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DAVID SWANSON: Okay, we’re recording, this is David Swanson, I’m speaking with Harvey Wasserman, long time wonderful activist, author, author among other of wonderful books of "Solartopia," and Harvey, you were emailing me yesterday a little bit about success stories. Do you want to elaborate?
Orangutans are endangered by loss of their forest habitat. (Photo © naturepl.com / Anup Shah courtesy WWF)
April 29, 2011 (ENS) - Environmental leaders and politicians from around the world today called for an urgent move towards a global green economy in order to achieve sustainable development and wildlife conservation over the next 50 years.
Low-carbon technology, green infrastructures, investment in renewable energy and sustainable agriculture are essential in combating climate change, poverty and water shortages, said participants in the summit convened by WWF to mark the global conservation organization's 50th anniversary.
Physicians for Social Responsibility marked the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident (26 April 1986) by releasing a new interactive Evacuation Zone Map. It shows a person’s residence in relation to a nuclear reactor and its evacuation zone. One third of the population of the United States (over 111 million people) lives within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor.
In this I will just add a few reports I've come across this morning while waking up, might add some more as they trickle in.
Poisoning Mother Earth: America's Gulf and Fukushima - by Stephen Lendman
As best we know it, the shocking truth is that preventable disasters keep proliferating life destroying contamination globally. Yet news about them is suppressed, so few people everywhere are unaware how calamitously they're being harmed.
As a result, distinguished environmental researcher, Dr. Ilya Perlingieri, now warns to stay out of rain because it's likely radioactive. So is drinking water, food and air with unknown levels because governments like America and Japan won't say.
However, Norwegian Institute for Air Research static and dynamic maps show radiation contamination across the Northern Hemisphere with estimates of potential releases, increasing daily. Access them through the following link:
Also, Radiation Network.com gives levels across America, accessed through the following link:
By Ted Glick
Oh why can't you see
It's my life that's at stake
When you sell out our world
You are stealing my future.
Can you look in my eyes
As you gamble our lives?
When will you stop the lies
So that we can survive?
If you represent me
Not the fossil fuel industry
You must stop wasting time
Chasing your dollar signs.
Oh, say will you listen to
If you refuse to hear us now
Then we have to shut you down.
-sung to the tune of the Star Spangled Banner
There were two nonviolent civil disobedience actions that bookended the powerful Power Shift conference this past weekend in Washington, D.C. organized by the Energy Action Coalition. Because of these actions, and because of the success of Power Shift, there's reason to have hope that we could soon be seeing a much-needed, more massive, nonviolent direct action wing of the climate movement, of the progressive movement, led by young people.
A year ago BP began filling the Gulf of Mexico with oil.
Last week BP blocked a woman from entering its annual meeting.
Which will prove the bigger mistake?
BP may have chosen the right country to hit with the worst oil disaster in world history. If there's any population that will take seeing its land and water destroyed for corporate profit lying down, it's got to be us. We're split between gratitude and indifference: should we thank BP or just stay out of its way?
Alarming New Fukushima Reports - by Stephen Lendman
Five weeks after Japan's disaster, reports suggest worse, not improved conditions. It portends serious regional and global trouble ahead, besides what's already happened.
On April 16, AP headlined, "Radioactivity Rises in Sea Off Japan Nuclear Plant," saying:
"Levels of radioactivity have risen sharply in seawater near (Fukushima), signaling the possibility of new leaks at the facility, the government said Saturday."
The announcement followed a 5.9 level aftershock rocking the country early Saturday. So far, no additional damage reports were issued. However, seawater radioactive Iodine-131 spiked to 6,500 times above normal, up from 1,100 times Friday, and Cesium-134 and 137 rose nearly fourfold.
Fukushima Elevated to Level 7 - by Stephen Lendman
Fukushima's disaster will scar much, perhaps all of Japan for generations, including fetuses and newborns to be genetically harmed by radiation poisoning.
Kyodo News announced the latest news headlining, "Japan ups Fukushima nuke crisis severity to 7, same as Chernobyl," saying:
"The government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) upgraded its provisional evaluation based on an estimate that radioactive materials far exceeding the criteria for level 7 have so far been released into the external environment...."
NISA and Japan's Nuclear Safety Commission (NSC) estimate that 370,000 - 630,000 terabecquerels of radioactive materials have been released from Units 1, 2 and 3. One terabecquerel equals one trillion becquerels.
A few days ago, I drove past the house we sold in 1994 to move to Nashville. There was a “For Sale” sign in the yard. Later, I went to the web, curious about the price. It’s three times what we’d accepted. Then, I scrolled through the photographs. Had I not seen the front of the Tudor row house and known the house number, I wouldn’t have recognized the rooms. Complete renovation. Gone was the breakfast bar my husband designed and built. Gone were the balcony tiles I’d helped him install. All gone, except the memories.
Mostly, friends came to us. It’s what we preferred, because of our children.
We sat around the large table in the octagon-shaped dining room, its walls covered in a moody, almost smoldering coral.
It was the late 80s and early 90s and we called ourselves the Seinfeld gang. I was Jerry. My best friend Joan was Elaine.
We amused each other.
By Betsy Ross
We are now on the brink of the mother of all meltdowns in more ways than one.
Last weekend, The Times quoted Alan Hansen, a nuclear engineer and executive vice president of Areva NC, a unit of Areva, a French group that supplied reactor fuel to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plan, who spoke before a private gathering at Stanford University. “Clearly,” he summarized, “we’re witnessing one of the greatest disasters in modern time.” What the on-going release of cancer-causing radioactive fragments means in terms of human health and the environment is only beginning to come to light.
Powerful Aftershock Rocks Japan - by Stephen Lendman
Measuring 7.1 (one or more other reports said 7.4), rocked northeast Japan, causing more damage and disruption to a devastated area. It cut electricity to four million homes, disrupted power at two nuclear facilities, and according to Kyodo News:
"Radioactive water spilled from pools holding spent nuclear fuel rods at the Onagawa power plant in Miyagi Prefecture," according to Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA).
For up to 80 minutes, power was lost at Onagawa and the Higashidori nuclear facility. "A small amount of contaminated water spilled on the floor (inside) all three (Onagawa) reactors....In all, water spilled or leaked at eight sections of the plant," also run by Tokyo Electric (TEPCO). In addition, blowout panels designed to control pressure were damaged in reactor number three's turbine building, TEPCO saying a complete damage assessment was ongoing.
Fukushima Meltdown Confirmed - by Stephen Lendman
On April 6, Reuters reported that "the core at Japan's Fukushima nuclear reactor has melted through the reactor pressure vessel," Rep. Edward Markey told a House hearing on the disaster, saying:
"I have been informed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that the core has gotten so hot that part of it has probably melted through the reactor pressure vessel."
Recklessly promoting nuclear proliferation, America's NRC is notorious for coverup and denial of its harmful effects. As a result, their rare admission virtually confirms a full core meltdown in one or more reactors, meaning vast amounts of radiation are being uncontrollably released into the atmosphere, water and soil, spreading over a vast area. It's the ultimate nightmare scenario now unfolding, but don't expect major media reports or government officials to explain.
Increasing Fukushima Radiation Dangers - by Stephen Lendman
Daily reports on efforts to contain Fukushima's disaster remain worrisome. On April 5, New York Times writers Andrew Pollack and Kevin Drew headlined, "Plant Operator Measures Higher Radiation in Sea," saying:
"(C)ompany officials said that seawater collected near the facility contained radiation several million times the legal limit."
According to Tokyo Electric (TEPCO), radioactive iodine-131 in samples collected measured 200,000 becquerels per cubic centimeter, or five million times above normal. Cesium-137's elevated level was 1.1 million times. No information on uranium and plutonium concentrations were given. Clearly, however, growing dangers are worrisome, yet official reports downplay them. Coverup and denial persist. According to TEPCO,
radiation levels have "no immediate impact" on the environment or human health. In fact, it's catastrophic. More on that below.
By Missy Comley Beattie
I used to joke with my peace-movement friends, telling them I might self-immolate in front of the White House to make a statement about war. And, then, I’d laugh, saying there was just one glitch in the plan—I’d require so much Valium I’d be unable to strike the match.
For weeks, I’ve thought about a 26-year-old Tunisian man. Mohamed Bouazizi, educated, jobless, unable to feed his family, and desperate, doused himself with gasoline and died from his burns. This sacrificial act triggered the uprising in Tunisia and inspired other people across North Africa to do the same.
We are witness to revolution, civil wars, in which ordinary people are demanding basic rights.
Lately, I’ve been obsessing about the catastrophe of Fukushima, a crescendo of events as/more devastating than Chernobyl.
Japan's Apocalypse - by Stephen Lendman
Despite a disaster multiples worse than Chernobyl, major media reports all along downplayed it. Now they largely ignore it, moving on to more important things like celebrity features and baseball's opening day, besides pretending American-led Libya bombing is well-intended when, in fact, it's another brazen power grab - an imperial war of conquest, explained in numerous previous articles.
The horror of all wars aside, waged solely for wealth and power, never humanity, Japan deserves regular top billing, given its global implications and potential millions of lives affected. Ignoring it is scandalous, yet it's practically disappeared from television where most people get news, unaware only managed reports are aired omitting vital truths.
Yumi Kikuchi & Gen Morita are our good friends who live in Japan. They are anti-war & anti-nuclear activists who have done so much good work, both in Japan & internationally on these issues. Yumi & Gen translated "ADDICTED To WAR" into Japanese and were responsible for over 70,000 copies being sold in Japan. They also put Japanese subtitles on my film “What I’ve Learned About U. S. Foreign Policy” and screened it at the first ever Tokyo Peace Film Festival, which they organized. I could go on & on listing many of the things they have done to promote Peace in the world. Below is what they are asking us to do to help them now.
Veterans for Peace, Chapter 007 Los Angles, CA
The petition can be accessed through Yumi Kikuchi's blog below or contact her at email@example.com
By Charles M. Young
The prime minister of Japan has said that his government is “not in a position where we can be optimistic” about the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Is there any logical conclusion to draw from that statement other than that a large chunk of Japan is going to be uninhabitable?
They’ve got four nuclear reactors right next to each other in various states of disaster and probably meltdown. Two more are damaged. The workers on site are exhausted, sick and dying. The ocean and air around the plant are highly radioactive. The surrounding farms are producing radioactive vegetables. The drinking water in Tokyo is radioactive. If the Fukushima reactors keep exploding and burning and blowing radiation into the reservoirs, how long before Tokyo becomes Jonestown with a population of 13,000,000?
Japan's Leaking Water Radiation 100,000 Times Above Normal - by Stephen Lendman
Initial March 27 Tokyo Electric (TEPCO) reports detected Fukushima Daiichi Unit 2 radioactive water readings at ten million times normal levels, including:
-- 2.9 billion becquerels of iodine-134;
-- 13 million becquerels of iodine-131; and
-- 2.3 million becquerels (each) of cesium-134 and 137 per cubic centimeter of water in the turbine building's basement.
This measure was 1,000 times above water readings in Units 1 and 3. Emissions happen during nuclear fission. Tokyo University Professor Naoto Sekimura said the leak came from Unit 2's damaged suppression chamber, designed to contain radioactive substance overflows. French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety's Olivier Isnard believes high readings are "proof that the reactor core (at least) partially melted." Others suggest a likely full meltdown, covered up and downplayed.
Cleaning up our environment is not only related to climate change, it means cleaning up the damage done, and in many cases known to be damaging by the businesses and corporations who caused it, all around us, especially that which kills over time, shorter times!
Updating Japan's Nuclear Disaster - by Stephen Lendman
Japan's March 11 earthquake/tsunami-caused nuclear disaster affects millions of people regionally and throughout the Northern Hemisphere. But you'd never know it from most major media reports, downplaying an unfolding catastrophe.
In fact, distinguished experts like Helen Caldicott long ago warned of inevitable nuclear disasters, especially in seismically active areas. On May 23, 2004, The Japan Times contributor Leuren Moret headlined, "Japan's deadly game of nuclear roulette," saying:
"Of all the places in all the world no one in their right mind would build scores of nuclear power plants, Japan would be pretty near the top of the list."
"Japan sits on top of four tectonic plates....and is one of the most tectonically active regions of the world. (There) is almost no geologic setting in the world more dangerous for nuclear power than Japan."
by Walter Brasch
There has been a lot in the news this past week.
Most important, if measured by getting most of the ink and air time, is the continuing soap opera, “Charlie and the CBS Factory.”
The latest in a seemingly never-ending story is that after Charlie Sheen melted down, was fired, and spread himself to every known television talk show, declaring himself to be a winner and announcing a $100 million forthcoming law suit against CBS for breech of contract, the president of CBS announced he wanted Sheen back in “Two and a Half Men.”
Details are to be worked out. CBS said it would work with creator/executive producer Chuck Lorre and producing studio Warner Brothers, The relationship among Sheen, Warner Bros., Lorre, and most of the cast and crew may be a bit more difficult since Sheen’s warm-and-friendly on-air persona didn’t match his vitriolic attacks upon his co-stars and anti-Semitic remarks about Lorre.
Warns Any Radiation Exposure Is Unsafe
Washington, DC - March 19, 2011 – Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) today called for a nationwide
moratorium on new nuclear reactors in the United States and a suspension of operations at the nuclear reactors with a similar design as those involved in the disaster in Japan, as well as those on fault lines. PSR cited the medical risks associated with any level of radiation exposure regardless of how small. Lower doses result in less chance of harm than higher doses, but any dose level can put an individual at risk.
Toxic Intervention: Are NATO Forces Poisoning Libya with Depleted Uranium as They 'Protect' Civilians?
By Dave Lindorff
President Obama’s criminal launch of an undeclared and Congressionally unauthorized war against Libya may be compounded by the crime of spreading toxic uranium oxide in populated areas of that country.
This is latest concern of groups like the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons, which monitor the military use of so-called depleted-uranium (DU) anti-tank and bunker-penetrating shells.
Images of Libyan civilians and rebels celebrating around the burning hulks of the Libyan army’s tanks and armored personnel carriers, which had been hit by US, French and British aircraft ordnance in the early hours of the US-led assault on the forces of Col. Muammar Gaddafy, could well have been unknowingly inhaling the deadly dust of the uranium weapons favored by Western military forces for anti-tank warfare.
By Linn Washington, Jr.
A timely report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, based on data from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), contains troubling news about the state of America’s vast network of nuclear power plants.
The report, which examined serious incidents at 14 U.S. nuclear power plants nationwide from New York to California in 2010, finds fault with both plant operators and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission which is supposed to oversee them.
“Many of these significant events occurred because reactor owners and even the NRC tolerated known safety problems,” states the report, entitled: “The NRC and Nuclear Power Plant Safety in 2010: A Brighter Spotlight Needed.”
While none of the 14 safety incidents tagged in the Union’s report as “near misses” produced harm to nuclear plant employees or the public, the report terms the frequency of these incidents, which averaged more than one per month, “high for a mature industry.”
Bad to Worse in Japan - by Stephen Lendman
It bears repeating. Government, industry, and major media reports downplay and deny Japan's unprecedented nuclear disaster, potentially able to kill millions now living and in future generations painfully.
Nuclear power is a real life Andromeda Strain. If uncontrollably unleashed, it's potentially able to destroy life worldwide under a worse case scenario.
In his latest article, nuclear expert Harvey Wasserman said "the most devastating thing about (Fukushima) is not what's happening there now. It's that until all the world's reactors are shut, even worse is virtually certain to happen again. All too soon." Fukushima, in fact, may be the nuclear nightmare he suggests.
Globally, 450 reactors operate, including 104 aging American ones, many with bad safety records caused by cost-cutting and shoddy maintenance. Poorly regulated, they're ticking time bombs, accidents waiting to happen, many plagued by near-meltdown misses.