Saturday, June 23, 2007

Nuclear power: Will the last one to leave please turn out the lights...

Good grief! I've only been on my new high-fiber diet for the last two months and already I've lost almost 12 pounds! I weigh less now than I did in high school. My pants sag like I was some juvenile delinquent. The top of my underwear shows.

This diet seems to be awfully effective. But maybe it's not the diet that is causing me to lose weight. Maybe I'm losing weight because I've got cancer -- or AIDS. Maybe I'm losing weight because there is something secretly rotting away inside of me? But how would I know?

"Snap out of it, Jane. There's nothing wrong with you except that you play too much solitaire." Whew. "You went on a diet. The diet worked. You lost weight. Get over it. And go buy some new freaking jeans."

But what if I DID have cancer or AIDS? How would I know? What would I do? What would it be like to die? What would the world be like without me?

I can't imagine what it would be like to have cancer or AIDS and watch your body betray you and start to secretly rot away...apparently just like the way that our planet itself is now starting to betray us and also secretly starting to rot away.

I just talked on the phone with Ellen Thomas, the editor of Nuc News, and it was a very sobering conversation. "More and more nuclear waste is being created daily," she said. "And nuclear waste doesn't ever go away -- not in our lifetime, not in a millennium, not in a billion years." Once nuclear waste gets into your system, like those mutant cancer cells or HIV, it's here to stay.

Our planet is being flooded with radioactive waste. And like what happens inside a human body with cancer or AIDS, we simply don't realize that it's there until it's too late. With an undisclosed [but really large] number of barrels of this stuff being churned out each day by the nuclear power plants and tons of it being distributed to the winds from depleted uranium used irresponsibly for warfare, it's like our whole planet has cancer. It's like our whole planet has AIDS.

What can we do? How can we cure our sick planet? We can't. Too late for that. This stuff doesn't EVER go away. But we can learn to limit it, deal with it, live with it and possibly survive. And if we stop ALL nuclear waste production TODAY -- and yes this includes giving up nuclear power, nuclear bombs and depleted uranium weapons -- then the planet just might go into remission. "But this has to happen now," says Thomas. "Right now."

For years, Thomas and her husband William Thomas have been advocating for Proposition 1, a bill in the House of Representatives that will ban all nuclear weapons worldwide. This bill should be made top priority by lawmakers. Period. The danger to America from nuclear waste is far greater than any danger posed by terrorists or the war on Iraq. Congress now spends hundreds of billions on these minor dangers and ignores this HUGE one? That's crazy. That's like treating an AIDS patient for pimples.

If the insane and irresponsible production of vast quatities of nucular waste contines unchecked, our planet is doomed. I wonder what it will be like, living on a dying planet? Will we die too? Yeah duh. And will the last one of us left living here please turn out the lights when we leave? And what will the universe be like without us?