Ha ha, listen to this jerk.
State Sen. Dick Saslaw does not mince words about his support for uranium mining. A Northern Virginia Democrat who is also the Senate minority leader, Saslaw says burying the radioactive byproduct known as tailings underground should be a solution to environmental concerns. And he says he can’t be concerned about what might happen [years] from now.
“What about 10,000 years from now? I’m not going to be here,” Saslaw says. “I can’t ban something because of something that might happen 500 or 1,000 years from now.”
So here’s a question for you, State Sen. Saslaw. How many years into the future are you responsible for protecting? If you knew that this radioactive byproduct would leach into water supplies by 2300, is that your responsibility? By 2200? Does your decision-making only extend until you retire from the senate? Or does it cover your kids, too? Their kids?
If we’re going to manage this country, Saslaw, we just need to figure out the time frame we need to give a shit about. Me, I was operating under the assumption that we were kind of treating our time on this Earth as custodians for its future. But I understand that others, like yourself, disagree. So let’s meet on some middle ground — say, 150 years? — and do our best to assure that civilization as we know it isn’t upended by then. Much less that kids in Virginia aren’t digging up radioactive material and playing with it.
The nice thing about that 150-year window? It means we still have to do something about climate change. And more good news: By his own admission, State Sen. Saslaw won’t be around in the year 12013. Hopefully Virginia’s politics will run more smoothly by then.
Uranium Debate Heats Up As Virginia Assembly Session Begins, WAMU.
Get Grist in your inbox