Our perilous attitude

In the Dec. 7, 1989, issue of the Reporter, you printed a prose work that I wrote called “Greenie.” The title and the work, referred to global warming, or the greenhouse effect, as it was known then.  
I still keep a copy of that work posted on my on-line, environmentally themed arts and literature web zine called The Earth Comes First (http://www.theearthcomesfirst.com).

I keep it posted there to remind me that, even though it is 24 years later and a lot has been accomplished, as you pointed out in the [Earth Day issue, 4-18], we have a long way yet to go. To me, the debate over global warming is very frustrating. I have been talking and writing about the reality of it for decades, and I believe that people are now finally coming to see that it is a real danger and that it will, if left unchecked, destroy most life on this planet. What gets me is that I also think the majority of the people understand this — yet they do little or nothing about it. They seem to think that the problem is one that science has to solve and not just ordinary people, so they go about their lives, speeding along in gas-guzzling behemoths, failing to recycle everything possible, and voting for climate-denying politicians. Their attitude seems to be, “Well, it won’t kill me so I am OK”.

This is a perilous attitude to take, and the assumption that the problem is for science to solve is greatly misguided.

Maybe you won’t die from global warming, but your life could be shortened perceptibly by it in many ways, from increased air pollution to the detrimental effects of an amped-up sun.

Thinking that you are helpless to do anything to save our planet is very wrong. Anything you do individually, from walking or biking instead of driving (even just once in a while) to recycling, is beneficial.  You just have to realize that we are all in this together.

We made this mess and only we can fix it — if it is not too late.


John Darling


Cleanup Rocketdyne now

In a recent article in the VC Star, “Santa Susanna Groundwater Cleanup Could Take Centuries” (by Mike Harris, April 18), the author attended a meeting where Mark Malinowski of the state Department of Toxic Substances Control stated, “No significant contamination has been found beyond the site’s boundaries.”

A member of the community, William Bowling, then stated, “In 2008, they removed three football fields of contaminated soil off the adjacent Sage Ranch Park property, and then last year the EPA found radioactivity in a well on the campus owned by the American Jewish University, which also adjoins the site.”

To this vital bit of schooling, Malinowski replied, “Our evaluation of the EPA evaluation showed that was a questionable result. So it could be [a] false positive. One of the things we are reassessing is: Do we need to resample that location?”
This bureaucratic passing the buck and blaming the EPA (or any agency with whom your agency, company or department is supposed to be working) for doing shoddy work and/or issuing “false positive” statements is more than infuriating. It ruins the public’s confidence in government, while further exposing the public to dangerous radioactive waste (in this case) for many years longer than necessary while these ridiculous blame-calling idiots figure out who among them is telling the truth.

It’s just a hunch, but I would guess that EPA-bashing corporations known for polluting our land, air and water have more than a hand in getting people like Malinowski to trash the EPA at a public meeting. The fact that the forces of industry have such influence at such high levels in our environmental protection agencies is truly alarming.

I would urge the state Department of Toxic Substances Control to work with the EPA and its findings and to STOP calling their results “false positives.” The facts are IN (about the extent of radioactive waste present in the soil in and around the Santa Susanna Field Lab). It’s time to GET TO WORK AND GET RID OF THIS CRAP FROM OUR ENVIRONMENT!

Justin Markman