Sun. May 19th, 2024


by Ana Grarian

If we can get honest news about the long term effects of the tsunami/earthquake in Japan, we will have extensive information about the ecological impacts of modern human society. The coverage of the nuclear crisis is very good on programs like Rachel Maddow, but we have not heard about the other major pollutants unleashed by the earthquake and tsunami.

Can you imagine for a moment the stew of contaminants released into the environment from this disaster?

No, I really can’t imagine it either.
From human sewage to petrochemicals and garbage, all mannner of materials used by humans, have been washed into the sea, the rivers, soaked into the soil and released into the air.

We won’t get the truth. For the same socio-economic reasons as any other country, these reports will be hidden, whitewashed, buried and burned. This is not about slandering Japan, the other countries of the world don’t want their citizens to see them either. The short and long-term health effects may be duly reported, but then they will be filed away, out of sight and out of mind. Too much is at stake. If we learn the truth, too many folks will want those dangers to be addressed in their own countries. And they will recognize that we already have those problems on a regional scale due to inadequate production and storage practices.


Iraqi infants are showing the result of using spent nuclear materials in weapons during both Gulf Wars.

You don’t want to see the pictures.

Industry only wants us to look at little segments of the energy process. This is true of Natural Gas, our supposed “clean” transition fuel, as well as nuclear and coal. Don’t look at the mining, drilling, storage, waste sites, you might see something you don’t like or want. And don’t worry, it’s not in your back yard. It’s way over there where almost no one lives, just some rural goobs, or some natives, etc. Oh, those trains and trucks? Don’t worry they won’t ever have an accident while they’re transporting hazardous materials to and from the power plants. They’re perfectly safe ……….

And we are very safe.   There are all kinds of restrictions and rules. Which we follow to a T, while lobbying to have them secretly removed, and covering up the number of accidents we have. Rachel Maddow just had a report about the blow out protectors on the Gulf oil rigs that are supposed to protect us from blow outs – only the same problem that causes the blow outs – damage the blow out protectors. Yet the US is busy handing out new permits for deep water drilling even as new oil slicks appear.

The picture of the tsunami pouring over the sea wall and then sweeping away everything in its path is a perfect example of our hubris toward the power of nature. Will we ever learn to live more closely to, and with, the earth? A friend of mine says that is moving backwards.

Really? If your child continued profligate spending after losing their job, and with no prospects for another, wouldn’t you tell them to cut back?

The western nations have been very busy spending our ecological currency. At first we didn’t notice that bad things were happening. Then we thought we could fix it. Now many are saying we have to keep doing what we’re doing because the “cost” of cutting back is too much. Many of the folks who tell me this are good family people who care about nature and their families. Doting grandparents who fail to see that their great grandchildren may bear the horrific burdens of nuclear contamination that Iraqui babies are now. (again – you do not want to see the pictures. I can only barely imagine the horror and grief the mothers and families feel.) Gandparents who won’t stop to think that maybe the deformities we’re seeing now were caused by pollution.

And our own health. The growing numbers of cancers. The rare diseases that aren’t so rare anymore. The nutritional disorders suffered in a country with the best ability to produce clean, quality, healthy food, if we weren’t so busy producing “value added” garbage.

If we could get honest evaluations of the effects of the natural disaster in Japan, we could re-evaluate the true “costs” of human progress. Nature has shown us the hubris of our safety efforts. Let’s stop and think about whether it is harder to do without, than to clean up. Isn’t it easier to sit in a darker room and converse with one another in good health, than to sit in those hospital rooms while our loved ones suffer? Is watching the latest  “reality” show, or even a great movie worth it?

Our farm was in the same region as a military base with a nuclear weapon depository. There were concerns of what the results of an explosion might be. One day we received an official letter in the mail telling us that, since we were farmers, in the event of a nuclear accident, we would be allowed to stay on our farm and care for our livestock. What? And what would we feed them? And who could drink the milk or eat the meat? I’m sorry, but in the event of a nuclear disaster we would shoot them, put them down before they died a horrible death, and then get the hell out ourselves.

I wish I hadn’t thrown that letter away. I’d have it framed on my wall.

A perfect example of societal and governmental blindness.

Keep your eye on the news from Japan. Remember what you hear and look for the most accurate sources of information. Nature is stronger than we are. We need to learn to play by her rules.

By AFarmer

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RS Janes
13 years ago

Somewhere I read that Christie Todd Whitman, head of the EPA during the 9/11 attack, blithely admitted sometime in 2007 or 2008 that the EPA lied about the dangers of air pollution at Ground Zero and the surrounding environs. She said that an EPA statement that the air was unsafe to breathe might have caused a panic that would have collasped the economy since GZ was so close to the Wall St. financial district. Once again, money trumps people. Being a Republican, she, of course, was not indicted or charged for her role in concealing the truth while firefighters, cops, other New Yorkers, and even tourists are suffering and dying early thanks to the EPA’s assurances that the air in Manhattan was safe. If this isn’t criminal, I don’t know what is. But this is the template for what they’ve been doing here and in Japan, and it won’t change until someone is held responsible and sent to jail and the companies involved are forced to pay massive fines. I’ll bet no one connected to the nuclear disaster in Japan is charged with negligence for allowing those plants to be built without the proper safety precautions.

RS Janes
13 years ago

You and I might not trust it, but some of those firefighters and cops in NYC just couldn’t believe the EPA would lie to them about such an important issue. My son lives in NYC, and he said you could see minute particles floating in the air near Ground Zero even days after the Towers collapsed, plus it smelled strange — like an explosion at a plastics factory. He lives in one of the boroughs and not in Manhattan and I hope his family was far enough away that they won’t be affected, but only time will tell.

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