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Heroes and Villains

March 16, 2011

The Japanese nuclear disaster will be worse than Chernobyl — even the experts of IAEA and France’s ASN acknowledge this now. We don’t know yet how much worse. Will three or more reactors melt and explode and spill their radioactive content into the biosphere? Will the spent fuel rods burn and explode?

Every reactor core contains about 1000 times the radioactivity of a Hiroshima bomb, the fuel rod storages even more.

Glad to be a vegetarian (I couldn’t eat my beloved cats or my other animal friends in anyway). http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/15/some-animals-are-more-equal-than-others/?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=thab1

With the prospect of a significant increased level of background radiation all over the world there will be now an additional incentive to abstain from eating meat and avoid the accumulation of pollutants in the food chain.

This could be a chance for fish stocks and for many endangered species to recover — unfortunately they too will be adversely affected by the increased radioactivity.

Who are the heroes and who are the villains in this tragedy?

The heroes are the 50 workers (actually 300 that are rotated in and out) that remained on the Fukushima Daiichi plant and are battling the fires and try to keep the pumps working and cooling water flowing. Sooner or later they all will die from radiation exposure or from radiation caused illnesses.

We don’t know yet, if they will be able, to avoid a catastrophic discharge and spill of the radioactive inventory of the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Regardless of the success of their efforts, they give their life for their fellow human beings and they should be regarded as saints and their families should get any necessary help and a special status.

The latest news is, that the Japanese government suspended operations at the facility due to a surge in radiation. This temporarily halted the desperate attempts of the workers to contain the disaster. Japanese government spokesman Yukio Edano told, that radiation levels had spiked to 1,000 millisieverts –1,000 times the level to which people can safely be exposed in one year — but had decreased to 600 – 800, “So the workers cannot carry out even minimal work at the plant now,”

Were are the robots? The Japanese are at the forefront of robotic process automation and robotic design. There are robotic welding machines, robotic lawn mowers and vacuum cleaners, there are even robotic pets. The Americans have unmanned aerial vehicles (MQ-1 Predator drones) and battlefield robots. But nobody cared about developing robots or remote controlled vehicles for emergencies. Robots and vehicles who could work now in the contaminated areas instead of the emergency crews who are sacrificing their lives!

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The villains are the politicians and their advisers who made the decision to build the plants, the scientists and engineers who designed them, the GEOs and high level managers of the corporations who built and operated them and all the propagandists and pundits and other minions carrying the water for the nuclear industry.

Name and shame them!

I don’t have the time to collect all the thousand of names and organizations who tirelessly worked to misinform and brainwash the public and who advised ignorant, corrupt, crooked, and nefarious political leaders. Maybe somebody starts a database now and puts it on the web — please help!

Just a few examples, what could be included in this database:

General Electric designed the reactors in Fukushima.
http://www.ge.com/
http://www.gereports.com/facts-on-the-nuclear-energy-situation-in-japan/

TEPCO owns the plant.
http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/index-e.html

During a congressional hearing on Tuesday, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu reiterated the Obama administration’s support for nuclear power and said, that the USA will learn from Japan’s experience.

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/03/15/nuclear.lobby/
http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/CommentAnalysis/CorporateWatch/NuclearIndustry.aspx
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/51367.html
http://nuclear-news.net/2010/07/20/nuclear-lobby-has-spent-953-million-to-promote-its-wares/
http://investigativereportingworkshop.org/investigations/nuclear-energy-lobbying-push/story/nuclear-energy-working-hard-win-support/
http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2011/03/push-for-nuclear-safety.html

Alex Flint, Skip Bowman, Marvin S. Fertel, Mitchell Singer (NEI)
Tony Pietrangelo
Gordon Barnes (Alliance for Energy and Economic Growth)
Marshall Cohen
David Frum
Geraldine Ferraro
John H. Sununu
Christine Whitman
Patrick Moore
James Lovelock
David King (british scientist)
Potomac Communications Group
Robert Klindworth (Clean Energy America )
Chris Healey of Vancouver-based Titan Uranium Inc.
Gerald Grandey CEO of Cameco.
Rep. Joe Pitts
US President Barack Hussain Obama

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A very personal note:

I often wrote in my blog that this will end badly, but I didn’t expect it to end so bad so fast! I always thought I could spend the remaining years of my life in modest comfort, shielding myself against environmental pollution with an intelligent choice of food, and retreating to an area where nature is still mostly intact.

You can call me egocentric and self-absorbed, Be assured that I grieve with the Japanese people who will have to bear the brunt of this catastrophe and who will have to bury their dreams and face a terrible reality. I also pity the Haitians who are neglected and forgotten, and the one billion starving people on this planet. I feel sorry for the slaughtered protesters in Libya and Bahrein and Ivory coast and I feel sorry for all the suppressed and exploited people around the world. I feel their pain, it makes my head spin, it is nearly unbearable.

I also feel for the fishermen, who worked to clean up the BP oil spill and are now suffering from severe illnesses caused by the toxic mix of oil and dispersants, and I feel for all the other millions of victims of environmental pollution.

And I moan about the myriads of innocent animals, who are poisoned by man made pollutants or lost their habitat and who are dying painfully.

I often wrote in my blog that this will end badly, because I worried about the children, they were the reason that I voiced my apocalyptic predictions — I wanted to warn them!

My pregnant wife and I went from door to door distributing leaflets and discussing the perils of nuclear energy with anybody who was ready to listen. It was 1978 and the Austrian government had called a referendum about the nearly finished nuclear power plant Zwentendorf. We were part of a small core of determined anti nuclear activists, who took on a powerful coalition of industry and unions and ignorant politicians (Bruno Kreisky. Anton Benya)

And we won! The nuclear power plant Zwentendorf had to be converted into a small gas powered plant, the nuclear part had to be scrapped.

It was the start of a long career as an environmental activist. I founded an environmental organization and was instrumental in preventing an aluminum smelter and a hazardous waste facility and for six years I was editor of an environmental magazine.

I thought that I had paid my dues and I could leave it to the next generation to keep the flame burning and keep fighting.

My son shares most of my values and views and he has dropped out of the rat race. He has opted out of cut throat capitalism, he doesn’t take part in the “destroy your competitor” reality show. But he didn’t join the fight, he is convinced that we are doomed and any resistance is futile and useless. Could he be right?

Shall we keep fighting till the end or shall we concede?

I’m exhausted and tired and weary.

I’m aware that I’m whining, and that these statements will appear as gloomy and discomforting to every reader, but that is how I feel right now. I feel depressed, hopeless, dispirited, weak. I will spend more time with my family and less time writing blog posts. I will enjoy this wonderful spring…

And if you want to help: Please tell me something nice! Please… We can still make a difference giving love and comfort to each other!

I’m just not in the position right now to write something that projects love and comfort… Maybe later…

Maybe in future I’ll write more about my cats. They are lovely, they feel fine, they enjoy the spring, they don’t worry about higher levels of background radiation.

Wendy just got a tick collar (now that start again). I have to go with all of them to the vet soon for the annual vaccinations. And they need their worm pills! If I live long enough to accompany them and guide them till the last day of their life it would be okay. And then die with my beloved wife on my bedside holding my hand…

Well, we have to adjust our plans as we go, and make the best out of what we have got.

Make the best out of what we have got left.


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