind him of the power of the movement that he rode to the White House in 2008. This is bigger than any one person - President or no - and we will carry on, with or without him.                                                                                                  
We'll be getting started at around 2 pm, and finishing up early evening. We'll be carrying signs with Obama's own words to show him we haven't forgotten his promises.  Sign up here to the Tar Sands Action in DC to push President Obama to stop the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.  All the information you need is at this link.
November 21st Stop Fracking on the Delaware Action  (Trenton, NJ)
This is a crucial day for fracking legislation in the New York, NJ, and Delaware.  
November 21, 2011, the Delaware River  Basin Commission made up of four governors from New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania and a federal agent will meet in West Trenton to vote on whether or not to allow fracking in the Delaware River Basin, the drinking water source for over 15 million people in the region. This will immediately impact the drinking water of 1.5million people in Philadelphia. Be present on November 21!  9:15 AM — 12:00 PM, New Jersey War Memorial, 1 Memorial Drive Trenton, N.J. 
We need you there at 9:15 am to protest fracking.  There are buses and ride shares planned as explained in the following link:  If you want to go, sign up here
If you can't go to this action-- call, write letters, or sign the anti-fracking petition at this link (phone numbers and contact information are at this link as well).   Also, especially important for New York Residents, write a hand-written letter to Governor Cuomo at this link.  New York is in the brink of starting major fracking upstate, and this will pollute our water, air, and destroy beautiful upstate areas forever.  It will impact the water safety of NYC city and more.  Tell Cuomo you are opposed!  Hand-written letters are proven to make a much stronger impact on your politicians.  They view a hand-written letter as real vote.  Get others to write a letter, too!    

Monday, October 24, 2011

Risk

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Japan's children, radiation and women, and Blind


The powerful sci-fi short film, Blind, posted below, expresses the terrible sense of anxiety and trauma that the Japanese are experiencing about the radioactive contamination in Japan after 3/11 and the Fukushima  nuclear catastrophe.  The focus of the film is clearly on children and mothers. 

Notably, this issue of how to protect children and mothers from the radioactive contamination is hitting the Japanese most forcibly.

It is well known that fetuses and children are the most vulnerable to the dangers of radioactive contamination. Ionizing radiation harms children more because: "first, smaller body mass results in a higher dose from a given level of radiation; second, since a growing child's cells divide rapidly, their DNA is more exposed and vulnerable to damage from
radiation." 

A recent study has found that women are 50% more susceptible to getting cancer from radioactive exposure than men. "The data is startling; the fact that it has been un-reported, including by the National Academy itself, is shocking. The data shows a consistent fifty percent higher cancer incidence and also cancer death in women compared to men. A disproportionate impact
at that level is stunning. More research is warranted and action is needed now to ensure that the vulnerable are protected," said Mary Olson, NIRS Staff Biologist. "Let us be clear: radiation causes disease and death in men; the same rate of exposure causes more harm to women. The Precautionary Principle dictates that we protect first, study second." 

So, the fear for mothers and children is a very real and frightening one.  

Of major concern: The Japanese government has raised the "acceptable" levels of radioactive exposure and so many families have not been evacuated from areas that are known to be highly contaminated.  300,000 children in the Fukushima area are attending schools that are contaminated.  Families that leave these areas are not compensated for their losses (homes and jobs) and so many cannot afford to do so--and they remain.  Communities and families are divided about what to do and how to survive.

Now many hot spots are being discovered in Tokyo, and the Japanese government has a plan to spread contaminated rubble by moving it to Tokyo and other locations, incinerating and dumping it in Tokyo Bay.  Japanese mothers are distraught by this new plan and have been staging protests.  One Japanese mother, Tomoi Zeimer, who is strongly opposed to the incinerating and dumping of rubble in Japan, has  created a petition to demand that the government give up their plan.  Zeimer, along with many other green activists, believes that spreading the rubble, burning and dumping it will cause further contamination and endanger even more children.  Please sign her petition here and pass this urgent petition on to others!





Friday, October 21, 2011

Fracking the Finger Lakes: Speaker Sandra Steingraber



Great explanation of the geology of the Finger Lakes and what fracking will do to the landscape, water, and earth.

Monday, October 17, 2011

loss of friendship
(it ends with an angry email
such is post-modern life)


fall leaves fading colors
spiny skeletons remaining
there is the rage of
impatience
for/of others
when they do not
comply with your wishes
such sadness when others
do not give you what you
need or kiss for
such sadness when
you have been completely
misunderstood
when you open your heart
or body and hope
this will last, this kiss will stay
this friend will know us
just as they promised
but people are frail and
fractured
and speak
so many languages
and the walls between
are so thick
she says: you need a long leash
what strange words
'to be leashed to another'
the fall is coming on
then winter darkness
she says: the only women
who remain in love
are the cow-like ones
patient big thighs
heavy full udders
a scholar of the middle
east says it is a Jewish
thing: loss and betrayal
are the havdalah prayer
she says she regrets
the abortion and the child
who would have stayed
by her side

Friday, October 14, 2011

Helen Caldicott Interview October 2, 2011




I have wanted to interview Helen Caldicott for two years, ever since I began my deep interest and research on anti-nuclear issues.  Her name, image and ideas were part of my childhood.  Both of my parents admired and were inspired by her-- as they worked hard as activists on issues of nuclear disarmament and nuclear freeze in the 1970s and 1980s.

Fukushima brought Helen Caldicott to New York recently.  She spoke at the October 1, CAN anti-nuke rally, and again a week later at #Occupy #Wall Street.  During her visit,  I was fortunate to meet with Helen and video our talk.

Helen Caldicott is a medical doctor, mother of three, and grandmother of seven.  She is a renowned author, founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, and crusader for the safety of our planet.

Please listen to her moving and meaningful words.  She is a brilliant environmental advocate and courageous leader of the anti-nuclear movement.

I feel grateful and honored to have spent this time with her.

Thank you, Helen.

As the situation in Fukushima grows more complicated in Japan, environmentalists worldwide are becoming more and more alarmed about the safety of nuclear power plants.  In India there are massive protests to prevent the opening of new plants, Germany has vowed to shut down its nuclear plants,  Switzerland and Italy have vowed to stay away from nuclear power, French citizens are expressing much opposition to nuclear power, and U.S. anti-nuclear activists are working hard to shut down our old and leaky reactors (many of which are of the same design as the Fukushima reactors).  The radiation from Japan continues to spread around the country and the world.  On the recent radioactive hotspots in Japan, see http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/15/world/asia/radioactive-hot-spots-in-tokyo-point-to-wider-problems.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha22

In these troubled times, Helen's prophetic words are important to listen and take heed to.  We must protect our planet.

You can find this article and other work of mine at: http://www.terraspheres.com/planet/helen-caldicott-interview-october-2-2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The mothering dance

Last night: Yom Kippur is over.  I've fed a bunch of people and they've gone home and my daughter wants to curl up on the couch with me and watch a movie.  She puts on Salt.  She's a young teenager now, so it is 'sort of' okay for us to watch something violent.  I really don't like violent movies: even the violence in Harry Potter bothers me.  Maybe it was being raised by peaceniks.  Our typical favorites are girl movies like My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Raising Helen, and film versions of Jane Austen books.  My daughter still loves Cheaper By the Dozen.  I can't convince her to watch my old favorite Kate Hepburn movies and other classics yet.  I keep trying!

But we're hooked on Salt.

Was Angelina/Salt on the Russian side or the American?  We had to know.

Angelina/Salt kills everyone and, like spider woman, she dances down the inner walls of the elevator shaft, bounces around and out of crashing cars, flips out of planes-- and never dies or gets seriously injured.  Salt is a computerized-cartoon gumbie in a black wig.  She's lighter than air, loaded with weapons, and bloody-faced.  She just goes on killing and killing and I feel myself getting angrier and angrier.  I tell my daughter we should turn off the movie, but we have to know. Whose side is Salt on?  Salt goes on shooting, kicking, and cutting up men and it turns out she's going to stop the big bad Russians from starting a nuclear war. At the point at which they are in the situation room with the President, and he pulls out the "black box" and proceeds as if to destroy the planet, I cannot bear it.  I cannot watch.  My fear is far beyond the film, it fills every fiber of my being.  It hurts me in a visceral way.

How many bombs do we have aimed at Russia right now?  How many are aimed at us?  Far, far, too many--thousands upon thousands. Why? The cold ward is over.  It really, really angers me that the movie industry plays up such seriousness as entertainment.  Maybe they are they playing it up on purpose in order to stir a sense of American patriotic need for yet more bombs?  Has the military contributed to the making of the film?  I know it is a ridiculous theory, but I am furious that Hollywood makes potential nuclear war look like fun.  And, as a woman, Angelina should know better.

Life is not a video game, and yet it surely feels like it at times.

We've been watching all of this for so long.

We're all hyped up and scared, and yet not scared at all--numb, in denial, unable to feel anything unmediated by media, by technology.  I think we move around in this hyper-tense hyper-real space of electrical buzzing that keeps us perpetually on edge.  We have 900 friends online. We chat on the computer. We write emails all day.  How many people do we actually speak to or make direct eye contact with?  How do we measure connection?  Are we so terrorized by a fear of death--annihilation-- that we choose denial?

Do we feel anything?

Have we forgotten how to love?

I suppose I should speak for myself.

I just wish those bombs would go away--that the atom had not been split.  I wish for the mothers and children of Japan, that they didn't have to spend their days worried about thyroid cancer and leukemia, and broken DNA.

There are so many environmental crimes worldwide--too many to list here--and their impact on people, children, the poor, the indigenous--is so heartbreaking, appalling, shocking--and if we were to face it head on?  Most people can't, won't, don't.

Is this widespread cultural denial, this shutting down of one's heart, a form of eco-trauma?  I think so.

If we are in an ever-constant state of terror and avoidance--how can we feel anything?  If we don't feel anything, how will we do anything to change what we're afraid of?  By avoiding, denying, we remain passive, nonthinking, hyper-tense consumers.  (Yippee, let's run to the mall!)

So we turn to figures like Salt--she can flip around and nothing ever happens.  Her neck never breaks.  People die, but so what.  It's all 'not real'.

Still, I wish we could decommission all those nuclear bombs and power plants.  Move entirely to solar, wind, geothermal.  Stop drilling and fracking and poisoning.  Ride bikes, get rid of cars, develop a viable mass transit system.  Live in villages.  Slow down, spend less, live simply, and take care of each other with kindness and love.

Are these futile wishes?  I have to wish for them and envision a peaceful, beautiful planet and a happy people in a vibrant, toxically uncontaminated world--- a world where breast milk and amniotic fluid are not filled with hundreds or thousands of dangerous toxins.  A world where the frogs don't change genders because of the overload of hormone disrupters in ponds and rivers. A world where we don't need geiger counters when we go grocery shopping.  A world where cancer isn't the new cold.  A world where the word environmental "sacrifice zone" is not known.

My choice: to live in terror, or to transform that fear and join a movement to build something beautiful.

I'll work to build something beautiful.

Come join me.



Thursday, October 6, 2011

Green Tara

the the hyper-real the the
ding, pop, electronic crickets
irradiated child on top of
radioactive ash
dreams of falling skies falling
bridges of people falling
bridges of falling people
souls dead in faux castles
marching sleeping movies
dreams of America screaming
crossing bridges arising
(to) voices voices voices
Robert Thurman
praying for the enemy's joy
Dick Cheney suckling
(of) green tara merging
Japanese mothers merging
screening movies bombs
about bombs bombs bombs
under the covers with my mother
watching about after
movies of after of days
my mother of atoms
the blue eyes of Helen Caldicott
(on) my screen in her hotel room
asking about my cancer
on the streets in my books
the bull of death the bed of my father
moving seamlessly between
image/self/real black and white
hyper/real real/hyper
Are you hyper she asks me?
All this makes me hyper I say
ding, pop, electronic crickets
green tara speaks
sings awakes me no hand
America sings the river of death
weeps a body bag
no father no cry
no more no more
she will hold you if you pray
om tare tuttare ture soha
oh these rivers oh
oh wonder of what becoming
oh America of thee I weep
"oh, the times, they are a stranging"
everybody's marching at me now
can they see
can they see
all this from the heavens?



Monday, October 3, 2011

Mothers, the Children of Japan, Anti-Nuclear Rallies: Wake Up Americans!

Overwhelmed.  Exhausted.  I cannot think straight.  As a writer, as a mother, as a professor, I have to be able to think clearly. What to do first?  Write here?  Write my academic article on anti-nuclear mothers in real life and film?  Finish my book?  Write for the popular press?  Talk about it in my classroom?  March?  Protest on Wall Street?  What about all of the other environmental problems: fracking, toxics, tar sands, species extinction?  Ach!


In this piece, I want to share with you (among other things) the voices of the mothers and children of the Japanese Delegation. Sachiko Sato, a mother and organic farmer, and her children, Mina (13) and Yuuki (17), spoke in New York last week about their losses and the current disaster in Japan--their fears for the world at large.  They came here--to NYC--to the U.N.-- to be speak out against nuclear power.  The Japanese government is not listening, nor is the U.S government paying attention. You can watch and listen to the powerful testimonies of the Japanese Delegation here: http://politube.org/show/3285  This particular event took place on Friday, September 23, 2011.


I personally heard Sachiko and her children speak at the Gary Null event at the Ethical Culture Society, on Wednesday, September 21, 2011.  I spoke with them at length after.  The other important speakers at this event included: Gary Null, Harvey Wasserman, Vandana Shiva, Kevin Kamps, Greg Palast and Karl Grossman.  Null showed his powerful anti-nuclear film: Knocking on the Devil's Door


At this event, Sachiko Sato and her children told a heart wrenching story of all that they have lost--their farm, their friends and schools. They miss the "little" things like taking care of the chickens, and helping out at their mother's daycare center. Mina is sad that she will never get to sleep in the new bedroom that was being built for her.  There are five children in the family and this was to be Mina's first private bedroom.   They are isolated.  Bereft.  Lost.  The children have been living alone since their mother whisked them away from their home to safety a few days after March 11, 2011.  The Japanese delegation is calling on Americans to shut our plants down before we have a Fukishima disaster here.


All of these speakers addressed the problem of the greed, power and corruption of the nuclear industry worldwide. Null and others explained about the danger Indian Point poses to millions of New York City area residents. The plant is an easy target for attack by terrorists. It leaks. It is on a fault line. We have no evacuation plan if it should melt. It is only 25 miles from Manhattan--so millions of lives are at stake as well as the world economy.  Yet the NRC wants to extend its date for closure!  It makes no sense.  What is wrong with our government?


Shiva explained how in India, the government has "land grabbed' beautiful fertile farms and dismissed local governmental decisions (and the will of the people) to ban the building of new nuclear plants.  Thousands have been protesting (peacefully) in resistance to the building of such new plants.  Many innocent citizens have been shot at and killed.  In Koodankulam, protesters have at least temporarily stopped the opening of a new plant. I wrote more about this at Terraspheres.

Do we hear about the Indian protests in mainstream U.S. press?  Not much. 

Do we hear about the ongoing Japanese nuclear disaster in the U.S. press?  Barely.

These talks and Null's film scared me terribly. 

I also had the opportunity this past weekend, on October 1, 2011, to film/live-stream the C.A.N. anti-nuclear rally to Shut Down Indian Point.  Many of the speakers were Japanese women, such as  the mother Tomoi Zeimer, who a gave painful account of how scary it is for the families in Japan right now.  Many Japanese parents can't find food for their children to eat, or safe water for their children to drink.  School playgrounds are contaminated and whole communities are poisoned. The government is not evacuating their people from dangerous areas.  It is horrifying. Helen Caldicott, my heroine, was the keynote speaker and she called out for U.S. citizens to stand up and say 'enough is enough'!  I had a chance to interview Helen privately the next day.  I will post my interview with her soon.  She also spoke at the Occupy Wall Street rally last night.  Helen is a brilliant Australian physician who has been a staunch anti-nuclear activist since the 1980s. She told me she feels obligated as a physician to save lives and this sense of duty drives her to be an anti-nuclear activist.  She looks at nuclear radiation as a medical problem because she understands how it impacts human health. Caldicott says it is up to women to save this earth and to stop this madness. We have to find our voices, stop being afraid of speaking out, and stand up to the men who have their greedy fingers on the bomb, on nuclear power, and on other forms of environmental destruction.

I left this event and the October 1 CAN Rally concerned about the safety of where I live in Long Island--wondering if I should move away.  One of the leading Japanese green activists, Aileen Mioko Smith, with whom I spoke after the event, gave me haunting advice.  Aileen told me:

'When (not if) Indian Points melts, you won't be able to leave right away.  There will be chaos. The roads will be flooded with people trying to escape and with nowhere to go. So keep plenty of water. Keep enough canned food to last a few weeks.  If you have a basement, stay down there.  When the roads clear, drive far, far away.  You will be exposed to the radiation, but at least you will get away.  You will never be able to go home again.  The entire New York City region will be unsafe to live in for lifetimes. Thousands.'

I'm not moving anywhere just yet, but living downstream from Indian Point sure makes me stop and think.  Of course, where would I go?  Where is it really safe, anyway?  There are nuclear power plants in so many places.  There are toxic sites everywhere.  Radiation and toxins travel.  Rachel Carson taught us all that.  The point isn't to run away--it is to stop ignoring the dangers and take action.

In case you don't know--23 US reactors are identical to those at Fukushima-Daiichi.  The GE Mark 1 containment vessels (those in Fukushima and here) have serious design problems. GE has known about this since Dale Bridenbaugh and other engineers resigned over the design of the containment vessels in the 1980s. Why has our government ignored this information for all this time?  Why have so many children been forced to suffer because of this criminal negligence?

Japan and the U.S. are silent on this issue.  In Germany and other countries throughout Europe, nuclear plants are being shut down. Where can't Americans force the U.S. Government to abandon nukes as well?

I will leave you with some beautiful photographs, taken by my fourteen- year old daughter, of Tomoi Zeimer and the orphan baby she adopted from Ibaragi (next to Fukushima).  Ibaragi is a highly contaminated area, full of hot spots.  Tomoi spoke passionately at the rally about her fears for the people of Japan, for her baby's birth mother (who is in high school there), for her sisters, for the children who are suffering.... Tomoi worries, also, because many of the folks in Japan are in denial and she finds this to be "very spooky."



On the way home from the rally, my daughter asked me: "Mom, are we going to die?"  I told this to Helen Caldicott the next day, and she said, "that is why we have to shut these 104 plants down.  That is why we have to disarm our nuclear weapons."

Afterward: on the drive to work today, I heard from a good friend who met a young officer who works for the U.S. Navy.  I will not name names.   The officer is a nuclear physicist and an engineer.  His job is to travel round the world to study levels of radiation in areas that are contaminated.  He spent several months in Japan after March 11, 2011 and the Fukushima accident.  He said the radiation levels were shockingly high--way off the charts.  Yet the Japanese government covered it up, and said the wind would blow the 'small' amounts of radiation away!  The government told their people it was nothing to worry about.  They are still doing this.  What about the American government?  What about the rest of the world?  This is an abomination and a crime of the highest order.  And, it CAN happen here.

I am mortified.  I am called to action.   Please heed this call: get involved.  Express your outrage.  It is time to march.

Activists prevented Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant from going forward in Long Island.  Andrea Merkel has vowed to decommission all nuclear plants in Germany.   It can be done here.

We Shall Overcome.  We MUST!