Friday, February 14, 2014

Grand Theft, Sibling Style: 35 Months Since the Disaster at Fukushima Daiichi

My eldest brother is my wisest one.  He also has the kindest heart and the most natural, unpolluted concept of living well and peacefully in community with one another and the Earth that is our gracious home.

I haven't ripped anything off from his blog, American Idyll in what seems like YEARS but is actually months.
Tonight, I'm scratching that itch, I'm cracking my knuckles, I'm gearing down for a casual five-fingered discount of digital thievery.  Ah, but thievery rich with attribution!  Go to American Idyll, browse, travel, dream, and learn - laugh, point, giggle, fall into awed silence the way you once were able to collapse into a bean bag contraption (and get up again).

He's democratic by nature and virtue, and so I'm hoping he won't hitch a ride on Elvis the Crow, leading a bazillion of the pointy-beaked creatures to peck on my head for violations of propriety, property, boundaries.

Not many of the voices raised or calmly modulated to float over the chaotic cacophony of the Fukushima accident and subsequent disasters are being heard.  Who wants to hear that stuff?  Unfortunately, the righteous question remains:  How dare we continue to play at being deaf, and prove our stupidity and arrogance, even if those attributes are the natural afterbirth of fear?  Fear is fueling our history of poor decisions, and our poor decisions are fueling the death power of these ecological man-made radiation disasters.  My brother-unit seems to recommend that we educate ourselves on what happened at the Fukushima nuclear power plant as well as what is happening at nuclear facilities around the world by staying abreast of this news via Energy News.

Hot off the presses at Energy News, by just minutes?

Radioactive cesium levels “never seen before” at Fukushima — New record as totals nearly double in under 24 hours — Officials admit ‘there may be a new leak’ — IAEA urging for ‘resumption’ of dumping contaminated water into ocean; ‘All options’ need to be considered...

The IAEA suggestions, by the way, are being roundly criticized, though I cannot discern, with what little I've read, what viable alternatives are being offered.  Here are, however, some of the reactions to the UN agency's proposals:

AFP, Feb. 13, 2014: Fukushima should eye ‘controlled discharges’ in sea: IAEA — The UN nuclear watchdog on Thursday urged Japan to consider “controlled discharges” into the sea of contaminated water used to cool the crippled reactors at Fukushima. [...] “This would require considering all options, including the possible resumption of controlled discharges to the sea.” [...] local fishermen, neighbouring countries and environmental groups all oppose the idea. [...] The agency also called for a careful assessment of the company’s plan to create a subterranean “freeze wall” to prevent radioactive groundwater from leaking into the ocean — an ongoing problem that has stoked fears about dangers posed to marine life and the food chain. [...]
Shanghai Daily, Feb. 13, 2014: TEPCO is still eyeing dumping toxic water into the Pacific Ocean as it fails to contain in makeshift storage tanks [...] a massive daily influx of water needed to cool the battered reactors, while nuclear experts believe that other methods need to be traversed before contaminating the ocean. Dumping radioactive water into the ocean is of grave concern to local fisheries cooperatives as the potential for radioactive materials to spread to marine life remains a distinct possibility, despite TEPCO’s assurances the levels of radioactivity will be kept well below the government’s and regulator’s limits. [...] Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) Chairman Shunichi Tanaka [...] said that even though three years has passed since the reactor meltdowns at the plant, TEPCO is still utterly inept when it comes to taking accurate readings of radioactivity [...] and “lacks a basic understanding of measuring and handling radiation.”
NHK, Feb. 14, 2014: IAEA: Consider discharging contaminated water — [The IAEA] advised [Tepco] to examine all options to treat contaminated water. These include resuming controlled discharges of radioactive water into the sea. [...] [IAEA's Juan Carlos Lentijo says] the situation remains very complex [...] the IAEA team believes it is necessary to find a sustainable solution to the problem of managing contaminated water at the plant. It says that this would require considering all options, including the possible resumption of controlled discharges to the sea.
Xinhua, Feb. 13, 2014: [TEPCO] said Thursday that samples of water tested contained radioactive cesium at levels never seen before by the embattled utility. TEPCO [is] admitting there may be a new leak at the site of a well located just 50 meters from the adjacent Pacific Ocean [...] The utility has failed to locate the source of the leak, in another major failing [...]
Tepco Handout, February 13, 2014: “The highest dose among the results previously announced” — 130,000 Bq/L of Cs-134, 137. Previous record set the day before at 76,000 Bq/L of Cs-134, 137.

I'm proud of my brother's voice joining with other activists' ways of speaking to the world.  But, as sisters do, I think his way of leading us to the information is gentler, and inspired.  (This is the part where I steal his post, all the while reminding you, Dearly Beloved Readers, that TW is its author, the artist who makes these beautiful collages of words, photography [his own], and subtle spell casting.  And maybe, right here, lost in all my verbiage, I can slip in how very much I cherish him, love him, and wish to sooth his brow.)


The mysterious manner in which this growing sense of unity commingles with a sense of utter goodness is worth noting. It arises by no effort of mine; rather does it come to me out of I know not where. Harmony appears gradually and flows through my whole being like music. An infinite tenderness takes possession of me, smoothing away the harsh cynicism which a reiterated experience of human ingratitude and human treachery has driven deeply into my temperament. I feel the fundamental benignity of Nature despite the apparent manifestation of ferocity.
Like the sounds of every instrument in an orchestra that is in tune, all things and all people seem to drop into the sweet relationship that subsists within the Great Mother's own heart.
--Paul Brunton
A Hermit in the Himalayas: The Journal of a Lonely Exile



A Highway Of Diamonds With Nobody On It

Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?
I’ve stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains
I’ve walked and I’ve crawled on six crooked highways
I’ve stepped in the middle of seven sad forests
I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans
I’ve been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard

And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it
I saw a black branch with blood that kept dripping
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleeding
I saw a white ladder all covered with water

I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children
And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?
And what did you hear, my darling young one?
I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warning
Heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world
Heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazing
Heard ten thousand whispering and nobody listening

Heard one person starve, I heard many people laughing
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter
Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley
And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

Oh, who did you meet, my blue-eyed son?
Who did you meet, my darling young one?
I met a young child beside a dead pony
I met a white man who walked a black dog
I met a young woman whose body was burning
I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow
I met one man who was wounded in love
I met another man who was wounded with hatred

And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

Oh, what’ll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what’ll you do now, my darling young one?
I’m a-going back out before the rain starts a-falling
I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest dark forest
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison

Where the executioner’s face is always well hidden
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten
Where black is the color, where none is the number
And I’ll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it
And reflect from the mountain so all souls can see it
Then I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinking
But I’ll know my song well before I start singing
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

Bob DylanA Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall


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