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March 16, 2011

Is it better to be wrong?


In 1977 I was organizing and participating in the No Nukes movement. We believed that those power plants were bombs, and that bombs eventually explode, killing people. The experts said they were absolutely safe, and we called them liars.

At the under-construction Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant in San Luis Obispo, we young activists got into trouble. Busted, detained, tried, convicted, sentenced. We all got two year sentences for trespassing, reduced to 15 days plus probation and fines. Those who refused the fines did the whole two years, reduced to 6 months for good behavior. Hard prison time for a hypothetical.

I started my statement in court by saying: I’m a school teacher so I’m particularly concerned with the well-being of children and their future. Though built smack on top of the San Andreas Fault, you say the DC power plant is safe today, but I ask will it be safe decades from now? Would you put your children and grandchildren at risk? (They did.)

As far as I know, Diablo Canyon, notwithstanding our Abalone Alliance movement activities, is still running strong 34 years later. Am I glad that I was wrong? Am I still waiting for a disaster to prove me right?

After our protests, and after they were squelched by the County Court-Electric Company Alliance, the Three Mile Island accident occurred (79). Then Brown’s Ferry (84-5), then Pilgrim (86). And then Chernobyl (86), more later. THTR-300 (86), Peach Bottom (87), Niagara Mohawk (87), Calvert Cliff (89), Greifswald (95), Millstone (96), Crystal River (96), Tokaimura (99), Davis-Besse (02), Mihama (04), and now the name that will live forever FUKUSHIMA (11).

Let’s not forget the film The China Syndrome (79), Silkwood (83), the No Nukes album (79). New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone (87), Italy renounces nuclear power by referendum (87) [now the fools want to reinstate], Germany Nuclear Exit Law for permanent shutdown by 2020, and many states, regions, localities declaring their territories nuke-free. Millions of people joined protest movements worldwide.

Currently, 31 countries operate nuclear energy plants. Does that scare you? If they're far away they can't hurt you, right? Are you one of the faithful? Technology is flawless and officials always tell the truth, and you will bet your life on it. And all your offspring's lives for millenia. You will?

I need to go out this morning to get our recent blood test results. We had the usual battery plus thyroid. Why? Because many, many of our friends are discovering thyroid problems. Several have had operations, all take medicine. Sicily is thousands of miles from the Ukraine and 25 years from Chernobyl, yet they now tell us that the toxic cloud arrived here and this is the result. We’re all slowly getting sick when we shouldn’t. The long-term fallout from Fukushima can only be worse.

Nukes are fine, just so you don’t eat plants or animals, drink water or breathe.

Happy trials, Martin


Mutt: The invention of the coffee percolator gave us grounds for celebration.
Jeff: You said it pal, and the inventor of rubber gloves thought they came in very handy.
Mutt: The inventor of the auto muffler said it was exhausting work.
Jeff: The inventor of the recliner got a chair of the profits.
Mutt: The man who invented the football got a kick out of it.
Jeff: The inventor of the relief map got a raise.
Mutt: The inventor of the rocket went out to launch.
Jeff: Yeah with the inventor of the lighthouse, and they celebrated the occasion with beacon and eggs.
Mutt: I feel queasy.
Jeff: Likewise.

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