Archive for March, 2011

RE: Dare I share this?

March 15, 2011

Sent to my kids and family:

My 85 year old Quaker pal Ava Dale e-mailed me the attached article this morning…with the query Dare I share this?


The article was writtem by Greg Palast: Tokyo Electric to Build US Nuclear Power Plants


“The No BS on Japan’s Disastrous Nuclear Operators”


This is the note I sent her in return…which has a point or two…but also a historical context some of you may be interested in. 



From: Joe Burke
Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 11:07 AM
To: ‘Ava Dale Johnson’
Subject: RE: Dare I share this?

Oh yes.  This is the true center of the issue.  Where theoretical meets practical.  Where competence collides with expedience. Where truth is subsumed by denial.  Where, illusion is tripped up by reality.  Where man is inevitably puny and fallible — and where nature always rules.  It seems the piper always gets paid.

The “Shoreham” mentioned in the article is the town where I spent my childhood.  The place where as little kids we could walk for miles along the beach which ran the length of Long Island itself — without ever seeing a soul — in complete safety.  It was a magical place that sat up high on a bluff over the Long Island Sound.  It had a general store which also had gas pumps and a post office…and a one room school house with 12 kids in 6 grades taught by Miss Tuttle.   

The reactor was built where Robby Knox and I (he was the only other kid in my grade) built forts in the woods that nobody else knew were there. There were only 78 people in the town when I was a boy growing up there (300 in the summer). The intake pipes for the reactor ran through an estuary just off of Black Rock – which was a glacially deposited rock (yes, a black one – located some 200 yards off shore) – that came from somewhere else on earth — that tall ships used as an anchor point when while people first arrived to that area (a pipe had been drilled in the rock where hawsers were once thrown).  This was where I, and boys before and after me,  learned about quicksand and snakes and nesting red winged black birds and waterfowl,  and reptiles and bugs and mushrooms and brackish water and saw grass and tadpoles and frogs…and  fish fry and fingerlings and larger creatures who lived and ate there.   

The reactor destroyed my memories of all of that. It destroyed innocence and sweetness.  So righteously sold and constructed…then dismantled in shame and dissolution because it wasn’t safe.  Back when people were harder to buy off.  Back when people weren’t quite so eager to accept unacceptable risk.  Not like now. 

Oh yes.  Dare away Ava Dale.