Governments find it hard to do the right thing for their people – why?
There are those who say that the idiots running Western and allied governments (the “civilized” countries) are pitching the world toward a pair of disasters, the full realization of either of which, in its most extreme form, would likely change life on earth for the worse for most folks, whether it’s the continuing, unabated nuclear meltdowns in Fukushima or the continuing, unabated political meltdown over Ukraine that risks nuclear war. There are also those who don’t say that these leaders are idiots. We’ll see how things turn out.
“Going naked” is how the insurance industry describes not having insurance. And when it comes to the worst hazards of nuclear power — America is going naked. Correspondent Miles Benson investigates why the US nuclear power industry is underinsured by hundreds of billions of dollars. He also speaks with Australian physician, author and nuclear industry critic Dr. Helen Caldicott on the health effects of nuclear radiation including cancers, fetal damage and genetic mutation. Continue reading →
For a few hours on the afternoon of Nov. 1, the people of southern California were scared by initial reports of an alert at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. An “alert” is the second of four warning levels.
Workers first detected an ammonia leak in a water purification system about 3 p.m. Ammonia, when mixed into air, is toxic. The 30 gallons of ammonia were caught in a holding tank and posed no health risk, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NRC).
(Earth Focus: Episode 32) Nuclear Power: Risks and Consequences, an original Earth Focus investigative report, looks at the untold stories behind three of the world’s largest nuclear disasters: Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima. According to government and industry officials, no one died as a result of Three Mile Island and only low doses of radiation — equivalent to a single chest XRay were released. But many local residents disagree and cite medical evidence that radiation released from the Three Mile Island reactor was severe enough to cause disease and death. It’s been 30 years but the controversy continues. Chernobyl was the worse nuclear disaster in history. A new book, Chernobyl: Consequences of a Catastrophe says that almost a million people died as a result of the nuclear accident — not 4,000 as The World Health Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency claim. A screw up or a coverup? Earth Focus looks at evidence that links radioactive exposure to diminished intelligence, premature aging and a variety of other health conditions. Given the severity of the accident in Fukushima and the inability of the government to provide action to safeguard large portions of its population, the Japanese government moved the goal posts on what is considered safe radiation exposure for children and nuclear workers. Japanese organized crime, the Yakuza, is now becoming actively involved in the cleanup of radioactive waste.
Dr. Helen Caldicott: Conference on THE NUCLEAR DANGER: Nuclear War and Nuclear Power
Montreal. March 18, 2011
Sponsored by the Centre for Research on Globalization
The single most articulate and passionate advocate of citizen action to remedy the nuclear and environmental crises, Dr Helen Caldicott, has devoted the last 38 years to an international campaign to educate the public about the medical hazards of the nuclear age and the necessary changes in human behavior to stop environmental destruction.
International agencies, the nuclear industry and governments ignore important scientific data about the consequences of the 1986 nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. A screw up or a cover up? Authors of a new book, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment published by the New York Academy of Sciences say it was a massive cover up. They say that almost a million people worldwide died as a result of Chernonbyl — not 4,000 as officially claimed by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Health Organization. Book co-author, Professor Alexey V. Yablokov, Councilor of the Russian Academy of Sciences and former environmental advisor to Russian President Boris Yeltsin, tells Earth Focus that international organizations are ignoring scientific data published in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, countries most severely affected by the fallout from Chernobyl, because of their links to the nuclear industry. Professor Yablokov and book editor, US toxicologist Janette Sherman, MD, book note that effects of Chernobyl continue to be felt today by countries as far away as Germany and the the United Kingdom. Wild boars harvested by hunters in Germany continue to be tested for radioactivity and restrictions are still in place on the movement, sale and supply of sheep in parts of the United Kingdom. Book authors say there is evidence that links exposure to radioactivity with diminished human intelligence, as recent studies with schoolchildren in Sweden indicate, as well as breaks in chromosomes that lead to devastating birth defects and mental handicaps. The effects of Chernobyl will last for seven generations or more.
Image by Roads Less Traveled Photography via Flickr
The disaster at Chernobyl’s reactor on April 26, 1986 continues to expose humans, flora and fauna to radioactive lethality especially in, but not restricted to, Ukraine and Belarus. Western countries continue to reflect an under-estimation of casualties by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
IAEA’s figures top off at 4000 fatalities since 1986 that is highly questionable given IAEA’s conflict of interest between its role of promoting nuclear power and monitoring its safety. An agreement between the IAEA and the World Health Organization (WHO) provides for WHO’s deference to IAEA’s casualty figures which has compromised WHO’s priority of advancing health in the world. The United Nations naturally adopts the IAEA figures and the West’s nuclear regulatory agencies, similarly committed to promotional functions, ditto these under-estimations.
It was back in 1976 that President Jimmy Carter had Solar Panels installed on the roof of the White House, the type that heated hot water. This event came at the height of arguably the most successful Grass Roots Campaign ever seen in America: The Ecology Movement. This truly “bottom-up” and widely based movement was responsible for more far-reaching legislation passed (in sheer volume), than even the Civil Rights and Womens’ Rights movements; which were also highly important grass roots successes proving the Power of the People when roused. And the Ecology Movement did most of this within a few years; and by uniting many people across the entire political spectrum together on a single issue that broke Party and social barriers. It accomplished wonderful things… Continue reading →
President Obama’s pick of Kansas to win the “March Madness” collegiate basketball tournament ended with their defeat by Virginia Commonwealth University this past Saturday. He must know how the Jay Hawks are feeling because he is entangled in his own March Madness that will continue after this month ends.
The expanding nuclear meltdown disaster from Japan’s cluster of nuclear plants gets worse by the day, yet President Obama continues to reassure the nuclear industry that he supports more plants guaranteed by the U.S. taxpayers because Wall Street otherwise will not risk loaning billions of dollars per plant.
Fukushima plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. claims that an earlier measurement showing a huge spike in radiation levels at the stricken Japanese nuclear complex was ‘a mistake’. According to TEPCO spokesman, water testing showing 10 million times higher in radioactivity than normal was ‘not credible’.
Meanwhile, three workers have already been exposed to dangerous materials in the continuing battle to avert catastrophe in the wake of the earthquake tragedy which destroyed large parts of the country. The official number of those killed by the quake and tsunami stands at over 10,000, with many more homeless or missing. But Fukushima remains the biggest concern – with the ongoing possibility of nuclear meltdown.
Since BP announced that CEO Tony Hayward would receive a multi-million dollar golden parachute and be replaced by Bob Dudley, we have witnessed an incredibly broad, and powerful, propaganda campaign. A campaign that peaked this week with the US government, clearly acting in BP’s best interests, itself announcing, via outlets willing to allow themselves to be used to transfer the propaganda, like the New York Times, this message: “The government is expected to announce on Wednesday that three-quarters of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon leak has already evaporated, dispersed, been captured or otherwise eliminated — and that much of the rest is so diluted that it does not seem to pose much additional risk of harm.”