Friday, 25 April 2014

Last night I read this article , and for a change I thought I'd share some positive news.  First some background, for those who do not know anything about the Marshall Islands, it is a small pacific island nation where the unites states government conducted nuclear tests in the 40's - 50's.  Here is a quote from Wikipedia's article on Marshall Islands:
From 1946 to 1958, as the site of the Pacific Proving Grounds, the U.S. tested 67 nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands,[17] including the largest nuclear test the U.S. ever conducted, Castle Bravo.[18] In 1956, the United States Atomic Energy Commission regarded the Marshall Islands as "by far the most contaminated place in the world".[19]
Nuclear claims between the U.S. and the Marshall Islands are ongoing, and health effects from these nuclear tests linger.[18] Project 4.1 was a medical study conducted by the United States of those residents of the Bikini Atoll exposed to radioactive fallout. From 1956 to August 1998, at least $759 million was paid to the Marshallese Islanders in compensation for their exposure to U.S. nuclear testing.[20]
With the 1952 test of the first U.S. hydrogen bomb, code named "Ivy Mike", the island of Elugelab in the Enewetak atoll was destroyed."

 This Island nation has filed a lawsuit against nine nations with nuclear warheads who have promised and failed to disarm them.  The nine nations in the lawsuit are: The U.S., Russia, China, France, the UK, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Isreal.

In the article about the lawsuit, discusses the Non-Proliferation Treaty.  Quote from that article: "The NPT, which came into force in 1970 is essentially a compact between the non-weapon states, who pledged to not to acquire nuclear weapons, and the weapons states, who in return undertook to disarm under article VI of the treaty."

I hope something comes of this lawsuit.  I would hate to see people having the "jellyfish babies" described by survivors of the Marshall Islands Nuclear tests.

In an other story about the Marshall Islanders at the UN, one resident on stand described her experience as a young person on one of the most affected islands.

On March 1st, 1954, I was 14 years old, living on the island of Eneaetok on Rongelap Atoll. This was the day I first experienced injustice. It was the day that deprived me of peace. The bomb by the code name 'Bravo' was exploded on Bikini Atoll just 180 km upwind from Rongelap. Unlike other nuclear weapons tested over the previous 8 years, there was no warning given to the people on Rongelap and other islands downwind of the blast. I was playing when the poisonous debris from the bomb fell on me. I didn't know what it was but because it looked like snow, I began playing with it. But suddenly it burned my eyes and mouth. Later in the evening I was so sick. All the people on the island were very sick, especially the children. The next day my skin was torn up and covered with sores. I had skin burns so badly I was in pain. My hair started to fall off. After two days of drinking contaminated water, eating contaminated food and breathing the contaminated air, we were evacuated by the U.S.
One would think being rescued by a big military ship abandoning the poisonous atoll would end the injustice, but no, that was just the beginning. Much more inhumane treatment was yet to be bestowed upon us. After evacuation we became subjects of study in a top-secret research program that documented, but did not treat our injuries. The studies continued and expanded when were returned to home islands three years later, with twice-a year visits from scientists who probed, sampled and documented the changes in our bodies in a research effort that continued for decades."

And then here is her description of jellyfish babies:

"This deeply disturbing history has immense and painful consequences. To this day women in the Marshall Islands give birth to jellyfish babies, or babies born with no bones in their bodies and translucent skin. Sometimes they are born alive and live for a few minutes or hours, and you can see the blood moving through their bodies before they die. We give birth to babies with missing limbs, or their organs and spinal cords on the outside of their bodies. We never experienced these types of births before the U.S. testing program. We have complained about these births for decades and we are always told by the U.S. Government that they are not the result of radiation exposure. Yet, our language, our history, our stories have no record of these births before the testing program. After the testing program we've had to create new words to describe the creatures we give birth to."

Anyway, it is nice to see that the islanders refuse to be destroyed by the U.S. government's atrocities and the lack of justice they received.  Instead they are trying to help the rest of us by speaking up and suing those nations which have Violated the NPT.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Reading this article about an earth day event to calling to clean up abandoned uranium mines in North America.

Just wanted to share the article.
Depleted Uranium is extremely toxic.  There is a huge abandoned uranium mine in Saskatchewan Canada as well, and in Australia there is a huge issue with depleted uranimum mines leaving uranium tailings piled up to be blown about by the wind.

Whenever I can find anyone willing to talk about radiation from Fukushima someone mentions Australia.
For some reason Australia is always touted as the country to live in if you are worried about radioactive fallout, because it's supposed to be extremely isolated from the rest of the world and far enough away from countries with nuclear power plants.

For some reason I just never got a good feeling about Australia, and one day I read about the Roaring Fourties, which is a wind that sweeps around the southern hemisphere due to a lack of landmass between 40 and 50th parallel south.
So I thought that sounded pretty freaky because if there is a wind that strong, how could australia be protected from other countries radiation?  A simple search on "roaring forties (american spelling) and Radiation" brought up this . An entry from a blog of a woman living in australia about how the depleted uranium tailings are blown all over some parts of the country by the Roaring Fourties Wind. 

There is so much hidden radiation that is never discussed.  Recently my mother wanted to move to Quebec because she knows someone with a property there.  She was concerned that radiation from Fukushima would be hitting the west coast soon.  I knew there were a lot of nuclear plants in Ontario, so I started mapping some of the nuclear plants on google maps, including those in u.s. states which border canada.  Not only is there a huge line of nuclear plants that dots the border of canada on the u.s. side, but there are 16 nuclear plants in ontario, and one in Quebec which was recently decommissioned.   I read a story about the plant in quebec that described the decommissioning process.  The story said that the plant would be put into it's shut down mode and left for 40 years until the radiation has dispersed enough for them to begin dismantling the building. 
If this is the only option for dismantling a nuclear power plant, why the hell is anyone allowed to build them?

When are citizens around the world going to start caring and standing up for their rights?
We have a right to have a say in the forms of technology employed for our benefit (the benefit of electricity). 

It all comes back to true democracy.  If people demand that we make use of the internet and smart phone technology to enable mass voting on issues such as this, then we won't need a government to make decisions for us.  We can be self-governed, and we can elect some government administrators to file the paperwork.

I always thought it made no sense to have politicians running the government.  Why are major decisions which impact people's health and the environment not being made by top notch scientists who actually have the required knowledge to make informed decisions?

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Here is an interesting story from Alberta (Canada) about a 10th grader who was concerned about the lack of government monitoring of radiation levels in seafood in Canada.  This student designed a project for a regional science fair in which she tested various types of seafood found on the shelves in canada from different parts of the world for radiation.  She recorded higher than legal limits of radiation in many types of seaweed imported from china and japan.  This is pretty alarming since we all know that contaminants increase as they move up the food chain, and seaweed is at the very bottom.

This is another one of those issues that people should be voting on.  Why has health Canada decided not to test seafood for radiation anymore?  They did test for a few months right after the 3/11 tsunami and nuclear meltdown, I guess they knew at the time their results would be acceptable.  But as soon as they got those acceptable readings they stopped testing and have decided they will not do any further testing, even though scientists predicted even then that the radiation plume would only reach the west coast of North America 3 years or so later.  Now it is three years later, and it takes a 10th grade student to show us what is really happening?

The funny thing is that I live on a small island on the west coast of B.C. and when I tell people that I won't eat seafood anymore they look at me like I'm crazy.  It's not crazy to be overly cautious of a very real threat to ingesting radiation.  It is crazy to act like nothing is happening and continue life as usual.

I can't imagine what it would be like to be a fisher for a living and face the end of a way of life.  I mean there are a lot of families here who have learned the trade from their parents and have taught the trade to their children, and now these inter-generational mom and pop fishing companies are basically screwed, and no hope of compensation of any form.

It bothers me that in my immediate social circle no one wants to talk about radiation or fukushima.  I don't understand how ignoring a very real threat makes anyone feel better.  I would feel better if the government of canada would admit that we are at risk and inform us of what measures we can take to protect ourselves (besides moving to the prairies?).

The 10th grade student who did this experiment won gold honours at her regional alberta science fair.  I hope she does the same at the national level so this will gain the attention it deserves and force the government of canada to do their job instead of allowing a 10th grader to do it for them.

On a similar note, time to get one of those apps that turns your smart phone into a geiger counter.
When I read stuff like This Article from Global Research about the proposed TAFTA agreement (transatlantic free trade agreement) I can't help asking yet again why the internet is not being utilized to create true democracy.  We now have the technology for everyone to be able to vote on issues like TAFTA, yet the discussions are being held behind closed doors. 

I think it's time we start demanding more involvement in matters such as these.


I've always been told I'm like a canary in a coal mine, because I can smell things before anyone else.  I wanted a more hopeful name though, because lately people have been using the saying as a metaphor for our world, and I'm not ready to view our world as a coalmine running out of oxygen.  A lot of times it feels like that is what the world we live in is like, (at least to me it does) but if I look hard enough I can find the air vent, and perhaps if I wait there, singing my little canary song, others will find their way out of the coal mine.