It is Day 7 of my 365 Days of Living Deliberately, and I apologize to all that I still don’t have my website and blog functioning properly. The “Read More” button on Blog Day 6 has been frozen. I have been consumed with my teaching responsibilities and didn’t realize the problem until I got a kind email response from Kay Patrick supporting my blog and pointing out that she couldn’t read more.
Kay and I have gotten to know each other from our mutual support of a broad coalition of grassroots citizens, county governments, municipalities, businesses, and civic, ecumenical, environmental, and civil rights groups who oppose uranium mining in Virginia. Much of the recent and present focus of our environmental justice-pollution prevention website has been and will continue to be to educate the public on the dangers that uranium mining poses to Virginia, North Carolina, the Eastern Seaboard, and beyond. Uranium mining proponents have declared that they are in the battle for the long-term.
In fact, Ken and I have been doing as we have always done. We’ve educated ourselves on the issues since we first learned about the the potential for uranium mining in the region when our long-time friend and fellow champion of environmental justice and pollution prevention, Tommy Harris, called and said to me, “Deborah, you and Ken need to go up to Virginia and speak at a public hearing against uranium mining. They want to mine the biggest deposit in North America that’s situated right at the headwaters of the Roanoke River Basin, and that includes Kerr and Gaston Lakes. It supplies water to all the towns, counties, along theem to the coast, and that includes water that’s piped to Norfolk and Virginia Beach. That’s about two million people who depend on this water. And North Carolina is only twenty miles from this deposit, so that radioactive air is going to blow across the border and along the coast, and then out to the Atlantic. We’ve got to help those Virginia folks.”
There is so much that I have learned since I first heard from Tommy about the threat of uranium mining, so much I have discovered on my own and so much that I have learned from others about the threat that uranium mining poses; about the delusional science that regulations are based on; about the record of failures of past and modern “best practices” of uranium mining and radioactive waste disposal; about the actual public health risks; about the propaganda of uranium mining and nuclear industry proponents and their attempts to shoot the messengers who oppose them; and about how pollution prevention and environmental justice and Constitutional and human rights are intertwined with one another.
In this blog, I want to help deconstruct the smoke and mirrors of the regulations, statutes, and legislation that are written to protect toxic, hazardous, and radioactive industries such as the uranium mining industry. I will be linking readers to articles and letters that Ken and I have written on the subject, articles that will outline in detail why the public cannot afford to accept the past or present scientific rationale upon which “best practices” for uranium mining are based, and I will provide other informative links to the subject.
When I consider what Thoreau would do and say about the truthfulness of the Nuclear Regulatory Agency and the EPA concerning the regulatory framework that governs uranium mining — a framework based on the “as low as reasonably achievable” (ALARA) standard, Thoreau’s words apply:
“It is never too late to give up our prejudices. No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true to-day may turn out to be falsehood to-morrow, mere smoke of opinion, which some had trusted for a cloud that would sprinkle fertilizing rain on their fields.”