Archive for July 2010

Letter to Lake City Army Ammunition Plant   3 comments

Bly Road

Independence, Missouri 64056

July 30, 2010

Lt. Col. Elizabeth Delbridge-Keough

Lake City Army Ammunition Plant

Independence, Missouri

Lt. Col. Elizabeth Delbridge-Keough,

Congratulations on recent appointment as commander at the Lake City Ammunition Plant in eastern Independence.   I wish you well as you undertake this new challenge.

 In the past month I have been reading some interesting books by Dr Helen Caldicott. In her books she documents the use of depleted uranium (DU) in the manufacturing of ammunition shells and reinforced armor in some of our armored vehicles.   For more on that please see my web blog at www.terryflowersblog.wordpress.com, the article dated July 24, 2010, Depleted Uranium (DU) in Munitions.

 My question to you is does the manufacturing or processing of munitions at lake city utilize DU or any other radioactive material?   I have emailed Congressman Emanuel Cleaver and Representative Clair McCaskill but have received no answer.   I suppose that this could be a classified matter, but I live within two miles of the facility and am quite interested.

 Thank you for your time and attention to my concern,

 Sincerely,

Terry Flowers

www.terryflowersblog.wordpress.com

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Posted July 30, 2010 by terryflowersblog in Environment

Green Technology…A Moral and Spiritual Imperative   Leave a comment

 

Green Technology…A Moral and Spiritual Imperative

 We are all aware of the statistics of how the western cultures consume a large disproportionate percentage of the world’s resources.   It could even be described as gluttonous.   The rest of the world, because of the communications technology, have become more and more aware of the injustice caused by the lifestyle of the western nations, particularly the United States (US).  In many ways they emulate the life style that they perceive we enjoy. Even the poorest of our citizens are much better off than a very large portion of the world’s population.   While the rest of the world may wish for such a life style they also see the devastation that is being perpetrated on the planet.

 The life style of the US has been built over the last 60 or so years on readily available cheap energy.  In recent years it has become evident that the readily available cheap energy is not assured.   All the raw materials that are necessary for the traditional energy sources, coal, oil, uranium, natural gas are finite in quantity.   As humankind, and particularly the western world, continues to consume, these resources become less and less available.   Not only does the extraction of the raw materials wreck havoc on the planet, but as the supplies dwindle, there is greater stress between the competing nations as they vie for access and control over them.

 As I sit here writing I am reminded of the recent counsel in the Doctrine and Covenants 163:4, particularly 4b, “The earth, lovingly created as an environment for life to flourish, shudders in distress because creation’s natural and living systems are becoming exhausted from carrying the burden of human greed and conflict.  Humankind must awaken from its illusion of independence and unrestrained consumption without lasting consequences.”   Do we hear what is being said here? Do we really comprehend the implications of this passage?

 As the raw materials for our rising need for energy continues to become more scarce, the relationships between the nations of the world become more and more strained.  Most, if not all wars, when critically analyzed, have been fought over the access and control of natural resources.   Those resources have been water, food, wood, oil, and just about any other non-sustainable or non-renewable raw material.   This is why it is imperative that we begin to shift our investments from traditional energy sources to those that are sustainable and renewable.   Energy sources that will be equally available to all the world’s nations.   Otherwise there will be constant strife and conflict between the nations as they compete for the raw materials for the traditional energy sources.   The natural consequence would be war, unless the “have” nations are willing to share what scarce resources are available with the “have-not” nations.   This, unfortunately, has not been the history of mankind. It is just this situation that the US finds itself in today as it attempts to maintain control and access to the world’s oil supply.   It’s time for a new direction.

 Some advocate for nuclear energy.   Uranium is a raw material that must be mined.   It is also a very dangerous material. The mining, processing, enrichment, use and disposal processes all pose risk of contaminating the world with radioactive material that lasts for centuries.   We simply do not have the technology to safely handle radioactive material.   If that were not enough, it too, is in finite quantity and would cause competition between the nations for access and control.   Again, it’s time for a new paradigm, a new direction.

 If we love God, if we love our planet, if we love one another, we will make this change.   Yes, there will be some difficulty in our economy as we make the shift, but the life of our planet and all life on it, is at stake.   Much of what I have written has come to me from reading Dr Helen Caldicott’s books, from the scriptures, from what I hear in the media and from family and friends.   It is my hope that humankind will awaken to its greed, for short term benefit, and realize the consequences of continuing down this path to self destruction and, indeed, to the destruction of all life on Earth.   May we seek reconciliation with God’s creation and with all the people of the world.

Posted July 29, 2010 by terryflowersblog in Environment

Depleted Uranium (DU) in Munitions   2 comments

Depleted Uranium (DU) in Munitions 

Recently I have read Dr Helen Caldicott’s books, Nuclear Power Is Not The Answer, War In Heaven, The New Nuclear Danger, and If You Love This Planet.  In her books she documents the fact that the United States military has used, and possibly continues to use, ammunition shells which have casings made using depleted uranium (DU).  Also documented in her books is the fact that many of the tanks and armored vehicles that the U.S. uses have reinforced armor using DU.  The DU makes it more difficult for enemy shells to penetrate the vehicles’ armor.

 Using DU in these ways leaves the battlefield contaminated with radioactive material for centuries to come.  This exposes the inhabitants of these regions of the world to great health risks for generations to come.  The DU in the armor of the military vehicles also exposes the occupants (our own military personnel) of said vehicles to radiation.  For more information on this I would recommend the reading of Dr Caldicott’s books.  You can find her on the web through a web search.

 I live within two miles of the Lake City Ammunition plant here in Independence, Missouri.  I have emailed my representatives in Washington inquiring if they know if DU is used in the processing or manufacturing of ammunition at this facility.  To this date I have not had a response to my inquiry.

If DU is utilized at this plant it may be a classified matter, I’m not sure.  However, if there are risks to the environment and the public, I would think that there would be a “right to know” in this case.

 I am concerned for the workers who may be required to handle the radioactive material.  Are they aware of the danger that they face?  Do they take the necessary precautions to protect themselves?  What are they told by their superiors?

 I am also concerned for the environment surrounding the plant.  Are soil, water and air samples taken at regular intervals?  What risks are residents, plants and wildlife being exposed to?  If there are environmental concerns, how far from the plant do they extend?  Are contaminates being carried by the Little Blue River or ground water to the Missouri River and, eventually, to the gulf?  As if the gulf doesn’t have enough to worry about already.

 If anyone has an knowledge of this matter, your reply would be most welcome.

Posted July 24, 2010 by terryflowersblog in Environment

Political Climate   3 comments

  The Political Climate

 Over the past couple of years I have begun to watch more closely the political scene of our nation.  The catalyst for this has been the health care ills that our citizens face.  As a practicing pharmacist I am well aware of the injustices and inequities that our present health-care system imposes on so many.  As a minister, I also view this as a human rights and a social justice issue.  It’s too bad that health-care reform has had to become so politicized. While I am encouraged that Congress and the White House has been able to make some progress on reform, I am quite concerned that the fundamental causes of the disparity in health-care have not been adequately addressed.  Time will tell.

 As the health-care reform process has drawn me into the political scene, I have become more and more interested in additional areas in which our society lacks in its compassion and care of “the least of these” in our communities.  I have become more interested in issues of human rights in regard to immigration reform, rights of prisoners (foreign and domestic), and many others.

This journey has also brought me to investigate concerns in regard to our environment and humanity’s contribution to its destruction.  We continue to travel down the path to self destruction. Nuclear technologies, for energy or weapons, is dangerous.  We pollute the environment while mining, processing, using and disposing of nuclear material.  Yet we continue to swallow the propaganda of military-industrial complex.  For more on this read Dr Helen Caldicott’s books.

 As I watch the current political ads I am saddened.  I live in Missouri but have been watching the ads of the Kansas candidates.  They make statements that they would oppose “anything” that President Obama would support. And they speak proudly of this.  They are supported by Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.  There is not even a pretense for bipartisanship.

Will our nation every get away from the “party line” and seek the best for, not only our nation, but for the world.  I firmly believe that it we do what is best for the world, it will ultimately be the best for us as well.  We need to ”love our enemies” so that over time they are our friends.

 It is my opinion that we need to decrease our spending on nuclear technologies, our war machine, our wars and all that is geared to war.  We need to indeed, “beat our swords into plow-shears”.  If we could develop the courage and will to do this, we could fund all of our current social programs, end world hunger and provide every American with good quality health-care and still spend less that we currently do.  We need to break free from the propaganda that the special interest groups are feeding us and move into clean, renewable and sustainable energy technologies.  This would save our planet and create new jobs.

 Perhaps this is the “new world” that is spoken of in the scriptures.  When humanity embraces love rather than war, God’s will, “will be done on earth as it is in heaven” and His peaceable kingdom will at last be realized.

Posted July 20, 2010 by terryflowersblog in Politics vs Faith