Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal.
-President John F. Kennedy
Dateline: Sunday April 22, 2018 and intended for publication on Earth Day with Pluto stationary in Capricorn. Not only is the quotation from John F. Kennedy deeply meaningful to all clear-thinking people, but he became our nation’s first Sun-sign Gemini president and this zodiacal placement has so much to do with the air and breathing. On August 5, 1963 – three months before his assassination and one day before the eighteenth anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima – the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (banning nuclear detonations in outer space, underwater and in the atmosphere) was signed by the Soviet Union, Great Britain and the USA, a treaty considered one of President Kennedy’s greatest achievements.
One reason I am starting this feature in the above manner is the quotation is also given – with President Kennedy’s own voice – at the close of one of my favorite movies, Thirteen Days(about how John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert F. Kennedy helped to save the world from nuclear annihilation during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962).
The main reason for this article is two-fold – (a) in the recent focus on the #metoo and #never again movements concerning sexual harassment and gun violence, we often forget about how pollution/toxins/poisons are affecting our lives, the Earth, and its myriad of inhabitants, in such a dangerous way all the time, and (b) that I discovered an enormously significant link between the birth of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (December 2, 1970) and the First Nuclear Chain Reaction (December 2, 1942).
Oddly enough, I had recently watched a superb documentary film on HBO, Atomic Homefront, detailing “St. Louis, Missouri’s atomic past as a uranium center for the Atomic bomb and the governmental and corporate negligence that led to the illegal dumping of Manhattan Project radioactive waste throughout North County neighborhoods.” As stated in a brief promotion of the movie: “Our film is a case study of how citizens are confronting state and federal agencies for the truth about the extent of the contamination and are fighting to keep their families safe.”
I recommend this documentary whole-heartedly and it turns out that the main federal agency not responding very well to the deeply upset people living in St. Louis is the EPA. Therefore, even though I will be writing in this series of reports about the egregious efforts to prevent the higher functions of the EPA from taking place by the current administrator Scott Pruitt (born May 9, 1968), the EPA in the past has not always lived up to its lofty calling – partly because our government continues to hide the truth about how lethal the effects have been of radioactivity in our land, food, waterways and the air we all breathe.
The Founding of the EPA