Since last blogging about Fukushima, speculation that spent fuel pond number four, containing the equivalent of 14,000 Hiroshima bombs in radioactivity, could be released to the atmosphere and bring on The Apocalypse, has reached a fever pitch on the internet and an increasing number of mainstream news and TV media outlets. And with hundreds, if not a thousand or more tons of radiation of radioactive water entering the Pacific Ocean each day, many people are wondering, “is it safe to eat fish or seaweed from the Pacific Ocean any more?”
Credible sources have estimated Fukushima’s total release of radiation as surpassing Chernobyl, and Chernobyl’s death toll still a source of considerable controversy depending upon one accepts at face value the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) statements or the views of independent scientists.
Reports out of Japan are not encouraging. The newly elected Prime Minister is pushing a law through their Congress which will further censor and suppress the full scope of the effects of radiation and criminalize dissent – the Patriot Act on steroids. Children and their families are being prematurely moved back into highly radioactive areas and prominent government doctors are telling people to put a smile on their face to protect them from radiation they are told.
Doctors are under pressure not to diagnose illness due to radiation, yet, thousands of children already have thyroid abnormalities, where previously there was virtually none. This is what happened after Chernobyl. The legacy of “radiophobia” lives on – a clever invention of the global nuclear club in the era of atmospheric nuclear testing, whereby legitimate concerns about the effects of radiation are dismissed and explained away as being caused by irrational fear and anxiety. Most independent scientists agree that there is no safe dosage of ionizing radiation.
We all should be very concerned at this moment in the history of our species. At the same time, we also need to be discriminating and not believe every doomsday prophecy on the internet. Clearly, a lot of websites are pandering to fear in order to boost traffic and increase ad revenues on their sites. The wise course of action is to seek an international oversight team to inform the United Nations and develop a risk based management strategy, independent of the IAEA which has at the core of its mandate, the promotion of nuclear power. The World Health Organization (WHO), also a UN agency, is severely constrained, as any statement regarding radiation must be approved by the IAEA before publication, effectively censoring a more transparent reporting on the effects of nuclear radiation disasters.
I have been asked by a group of activists who have been working tirelessly on nuclear issues – in some cases for decades – to carry our Resolution to the United Nations and, networking with interested parties there, attempting to get it introduced at the General Assembly. They have also put together a lengthy document of source references with peer-reviewed studies documenting the wide scope and legitimacy of our concerns.
I asked a friend to summarize how international law works and she laughed and said, the folks with the biggest army win. I concede that our chances for immediate success are small. However, movements for truth and planetary justice do not hinge on the narrowly defined success or failure of individual acts, but are carried in the determined hearts and courageous minds of countless people who never give up believing that their efforts can and do make a difference. Those who label this approach naive are entitled to their opinion, but in the meantime, does anyone have a better idea on meaningful action?
Thursday, Chief Arvol Lookinghorse if the Lakota Sioux Nation will read a Statement from the Council of Indigenous Elders on Fukushima. I look forward to being present at this historic moment of opportunity and ask for your prayers that my efforts will bear fruit. If you are on Facebook, please consider joining the Fukushima Response Seattle page to learn more about what we are doing locally to bring awareness to this problem and help heal our world. P.S. CommuniChi will be closed Wednesday and Thursday in my absence. We will reopen on Friday at noon.
Here are the actual links in case you have trouble opening them above: