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June 22, 2011     The Julian News
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12 The Julian News EARTH TALK00 Questions &amp; Answers About Our Environment Dear EarthTalk: Radioactive rain recently fell in Massachusetts, likely due to Japan's nuclear mess. Given the threats of radiation, wouldn't it be madness now to continue with nuclear power? How can President Obama include nukes as part of a "clean energy" agenda? -- Bill Mason, Hartford, CT In the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan, countries around the world that were growing more bullish on nuclear power are now reconsidering their future energy investments. Germany has shut down seven of its oldest nuclear reactors and is conducting safety studies on the remaining facilities; those that don't make the grade could be closed permanently. Meanwhile, in earthquake-prone Chile some 2,000 demonstrators marched through the capital to protest their government's enthusiasm for nuclear power. And China, the world's fastest growing nuclear energy developer, has suspended the approval process on 50 nuclear power plants already on the drawing board, and begun inspections on 13 existing plants. But despite calls to shutter the U.S. nuclear program, President Obama remains committed to the industry despite his stated opposition to it pre-election. In December 2007, Obama told reporters at a campaign stop in Iowa: "Until we can make certain that nuclear power plants are safe...I don't think that's the best option," adding that he was much more keen on solar, wind, biodiesel and other alternative fuels. According to investigative journalist Karl Grossman, Obama changed his tune on nuclear as soon as he took office, "talking about 'safe, clean nuclear power' and push[ing] for multi-billion dollar taxpayer subsidies for the construction of new nuclear plants." Right away, Grossman says, Obama brought in nuclear advocate Steven Chu as energy secretary, and two White House aides that had been "deeply involved with...the utility operating more nuclear power plants than any other in the U.S., Exelon." Undeterred by the Japanese nuclear disaster, Obama pledged just two weeks following the initial explosions at the Fukushima Dai-ichi facility that nuclear power should be revived in the U.S., as it provides "electricity without adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere." He added that he requested a comprehensive safety review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to ensure the safety of existing facilities. "We'll incorporate those conclusions and lessons from Japan in designing and building the next generation of [nuclear] plants," Obama added. But just because nuclear energy isn't a fossil fuel doesn't make it green, given the ongoing risk of radioactivity.. Also, • reports the non-profit Beyond Nuclear, "Nuclear power is counterproductive to efforts to address climate change effectively and in tim0...funding diverted to new nuclear power plants deprives rel climate change solutions, like solar, wind and geothermal energy, of essential resources." Indeed, if policymakers were able to divert the hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies to the U.S. nuclear industry every year to solar, wind and geothermal developers, there is no telling how quickly we could innovate our way to sustainable non- polluting energy independence and put the specter of nuclear power that much further in our rearview mirror. But it looks like as long as Obama remains in office, nuclear will remain a big part of our near term energy future, damn the torpedoes. CONTACTS: Karl Grossman, karlgrossman.blogspot.com; Nuclear Regulatory Commission, www.nrc.gov; Beyond Nuclear, www.beyondnuclear.org. Earth Talkฎ is written and edited by Ruddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E - The Environmental Magazine (www. emagazine.com). Send questions to: earthtalk@emagazine.com. Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/ subscribe. Free Trial Isue: www. emagazine, com/triaL The non-profit organization, Beyond Nuclear, calis nuclear power "counterproductive to efforts to address climate change effectively and in time" and says that funding diverted to nuclear deprives real climate change solutions, like solar, wind and geothermal energy, of essential resources. Pictured: The Three Mile Island nuclear generating station, circa 1979 near the time it suffered a partial meltdown. U.S. Department of Energy photo emi For the first half of your life, people tell you what you should do; for the second half, they tell you what you should have done. -- Richard Needham Ask Pastor Rick ...... i iii  Religion In The News Healing for the Broken Male (I wrote this piece in response to a question I received before Congressman Weiner made his confession. Rather than editing the response, I thought I'd submit it as it was intended at the time). Politicians, pundits, and talk- show hosts are putting their spin on whether or not Anthony Weiner (Congressman:• New York's 9th District)'tweeted' a very personal photo to a woman other than his wife. I doubt this situation has been good for his marriage, but that is something for he and his wife to work out. This incident, however; has reminded me of something that has far too long been swept under the rug; that is, the state of broken men. How many more public figures are we going to have to see go up in flames until we understand how broken men have become? How many more careers have to be dismantled? How many more marriages have to be dissolved? Maybe, just maybe, this event will help men to 'fess up' and begin the healing process. We see it almost daily now. World-renowned bankers, U.S. politicians, schoolteachers, and yes, even famous preachers and evangelists, all caught with their pants down! Perhaps it's due in part to the competitive nature of our society. Men seem to be judged (or judge themselves) by their success, wealth, power or influence, and fame. From my observation, those who get caught up in that arena are the most messed up of them all. What is needed is just one courageous man who, being caught up in a scandal, would come out and admit the truth. Wouldn't it be refreshing for one Of them to admit his guilt rather than denying it and making a mockery of the vows promised to his mate? Here's the admission I think would help every broken male: "1 have not been truthful in what I have been saying to you. There is a reason for it. It is not a good one, but it is the truth: I am ashamed and embarrassed by what I have done. Rather than finding my fulfillment in you, I felt a strong need for the validation from someone else. There is no justification for it. I was wrong to do it. "It doesn't matter how much I accomplish. Whatever good I do seems to disappear into a deep, inner pit and I cannot feel good about myself. I always want more and it just got out of control. Not only do I want more but also I want more than the other guy. I even want what he has. I should have tried to quench the thirst in my head or heart differently but I didn't, which explains some of my behavior. I often feel as though I am treading water and now, exposed with the wrong I have done, I feel I am sinking in despair. "If I have learned anything from this, it is to finally get a grip on the toxic way I try to satiate my desires. It's now time for me to come out of that darkness. I'm going to come clean; first and foremost with my wife and subsequently with those who know me and what I've done. Yes, I'm broken and damaged, and I desperately need help to amend for both the big and little mistakes I have made. "It's time for an open and honest discussion, regardless how painful and humiliating it is. June 22, 2011 I'm committed to never define myself by wealth or power again. I promise to be truthful in word and in deed. I vow, again, to be a loyal husband, friend, father. I truly want to inspire those who know me--warts and all. "1 realize that what I'm saying today will need a lot of time for validation. Therefore, I'm committing to speak with a spiritual authority, a counselor, over the next few months to help me get re-entrenched in the values that should define my life. I am sorry, truly sorry for the awful thing I have done. Just saying this gives me a sense of liberation, even as I have felt humbled." There is a word for this kind of response in the Bible. It's called repentance. It's what David, King of Israel, did when he was confronted with his sexual sin. Listen to his lament from Psalm 51:1-4a, as stated in The Message Paraphrase of the Bible: Generous in love--God, give grace! Huge in mercy I wipe out my bad record. Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry. I know how bad I've been; my sins are staring me down. You're the One I've violated, and you've seen it all, seen the full extent of my evil. You have all the facts before you; whatever you decide about me is fair. I've been out of step with you for a long time..." Will the confession like this make everything better? Will it make and end of the problem? No, but it's a good place to start! 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