No Vision – No Moral Compass – No Ability To Reflect
I had thought Mike Catania’s press release during the Pope’s visit illustrated how self centered, narrow-minded, insular, superficial, and tone deaf the so-called leaders of the NJ environmental community had become, and I blasted him for it, see:
But the email I just got from NY/NJ Baykeeper Deb Mans is far beyond Catania’s inadvertent mis-step, which was more of a missed opportunity and a coincidental and passive disrespect for the Pope than real active harm.
As the world mourns the loss of Father Daniel J. Berrigan – poet, scholar, agitator, and renowned anti-nuclear and peace activist who created the Plowshares Movement and connected the dots for peace, compassion, and social justice- Ms. Mans has gone far beyond Catania’s mild transgressions that sparked my ire.
Berrrigan died Saturday in New York at age 94 – right in Ms. Man’s backyard – and tributes to his legacy have been prominently featured in the news. One would have to live under a rock not to be aware of his passing and his legacy.
Despite this, Ms. Mans felt the need to giddily celebrate her organization’s “unique partnership” with the US Navy and to express thanks to the Earle Naval Weapons Station.
Ms. Mans wrote:
This spring we’ll be installing a 0.91 acre Living Shoreline adjacent to Ware Creek at Naval Weapons Station Earle (NWSE). We’ll be testing whether an artificial oyster reef installation parallel to the mouth of the creek will reduce soil erosion. We’ll be using oyster castles (concrete homes for the oysters) to construct the reef.
Other activities occurring at NWSE this summer include setting oysters at our aquaculture facility, monitoring the oysters and structures in the ¼ acre experimental plot to assess overwinter survival and growth, repeating our successful biodiversity study, and continuing to collect water quality data. We’re thankful for all the help the US Navy has provided over the years through our unique partnership!
Wow! Unique partnership my ass.
A 0.91 acre “living shoreline” amidst what Berrigan would call “the charnel house of death”.
A 0.25 acre “experimental plot … to assess overwinter survival and growth, repeating our successful biodiversity”
Yes Deb, that is truly a “unique” – and warped – “partnership”.
Let’s take a brief look at the legacy of Earle Naval Weapons Station – a place designed to feed US warships with the bombs and missiles they drop around the world – and see how Baykeeper’s “oyster castles” and “unique partnership” stack up and whether they warrant such thanks and praise.
It appears Ms. Mans is either oblivious to all this or just couldn’t give a damn.
Role In Cuban Missile Crisis
During the so called 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, the US & The Soviet Union almost blew up the world.
So comforting to know that the good folks at Earle Naval Weapons Station were busy loading US ships:
As the Cuban Missile Crisis flared in October and November of 1962, NAD Earle operated two ten-hour shifts in support of ships during the increased tensions of the naval blockade of Cuba. Personnel from all departments, including Supply and Public Works, joined in ordnance operations. After the crisis, the base was commended by the Commander Service Forces, U.S. Atlantic Fleet for its assistance in the “. . rapid attainment of readiness by the United States Atlantic Fleet.”52 (Navy history, at page 15)
Role in Vietnam
The US invasion and carpet bombing of southeast asia killed millions of innocent men, women, and children and poisoned the landscape – and those heroes at Earle were busy again:
The mid- to late 1960s saw an increase in activity at NAD Earle, most likely associated with the increased American presence in Vietnam. The permanent complement of the base increased to 760 after ninety-four positions were added. The majority of the new personnel, fifty-nine positions, were assigned to the Naval Weapons Handling Laboratory. The workload also increased significantly in August 1967, when all six berths at the piers were simultaneously occupied for the first time since 1952. Another indicator of an increase in activity brought about by the war in Southeast Asia was the loan of 5 acres in the eastern portion of the Mainside to the Army for the training of noncommissioned officers from Fort Monmouth prior to their rotation to Vietnam. 53
Role in US Nuclear Weapons Program
But let us not be distracted by small matters – Earle played a role in the Cold War US nuclear profile.
The U.S. Nuclear Weapons Cost Study Project was completed in August 1998 and resulted in the book Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Since 1940edited by Stephen I. Schwartz. These project pages should be considered historical.
Bases and Facilities with Significant Current or Historical U.S. Nuclear Weapons or Naval Nuclear Propulsion Missions
- Nukes of Earle (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, October 1987)
Role in Gulf Wars, Middle East & War on Terror
Not enough time in the day to research and document these charnel house activities.
War on the Environment – It’s a (Greenhouse) gas – Massive Toxic Pollution – Superfund & RCRA
The military is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases – so they risk either blowing up the planet or burning it up. How wonderful and deserving of Baykeeper’s praise, no?
But I don’t have time to run down Earle’s contribution to all that. And the site itself has massive toxic contamination – Superfund site – take a look
So, based on that thumbnail sketch, after reading Baykeeper’s praise, I feel so much better now.
Heckofajob, Ms. Mans!
There must be a future Dodge Foundation grant in the offing for that unique partnership!
[End Note: blown away by this Berrigan work:
“We have assumed the name of peacemakers, but we have been, by and large, unwilling to pay any significant price. And because we want the peace with half a heart and half a life and will, the war, of course, continues, because the waging of war, by its nature, is total — but the waging of peace, by our own cowardice, is partial…There is no peace because there are no peacemakers. There are no makers of peace because the making of peace is at least as costly as the making of war — at least as exigent, at least as disruptive, at least as liable to bring disgrace and prison and death in its wake.”
Taken from an obituary by John Dear here: