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NON-NUCLEAR TESTIMONY

Bill Curry, Saskatchewan, February 2008

After learning the periodic table and being enamoured with nuclear knowledge and fantasy, it took another fifteen years to learn a reactor would not run forever.

For the next three decades I sought to know and weigh the pros and cons of a nuclear path. I am not a physicist nor engineer, but I am able to communicate and understand. Among us, we are able to share many levels of attention, integrating facts with wisdom, values with science, reason with grace. Among these values, promoting peace and improving health have social and personal meaning, local as well as global.

I am honest, and I demand to know the evidence - ALL the evidence, not fragmented: the whole truth ("and nothing but the truth") - not denied, dismissed nor disconnected. I am not a lawyer but I understand "the test of a reasonable man" and recognize Rules of Evidence. There are ways of establishing some facts as facts, even though everything's relative.

I am not a theologian, but have moral criteria. Faith action engages me, When I heard pro-nuclear people pretend power and weapons were distant cousins but probably not related, I could see problems. In Saskatchewan and much of the world, piracy prevails "by any means necessary". Profits are paramount (at whose and what cost?).

I am not a doctor but I am one kind of teacher. I am not a teacher for the classroom but I am a community listener, learner, with something to share: heath indicators and social healing facilitate/enable health status improvements, and/or provide markers of decline/illness needs/capacities. This applies to: (a) individuals (b) populations, (c) civil society at various levels, (d) districts and regions, (e) ecosystems, (f) family and social groups, (g) governments, national and international (globalocal bioregional transition).

All these are interwoven and interdependent.

So: examine the evidence. Applying a health paradigm to the nuclear chain, our indicators show some ways health status improves and falls. With what data can we determine effects on mortality and morbidity, on maternal-child wellbeing, on social satisfaction, on meeting basic needs?

By now, almost everyone has heard of Depleted Uranium (DU). Many may have their heads in the sand, being told 'depleted' means safe. Perhaps seeing cancer rates and pictures of deformed children are not convincing, in that "you can't prove cause-and-effect". Nevertheless, very high correlations between radioactive shelling and leukemia are demonstrated and consistent in Afghanistan, Iraq and much of former Yugoslavia (as well as veterans returned from those interventions).

Is that a separate issue? Not when we know Canada, particularly Saskatchewan, is a uranium source for that nuclear holocaust without end. You and I are complicit, regardless of any opinions we may have. Of course, some are implicated more than others. When and how shall they/we be held accountable?

-o-


Nuclear abolition, non-nuclear health and healing.

The fallout has been horrendous. Deeply aware of this, all we can do is guard against utter revulsion.

The harmful effects cry out for accountability: restitution, restoration, truth and reconciliation.

Seeing criteria for healthy living, we discern (sifting/sorting evidence, for informed choice/decision) to speak, to act

This voice comes through reflection, prayer, worship. As a witness, this is my testimony. The Opportunity Cost of nuclear is too much; we can't have it both ways. We must choose a non-nuclear Health Energy path.

Given Ursula Franklin's helpful definition of violence as 'resourcelessness', let us be resourceful. For one thing, let's admit the way was made clear (way-back-when) by the Science Council of Canada Commission chaired by Ursula Franklin - but shelved by the government of the day. The blueprint provides for a Conserver, Steady-State, Sustainable Society. It can be applied, albeit with greater urgency, today. We know what to do, and how to do it.