Wednesday, December 17, 2014

"30 Years in 30 Minutes": Department of Energy Oak Ridge Documentary on Environmental Cleanup

I am touched, titillated and tickled that the Department of Energy (a/k/a "Denier of Everything") made a 30-minute documentary about its Oak Ridge cleanup program, "30 Years in 30 Minutes." On May 17, 1983, our Appalachian Observer newspaper won declassification of the largest mercury pollution event in world history (Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Plant, 4.2 million pounds, mercury "lost" into creeks and groundwaters (still leaking and requiring a new $125,000,000 plant sponsored by Senator Lamar Alexander) and pouring into Y-12 plant workers lungs and brains (no respirators and no protection) at levels 30-60 times then-prevailing health standards. I left for law school at Memphis State (now University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law) a month after my July 11, 1983 testimony before then-Rep. Al Gore, calling for criminal prosecution of Union Carbide and government officials. Check out the video:

What do you reckon? Was it a mistake going to law school? Should I have stayed in East Tennessee? As Justice Robert Jackson, our prosecutor at Nuremberg, once asked his law clerk impressed with his prodigious stack of law books amidst a research project, "But what does it all mean?"

Should I make a documentary?

Or write novels and movie scripts? You tell me. I would appreciate your thoughts.

Ed Slavin
Box 3084
St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084


Anonymous said...

Yes, please: make a documentary, write movie scripts and write novels! (I can be a bit demanding) Thank you for your work at Oak Ridge.

Warren Celli said...

"But what does it all mean?"

Some thoughts Ed;

The above, coupled with your 'What do I do next ?' query, seems to be a question on the minds of a great number of sentient individuals today.

There are a lot of instigating vectors to be considered in the why of the question, and the making of a sound decision as to how to best proceed. Those vectors fall into two broad categories; the local sphere of influence (personal affairs, current economic and physical health (many times people are coming down with something and act erratically as a result), local culture, local environment (improving or degrading), weather, living accommodations, etc.), and, the macro sphere of influence; the impact of a much greater range of outside factors on the local sphere of influence(s).

I personally believe that these macro influences are of greater impact today than they ever have been and are cause for wreaking havoc on the local sphere of influences and the individuals within it, especially the role of technology and its power to shape the cultural environment (the cultural environment now functions as externally shared DNA and has become dominant in the 'genetic mutation vs environment' debate/dynamic). The Electronic Migration Effect, subsumption into the Onotron and OTSD — Onotron Traumatic Stress Disorder, etc., are all real forces that past cultural conditioning prevents many people from becoming aware of. Few can really see the explosive changes, their consequences, and the importance of morality that is involved in the process.

Good decisions require good perception of the terrain. Most good decisions involve a balanced consideration of that perception. Often times doing many things, in a follow one's joy process, can be beneficial to the decision making process.

In your favor Ed, you have a great moral compass and courage, and you have been a positive influence here in Saint Augustine where your law schooling has been most beneficial. Consider also you may be suffering from a little burn out and writing short plays might be just the respite you need. The world needs a play entitled; "Inners and Outers!", about the relative merits of working within the established system or outside of the established system. Maybe street theater acted out on the city Plaza. Oh wait. That's against the law.

From a selfish perspective I hope you hang around and keep giving them hell, even if it is at a reduced more balanced rate!