submitted by Gabrielle Price
Oneness: We Are All Endangered Species
I have spent the last week pouring through information about Fukushima and administrating over the global petition to the UN, [cc: POTUS, NRC, Union of Concerned Scientists, Sen. Wydon and other Senators, Representatives and orgs], sending messages to high profile activists, entertainers and discussing with others in research groups, the best way to get information out quickly about this already life-altering disaster and what could possibly amount to the single most devastating event to all species on the planet as we know it.
What I have been struck by is the lack of self-preservation in regards to taking even the smallest action to create a tsunami of accountability to avert continued devastation. It’s like we’ve gone back in a time machine to the 1950’s and I’m stuck in the movie Pleasantville.
The news from Japan is frightening, infuriating and shocking. It is also familiar. The feelings I am experiencing are parallel to the ones many in the Gulf region of the United States have been through but on a scale times 10. Yet, I am calm enough to focus to do the best I can to get this information out simply because I have been in this position before and learned from it. Perhaps, on a spiritual level, have learned how to understand and cope with the devastating effects of the folly of man’s hubris.
Meditation helps…but I am still very angry. I honestly don’t know a soul who isn’t angry or offended or disgusted…and I’d like to add that these feelings ARE OKAY TO HAVE. We are human, we have feelings – a great ocean of them – and burying them solves nothing and serves no greater purpose to you or anyone you claim to love or want to protect, including yourself. Owning those feelings and focusing on constructive action is the only way to heal the planet – and ourselves.
Burying legitimate feelings is akin to burying the truth. They are there to serve as your warning bells. To ignore them is to ignore your intuition. And that, my friends is the exact goal of propaganda or PR. To make you question yourself and your good sense for a means to their ends.
I have chosen focused anger, warrior energy channeled into constructive action because at this point on my journey, at this time and place in history, it is literally all I know how to do. I look at this moment as THE biggest shift, the awakening of many – the realization of oneness – because this nuclear disaster can and will touch the lives of every single living thing on the planet.
You can’t get more connected or understand oneness of this magnitude – unless a comet were to come crashing down upon us and we knew in advance. We’d spend every moment doing exactly what we said we always wanted to do, tell people the things we always wished we could say, practice radical forgiveness, detachment from illusion and come together to open our hearts to the people we love. The only difference is that with Fukushima, something can still be done to stop future destruction because we DO have the information – a year’s worth and counting. We cannot reverse the damage already done in a year – but the possibility of saving the planet and every species still left on it, CAN occur with ACTION.
In regards to the moments of doing or saying those important things we said we always wanted? Do that, too…but first, understand that it will take your righteous action, global action to demand that constructive action be taken. There are brave people out there who would volunteer to save the world – but we first need to acknowledge the world is in peril. And unfortunately, the one thing standing in our way is, again, the hubris of man – to think he could contain a power as awesome as the sun…then lie about the fact that he can no longer contain it.
For what? The same things people of conscience fight against, occupy on behalf of and demand accountability for: Power, greed and control. Illusion. Samsara. The transitory. In the face of this disaster everyone will see, know and understand exactly how transitory these things are that we have spent eons hanging society’s values on. To our own detriment and the detriment of the planet we call home.
Hubris in History
Current history shows us we’re still battling an ages old problem – the inability of man to see his own folly in trying to control things that are simply beyond his capability to master. A friend of mine shared a song the other day – Godzilla, by Blue Oyster Cult – which in this instance may seem like callous jocularity to some, but there is a lyric within that song that speaks louder than most words I’ve heard uttered recently in regards to this situation: “History shows again and again / How nature points out the folly of men.“ Never a truer lyric was penned.
This is a time when we can make history – we are history, we are the shift – those who see nature pointing out the folly must let men know of their mistakes before they can learn from them. Right now, they are trapped in a bubble of their own illusions and if we don’t do everything within our power to burst that bubble, mankind could perish.
Take for instance the Cuban Missile Crisis – [source: Wiki] ”…one of major confrontations of the Cold War and generally regarded as the moment in which the Cold War came closest to turning into a nuclear conflict. It also marked the first documented instance of the threat of mutual assured destruction (MAD) being discussed as a determining factor in a major international arms agreement.“
I think we can all agree that MAD is a very appropriate acronym for the threat we face now if we don’t come to some international agreement to work together to avoid the same.
There are vast examples of hubris in history that would fill volumes in libraries stacked to reach to the moon. The ‘unsinkable’ Titanic comes to mind and has been aptly mentioned many times in regards to the same handling of our economy – that hubris has already hit an iceberg – and illustrates that the solutions to these larger global problems cannot be solved with money. The only sane choice is mutual action for the sake of self-preservation of our species, all species, rather than the current course of assured destruction.
If during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the global leadership recognized this basic truth about the future of mankind – it can be recognized and discussed again. This is, in essence, the duty and imperative role of leadership. If you recognize this, I put to you that it is also your duty and moral imperative to lead in this global discussion as well…
Young people may not have a broad understanding of this age like their parents and grandparents certainly do. Many recall the old Hollywood movies that were part and parcel of the dawning of the nuclear age – films that served to warn mankind about this ‘mutually assured destruction’, albeit in a very fantastic way. The production of popular narrative films with nuclear topics largely conforms to periods of heightened nuclear awareness or fear, such as the fear of fallout from nuclear testing manifested in the atomic creatures in science fiction movies of the late 1950s. By their very numbers, and through a set of recurring stylistic and narrative conventions, nuclear films reflect a deep-seated cultural anxiety. The films have ranged in themes as they relate to the first atomic bombs (The Beginning of the End), to nuclear testing and fear of fallout (the Godzilla factor), to the Cold War arms race (Dr. Strangelove), to nuclear war (The Day After), and post-apocalypse (The Terminator). 
While this might be otherwise compelling in a nuke-free and safe world, it is currently frustrating as hell to those who remember – we appear to have missed the messages of not only the culture [Silkwood, The China Syndrome] but also history [Three Mile Island, Chernobyl] and have regressed once again back to an almost 1950’s mindset of being strangely comforted by those in leadership to not only think, “that couldn’t possibly happen” but worse…to actually believe “nuclear energy is safe” after all this time and after all the evidence glaringly dictates otherwise.
Art forms like film, can reflect our cultural climate throughout time and have historically reflected the underlying problems we face. This doesn’t happen often enough in the current film industry, in my opinion, simply because corporations, media and the military are involved in a lot of the debasing of our cultural currency as well. Yes, a bright, shiny gold or silver coin of a film slips through their cracks on glorious occasions….but the current nuclear industry PR is so pathetic in its inability to be honest about the dangers, especially when they avoid mention of the aged and failing infrastructure, that their reassurance means little to those who remember Three Mile Island and Chernobyl and have evolved well beyond the 1950’s mindset.
Let’s do a comparison of what I’ll call the “Pleasantville” mindset* to the reality of disaster capitalism in a nuclear age. Take into consideration these recent quotes from two nuclear “experts” and compare them to the 1952 GE nuclear campaign claims in the PR film below. The idea here is to help you understand that the ‘official word’ is more often the ‘corporate’ word because of this addiction to growth and profit margins.
“The best place to be whenever there’s an earthquake is at the perimeter of a nuclear plant because they are designed so well.” − Ziggy Switkowski, 14 March, 2011, ABC
“There is no credible risk of a serious accident. The risk of meltdown is extremely small, and the death toll from any such accident, even if it occurred, will be zero. There will be no breach of containment and no release of radioactivity beyond, at the very most, some venting of mildly radioactive steam to relieve pressure. Those spreading FUD [fear, uncertainty and doubt] at the moment will be the ones left with egg on their faces. I am happy to be quoted forever after on the above if I am wrong … but I won’t be.“ − Prof. Barry Brook, Adelaide University
Although the “Atoms for Peace” campaign was formally launched in 1957, corporate America began to promote peaceful uses of atomic energy as early as the first few months after Hiroshima. A Is For Atom, an artifact of this effort, takes this highly loaded and threatening issue straight to the public in an attempt to “humanize” the figure of the atom.
A Is For Atom speaks of five atomic “giants” which “man has released from within the atom’s heart”: the warrior and destroyer, the farmer, the healer, the engineer and the research worker. Each is pictured as a majestic, shimmering outline figure towering over the earth. “But all are within man’s power and subject to his command,“ says the narrator reassuringly, and our future depends “on man’s wisdom, on his firmness in the use of that power.”
General Electric, a long-time manufacturer of electric appliances, power generation plants, and nuclear weapon components, is staking a claim here, asserting their interest in managing and exploiting this new and bewildering technology. Its pitch: this is powerful, frightening, near-apocalyptic technology, but managed with firmness, it can be profitable and promising. This “Trust us with the control of technology, and we’ll give you progress without end” pitch resembles what we’ve seen in films like General Motors’ ‘To New Horizons’ but the automobile, of course, wasn’t a weapon of mass destruction.
Note the ironic use of an acronym in the second quote above the film and the closing, “if I am wrong…but I won’t be.” Strange how the word ‘if’ even shows up at the end of a long-winded statement meant to quash uncertainty and doubt, isn’t it? It’s the end of that quote that says loudly, “I don’t speak for science, I’m speaking for industry.”
Scientists don’t deal in absolutes and would never be so cocky in the face of such awesome power that commands respect. As you can see by the claims from GE in the film synopsis, which sounds as if it were written by Ayn Rand on crack, to not hold nuclear power in cautious reverence is man’s folly – that is the ultimate in hubris. And knowing that is the key to being able to tell the difference between real science [which always seeks knowledge = understanding] and PR [which claims absolutes for a means to an end = profit]. Unfortunately, capitalism has turned into Godzilla and its lower-functioning brain does not recall that acronym: MAD. Naomi Klein coined the term “disaster capitalism” in her groundbreaking book, The Shock Doctrine. It is quite literally the closest cousin to Mutually Assured Destruction.
The destruction happening every minute in Fukushima is mutually assured unless we act now.
Energy is best focused on solutions. EPA is not doing it’s job nor are most government agencies who are charged with protecting the health and welfare of the people of this country. This problem is now global in scope as evidenced by the media blackouts in Japan. Agencies that we should be able to rely upon in situations of this magnitude, like the NRC, are now compromised by corporate infiltration. Press releases and conferences [more PR] are designed to keep you out of the loop, politics designed to make you feel ungrateful for this ‘clean energy’ solution they claim WE wanted, and as a consequence, we are ill-advised and unequipped to protect our own hide from the dangers that have already effected the ocean, the food chain, the west coast of the US and beyond.
Many of the people who realize the extent of the damage already done, know that at this point, we have ‘crossed a Rubicon’ and need to accept that we may be exposed to some amount of radiation already. We should use every tool we have [medicines, nutrition, homeopathy] to mitigate the effects of exposure. We need to stay committed to work, first and foremost, toward a global effort to help Japan with containment of Fukushima, with all the brilliant minds and might we have around the world – and then on to focus locally, following the lead of other nations like Germany, Switzerland and hopefully France, in safely shutting down all US nuclear plants.
Focus on mutually assured cooperation while we still have the resources and technology at hand.
The leaders, bankers and capitalists of the world wanted one kind of globalization.
Let’s show them they are getting quite another.
Do you see? It is our collective consciousness – our oneness – that is what they fear.
The more we understand and use this power, the better off we will all be.
Don’t underestimate it…
All our other work to help the planet won’t mean a thing when in one place sits enough material to destroy it if we do nothing.
Everything else we do is building sandcastles…until this is dealt with.
Current addressees/recipients of the petition:
Sen. Bernard Sanders (VT)
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH-10)
Rep. Edward Markey (MA-07)
Rep. John Conyers (MI-14)
Sen. Barbara Boxer (CA)
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (Ambassador Susan Rice)
Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (Gregory Jaczko)
Outreach Associate Union of Concerned Scientists (Chrissy Elles)
[This list is growing daily]
TRC is working overtime to create a page solely for Fukushima updates and to aggregate posts, data and links in one place.
 Source: Film and the Nuclear Age: Representing Cultural Anxiety (Garland Studies in American Popular History and Culture) http://www.powells.com/biblio?isbn=9780815329329
* This little golden coin of a film deserves an honorable mention and recommendation.