In “An Inconvenient Truth,” former Vice President Al Gore tells us that we only have a decade to turn around the destruction by global warming to our planet. What we would be entering into has been called “the birth of death” if we continue in our non-sustainable ways. The only way to clean up Ohio, one of the most polluted states in the country – with Columbus recently voted the least sustainable major city – is to elect a governor who is a real Green. Not one who has his photo taken in a canoe or who claims to be Green. I’ve been deeply involved in the environmental movement since the 1970s when I was an undergraduate. Let me briefly recap my actual grassroots Green activist experience.

As an undergraduate, I followed nuclear waste trucks from a plant in Traverse City, Michigan as part of a report on safety and security for PIRG and I also collected signatures to put a bottle bill on the ballot. In the last 20 years, I’ve engaged in a lot of grassroots campaigns and investigative reporting that directly challenged the corporate polluters:

  • I exposed Battelle’s hidden radioactive and toxic waste site at the King Avenue location and fought it from being located on the Olentangy River with the help of local activist Tim Wagner
  • I investigated and worked against the so-called “Mobile Chernobyl” with environmentalist Joanne Phillips when Governor Voinovich attempted to make Ohio the Midwest radioactive waste site
  • I investigated and exposed criminal activity in Hilliard, where elementary school children were having their lungs scarred by illegal toxic fumes
  • With Harvey Wasserman, I investigated Columbus’ notorious trash burning power plant and worked with area citizens such as Theresa Mills, Stan and Sherri Loscko and Ohio Environmental Council Directory Rick Sahli. We fought against it for a year until we prevailed and it was shut down
  • I exposed radioactive material from old nuclear missiles in a junkyard in Mansfield, Ohio
  • I also reported on the coal company’s plans to mine under Dysart Woods and destroy Ohio’s last strand of old growth trees, working with tireless activist Chad Kister
  • I investigated and exposed the radioactivity in Marion, Ohio that was being covered up by government officials. As a result of that reporting for Columbus Alive, in 2001, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists voted me the best environmental writer in the state. The article is included in “The Fitrakis Files: Spooks, Nukes and Nazis” that exposes the underbelly of corruption in the state

One Response to “Grassroots Green Activism”

    Sometimes just sitting down and figuring out what, we have done is a daunting task but yes, we do take ourselves for granted sometimes.

    A good point in this process is realizing we need and deserve a vacation

    Let’s hope we don’t take our planet for granted. It has done much for us!


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