Monday, December 19

Boulder's Big Black Lie

Boulder Deputy Mayor Lisa Morzel
 I've closely watched the video of the May 3, 2011 Boulder, Colorado City Council meeting when they gave up their longtime resistance to the proposed Jefferson Parkway and gave their go-ahead to start plowing up the dirt at Rocky Flats, the former town-sized nuclear bomb factory 8 miles South of Boulder, in trade for a deal for more open space land.

Deputy Mayor Dr. Lisa Morzel blatantly misrepresented what the background level of plutonium is in our area.  The meeting video is here.

Dr. Morzel starts to speak in support of the road at 10:03 pm on the screen. About 10:07 (4:06:45 into the video) she says "Background levels are 35 picocuries [per gram of soil]"  It's easy to find online (or from any expert) that the real background level is .04 picocuries (for example, see here, under 3. Rocky Flats.) She says this to falsely show that the federal government's claimed cleanup level of 50 picocuries per gram (likely also false) is almost to background level, when it is actually 1250 times higher! (50 divided by .04)

 This is crucial, because these plutonium particles are the optimum size to stay in the air indefinitely (even without the Flats' regular 80 MPH winds, dust devils and occasional tornadoes) and to be inhaled and retained in people's lungs. This decision is tantamount to murder. Cancer would be a near-certainty for many road workers, and possible downwind in the Denver metro area, Kansas and beyond.

It's impossible to detect Plutonium with a radiation meter unless it's sitting right on top of the ground. See here. So nobody can know what radiation levels exist where they're digging down.

It's not too late to stop this atrocity! Just a few days ago the town of Superior, just downwind of Rocky Flats, filed suit for a real Environmental Impact Statement. I urge anyone in the world -as you are all potential victims- to contact the Boulder City Council and demand they redo their decision on the basis of actual science, not lies: council@bouldercolorado.gov  Or call them:

Mayor Matt Appelbaum- 303-499-8970
Deputy Mayor Lisa Morzel- 303-815-6723
Suzy Ageton- 303-442-5726
Macon Cowles- 303-638-6884
Suzanne Jones- 720-633-7388
George Karakehian- 303-218-8612
Tim Plass- 720-299-4518
Ken Wilson- 303-999-1931

Here is a movie about the whole development plan, especially the water element:  http://www.nowatertowaste.com/film.html  The Plutonium part starts 20 minutes in.

For background here is the complete, uncensored Rocky Flats Grand Jury Report

Plutonium was a rare trace mineral on earth until it was first produced in about 1940,  expressly for more efficient atomic bombs. It bursts into flame on contact with air and is a heavy metal poison as well as being highly radioactive. A single particle lodged in the lungs will radiate the cells next to it for the rest of one's life; after decades cancer is likely.

If the City Council wants to make the same decision, with the deadly health implications, they should do it on the basis of facts, not layers of lies. Remember that far less egregious lying in the so-called "Climategate" emails were a main factor in the public turning against climate science, and the US blocking a treaty to stop climate catastrophe. Billions will die as a result.

This is just one reason why I've come to regard Boulder as a world center of greenwashing. More to come...

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this information.. I had a friend who was involved with the clean-up crew out there, and even he wasn't convinced it was all good when their job was declared "done". After that mess over in Japan, this is the last thing we need our leaders approving right now.. plenty of radiation in the air already to go around.. leave Rocky Flats alone. Let it rot away in isolation.

Samson said...

Plutonium dust is something to be very, very careful of. It literally only takes a speck of it to get into someone's lungs to cause serious problems like a cancer maybe 10 or 20 years later.

Plutonium emits what's called Alpha and Beta radiation. These types of radiation are stoppable by the thickness of a sheet of paper, or by the layer of skin on our bodies. These particles become far more serious when they get inside your body, as now there is no longer that protection of a our skin from the radiation. A speck of plutonium dust gets into your lungs, and then it sits there pumping the surrounding unprotected tissue with radiation. It may take decades to take full effect, but the effect can be a cancer.

I think its insane to be stirring up that dust to construct a road. Think about the amount of dust you see blowing off a construction site. That's putting everyone downwind in danger.

When they talk about 'safe' amounts of radiation, what they are really talking about is what's safe to them in that they can duck the blame for the resulting cancers and leukemia and birth defects. At low enough levels of radiation, its impossible to prove that these come from a particular source like Rocky Flats. That's what they mean by 'safe' levels of radiation ... they mean they are safe from being blamed. But that doesn't mean there won't be more cancers and leukemia and birth defects.

Evan Ravitz said...

Samson's commment is very important! It's impossible to detect Plutonium unless it's sitting right on top of the ground. See here

JY said...

Evan, I think that your emphasis on accusing Lisa Morzel, a councilwoman who in my experience has been genuinely helpful to many Boulder residents, of "blatantly lying" in an email that also uses the phrase "tantamount to murder" is bad judgement on your part. I'm as concerned as you seem to be about the environmental issues at Rocky Flats and agree that the Jefferson Parkway shouldn't proceed without further, really definitive impact studies, and shouldn't proceed at all if there is ANY risk to the health of workers and our local population. But I think the tone of your email is divisive, which can detract from the real value of your message rather than helping to bring people together to address this problem.

Reading the information at the CCNS website as you recommend, I see that you are correct in stating that existing background levels are said to be at 0.04 pCi/g. Two paragraphs later the text reads that "RAC recommended a cleanup level of 35 pCi/g of plutonium in soil."

So it would appear that Lisa Morzel may have confused, or failed to clearly distinguish between existing background levels and the recommended cleanup level, and you make no mention of this yourself in your email, which makes me wonder how "closely" you watched the video and how selectively you read the CCNS documentation.

The real issue it seems to me is the need to question the RAC recommendation which seems inadequate to say the least—a tolerance of 35 pCi/g certainly seems way too high, let alone 50!—in a situation where the ground will be massively disturbed for road-building. Lisa should clarify her remarks, and your message can help to get this done. A "scientific" discussion might start from clarifying this kind of misunderstanding rather than broadcasting derogatory and divisive judgements about the motives of other people. Wouldn't you agree?

JY said...

Evan, I think that your emphasis on accusing Lisa Morzel, a councilwoman who in my experience has been genuinely helpful to many Boulder residents, of "blatantly lying" in an email that also uses the phrase "tantamount to murder" is bad judgement on your part. I'm as concerned as you seem to be about the environmental issues at Rocky Flats and agree that the Jefferson Parkway shouldn't proceed without further, really definitive impact studies, and shouldn't proceed at all if there is ANY risk to the health of workers and our local population. But I think the tone of your email is divisive, which can detract from the real value of your message rather than helping to bring people together to address this problem.

Reading the information at the CCNS website as you recommend, I see that you are correct in stating that existing background levels are said to be at 0.04 pCi/g. Two paragraphs later the text reads that "RAC recommended a cleanup level of 35 pCi/g of plutonium in soil."

So it would appear that Lisa Morzel may have confused, or failed to clearly distinguish between existing background levels and the recommended cleanup level, and you make no mention of this yourself in your email, which makes me wonder how "closely" you watched the video and how selectively you read the CCNS documentation.

The real issue it seems to me is the need to question the RAC recommendation which seems inadequate to say the least—a tolerance of 35 pCi/g certainly seems way too high, let alone 50!—in a situation where the ground will be massively disturbed for road-building. Lisa should clarify her remarks, and your message can help to get this done. A "scientific" discussion might start from clarifying this kind of misunderstanding rather than broadcasting derogatory and divisive judgements about the motives of other people. Wouldn't you agree?

Evan Ravitz said...

JY, several other people wrote to Lisa after what she now says she "mistated," and got evasive responses. By calling a lie a lie, and getting others aroused about this, she now admits she was in error and says she will "clarify" things at the Jan 3 City Council Meeting. I believe her changing response shows either deliberate lying or feeling she's entitled to misrepresent things -if she accidentally did.

It's obvious, since NOTHING else has changed, it's the bribe of the land which changed their minds. Unfortunately science doesn't get people to act, emotion does. Yes, I'm ANGRY when people my taxes pay lie on the record and vote to endanger my and everyone's health and life.

Evan Ravitz said...

This post was sent to all City Council members. IF they DIDN'T know Lisa was "mistating" the facts, you would think they would be calling for a do-over of the decision. NONE has. This shows "guilty affect," that they all knew Lisa was "mistating" facts and relied on the people not to know and to accept their decision, as it was based on DR. Morzel's "data." I agree with Sampson's comment, that Council only cares that THEY are safe from blame, not about us, or even their own kids.

Evan Ravitz said...

PS: It's now August and Lisa Morzel has NOT corrected her previous statement as she promised.

Evan Ravitz said...

PS: It's now August and Lisa Morzel has NOT corrected her previous statement as she promised.