Category: Solartopia (page 3 of 3)

Video: Harvey Wasserman at World Beyond War 2016 Conference

Above is the video of Harvey Wasserman’s Saturday, September 24, 2016 presentation at the 2016 World Beyond War conference held in Washington, D.C.

world-beyond-war

Will Christie Whitman Follow Her 9/11 Apology With One for Her Nuke Shill Game?

 

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The  attacks on the World Trade Center Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. (photo: Aristide Economopoulos)

By Harvey Wasserman

Cross-posted on Reader Supported News on September 11, 2016

oon after the 9/11 terror attacks 15 years ago today, then-US EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman assured New Yorkers the air was safe to breathe.

Today she has issued a “heartfelt” apology, admitting that her misleading advice caused people to die. But will she also apologize for pushing lethal atomic reactor technologies that could kill far more people than 9/11?

Back in 2001, Whitman went public to “reassure the people of New York and Washington D.C. that their air is safe to breathe and their water is safe to drink.” She also said, “The concentrations are such that they don’t pose a health hazard….”

The Environmental Protection Agency itself later said there was insufficient data to offer such assurances.

The 9/11/2001 collapse of the World Trade Towers and the nearby Building 7, along with the attack on the Pentagon, coated lower Manhattan and other downwind areas with huge quantities of toxic dust. Among the components of the deadly cloud were asbestos, mercury, lead, glass, heavy metals, concrete, and countless other poisons from vaporized windows, computers, carpets, structural steel, and much much more. Clearly anyone breathing the dust that spread throughout the region was at risk.

But the Bush administration had other interests. Among them was reopening Wall Street and the stock exchange. Bush himself showed up at the site without a respirator, as did then-New York mayor Rudy Giuliani. School children were brought back into the area far sooner than was safe, as were thousands of residents and workers.

To unofficial observers, the administration’s assurances were cavalier and irresponsible. “Bush, Rudy & Whitman to New Yorkers: Drop Dead,” read one angry blog in the Huffington Post.

Since then, numerous first responder and area residents have been sickened and died from 9/11-related sicknesses that were both predictable and avoidable. “I’m very sorry that people are dying, and if the EPA and I in any way contributed to that, I’m sorry,” Whitman said. “We did the very best we could at the time with the knowledge we had.”

Whitman’s apology has not been met with universal applause.

I don’t believe her for one second,” said John Feal to the NY Daily News. As executive director of the FealGood Foundation, a first responders’ advocacy group, Feal is pushing the Zadroga Bill, meant to ensure health coverage for Ground Zero sufferers.

“If she was sincere she would have walked the halls of Congress with me,” Feal said. “If she was sincere, she could have gone to one of the 154 funerals with me. She was reckless and careless because of her words, and believe it or not, words have consequences. God’s going to be her judge.”

“I knew the air was no good but as a first responder that’s what I signed up for,” said Rich Alles, formerly a chief with the NY Fire Department. “But what she did jeopardized the health of every school child who returned to school in Lower Manhattan, every educator who went back to school to teach them and every person who lived in that area who returned home to breathe in toxic dust.”

A former GOP governor of New Jersey, Whitman has since signed on as a paid advocate for atomic energy. This June, she co-wrote an op ed asking for massive subsidiesto keep money-losing nukes in Illinois online.

Whitman has co-chaired the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition (CASEnergy), funded by the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry PR front. Apparently her deceptions after 9/11 have not yet caught up with her at the dying reactors whose increasingly dangerous operations she advocates.

The nuke industry’s primary focus now is to get public handouts to keep open the 100 decrepit, money-losing reactors still operating in the US. The ones backed by Whitman in Illinois were designed in the 1960s, and are dangerously embrittled. The entire US fleet is aging and increasingly subject to catastrophe. A new reactor recently opened in Tennessee has already suffered two shutdowns.

All reactors emit massive quantities of wastewater and steam, which heat the planet. They generate thousands of tons of spent fuel that cannot be managed. And they regularly emit radiation that kills and maims entire downwind populations, as did 9/11.

It’s only a matter of time before another commercial nuke explodes, like the one Soviet reactor at Chernobyl and the four US-designed GE reactors at Fukushima.

The question for Christine Todd Whitman is this: when the next reactor blows up, will you again apologize for your inexcusable role in it, as you’ve now done for your inexcusable cover-up of the health impacts at 9/11?

And if you do, who will care?

 

 


 

Harvey Wasserman wrote SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH and edits www.nukefree.org. His Green Power & Wellness Show is at www.prn.fm.

GORGEOUS GLOBAL MARCH SHOWS HOW TO WIN ON CLIMATE CHANGE

The most hopeful, diverse, photogenic, energizing and often hilarious march I’ve joined

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in 52 years of activism—and one of the biggest, at 310,000 strong—has delivered a simple message: we can and will rid the planet of fossil fuels and nuclear power, we will do it at the grassroots, it will be demanding and difficult to say the least, but it will have its moments of great fun.

With our lives and planet on the line, our species has responded.

Ostensibly, this march was in part meant to influence policy makers. That just goes with the territory.

But in fact what it showed was an amazingly broad-based, diverse, savvy, imaginative and very often off-beat movement with a deep devotion to persistence and cause, and a great flair for fun.

For when push comes to shove—and it has—our Solartopian future will be won one victory at a time.

Oh….yes, yes, yes….we will try to influence the policy-makers. The UN, the Obama Administration, the bought and rented Congress, the usual suspects.

But we won’t be begging. It needs to be the other way around.

Because what must happen most of all is organizing from the grassroots against

each and every polluting power plant, unwanted permit, errant funding scheme, stomach-turning bribe, planet-killing frack well, soon-to-melt reactor, and much much more.

Winning this fight for global survival will be done not with one great triumph over corporate hypocrisy and greed.

Instead it’ll require death by a million cuts, with countless small victories won day-to-day at the unseen grassroots. As the man said, this revolution will not be televised.

Manhattan’s flagship march was joined by sibling demonstrations throughout the world. By all counts millions of concerned citizens came out to say, loud and clear, that the debate is over:

Climate chaos is a clear and present danger.

It’s caused by “King CONG”—Coal, Oil, Nukes and Gas.

The

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corporations who threaten us all must be reorganized and held accountable. Corporate greed is no way to power an economy. Corporate personhood is an unsustainable myth. The corporate profit motive is at war with our survival.

But renewable energy, community-owned and operated, can and will green-power our Earth cleanly and cheaply, bringing jobs, prosperity, ecological balance and, in concert, peace and social justice, without which no green transition is sustainable.

The corporate profit motive is at war with our survival.And it will come to us on the wings of focused local campaigns against each and every polluting project, one at a time, through the grueling, endless hard work of an aroused and focused citizenry.

The magic of today’s New York minute was its upbeat diversity, sheer brilliance and relentless charm. A cross between a political rally and a month at Mardi Gras. There were floats, synchronized dances, outrageous slogans, chants, songs, costumes, marching bands, hugs, parents with their kids, and one very sweaty guy in a gorilla suit.

Above all, there was joy…which means optimism…which means we believe we can win….which is the best indicator we will.

This was a march of the regular citizenry, many come a very long way, at great discomfort and expense, deep into the process of being community organizers, intervenors, plaintiffs, civil disobedients, fundraisers, impromptu speakers, letter writers, and whatever else we might need to us get through this awful corporate disease.

The people I saw, interviewed and rode in on the bus with (from central Ohio; I got the last seat) are working locally while thinking globally. They are our species’ planetary immune system.

This march said we are now a mature movement with a great sense of mission, diversity and self.

We know what the problem is.

We know who the perpetrators are.

We know what the solutions are, and that they work.

Will it be enough?

Time will tell. We must, as always, fight like hell. It will be hard, to say the least.

But please, along the way, let’s have many more marches like this one.

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