16 ways Americans can feel truly safe again
Discuss greening Homeland Security in the Terrorism forum in Café Utne's: cafe.utne.com
We believe that the OHS doesn't go far enough. In the interest of achieving a secure and peaceful nation, we are proposing that the OHS consider adopting the following provisions:
1. Create an ombudsman to oversee the OHS's operations. Assign the position to a trusted political leader like Senator Russ Feingold, a Democrat from Wisconsin and the only U.S. senator to vote against the OHS.
2. Shut down nuclear power plants.
3. Phase out all industries that use and stockpile toxic compounds-refineries, plastics plants, chemical plants.
4. Stop shipping toxic chemicals by rail, road, ship, and air.
5. Stop fluoridating drinking water. (Fluorosilicic acid, the major fluoridation ingredient, is a corrosive, toxic industrial waste product. Carried by trucks, it can be easily hijacked and used to poison entire communities.)
6. Close airports permanently. (Replace polluting jets with high-speed rail. A train will never be hijacked and flown into a skyscraper.)
7. Ban chemical fertilizer. (Ammonia nitrate fertilizer was used to make the bomb that destroyed the federal building in Oklahoma City.)
8. Ban chemically dependent agriculture. (Promoting small, family-owned organic farms would eliminate crop dusters as a terrorist tool.)
9. Put a member of the American Civil Liberties Union in the OHS. (The ACLU has warned that the "Patriot Act" grants "expanded power to invade our privacy, imprison people without due process, and punish dissent.")
10. Extend the powers of the Patriot Act to cover the activities of corporations and the wealthy, thereby allowing citizens to 'speak and peek' into private mansions and corporate headquarters to conduct secret searches, download computer files, and snap surveillance photos.
11. Permit citizen groups to obtain "blank" warrants to conduct "intelligence wiretaps" on the private banking practices of the super-rich.
12. Ban autos, trucks, and vans from downtown streets since they can be used to deliver bombs. (City streets can then be turned into pedestrian zones with orchards, vegetable gardens, playgrounds, and bike paths.)
13. Phase out oil and gas pipelines and chemical storage facilities near population centers.
14. Close the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. (In 1978, 16,000 barrels of oil spilled when terrorists blew up the pipeline near Fairbanks.)
15. Decentralize the power grid. (Turning every rooftop into a solar power plant would make it impossible for terrorists to black out a city.)
16. Fight anthrax by banning junk mail. (Require the postal service to deliver only personal mail. Business mail would be handled by bonded couriers hired by the businesses themselves.)
From Earth Island Journal (Spring 2002). Subscriptions: $25/yr. (4 issues, including membership in Earth Island Institute) from 300 Broadway, Suite 28, San Francisco, CA 94133.