Georgia and I have made excellent progress on our doc! We visited Peekskill, NY a town which overlooks Indian Point Power Plant. The walkway along the Hudson was quite beautiful, though the nuclear plant looming right over it was quite ominous. Here are some behind the scene pictures from our journey:
“reactions” by Tucker Pearson
Looking for Tritium
Additionally we have officially secured the rights to use the Scott Waldman interview in my last post titled “5 Years After Fukushima, How vulnerable is Indian Point?”
Georgia is also in the process of arranging several interviews. One of the individuals we are speaking with and hoping to record an interview with is Arthur Ginsberg who worked for Indian Point power plant for several years.
We are also arranging an interview with Dr. Irwin Redlener the director of Columbia’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness and Dr. David Brenner, who directs Columbia’s Center for Radiological Research.
We are also hoping to get an activist perspective and someone who is currently employed by Indian Point.
At this time Georgia and I have interviewed Alfred Meyer, and I went to Peekskill, NY to document the SAPE2016 rally. Moving forward we are collecting archival footage and interviews pertinent to the Indian Point Energy Facility, and we plan to go shoot at the site itself this wednesday. We are not sure what to expect, but we will do our best investigative journalism. I am hoping that we can get an employee on camera, or at the very least get some close-up footage of the site.
I have been thinking a lot about what I hope for this film. When I went to the SAPE rally, I realized that average age of the protesters had to be at least 50 years old. While I appreciate that there’s a large body of activists from my parent’s generation out there fighting for our futures; I think, “where the hell are my peers”. It is true that some members of Earth Guardians NY came to speak at the rally, but if real change is to occur, we need to get a larger portion of the young involved in energy politics. My hope for this film, is to inspire more young adults to “dive-in” and begin fighting for what they know is right. If you see injustice in the world, don’t assume that others are going to stop it.
“Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence and thereby eventually lose all ability to defend ourselves and those we love.”
Yesterday, on April 3rd I attended a rally in Peekskill, NY for SAPE2016. The site of the rally was the Peekskill Riverfront Green, which offers excellent views of the Hudson River, and Indian Point Energy Center. There were blistering winds and cold temperatures; however, there was a fairly large turnout. My contact at the event was Gary Shaw and his wife Jeanne (pictured below). They have been actively vocal against Indian point for sometime now.
This rally is directly important to our documentary, because the expansion of Algonquin Pipeline would call for a high-pressure gas pipeline to pass within 105ft of the control room of Indian Point Energy Center. A site that already has two fault lines crossing its property. As I have stated before, the Indian Point facility has already been dealing with the consequences of infrastructure issues for some time now. It is like adding insult to injury to increase the risk of a major catastrophe by having this pipeline built so close to the reactors at indian point.
The rally had many great speakers including Dr. Courtney Williams and Paul Blanch (featured in the video bellow) and the Mayor of Peekskill, who vowed to “not take a even a dime” from energy companies for his town, unlike many of the other surrounding towns. The rally was a great experience, and really opened my eyes to the community of people who are as outraged as I am if not more so about Indian Point and the growing danger it poses.
Moving forward, Georgia and I are continuing to organize interviews with experts and activists as well as visiting Indian Point in the upcoming weeks.
PLEASE WATCH this Video from The Guardian featuring Dr. Williams and Mr. Blanch, to learn more about SAPE2016 and the dangers of Indian point.
Over the past 55 years, the global population has doubled. There were half the people there are now on this planet when my parents were born. At this rate, the population of earth will be over 11 billion by 2060. Terrifying statistics when one considers the strain on our planet’s resources with the population earth has now. In the documentary Climate Refugees former US Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, states that “everything in nature is related, so overpopulation, competition for resources, food, water, energy; all have an impact on each other.” The founder of Earthday, former US Senator Gaylord Nelson, shared a similar sentiment, that addresses the severity of consequences :
“The link between population growth and environmental degradation is made often in retrospective studies, which is why they aren’t really considered valid, but clearly more people living better lives is the hallmark of progress. Activists worried about the environment don’t want better lives unless it means fewer lives too. More people means more cars, trucks and buses, more air pollution, more parking lots and less green spaces. In their progressive dystopian future, there are more chemicals, more trash and more runoff cascading down super sewers into our streams, lakes and oceans means more damage to California’s biodiversity hot-spots. Plus, more people means more pressure on declining water supplies”
The current annual global energy consumption rates are only getting higher. We have surpassed the equivalent of 3 billion metric tonnes of oil in global energy needs every year. As we all know, fossil fuels are a finite resource. For our planet to achieve such a massive annual energy quota, it is necessary to switch to renewables. I feel it almost silly to make this argument, because the facts are simple. More people on our planet will require more energy.
As resources dwindle in areas most affected by climate change, large populations will have to move to survive. This is already happening in places like the Marshal Islands and Syria. The modern refugee crisis is only going to grow in the years ahead, as climate issues become more prevalent around the globe. And exacerbating the issue is the chaotic growth of the world’s population. The “refresh rate” of our planet’s resources is not fast enough to support our growing population and the demands of modern civilization.
This has been a hard week. Swallowing this information is very difficult. The mind begins to spiral out of control when trying to absorb the hard statistics. I’ve been depressed thinking about this grave dystopian future that the evidence suggests. Will my children see the beauty I have seen in the world? Will I be able to SHARE the wonderment in nature I have found, or will it become a history lesson? Could our species’ future lay beyond the stars?
Hey class! We have interviewed Alfred Meyer and we have been reaching out to some environmental health experts at NYU Langone Medical Center who are experts on how radioactivity affects the human body. We are hard at work trying to arrange some kind of interview with an Entergy employee and gain access to film at Indian Point. In addition to that, we are looking into speaking with more activists who are passionate on the subject matter, and Indian Point particularly.
For my final project, Georgia Krause and I will be creating a short documentary on the Indian Point Energy Center located north of New York City on the Hudson River. In December 2015 there was a massive leak of tritium from this site. As Georgia mentioned in her post about our project, we intend to talk about the site’s history, the leak, the dangers the site poses, and ultimately why this facility needs to be shut down.
This project is of great importance to me because I feel that not enough people understand the risks that nuclear energy poses to wildlife and human health today, and for the indefinite future. As a New Yorker beginning to become more educated on the topic, I feel it is my duty to inform other New Yorkers about this facility and the danger it poses; as well as educate the public on the dangers of nuclear energy in general. I have spoken to far too many so-called “environmentalist” friends who believe that nuclear is the future of energy. Until there is an alternative way to dispose of the bi-products of these facilities, I have to disagree.
My hope for this short documentary is that it will be shared with a mass audience through social media. I think that the proximity of such a potentially dangerous site, to one of the largest cities in the world, makes this film have urgency and importance. We will be judging the success of this project based on the number of views received / people educated.
New York’s Governor Cuomo warns of hazardous Indian Point a year prior to the tritium leak.
There is a lot of media out there on the topic, and Georgia and I plan to shoot our own footage and interviews in addition to this for the project. I look forward to the process and the outcome of the piece.
“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”
In the next four years, by 2020, India intends to have electricity available nationally. To do this, the country needs to build the infrastructure and acquire the means to do so. Currently the majority of India’s power comes from coal powered plants. The production and use of coal is set to nearly double in India over the next four years. To do this, the country is going to have to source foreign coal. To understand the situation better, I have provided a graph from the U.S. Energy information Administration (EIA).
As you can see, there is a gap between the targets set for Coal India Limited (CIL) and the total production target. This means the this gap has to be filled by other public and private sector operations, in addition to sourcing foreign coal.
Inherent to this ongoing ramping-up of industry in India, is the “question” of climate change. Will the country perhaps take this massive step towards giving all of its citizens the availability of electricity as an opportunity to be the pioneers in renewable energy? I hope so. To that end, the country will have to take into consideration its approach to renewables. Will they choose to do massive solar farming, or localize village to village?
All that I know, is that India will answer a big question facing our world: can we grow and simultaneously create sustainability? Can industry flourish by being ecologically responsible? I hope so. If India decides to curb coal production, and invest in newer and more sustainable options as an alternative, they would be examples to the rest of the developing world and the already so-called “developed” nations, of how to be a leader of industry and a champion of our international ecosystem.
Take a look at this link to learn more about India and coal.
At this point most people who are somewhat socially conscience are aware that bottled water has some significant environmental repercussions. Namely, harmful plastics being introduced into the environment. However troubling this may be, I think that there is a much more troubling side to this industry. Clean water is a necessity to human life, and I believe that it should be free for all people, just like the air we breathe. The EPA has acts to protect these basic human rights, which I’m sure you all know the names of. (Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act). The commodification and industrialization of drinking water has some terribly unnerving implications. Water has largely become commoditized internationally, mostly in response to the global water crisis. However, we also have another crisis on our hands; that crisis being the quality of air.
Perhaps there is nowhere on Earth with as much air pollution as Beijing, China. In December 2015, the capital city declared a Red Alert in air quality. CNN reported, “According to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, the air quality index stood at 250… classed as ‘very unhealthy’ and 10 times higher than the World Health Organization’s recommended levels”‘. This issue of air pollution is an ongoing one for the Chinese people as their industry grows, keeping in mind that the nation is powered mostly by coal. So, it may be no surprise to you all that where there is a need; in this case clean air, there is an entrepreneur looking to cash in by filling a need. A Canadian Company has done just this, by bottling rocky mountain air. No joke… Vitality Air has a surprisingly large consumer market for their product in China. You can read more about this company in an interview with CNN.
This obviously isn’t the solution to the air pollution issues in our world. The whole concept of commoditizing air, is nightmarishly dystopian in my opinion. I know that I am not alone when I voice my fear of having to buy a can of air to breathe easy. New York street-art duo Raemannaddress their similar fears with a campaign of wheatpastes that routinely appear around the city.
I find this work highly provocative and intelligent. If you review some of these artist’s works, you will see that there is a deliberate message trying to be communicated here. I find the composition and the forum in which the work is being displayed to be genius. What better way to gain a average person’s attention, then copying the same formula as advertisers. I just think that this is a fantastic example of art and activism intersecting, and I hope to create something as thought provoking for my final project.
Josh Fox’s documentary Gasland is still heartbreaking 5 years after its initial release. The saddest part? No mass reform has taken place. I find the evidence in this film shocking and clear as day. The fact that the industry is aware of the effects that hydraulic fracturing has on the ecosystems and water-tables of areas near drill sites, yet still continues to install new wells without any change in safety or containment; is by definition, psychopathic. How have we, as a society, sunk so low as to sacrifice the one thing that all life needs to sustain itself, just for easier profit?! The shortsighted nature of fracking is disgustingly lazy and essentially criminal.
The United States of America, for a long time, has been moving towards no longer being dependent on foreign oil and gas. A huge catalyst in this purely political push, has been the tapping of immense domestic depositories of natural gas. However, by building the infrastructure to extract the coveted fossil fuel we all so dearly need frustrated sigh we have in turn done the thing that politicians were arguing to avoid: loss of American lives. Essentially, I don’t find it ludicrous to say that the signatories of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 are responsible for poisoning hundreds of thousands of Americans. The fact that fracking forgoes many of the regulations stipulated in the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts do to loopholes, is in my opinion, treason.
The United States is home to some of the purest unfiltered drinking water in the world. In the future, this will be our most valued asset as nation. Not oil, not gas, not petrochemicals, not corn, not Hollywood blockbusters…WATER. We can no longer make any mistakes when it comes to the drinking water of the US. Stop the natural gas industry from Hydraulic Fracturing. The generations to come will thank you.
“WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH”
As I revisit the writings of George Orwell, a bit older and wiser than when I first read his prose at the age of 14, I’m saddened by our present and our future. I feel the same unease in the similarities I found between the world of Newspeak and our world of Newsweek. I could, as many have before me; write a novel on the implications of 1984 in modern times, but for the time being I’ll trim it down.
“Ignorance is strength,” is perhaps the most apropos statement made in Orwell’s master-work. The phrase is a part of “the party’s” motto. For the Party in 1984 and for many corporations globally today, the general public’s “ignorance” is ultimately playing into their “strength.” Everyday, worldwide, humanitarian and ecological atrocities take place. Sometimes, these events are on the news; but, how can we trust the news, when it is often misreported or watered down and treated with extreme legal scrutiny in the favor of the news agency and its parent company. For the “real” story, one has to do broad research, find patterns or lack there of, to find the true facts. I feel that if more people took time to really research the state of our earth, we may be able to find wide-scale positive change. However, this is far easier to say than do.
We live in an egocentric age. Society has put a positive spin on the ideas of selfishness, and greed. So, how does one escape the cycle, and be an individual force for positive change? I think that practicing empathy, and being educated are the strongest weapons against our real-world “Big-Brother.” We are all living a more complex version of 1984 today; all members of the class of ’84. Will our fates be like that of Winston Smith, or can we find a way out of the impending trap? Detest ignorance and find strength in knowledge and compassion, be like our universe: infinite and one.
“Rage, rage against the dying of the light”