Dear Congressman Tipton:
At the Feb. 11 Naturita public meeting, you stated that government/we needed new, creative and innovative ideas to move us out of the current economic gloom. Your statistics addressed the special concerns of your constituency. Then you threw in your signature stance for mining, particularly uranium mining and milling in our area, because that is where the jobs are for the people of this valley, and it’s good for our country. You spoke from your heart about being raised with a strong work ethic, about creating and succeeding in your own business, about your strong Western roots, and about the abundance of wealth in this area that we were blessed with. As you worked it all together, my mind slipped back to a long ago middle school lecture on Manifest Destiny and our fundamental God-given right to re-create this untapped land into a Mecca of production and prosperity.
Where is the “new” in raping the earth for minerals that had their shining moment 67 years ago in an event that instantly killed over 200,000 people, and since that time have accumulated a sporadic, dubious history of boom or bust? The most recent prestige, once again enjoined with warfare, slumped even before the war ended.
Where is the “creativity” in allowing a foreign owned company to extract and sell these minerals, leaving us with empty promises, a scarred earth, and unmanageable waste?
Where is the “innovation” for supporting an industry that has repeated operational problems? Its recent disasters and “near misses” have conscientious voters saying, “We don’t want that energy source. We’re not sure it will keep the world safe for our grandchildren.” Alan Weisman writes in his book, The World Without Us, about the present problem that has no answer: how to get rid of overflowing stockpiles of nuclear waste that are now being contained in dangerous situations, and which show no signs of abating, and which continue their activity into geologic time. Weisman adds another challenge as he discusses the unusual task of scientists and language experts trying to come up with a sign to warn future earthlings of the dangerous material stored in that area. This certainly gives a new meaning to “keeping the world safe for our grandchildren.”
Following the old trail of Manifest Destiny seems to be an act of questionable integrity and awareness. What is needed is a new model of development and management for the wealth of resources in our vast, un-paralleled landscape. This model would utilize technologies that respect the essence of life, although differing in objectification from human energy, in all substances. (Quantum physicists recognize this omnipresent force as a fact without question.) This model would implement sustainable technologies that creatively, safely, and productively harness the potential of these resources. This model would support industries that meet the current product needs of our community, nation, and world, but just as importantly, these industries would be malleable to future trends. This model would assure jobs for our communities that would promote personal growth, confidence, ownership, and pride.
Technologies that match this model are available now. We need progressive thinkers who act with integrity to research these companies and employ creative marketing and financial strategies to draw these companies into our area. We need leaders and representatives who believe in and can promote this new model to our population, as an awakened response to the challenges that our communities, nation, and world are facing.
Sponsoring change of this scale in an area that clings tenaciously to its past, could foreshadow career death for a politician. But the representative who endorsed this model would make that choice, believing that being part of a solution that supports all life now and into the future, instead of the old paradigm based on instant gratification and run-away consumerism, is a challenge he would be proud of, forever.