We were cruising the Internet on Wednesday (3/15/17) after reading “The Shepherd’s Life,” a glorious meditation on raising sheep and living a pastoral idyll in England’s fabled Lake District of Cumbria, because the best-seller published in 2015 inspired a need to know more.
For one thing, we were struck to learn that sheep in this remote region in the northwest of England just below Scotland were still being monitored for traces of radioactivity from Chernobyl, which exploded far away in Ukraine in 1986, as recently as 2012. Then there was the matter of the author’s aunt’s death from cancer – she had a sheep farm nearby – and his own father’s death from cancer. His father was herding sheep at the age of 8 in the Lake District when the notorious Sellafield (formerly “Windscale”) fire erupted in 1957 at Britain’s plutonium factory on the Irish Sea, just an hour’s drive to the west. The fire raged for three days, releasing enormous radioactivity to the environment, a fact deliberately suppressed by the government. Sheep were found dead across the scenic valleys. Of course, we also wondered what caused the mysterious rash of miscarriages among the author’s sheep one recent spring.
As author James Rebanks writes, when an inspector in a white protective suit showed up on the family farm with Geiger counters clicking in his hand soon after Chernobyl, “It added to the general impression of my youth that the wider world was stupendously fucked up. It felt like the whole modern world wanted to rob me of the life I wanted to lead.”
We found ourselves visiting an online British news site – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/11475493/Could-you-handle-life-as-a-modern-day-shepherd.html
– to learn more when our online viewing was interrupted by an ad from “Dominion Millstone”! This British website automatically opened with an alert directed to Connecticut residents asking them if they know they pay the highest electricity rates in the U.S.A.
Readers of The Telegraph, like us, who had clicked on the site to read the article about James Rebanks – “Could you handle life as a modern-day shepherd” – were enticed to divert their attention from that article to another site promoting the Millstone bailout bill – Connecticut Senate Bill 106 – at http://poweringct.com/?src=2.
“More information” was a click away. “What to do” was another click away, as the familiar image of Millstone appeared onscreen over the tabloid copy.
Readers were encouraged to sign their names, addresses, zipcodes and emails to a form supporting the bill. Of course, Dominion’s arguments in the ad are bogus, false and misleading.
This happened on Wednesday (March 14), the day after the blizzard that crippled Connecticut, shutting down Connecticut government, and just two days after the Energy and Technology Committee first released the full text of the proposed bill to the public. The earlier version was one sentence long and so vague as to be meaningless.
Lessons of this true story:
- The nuclear menace is everywhere
- Time to find out if Dominion has an inside track to the Energy and Technology Committee leadership. By the way, did Dominion’s lawyers write the revised bill?
- Dominion is tossing out money hand over fist in its propaganda drive to fleece electric customers and steal funding for safe, clean renewable energy
- We need to shut Millstone, not prolong its dirty, unsafe operations