Friday, March 18, 2011

So much to figure out

Well I’m on my way to the office of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, just to see what they’re up to -- I want to find out more about the history of anti-nuclear direct action in Santa Fe, which seems to have disappeared. And, more information about all the risks from Los Alamos, the risks from the unfolding catastrophe in Japan, the risks from the ground and the groundwater here. I guess I should’ve called first, to make sure it’s actually an office that you can go to, but I wanted to go on an early walk, so here I am, worried that I’m getting sunburnt because I didn’t feel like wearing a hat-- it’s only in the 50s, and only partially sunny, so I thought I would risk it. Feels fine until the sun comes out strong and then I get to Cordova and see that this block is only number 200, I have to get to 559 so I turn down the street without a sidewalk, walking on the shoulder towards the mountains, no numbers until I’m almost at the next corner and I see 111 -- oh, no -- it’s the other way. Not enough energy to get there and back home today, that’ll have to wait for next week.

The succulent that grows everywhere -- yards and cracks in the sidewalk even -- the one I want to plant in front of my house because it grows even through the winter, I keep studying it to see if it will pull up by the roots, probably need a shovel but I’ll try you little pieces just to see. Yellow flowers blending with the green now -- at home I study my face in the mirror, no sunburn. Just a hint of color -- what a relief. Can’t tell if that’s dry skin on the sides of my eyes or if my tears from the wind dry out and it’s just salt -- so much to figure out.

6 comments:

Couch Potato Revolution said...

I'm so excited to hear about what you find. This is such a critical moment to be exploring anti-nuke activist legacies. So much to learn and so much to fight.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Thank you, Couch Potato Revolution -- a critical moment, indeed -- I think you are certainly right!

Love --
mattilda

james said...

One of the best T shirt slogans I saw on someone's shirt while I was in school said "Know Nukes". Someone asked me here in Virginia the other day, with concern in their voice: "Is there a nuclear power plant near here?"
Yeah!!! The North Anna Plant on the North Anna River, East over the mountains from here where I live.
People do not even know where the plants are. That is something people should at least know, where the nearest nuclear plant is. Three Mile Island is the only famous plant in the US, on the Susquehanna River, I can remember as a kid when my parents lived in Reading PA, concern about living east of Harrisburg when The Three Mile Island plant malfunctioned.
Mattilda - I think you have said you grew up in or near DC, You may have been old enough to remember Three Mile Island, what was the attitude around DC?
Then a couple years after Three Mile Island I remember when my Parents had to wait in line for gasoline during the Iranian revolution in 1979. My parents parked their big American car and stuffed us all in their old Volkswagen. Petroleum. A different source of energy with different problems.
Mattilda - there may be a bus to Los Alamos, I encourage you to visit. Ten years ago, I visited the museum at Los Alamos. Sure, the museum is biased toward the projects that Los Alamos is doing and has done, and the science behind nuclear technology. If I remember correctly, there was a very small section at the museum at Los Alamos devoted to the Anti nuke point of view. I also think I remember that one of the current projects at Los Alamos (at that time, and probably still now) was designing better detection devices for measuring radiation.

james said...

I wrote more, continued from my last comment:
Back to now, I parked my large car and got my old Volkswagen started; Gasoline and Diesel have gotten expensive again and the VW is tight fisted with fuel. I drove to the Backstreet Bar in Roanoke Saturday night. When I left after a night of socializing, The bartender walked out to the sidewalk with me, saw my rig and said "Honey, You had better be careful driving that thing". Last night, I met Dianna again at the Backstreet, which is closed Mondays, so we went to a different bar where we like the bartender. She said, "tonight we will take my Buick". After last call, we ended up at a client's house in the 'nice' part of town sitting on some lawn furniture and talking out in the car port. I said, "that newer Japanese car parked there, that looks bigger than the American cars! Toyota is out Buicking Buick!"
"No, Honey, You can measure the wheelbase. MY Buick is bigger".
So if you can read between the lines above, I am pro nuclar power. I also think that the amount of petroleum burned in the United States is rediculously high, yet I own and drive automobiles that burn the stuff.
Anti nuke activist legacies. There was an anti nuke movie in the seventies where Jane Fonda starred as the hero role as the activist investigating Nuclear Power. Notice that the vehicle she drives in the movie is a Diesel powered Volswagen Rabbit, You can clearly see the car and hear the diesel clatter, yet nothing is said in the movie about the car, but there is more than one scene where Jane Fonda is driving or getting in or out of the car. But I guess it is fitting that the activist was portrayed as driving the most fuel efficient car in America at that time ~40-50 +/- mpg. If a mainstream anti nuke movie was made today, the activist would probably drive a modern 'hybrid' car that gets ~40-50 +/- mpg.
So, tonight when I drive south to the Bar in Roanoke, I need to bring up the topic of Nuclear Power. I googled the "North Anna power plant". Dominion Virginia Power, which owns the plant and also another nuclear power plant in Surrey, claims that 1/3 of Virgia's power comes from nuclear sources. That is alot of power. That suprises me, especially with all of the Coal in West Virginia. The railroad runs through downtown Roanoke a block from the bar. Many of the long trains rolling East are all cars full of coal. Walk another block and there is the no longer used passenger station.
Transportation - that uses alot of energy, and there are few to zero choices for transportation to get between smaller cities and towns around america. My car broke in Roanoke a couple years ago. I bought a bicycle at Goodwill. It took me five hours to ride to Lexington. Human Power!! Now If I left in the afternoon to ride the bicicle to the bar that evening, would I be very attractive sitting at the bar smelling of sweat?
I love you Mattilda, even though I do not write comments often on your blog.

james said...

Now I am on the IRS.gov website. Form 1040, Schedule L. You can deduct sales and excise taxes on purchasing a new motor vehicle. The motor vehicle can cost up to $48900, but you had to have bought the vehicle during a certain time frame. In 2009, you could deduct property taxes on a house on Schedule L, but not in 2010.
I believe this country, The United States, will never get ahead on any issue until it cleans up the tax code. No special breaks, especially for petroleum burning vehicles. No special breaks for Nuclear Power, either.
Form 1040, schedule E and the laws on depreciating 'assets', gets me angry. To me, those are ways to lower a tax bill by buying over priced real estate. I file form 1065 and 1120s, for small business I am involved with. I am sure if I read the big business tax code, I would get furious.
Thank You again, Mattilda, for letting me write on your blog.
More so, Thank YOU Mattilda for your writing on your blog and books.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

James, so lovely to hear from you! I don't think I would want to take a bus to Los Alamos for fear of getting stuck there, but I'm sure I can get a ride at some point... Actually I don't even know if there is a bus, since for some reason they closed the Greyhound station in Santa Fe -- I kid you not!

As for the projects over there, yes yes they are always creating something that sounds like it's in the public interest, to hide all the horrors -- as for Three Mile Island, it happened too early in my childhood to remember (I was born in 1973).

And, thank you for the Virginia social anecdote, I love it -- and yes, you're right that we have terrible options to get from city to city and town to town here in the US -- that because of all the subsidizing of cars and nuclear power/weapons at the cost of public transportation and renewable energy, what a hideous disaster...

Love --
mattilda