Speaking Truth to Power (power wasn't listening)

I went off to a Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) hearing in Ottawa the other day to “speak truth to power” about a very polluting little nuclear company in Pembroke, Ontario.

As I’d said to a number of friends in an e-mail before the hearing, we would be “speaking truth to power,” as the saying goes – all the while knowing that “power” wouldn’t really be listening.

And so it was. “Power” wasn’t really listening to the members of the public who were there to express their legitimate & long-time concerns. Well, that isn’t strictly true. At times they did actually appear to be listening, but you could sort of see their ears closing up again lickety-split. [Of course, they later did go right on ahead & grant SRB a 5-year license to continue polluting the city of Pembroke.]

I still feel grrrrreat about having said my little piece, though. I was in the awesome company of other activists, all of whom have more integrity in their little fingers than a lot of the folks who were in that room have in their whole bodies.

Of course, as Upton Sinclair said who knows how many decades ago, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

(Is it not so?)

For me, hanging around fellow activists of such intelligence, courage & integrity is very, very energizing. It renders all the work & energy & time one has put into this massive exercise (way over the top, trust me!!) utterly worthwhile.

Some of us had dinner together afterward, and I’ll bet we took our fellow diners in the otherwise quiet restaurant by surprise. We were crazily animated, discovered connections among ourselves we hadn’t realized existed, had lots & lots of laughs – &, quite clearly, were having a ball!

All you folks who “run” the world – the ones with power who are fuelled by greed (& personal insecurity)? I have a message for you:

Being an activist – doing worthwhile work that really matters – with passion & energy & conviction & commitment – is wildly, wildly, wildly enjoyable & rewarding.

Of course, it would be really cool if more often we achieved the kinds of results we were after.

But even when we don’t, hooey! Are we ever in fine company!!


p.s. Visit the TAP (Tritium Awareness Project) Web site if you’d like to learn "the truth about tritium" - especially the scene in Pembroke, Ontario, home to SRB Technologies, local tritium polluter.

p.p.s. much much later: there is also now a posting called 'Tritium Resources' with lots of tritium info links.


‘Quote of the day’ w. this post: “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.” – Thomas Sowell

(Yesterday's was “A voice is a human gift. It should be cherished & used. Powerlessness & silence go together.” Margaret Atwood)