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“I do not think that one may expect that people will contribute to the solution of the problem until they are aware of their ability to take part in the solution.”

— J. Robert Oppenheimer, technical director of the Manhattan project out of which was created the first atomic bomb.

He was speaking about the problem of the reality of atomic knowledge and that everyone in the world now shared the peril and the responsibility of how best to democratically and transparently work toward a peaceful world. It didn’t happen.

Weapons production took off and starting with the Manhattan project itself has always been shrouded in secrecy from the public.

In 2011, the world now has thousands of nuclear weapons and nuclear capabilities with many non-nuclear nations clamoring to join those who have them. Nuclear proliferation is creeping along and nuclear materials are loose and lost.

The toxic waste of past weapons production is a vast U.S. and world problem fraught with doublespeak and secrecy.

Activists at the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center have created an answer to one of these problems — the radioactive residues. In the quote above, Oppenheimer was prescient in knowing that people won’t contribute to the solution of a problem until they are aware of their ability to take part in the solution.

Nuclear Guardianship gives all of us the ability to be part of the solution to the tragic legacy of nuclear waste. It is a pathway we can all be on together — democratically and transparently.

The Peace Center, together with Naropa University’s Environmental Studies program, offer to us steps we can take together to accomplish protection for people and the environment from further radioactive poisoning, focusing on the inadequate “cleanup” of Rocky Flats and the plans to eventually open it to the public for recreation.

The Rocky Flats: A Call to Guardianship project will be launched in a series of presentations and hands-on workshops starting next Thursday evening, Jan. 13, at the Nalanda Campus of Naropa, 7:30 p.m., Room 9180.

Following, for six months, former nuclear workers, artists, scientists, actors, poets and musicians, will present, discuss, teach and learn, as all of us join together — democratically, transparently, to guard and protect the earth and its beings at Rocky Flats.

In so doing, we will present to the world a model that can be replicated all over our planet. Please visit RockyFlatsNuclearGuardianship.org.

Judith Mohling is a volunteer with the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center.

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