Sunday, October 12, 2008
An interview with Professor K
An Interview with Professor K
Hello sir ! My name is Jerry and Id like you to share your take (understanding) on what is happening to the world, what that means for this and oncoming generations of people , places and all life in general.
Would you introduce yourself and share your credentials with us ?
Certainly, Jerry. Simply put, my name is Keyman and I head the department of Contemporary Studies at CTTC University. I dont aspire to knighthood so just call me professor K.
J. My first question: With so many fears and anxieties out there, the most scarce article seems to be happiness and peace of mind. Continuous war, global warming, natural disasters and now a money meltdown. Are our fears warranted ?
K. Yes, If we are to understand anything, we must search out the hardest data we can find, analyze that data and face up to the apparent consequences.
To examine your first concern warwe can do a count. This can take the form of a physical count----how many military bases, how many bombers, tanks, guns, missiles and bullets. Whats in inventory and how quickly are these items being added to. Our analysis will note the portion of public expenditures being devoted to war to the totalhealth, education, infrastructure, transportation ,arts, parks and recreation. This information will either assure you or alarm you. I assume you are alarmed.
J. Youre very right about that. I guess my alarm focuses on the permanence of nuclear destruction right from the damage done to the miners of uranium, to the processors, to the operators of nuclear reactors , to the soldiers and civilians. What makes any one suggest we take these risks ?
K. My easiest answer to your question is lust for money. When you examine in detail who benefits (qui bono, as the lawyers put it), you find the mining companies e.g.,Cameco, and the reactor builders e.g., General Electric, and the operators and regulators that have free access to the public purse. They usually justify their activities as being in the public interest. They are not to be held responsible for mistakes, delays or cost over-runs much less catastrophes. Did you know that insurance for catastrophe is limited ? I think it is only $75 million in your area. Any cost of cleanup beyond that is the publics responsibility. Follow the money trail to the truth most analysts say.
J. Thanks. That sounds like the direction Dr. Helen Caldicott keeps using. Shes been writing and speaking about the horrors of using uranium in any form, for any purpose. Some people think she has earned a Nobel Peace prize.
J. Next, I want to ask you about the global environment. Is it accurate to say that humankind is destroying its own future and that of the plants and animals that are becoming mere museum pieces? Will future visitors from another planet be able to comprehend what our planets suicide trip was all about ?
K. That question is a biggie. It is accurate to consider the consequences of what we humans are doing. Theres an obvious connection between using radioactive substances for any purpose , the risks associated and the worst scenario outcome. If you are to take two examples for your study of planetary suicide, I would volunteer these : 1. The lake in Armenia where the Soviets manufactured biological weaponry. The destruction of the island, the lake water, the health and well-being of every living creature is complete. The area was described in a magazine article (Harpers)as Where the planet goes to die. 2. The area of Alberta, Canada known as the tar sands. The developments there have already permanently polluted the land, air and water over an extensive area .The political agencies expected to consider the long term health and well-being of the population have sacrificed that by instigating huge financial incentives for immediate exploitation that they call growth.
J. Do you mean the 1 % royalties ?
K. Yes. Also the immediate write-off of the investment capital used. The trade agreement that requires 70 % of the production to be exported also belongs in your assessment.
J. I think Ill forgo my questions about natural disasters. Over the last year and a half theres been an avalanche decline in money markets. What brought on this tsunami ? What are the consequences for the people and the planet ?
K. I hear the anxious, not quite hysterical, tone in your voice, Jerry. Offering you reassurances wont be of much value. When you use the word meltdown you could be describing a nuclear catastrophe like Chernoble. You make ityour concern --sound ominous, devastating, and even hopeless.
J. Well ?
K. Youre not so far off the mark, really. This development has been and will continue to be devastating. When reality sets in, lots of people will lose their hope for their future.
J. What will they do, then ?
K. I can hardly get specific when responding to your question. Ill turn the question around, and ask you, what do people do when they are thoroughly frustrated ?
J. I guess they start some sort of cycle. Denialfearanger---blame. Probably blame other people first, maybe themselves too.
K. Lets have tea. Then Ill proceed with some hard data analysis so you can better understand money, where it comes from, what it can and does mean, what we can do with it and how we can cope without money.
J. OK. I hope youll allow me to keep recording this interview. And ,may I use it to help other folks understand whats happening to their financial well-being ?
K. Of course. No sugar. Just a little milk.