“It’s only twenty minutes away, thirteen miles between Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Pleasanton via I-580, but I’d say that not a single soul among the 82,270 citizens who live in that San Francisco suburb know anything about what’s going on within the government’s secretive realm unless they work there.” — Richard Martin Oxman
What exactly are Tanks & Spills? You can see a select list for the locality I’m spotlighting here. They are, in many instances, leaking. They should be freaking people out.
For here and now, however, I recommend that readers get down with my essential message. That is, that there are many in most communities throughout the U.S. (and the rest of the world), even in and around gated communities, the prized privileged realms too. And they’re not being talked about, let alone being dealt with at all.
One of most progressive schools in the so-called Golden State is about to take me on board to teach its youngsters about our times and the needs of the local community. Lots of educators would die to secure a job in Pleasanton, California. I’m happy at the prospect, but I pray that the powers that be at the educational institution will acknowledge the seriousness of this subject.
Most so-called progressive schools subject students to what I call Ostrich Syndrome. A highly infectious disease, that. Imagine that, being encouraged to ignore public health issues. Toxicity in one’s backyard. Wouldn’t be me, and that’s why I’m hoping against hope that the authorities will see the value of confronting the highly hazardous dangers in their academic circles.
And by “confronting” I don’t mean having lessons culminate in having the loved ones of the youth march in circles with placards screaming bootless cries. The Pleasanton school is a stone’s throw from the prestigious Lawrence Livermore Labs, and what’s needed to address “our times and the needs of the local community” is an intrepid calling a spade a spade, not flinching on that score because there’s more money to be made by turning one’s head away from the trouble. By not caving to the popular pressure to live and let live so that cold economic interests can do what they’re doing undisturbed.
It’s time to be perturbed openly. Together with other irate citizens.
Doing one’s own thing — bouncing off of the American mantra which encourages one and all to follow individual passions — won’t cut the muster. There’s a job to be done, and that must be tackled in solidarity, not in this or that way, as if the activism required can be thought of in the context of “it’s six of one half a dozen of the other.” Reins of decision-making power must be secured… so that there can be transparency about experimentation more dangerous than what’s come down courtesy of Fukushima and Chernobyl. Yes… “more dangerous.”
Right now environmentalists are focused on how the federal Environmental Protection Agency might be eliminated, but there are too few words about how that corrupt agency has allowed toxicity to spread to the nth degree for decades; E.G. Vallianatos tells me that the official take on the status of the tanks and spills can’t be trusted, but that much worse betrayals of the public trust can be cited. Like what goes on at American federal research facilities.
Lawrence Livermore Labs — supported to the nth degree by the University of California- Berkeley — is conducting experiments in the backyard of that Pleasanton School which the parents of my students-to-be would drop dead over were they to know what’s coming down in that horrid realm. All contingent upon their tax dollars, I should add. I’m “not at liberty,” as they say, to spell out the nuts and bolts here.
Maybe when I enter my first class this upcoming semester I should add one and one for the parents and students and school authorities. Walk them through the math. Go to the blackboard, and delineate with the greatest clarity. One can speak the truth to others one-on-one or in select groups.
There is a window of opportunity to DO something about the threats to public health in their area, actually the ongoing damage that’s being done to youth and all others. I have to believe that citizens will be concerned and want to act once they know the facts.
Local leaking tanks and abominable spills (which can be easily located for a tactful lesson plan on possible strategies) would be a great point of departure for discussing viable options for dealing with the Big Toxic Picture of what they call the North Bay in California. A way to prepare students and their loved ones and other members of the community to get down with their times and needs, enable them to send positive ripples nationwide. Ripples of hope and encouragement.
Once the truth is told.
Rachel Oxman can be reached at email@example.com.