A reason to cry

It was a rough week for me: 68 years of age, eco-peace and justice, activist, intertidal consultant, Penobscot Bay protector and organic farmer.

Yesterday morning, my partner, crying, asked me why she was so sad to hear about the brutal assault of Putin’s storm troopers on the free people of  the nation of Ukraine.

I went into consultant mode, where, what, how, science, law, process, historical background, etc. “You have a particular reason to cry,” I replied. You were as a child living in Helsinki. Finland could be next. Your father was a child in Norway when Hitler’s thugs invaded and occupied his homeland. You are Jewish. You are a normal human being with feelings and empathy for the people of another land being brutally attacked. We just lived through four years of madman Trump, who held the power to push a button and destroy everything.

Explaining to her that we all are under the crushing reality of the last possible war and that another madman is threatening to push the button did nothing to relieve my feelings resulting from a very sad week.

Last week’s reasons for me, besides the above?

Another friend’s organic farm was found to be poisoned by PFAS. Cause?

The shortsighted Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s permitting of industrial and municipal wastewater sludge being dumped on agricultural land.

Nordic permit decision: In her wisdom, Michaela Murphy decided last week that the lawyers running the state and the DEP/BEP staff are infinitely wise and perfect in all of the analysis of facts, law, geology, chemistry, marine biology, hydrology, etc., regarding the Nordic feedlot for fish environmental protection permit review.

Murphy determined the “opponents” were 100% wrong on every detail/law.

Not one fact of science, engineering or law any of our experts presented (expert testimony given in sworn documents, detailed testimony resulting from countless hours of research and review of the permit applications) was found relevant or reason for permit correction of any kind.

Murphy found that Nordic’s paid consultants and the state’s short-staffed DEP — Janet Mills and her lawyers running the show — were 100% on the money with the real science and law.

The state’s permitting strategy would result in the brutal reality of a combined total of 100,000,000 gallons of new fish wastewater going into the gulf of Maine per day from four fish feedlots, which would result in 100 tons of sludge per day dumped or burned and then  spread on our lands, or simply dumped in a big pile.

This salty, wet-filtered poisoned sludge from the four fish factories will be the next generation’s problem, I guess.

Tell that to the owners of New Beat Farm and their 3-year-old child, Janet Mills and Judge Murphy. Tell that to the children you and your ilk have poisoned for the last 30 years with PFAS.

I was also sad this last week. Now I am a follower of Volodymyr Zelensky. This is our land.

Paul Bernacki