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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 10/19/16

Dear All Our Governors - I Am Asking Your Help to Save Planet Earth Now

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Dear Governors - are you calling for clean energy now and simultaneously not calling now for closing all nuclear power plants and for keeping fossil fuels in the ground?

The Boston Globe, 9/13/16, published an editorial about the need to close Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Massachusetts now, "It's too risky to wait for Pilgrim plant's shutdown." On 9/19/16, the Governors' Wind and Solar Coalition wrote to President Obama, suggesting "actions that your Administration can take to expand our states' wind and solar energy production." Here are the states currently in the Coalition: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington.

Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts is in this Coalition and although continually called on by the people of Massachusetts as well as The Boston Globe to close Pilgrim now, has not responded to these outcries, saying he trusts the Feds - the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York is in this Coalition and he has given huge subsidies - millions - to the nuclear power industry.

Governor Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota is in this Coalition and is for the Dakota Access Pipeline. "In response to the protests, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple defended the project, assuring those concerned by its potential effects on the Standing Rock people and their land that it was 'not in any way unsafe.' "'This is a state-of-the-art pipeline, a very sophisticated project,'" Dalrymple told KFGO in late August. "'It is not in any way unsafe except for a very, very, very minimal risk, which inevitably, is there for any pipeline.'"

I cannot understand why Governors Baker, Cuomo and Dalrymple ardently and rightfully support clean, green, renewables such as wind and solar, yet simultaneously cede their moral authority to protect the public health and safety of the people of their states to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the nuclear industry, the fossil fuel industry - including the fracking and pipeline corporations, part of the fossil fuels industry.

I am focusing on nuclear power plants below for several reasons: that is what I have most information and knowledge about and what I have focused on for five years; and because all the other dirty and dangerous energies and practices most often get all the attention and nuclear power is either tragically ignored or even worse, tragically liked. I do stand in complete solidarity with all my sisters and brothers fighting to stop all pipelines, all fracking, and to keep all fossil fuels in the ground.

I am curious as to whether the governors lack information about all nuclear power plants and that might be what is influencing their positions. Such information includes:

"There's a very clear association between increased child leukemias and proximity to NPPs," [nuclear power plants] reported Dr. Ian Fairlie, a U.K.-based Canadian specialist on the hazards of radioactive releases at nuclear power plants.["Childhood Leukemias Near Nuclear Power Stations: new article," 7/25/2014]

"Children are 10 to 20 times more vulnerable to the carcinogenic effects of radiation than adults. Little girls are twice as sensitive as little boys and women are more sensitive than men. Fetuses are thousands of times more sensitive," according to Dr. Helen Caldicott, internationally acclaimed pediatrician and founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility. ["The Medical Implications of Fukushima," 9/25/2013] Elsewhere, she calls nuclear power plants "cancer factories."

Radiation tragically affected plants, birds and butterflies very strongly in Chernobyl and Fukushima, reported Dr. Timothy Mousseau, long-time Chernobyl researcher and Professor of Biological Sciences at U. of South Carolina. "A review of genetic and ecological studies for a range of other species at both Chernobyl and Fukushima (Mousseau 2014) revealed significant consequences of radiation. Population censuses of birds, butterflies, and cicadas at Fukushima showed major declines attributable to radiation exposure. ["Fukushima's legacy: Biological effects of Fukushima radiation on plants, insects, and animals," 8/14/2014]/

"The link between nuclear power and cancer is real".and revealed in the UK's cancer statistics - if only you look for it. Previous approaches have focused on rare cancers over large, poorly selected populations. But look at common cancers among those most exposed to nuclear radiation, and the statistical evidence is overwhelming.You can argue about the economics of nuclear till you are blue in the face, but they can always move the goalposts, global warming, future security of supply, special new safe thorium reactors and so forth. But killing people with your radioactive discharges: that's it. The End," stated Dr. Chris Busby, Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk. ["Breast cancer and nuclear power - statistics reveal the link 'they' wanted to hide," 5/18/2015]4.

Radioactive waste is the most toxic poison made by humankind. Greenpeace says "Nuclear waste is produced at every stage of the nuclear fuel cycle from uranium mining and enrichment, to reactor operation and the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. Much of this nuclear waste will remain hazardous for hundreds of thousands of years, leaving a poisonous legacy to future generations." Plutonium 239 remains hazardous for 240,000 years, Uranium 235 for 7.13 billion years.

There is no safe space to store radioactive waste and never will be. Is this the legacy you governors want to leave to your and our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and their children - more than seven generations out and into eternity?

Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) has a petition out "To our next President, and our state governors: Choose clean energy over dirty energy. Say no to another nuclear power bailout, stop fossil fuel and nuclear subsidies, and put our energy dollars to work for the clean energy revolution .Sign here now for a "carbon-free, nuclear-free energy revolution."

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Sheila Parks, Ed.D., is a former college professor. She had a spiritual awakening many years ago and left her career to do peace and justice work full time. She is the founder of the grassroots group On Behalf of Planet Earth (found on FB). (more...)

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