On June 7th, 2010 my exhibition of Global Warming paintings in our nation’s first green Federal Building was abruptly canceled. A half hour before my reception, I was ordered by a GSA lawyer to take my work down. As I exited the building, I remember thinking ‘ If our government prefers censorship to actively dealing with ecological issues this building will some day be standing in sea water!’ (A full account below at Censored!…)
The rejected paintings are neither predictions nor statements of fact. They are cautionary tales, a glimpse, through a glass darkly, of a road that should not to be taken.
Unfortunately, our Federal government, driven by corporate dinosaurs and cowed by the Mad Tea Partiers, seems hell-bent on ignoring the best advice of the world’s leading scientists. Its principle ‘green’ solutions to climate change are ‘clean coal’ , an untested technology, and nuclear power which is neither ‘clean’ nor ‘safe’ as Japan tragically reminds us.
My father, Dennis Holdsworth, who ran research and development programs from the fifties to the seventies, began as a strong advocate of Nuclear Power. But before he died he declared “Nuclear power is an incredible technology which would be perfect if we could guarantee perfection in our technology and in our operators. We can’t . We’re human. We make mistakes. The price of for nuclear mistakes is too high”
There is no safe level of radioactivity.(See John Gofman) Nuclear plants constantly raise the level of radioactivity in our environment. Dr Ernest Sternglast, who led the movement to stop nuclear weapons testing, asserts that every reactor he’s investigated in this country leaks significant amounts of radiation. There are high levels of strontium-90 in children’s teeth downwind of these reactors as well as other toxic isotopes. ( More detailed information at radiation.org or youtube press conference) Our reactors here in California, which are no more prepared for a major quake than those in Japan, regularly vent radioactive wastes into our coastal waters.
Representatives of the nuclear industry speak of ‘safe levels’ and regularly downplay the dangers. They brazenly deny the real costs of Chernobyl – possibly a million casualties ( Environment News Service ) and continue to deny any deleterious effects from Three Mile Island despite evidence to the contrary (http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/feb97/wing.html). Our government officials, many of whom make careers of sweeping troublesome issues under the rug, depend on these questionable sources for their advice.
Environmental issues should not be swept under the rug. It is time we demanded complete disclosure and an end to censorship of ‘controversial’ points of view. We owe this to our children and our planet.
I’ve decided that these censured paintings deserve further exposure in light of current events so I will be exhibiting them at ‘ The Schoolhouse’ , May 27- 30 ( Reception May 27, 7-9 PM)
1592 Market @ Franklin, San Francisco near Zuni Cafe
I will be following this brief reprise with the public unveiling of my new ‘Climate Change Quartet’ at the Caffe Museo at SFMOMA, June 2 – July 14: (Reception June 2, 5:30 – 7:30 PM)
151 3rd St, San Francisco