In the wake of last Saturday’s “win” at TEDxPasadena, where I spoke on the need for a “Manhattan Project” for alternative energy to get us off the nuclear teat (and smacked it so far out of the park they’re still looking for the ball!), I find that I’ve hit a dead spot, a place of despair over the whole nuclear situation.
This is not uncommon among activists.
People were reduced to tears at TXP as they considered – some for the first time – the implications to the future of human life posed by nuclear reactors and radiation releases. Yet, in today’s news, comes a video of Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chair Gregory Jaczko laughing when asked about deaths resulting from Fukushima. (http://enenews.com/top-us-nuclear-official-bursts-into-laughter-after-question-on-deaths-of-irradiated-fukushima-workers-video)
To me, that’s like Hitler laughing at the ovens.
What is it going to take to wake people up to the horrors posed by this demonic energy source? I’m not a believer in Christian theology, yet the imagery works perfectly:
- Plutonium was named after the devil (“Pluto”) in Greek mythology.
- It is the most dangerous substance on Earth, with a half-life of 24,000 years and a radiational life of around 500,000 years (half-life x 20 half-life cycles, give or take a few millenia). Effectively, compared with human life, it will last forever.
- Nuclear reactions have the potential to destroy all life, and happen at temperatures and with a volatility that is barely controllable and barely containable.
What we are looking at is Hell made manifest, fire and brimstone brought to Earth and lurking right around our periphery, in our back yards, able at any stray moment to unleash chaos and death. Just add an act of God or Nature, operator error or a terrorist attack, and it’s game over.
At times, I get all righteous and energetically do battle with this demon. At other times, I sigh into despair and wonder if my mere human presence can do anything at all to stop a nuclear Armageddon from wiping out our species and all the others (except the cockroach; apparently it can survive anything).
To be anything less than honest about the emotional toll this subject is taking on my life robs me and others of the truth of the situation, and thus our ability to cope with it. I’ve learned, through my recovery from childhood sexual abuse issues, that the only way to heal from ugly truth is to expose it, mourn the losses, take care of the self, and move on only when one is ready.
I know this moment will pass, the emotions will evolve into something righteous that puts me back into the community in which I thrive (other activists) and allow me to again do battle because I can’t not do it.
But for this moment, for this day, a bit of a plause button, please! I’m tired of being cosmic and trying to fulfill the Hippie Manifesto to “Change/Save the World!” A day for business, for friends, for my dog, and for a walk in the hills, the beautiful hills of Earth. For this moment, for this day, Namaste, my friends. Find peace and be with it.
(Don’t worry; I’ll be back.)