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Red Dirt for a greener, nuke-free planet

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Having been a founding member of the Green Party of Louisiana in 2002 and later involved in Libertarian Party politics in Louisiana and Oklahoma, I have witnessed the internal fighting and bickering that goes on – not unexpectedly – within a new political party.

Sadly, the ballot access laws in Oklahoma are designed to make sure the two-party system dominates and looks out for its own interests. These ballot access laws in Oklahoma are the strictest in the United States, requiring 10 times as many signatures as in most states.

Yet, more and more people are registering as Independent in this state – and for good reason. They are fed up with a two-party system where a fascistic corporate-focused party of religious fanatics – the Republicans – dominate, and the Democrats seem to cower in the face of the GOP elephant. The current duopoly has only its greedy interests in mind. You are simply part of the scenery. So don't count on either corporate party to actually work to protect the environment when there is money to be made and land to rape. 

For you easily distracted, lefty Greens out there, do you feel that nuclear disarmament and ending the power and influence of Big Nuke is a priority? Not really. We admire the Greens for their push for “future focus and sustainability” and their embrace of “personal and global responsibility.” But with nuclear war and the lasting effects that nuclear power and related disasters have on people, animals and the environment, this issue should be the first priority.

When looking at the more right-leaning, free-market Libertarian Party platform related to environmental issues, they open with this: “Who’s the greatest polluter of all? The oil companies? The chemical companies? The nuclear power plants? If you guessed ‘none of the above,’ you’d be correct.” They go on to talk about government being the biggest polluter. And that is probably right. Still, the corporations are allowed, by the government to produce nuclear weapons and nuclear power, which we feel is dangerous to the future of the planet. After all, climate change appears to be taking place. 

Look at what is happening at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant site in northeastern Japan. After the March 11, 2011 tsunami event that struck Japan, the Fukushima plant was gravely damaged, and three years later the plant is still leaking radiation and radioactive material into the surrounding environment and into the Pacific Ocean. The increasingly nationalistic Japanese government, which is essentially run by the ecocidal Tokyo Electrical Power Company (TEPCO), has done little to gather the nations and great minds of the world to come together and solve this serious problem. Japan's Prime Minsiter Shinzo Abe should be sent to The Hague on charges of allowing TEPCO to commit ecocide.

Up in Richland, Washington, we see continued problems at the Hanford nuclear reservation. Between that, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, decades of atmospheric atomic-bomb tests and many other "nuclear errors," (to quote the Clash on "London Calling"), why do we wonder why cancer rates and other health problems are rising across the Earth? 

And today we see that workers at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, New Mexico are going underground to find the source of the radiation leak that has contaminated the surrounding environment and quite possibly blown plutonium and americium over Texas and into Oklahoma.

As many as 21 WIPP workers are found to have been contaminated by the radiation. The site are essentially underground salt caverns where nuclear waste is stored. And within 15 years of opening, WIPP is already trying to solve a serious leak. And we’re supposed to believe this will hold up for hundreds if not thousands of years?

And they are reporting a study out now that a “small” nuclear war could trigger a catastrophic “global cooling” event which could essentially wipe out humanity. So, Pakistan and India have a nuclear exchange. Buh-bye, humanity. Been good to know ya.

Could a political party be formed around a single issue of great importance? Certainly. If enough people put aside their ideological differences and gather around an issue of central importance like nuclear disarmament. It’s happened before. Australia had a Nuclear Disarmament Party for many years – one that sought to bring people from the left and right together. Was it perfect? No. But one must learn from ones mistakes and move forward.

So, if you are interested in expanding this conversation, let us know. The future of the planet depends on us actually having a conversation and acting accordingly. A Red Dirt Nuclear Disarmament Party could form a coalition with Greens, Libertarians and Socialists who want a better, healthier planet. We already see that the current Millennial generation is largely indifferent to car culture, despite efforts by the car companies to compel them to consume and drive. And they are increaasingly independent-minded, rather than seeing things from the strict left-right paradigm.

And in closing, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians’ 1990 cover of Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” just came on. A song interpreted as being about nuclear fallout and a 60’s song calling for environmental and social justice and peace ("pellets of poison are flooding their waters"). I interpret that as a synchromystic sign that we are on the right path here as we approach the 44th anniversary of Earth Day. Remember, there's no Planet "B."

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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