Sophia's Peace Work

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Poll

In the post below, I talk about a recent change to transportation rules in Washington state that will require military transports of Depleted Uranium munitions to label their cargo as "radioactive" instead of just "explosive" as they currently do. The following is a on-line poll being done on the Port Townsend Leader website asking the public what they think. I'm not sure but I think the Leader may have mis-represented this slightly ... I don't believe that military cargo is exempt from transportation placard rules presently. Anyone care to weigh in on this? There may be alot of secrets in the military, but I don't think that applies to transportation rules, which are pretty generalized as it is.

Anyway, here is the poll results currently.

Should truck-and-trailer rigs hauling military ordnance on roads be required to have a placard so emergency responders can identify potentially radioactive cargo?

No. If it's military cargo, it can still be kept secret. 81%

Yes. It's safer for the public and emergency responders should there ever be an accident. 13%

Don't care. I trust haulers to be safe drivers and it's not something I worry about. 6 %

Total Voters: 31

This was my letter to the editors:

Sophia here, writing to you from Amman, Jordan where I continue my work on environmental restoration in Iraq (Because of it's impact on human health and the environment, I think depleted uranium should be banned not just properly labeled)

A friend alerted me to your story on the military transport of D.U. munitions. I noticed that there was a poll on the website asking the public what they thought about this issue. I'm wondering if perhaps this poll may have somewhat misrepresented the issue. There are three choices.

No. If it's military cargo, it can still be kept secret.
Yes. It's safer for the public and emergency responders should there ever be an accident.
Don't care. I trust haulers to be safe drivers and it's not something I worry about.


Current results show that the "No" answer is getting the most votes (I checked when there were still 31 votes, and 81% were "No" votes). But it seems to me that the "No" answer provided may be giving people the impression that current military shipments are secret. There may be alot of secrets in the U.S. Military but I believe they are still subject to most domestic transportation rules such as placarding (which by the way are rather broad and non-descriptive most of the time). If it was secret, then there wouldn't even be an "explosive" label on these trucks hauling D.U.

If I'm wrong and the poll is being presented correctly, I'm still concerned with the trend in the results so far. Why are so many, atleast initially, voting for secrecy in our government?

What with all this hysteria over homeland security, I suppose these folks are in the mode of thinking that if properly labelled, these transports might be open to a terrorist attack or hijacking. But I really wonder if these folks voting "No" are really thinking this through. What about transportation of radioactive medical material or radioactive material used at university labs. Shouldn't they be secret too?

The fact is that the possibility of these types of transports running into something and bursting into flame is far more likely than a terrorist attack or hijacking. I'm happy to vote for public safely over military secrecy.

1 Comments:

  • Veteran's Day is November 11th and I hope that EVERY American will be flying the flag in honor of our troops fighting in Iraq and around the world to preserve our freedoms!

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    Get your free flag now: **FREE AMERICAN FLAG**

    Semper Fi!

    Bill Adams

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 31, 2005 5:50 PM  

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