Tokyo Calling – April 10th Action
David Solnit is a hero of mine. It is pretty easy to see why. He was one of the many master minds behind the Battle for Seattle in 1999, which turned the corner on the anti-globalization movement and for a couple of short and beautiful years made it look like US americans might actually grasp this complicated issue. Then some airplanes flew into some buildings and the whole country pivoted.
Like the popular Italian anarchist Errico Malatesta, Solnit both supports himself and maintains his connection to the material world by doing construction work (Malatesta was an electrician, Solnit a carpenter). Also like Malatesta, Solnit her rejects party politics and political revolutions preferring social revolutions and popular uprisings.
Today he sent me this:
Which was a bit amusing to me, because i have been working on nukes for years and he is most recently an anti-war organizer who helps people defect from the military and stop child recruiting practices – under the cleaver motto of An Army of None. But he is truly an international guy, so i was hardly offended.
Tonight i got to do what i really love. My local nuke (North Anna) is, like reactors all over the country, running a charm offensive. The only people working harder than the rescue workers in Fukushima are the nuclear lobbist in the US. The stakes are huge, if they dont manage the spin correctly, the US could go like Germany or Italy and kill any plans for new reactors. So they are responding by going after 4th graders.
Willow’s best friend is Jonah. When Thea (Jonah’s mom) found out that her sons 4th grade class had been invited to the reactor she called me. She want him to know what to ask the reactor tour guides and more over she wanted to educate other kids and parents about reactors and their safety in the wake of these meltdowns.
I am of “the wisdom is in the room” school of presentations. Which means i believe i can get much of what i want to transmit from the participants themselves and in doing so create a more inclusive event. i asked the kids to name our electricity sources, i asked them to name the advantages and disadvantages. The kids knew most of it, some parents kicked in. i explained the idea that the person from the plant is dependent on nuclear power for their job and thus might present in a way that is influenced by their position (i asked as an example what the motivation of their mothers were when they asked them to go to bed. The kids seemed to believe it was a mix of mom’a wanting kids to get enuf sleep and moms wanting to stay up and party without them). We talked for a couple of hours and the kids were pretty engaged and the parents were very pleased. i was sad not to have gotten to play the game that Sara and i decided not to try to construct at the last minute. But the kids seemed excited by the idea and we will hopefully get to it in May.
Oh the three questions i gave Jonah to ask at the plant.
1) What are you going to do with the waste (we talked about Yukka Mountain being closed)?
2) Why dont you pay for your own insurance and long term waste handling?
3) The engineers at Fukushima, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island all said this kind of accident could not happen there, why should we believe you when you tell us the same thing?
Oh and i made sure to tell them to watch for the common lie that nuclear power produces no greenhouse gases.