Photo of Bruce Gibson at San Luis Bay Surfrider meeting by joey racano
The Devil’s Bargain
Measure cotton by the bale
Buy your shoes at the labor day sale
Half-off coupons in the mail
But how to put a price on a Great Blue Whale?
Barrels let us buy crude oil
Reynolds sells rolls of aluminum foil
But what will be the cost when the ocean starts to boil
and the shoreline fault is littered with marine life gone to spoil?
The Devil’s Bargain
It has been said that if a liar is good at what he does, he will control the parameters of an argument, and then allow for very spirited debate within those parameters. And so it was, that we, modern knights at a large square table, sat listening to the devil offering his bargain-
“How do we soundblast the ocean off Diablo Canyon? How do we destroy, not only all life within the Point Buchon State Marine Reserve, but destroy the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative itself, that created all the State Marine Reserves?”
“Do we blast the whales ears in at 260db every 63 seconds, 7 days a week for 80 days with a boat owned by a University, or do we blast the whales ears in at 260db every 63 seconds, 7 days a week for 80 days using a boat owned by the oil companies?”
This was the Devil’s offer. Nowhere was the conversation allowed to stray outside those parameters to include the question SHOULD WE BLAST THE WHALES EARS IN AT ALL?
With the San Luis Bay Surfrider Foundation, (arguably the most ocean-protective of all surfrider clubs) listening intently, San Luis Obispo Supervisor Bruce Gibson tried to make the case for increasing the scope of the soundblasting to what he called ‘the industry standard’, in other words, the oil industry standard, to get a better look at the subterranean topography offshore of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.
And here were the questions we asked of him:
1. What can be accomplished by soundblasting the whales? Will Pacific Gas and Electric see how bad the earthquake faults are below the plant and make a decision to remove their power plant?
The place erupted in nervous laughter at the absurdity of it all.
2. The oil companies could never get permission for this type of blasting. Isn’t this a fortuitous turn of events for them if they wanted to search for offshore oil deposits in our State Marine Reserves?
3. If they do find oil while looking at earthquake faults, how do we know they will not come back later to develop offshore drilling?
4. Why is Diablo Canyon on the coast at all? Is the only reason being to use the seawater for their cooling intake, a process that destroys all life within the seawater it sucks in, including plankton, which are baby fish?
5. How do we distinguish the radiation Diablo puts into the sea (when people who work on the reactors are hosed off and that water is released to the sea) from the radiation arriving every day from Fukushima?
6. If you are here to pay off the fisherman, why instead don’t we use the Land and Water Conservation Fund (google it) to pay off PG & E to remove the plant forever?
And the most important question of all was, “How do we put a price on a Great Blue Whale?”
And the answer from the San Luis Obispo Supervisor was:
“That is not my focus.”
Tags: diablo, nuclear, fukushima, power, radiation, radioactivity, mlpa, marine, reserve, preserve, ecology, marina, ocean, sea, fish, sustainability, earthquake, fault, seismic, testing, nuclear, nukes, waste, plutonium, joey, racano, surfrider, california, earth, source, media, poetry, poems, planet, activism