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The Age of Aquarius

Darlene Buckingham

My partner and I moved to Tory Hill in September of 2006 to become full time artists and be inspired by the beauty of Highlands East. Our first year was spent building our studio, enjoying the peace and quiet and wildlife surrounding us and connecting with the many artistic people who live in Haliburton County. We were absolutely thrilled to be living in the country and away from the hectic pace of the city.

That all changed last December 2007 when we learned that we were facing the prospect of an open pit uranium mine down the street from where we live.

The past months have been spent with endless hours and sleepless nights researching uranium, open pit mining and nuclear energy. The more we read the more horrified we became. I still find it hard to believe the destruction and danger presented by uranium mining and the nuclear industry and the level of deception to hide how dangerous uranium mining and the nuclear industry is to public health and to the environment.

I am outraged and puzzled by the determination of our government and those in the nuclear industry to promote nuclear as clean and green when it is the complete opposite.

Uranium mining poisons the water, the air and the earth from which our food grows. There is no safe way to store nuclear waste yet our government is proposing new nuclear reactors and is not listening to the voice of the citizens of Ontario who are clearly telling them that mining uranium is harming us.

All the research points to the increase of cancer when exposed to radioactivity and the chemical decay cycle of uranium that remains dangerous for thousands of years so not only impacts us but generations to come. In fact the area in which I live has tailings ponds and areas that are unusable due to uranium contamination. People in our area are now living with contamination and are not aware that there are large areas in Haliburton County that are supposedly rehabilitated and no longer dangerous. From what I have learned about the deliberate lies being told about the seriousness of the uranium decay cycle on health and the environment I no longer trust that these supposed rehabilitated areas are not having impacts on health and the environment already.

I am sure that the government does not understand the implications of the dangers decommissioned mines and the thousands of tons of nuclear waste and they want to go ahead and create more waste that they don't know what to do with. Those of us speaking up about the dangers of uranium know this is madness.

What I find the most unbelievable is that those in the government and the nuclear industry making these dangerous decisions for us are also making dangerous decisions for themselves, their children and their families. Everyone is being harmed by these lies and for what. We could use the billions of dollars given to the nuclear industry to research and implement true green technology such as wind, solar and geothermal and perhaps who knows what other technologies we could find if we were looking for technologies that did not have such serious side effects.

We also do not need nuclear energy to produce electricity. In Canada we have more than enough water-powered electricity for our Province and our Country considering we sell much of our electricity to the U.S. so it is a deliberate lie that we need nuclear to turn on the lights of Ontario. Shawn and I have switched to Bullfrog who produces electricity only from green sources and does not use nuclear energy.

We are clearly at a crossroads. If the choice is nuclear we are looking at a slow genocide as our waters, air and earth are being contaminated. There is also a greater probability of a disastrous nuclear accident.

This is all so clear to me so my question is what is causing people to pursue nuclear energy when the consequences are so terrible. When I was feeling the most despair about the enormity of the consequences of pursing mining uranium and nuclear energy when reading about how the men in Bancroft Uranium, El Nino Ventures and CanAm Uranium who are here in our Province exploring for uranium are the same men exploring for minerals in Africa with flagrant human rights abuses and without regard for the people of Africa or for their land, and that these same men are in Haliburton County exploring for a dangerous substance thinking only of profit and stock manipulation and not of the impact to those who live where they are exploring and not thinking of how they are contaminating the water, air and earth with their activities.

I was also dismayed to learn that depleted uranium is being used in weapons in Afghanistan in the War Against Terror and these weapons are not only killing people but are also spreading uranium tailings over the land as far as England. I also did not know that it was Canadian uranium that was used in the bombs that annihilated Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

After all this horrifying truth I had to find something that gave me hope. So I searched on the Internet to see what I could find and I began looking at the meaning of the Age of Aquarius to see if I could find something positive about this New Age we are moving into.

Aquarius is the Water Bearer and then I noted that the Planet Uranus rules Aquarius and that uranium was named after the Planet Uranus. Coincidence or is this the answer to my question. It seems to me that the heavens are telling us that we are moving into a time of powerful choice.

Will it be uranium which can only lead to destruction or will we accept and acknowledge that clean water is a gift of life and begin to focus our lives around things that support and nurture life- clean water, clean air and food grown in healthy nutritious earth?

I know many already honour and appreciate the gifts of the Earth and understand that we depend on the Earth for our life. I encourage all those who support nuclear to listen to the voices that are telling you clearly that uranium and nuclear energy are harmful to you, your friends and your families and to acknowledge that clean and plentiful water is a gift.

It is up to us to appreciate and take care of this gift of water that symbolizes life. The energy must shift to all of us working together to find ways to turn things around before we poison the planet and ourselves. The only way to solve this problem is to honour life and truly want clean energy. If the intention is to continue to deceive and use uranium for profit and harm the situation will only get worse and more people will get sick without knowing why and more people will die unnatural and untimely deaths.

We cannot buy our way out of this. Clean water is only achieved through honouring and appreciating life. It's in the stars. All we have to do is look up and accept the gift of water and new solutions and new ways of living will be invented.

For me I'm choosing clean water and intending that we will find solutions and that we will as a people together choose to turn this around. I going to end this letter on a positive note that we will get a moratorium on mining uranium and we will begin to seriously look at the problems with nuclear energy and move towards true green and clean solutions.