New Fukushima disaster discovery


This video from Canada says about itself:

Fukushima Fallout: Cesium-137 in Fish

13 October 2015

Based on research by Alex Roslin that was published in the Georgia Straight, Dr. Edwards describes the measured levels of cesium-137 in fish from the Fukushima Daiichi triple meltdown.

From SimplyInfo:

New Meltdown Byproduct Found Far From Fukushima Daiichi

February 4th, 2016

Another type of material has been found by researchers that is tied to the meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi. We have reported extensively over the years on the finding of “black stuff” around mainland Japan. This is a highly radioactive black sand like material that had gathered in gutters and roads as far away as Tokyo. Analysis of materials of that type has linked them to the meltdowns inside the reactors at Fukushima Daiichi. This new finding is also linked directly to the reactor meltdowns.

From Nature.com about this:

Internal structure of cesium-bearing radioactive microparticles released from Fukushima nuclear power plant

3 February 2016

Abstract

Microparticles containing substantial amounts of radiocesium collected from the ground in Fukushima were investigated mainly by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray microanalysis with scanning TEM (STEM). Particles of around 2 μm in diameter are basically silicate glass containing Fe and Zn as transition metals, Cs, Rb and K as alkali ions, and Sn as substantial elements. These elements are homogeneously distributed in the glass except Cs which has a concentration gradient, increasing from center to surface.

Nano-sized crystallites such as copper- zinc- and molybdenum sulfide, and silver telluride were found inside the microparticles, which probably resulted from the segregation of the silicate and sulfide (telluride) during molten-stage. An alkali-depleted layer of ca. 0.2 μm thick exists at the outer side of the particle collected from cedar leaves 8 months after the nuclear accident, suggesting gradual leaching of radiocesium from the microparticles in the natural environment.

Defiant to the end, last of Group of Six anti-nuclear scientists about to retire — The Asahi Shimbun: here.

Group to monitor trial of former Tepco executives to clarify truth about Fukushima disaster — The Asahi Shimbun: here.

Grouse killing worsens British flooding


This is a red grouse video.

The flooding disasters in Britain have various causes. Contrary to what right-wing politicians say, gay people are not one of them. Contrary to what right-wing politicians say, refugees are not one of them (quite the contrary).

Now, on to one of the real causes.

By Peter Lazenby in Britain:

Grouse shooting ‘making flood wreckage worse’

Saturday 16th January 2016

GROUSE shooting is contributing to the flooding which has devastated dozens of communities across Britain, the Green Party warned yesterday.

Landowners’ cultivation of moorland to suit grouse breeding — instead of managing it to prevent flooding — allows water to pour off moorlands instead of being absorbed.

Green leader Natalie Bennett reiterated a call for a ban on the “sport” after visiting flood-hit communities in Yorkshire.

“Management of moors for intensive shooting is simply incompatible with 21st-century needs — which is why the Green Party is backing the call to ban driven grouse shooting in the UK,” she said.

She said 30,000 people have signed a petition calling for a ban.

Landowners regularly set fire to moorlands to create new growth compatible with grouse breeding.

The burning destroys a water-holding moss known as sphagnum.

As reported in the Morning Star, in August 2012 campaigners in the Yorkshire Pennine town of Hebden Bridge launched a “Ban the Burn” campaign and marched to Walshaw Moor above the town.

The town was flooded in June and July 2012, and suffered its worst-ever floods three weeks ago.

Campaigners say that not only do landowners benefit financially from grouse shooting, they also receive millions of pounds in government grants to “manage” the moorland.

In 2012 the owners of Walshaw Moor were granted £2.5m over 10 years by government-backed Natural England for “environmental stewardship” of its land.

Walshaw Moor has been regularly burned by its owners to create good breeding conditions for grouse shooting.

UK’s floods are the responsibility of the super-rich: here.

BP oil hurts sea turtles world wide


This video says about itself:

25 September 2012

An educational video by SEE Turtles about sea turtle migrations including leatherbacks and loggerheads.

From Live Science:

Turtles’ Wayward Travels May Mean BP Oil Spill‘s Impact Was Global

by Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor

December 28, 2015 09:05am ET

The far-flung journeys of juvenile sea turtles could mean that the impact of 2010’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill was global.

More than 300,000 sea turtles were likely in the region of the Gulf of Mexico affected by the oil spill, according to a new computer simulation. About three-quarters of these marine animals probably came from Mexican nesting populations, the research found. Others hailed from South America, Costa Rica and as far away as western Africa.

As a result, efforts to rehabilitate the environment after the spill should likely reach far beyond the Gulf Coast of the United States, said study researcher Nathan Putman, a biologist at the University of Miami. [See Images of the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill]

A serious spill

On April 20, 2010, an explosion rocked the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which was operating on a BP-owned well in the Gulf of Mexico. Oil gushed from the well bore at the bottom of the gulf until July 15.

Research in the gulf has found possible long-term impacts on wildlife, including a high mortality rate and a low number of bottlenose dolphin calves in the region. But it was difficult to measure the wildlife impacts, Putman told Live Science, because of the challenge of determining how many animals were passing through at the time of the spill.

Oil can affect sea turtles by coating them with irritating petrochemicals, which can cause inflammation and even organ damage. Oil can also indirectly impact turtles by affecting animals lower in the food chain, making it harder for turtles to find food. Finally, oil slicks can kill the seaweed that tiny baby turtles use to camouflage themselves from predators. According to the National Wildlife Foundation, five times as many sea turtles strandings as usual occurred after the Deepwater Horizon spill. Still, strandings only hint at impacts that might be occurring far from shore, away from easy observation by humans.

“It was largely thought or accepted that there is no real good way to bracket the scope of the potential problem,” Putman said.

He and his colleagues tackled the issue with a simple computer simulation based on ocean currents. They virtually “released” particles, representing turtles, into the Deepwater Horizon-affected region and then backtracked through five years of ocean-current data to see where the turtles would have come from. Depending on species, juvenile turtles spend between two and 10 years or so living in the open ocean, traveling largely with ocean currents. The researchers also took into account potential mortality rates among these traveling turtles.

Turtle impacts

The resulting simulation estimated that there were 175,064 green turtles (Chelonia mydas), 21,363 loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) and 3,693 Kemp’s ridley turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) in the spill-affected area between April 2010 and August 2010. Serendipitously, Putman said, another research group has since released findings based on in-water estimates of turtles in that area in the years after the spill. The in-water estimates pegged the number of green turtles in the area at 154,000 and the number of loggerheads at 30,800, very close to the simulation’s estimates. [Quest for Survival: Photos of Incredible Animal Migrations]

The real-world estimates, however, suggested there are typically around 217,000 Kemp’s ridley turtles in that area, a big difference from the simulation’s prediction of 3,693. Putman and his team adjusted their model to reflect the notion that Kemp’s ridley turtles might swim against prevailing currents to get to and stay in the area of the gulf affected by the spill. A few simple tweaks brought the model and the real-world estimates in line.

What real-world estimates can’t do is reveal where the turtles came from. That’s where Putman’s model comes in handy. The ocean-current data suggest that turtles in that area in the summer of 2010 likely came from Mexico: Between 43 and 63 percent of greens, 60 and 66 percent of loggerheads, and more than 99 percent of Kemp’s ridleys were from Mexico populations, the researchers report today (Dec. 22) in the journal Biology Letters.

A third of the green turtles in the area likely hailed from Costa Rica, and as many as 16 percent may have come from Suriname in South America, the researchers found. About a third of the loggerheads probably came from the United States. Up to 4 percent of green turtles in the region may have come all the way from Guinea Bissau in West Africa.

To describe these different populations, Putman used the analogy of a bank account. If a bank loses $100,000, he said, it’s important to know which accounts the money was withdrawn from. “It doesn’t matter just that $100,000 got lost,” he said.

There are limitations to the study, the researchers wrote, particularly in that sea turtles don’t have to go with the flow when migrating. But scientists don’t know the extent to which such deliberate swimming affects sea turtles’ routes.

Despite uncertainties, the new simulations could help to inform policy, Putman said. Fishermen, for example, might need to lower their acceptable rate of accidental bycatch of turtles if the impacts of the spill turn out to be great. And the results show that efforts to monitor and repair turtle habitats should reach beyond the gulf, Putman said.

“Turtles aren’t the only dispersive and migratory taxa,” Putman said. “Hopefully, this will push people to consider other animals that might be transient through the gulf.”

Syrian refugees help British flood disaster victims


Syrian refugees given asylum in Greater Manchester pitch in with Rochdale flood defence efforts

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Muslim volunteers helping during the flood crisis provide hope

Saturday 2nd December 2015

SOMETIMES in bleak and sad stories you have to really search hard for the little ray of hope.

It’s a pointless exercise for some but even a small difference can make all the difference in the world.

The mass flooding in northern England wrecked Christmas for thousands of families. Homes ruined, possessions wrecked, lives irrevocably changed.

People often regard climate change as a looming environmental catastrophe but it is the great crisis of our time right now. It’s the invisible terrorist that can strike whenever.

Its effects have been sharply felt in other parts of the world, but make no mistake about it, it was here too.

Floods have occurred recently before, and every time they happen, remember that this government slashed spending on flood defences and has failed to invest in renewable energies.

It has failed to implement environmental policies that tackle the crisis of climate change and will leave future generations in serious peril. We are already exposed to it.

But after the dark comes the dawn. And there was light. Little dots of it but lots of them.

The communal strength of those affected, co-operating together, was an inspiring show of defiance and solidarity. Neighbours banded together, helping each other out. Anguish was postponed while they dealt with the crisis at hand. Charities inevitably have intervened.

But perhaps what hasn’t been seriously acknowledged is the quiet contribution of the British Muslim community. Volunteers from various Muslim mosques and charities became involved, offering food, aid and warm clothes.

They have helped vastly in the clear-up process and the rebuilding that comes with it.

Syrian refugees were seen helping protect homes in Rochdale, an act of gratitude for the generosity bestowed upon them. Losing homes is a pain they are all too familiar with.

When you consider the besieged mentality among the British Muslim community, this is a truly wonderful piece of action.

No amount of terrorism-condemning, not-in-my-name apologies can match acts of social justice.

In the wake of “counter-terrorism” legislations that have followed September 11 2001 and spine-chilling media hostility, British Muslims have become wary and defensive.

For British Muslims, the identity crisis has often lain in trying to distinguish what is the difference in being a Muslim and being a British Muslim.

Are some values forgotten or interpreted in a different light? For non-Muslim Britons, perhaps there’s an element of that fear and wonder too.

But these stories of charity are incredibly important in empowering a minority stripped of the social confidence to feel British and proudly so while maintaining some cultural differences.

It could also pave a way for the government to promote integration within the Muslim community without demanding conformity by criminalising a faith group for values rather than challenging them.

It opens space for abandoning the failed Prevent strategy that lacks grassroots support and instead working with schools and mosques to help raise a collective identity among the British Muslim youth that is intrinsically tied to the notion of social justice.

Many young Muslims in Britain feel angry and disconnected from the political system, refusing to participate in it.

But social engagement gives them a way to connect with the problems of our flawed system while not feeling as if they have been sucked into it.

It builds community bonds again and helps defeat the question of “integration.” Can anyone maintain that British Muslims are not patriotic or that they are dangerous when as a religious group, surveys have found them to be the most charitable?

When Syrian refugees help out in Rochdale or mosques send aid, can people say with a straight face that Muslims are dangerous?

Yes, there are issues of extremism, patriarchy and homophobia that need to be tackled. These are issues with solutions rooted within the Muslim community — but for now there has to be a way to engage the Muslim youth within the country.

These floods have shown that British Muslims hold the values of community, charity, family and social justice very strongly.

UK flooding: Syrian refugees help build flood defences near Manchester ‘to give something back’. A group of Syrian men have been filling sandbags in Littleborough, near Rochdale: here. And here.

Kind-hearted Syrian refugees build flood defences in their new Northern hometown ‘to give something back’: here.

AFTER more heavy rain pummelled Britain yesterday, trade unionists in northern England are mobilising to collect essential items for victims of the floods. More than 6,000 homes and hundreds of businesses have been flooded in northern England and general union GMB plans to open its offices today as collection points for essential goods following an appeal to members: here.

Revealed: how Tory cuts are wrecking UK flood defences. Document seen by ministers before recent storms warns that number of at-risk households will double: here.

UK: Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd residents describe flood destruction: here.

English floods, natural and governmental disaster


This video from England says about itself:

The river Irwell in flood, passing through Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, on 26th December 2015.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Monday, 28 December 2015

Tories’ massive cuts of flood defences and Fire and Rescue Services have led to disaster!

THE Army has been called out in York, Leeds, and parts of Lancashire after flood defences failed. In the case of York the Foss flood barrier was lifted and a part of the city was sacrificed when the River Ouse and River Foss came together to produce a massive flooding of a huge area.

Hundreds of people have now been advised to quit the area with a further 1400 properties under threat from the wall of water. Elsewhere, parts of Manchester – the capital of the north, in the top three of English cities and the would be capital of Osborne’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ – were under fast flowing water.

Environment minister Liz Truss admitted it was ‘right to say’ flood defences had been ‘overwhelmed’.

She should have added that the overwhelming would not have taken place without the assistance of massive government cuts and its austerity programmes that have seen the Department of the Environment decimated and the Fire and Rescue Services slashed to pieces.

Prime Minister, David Cameron, is to visit some of the flood-affected areas, to see the results of his governments savage criminal cuts. FBU EC member for Yorkshire and Humberside Ian Murray told News Line yesterday: ‘Cuts to the fire and rescue service have affected our ability to respond to these extreme conditions.

‘The cuts make it more difficult to respond to the demands of such disasters. The Environment Agency funding has been cut as well. The number of flood defence workers has been cut. As far as we are concerned they should make it a statutory duty to provide adequate funding for the fire and rescue service. That is what we are campaigning for.’

Earlier this month, the GMB, the union for staff at the Environment Agency, commented on a warning from MPs on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee that spending on flood defences at the Environment Agency should not be cut.

Justin Bowden, GMB National Officer, said: ‘GMB members at the Environment Agency still do not know what day to day spending on maintenance of flood defences from 2016/17 onwards will be. This is apart from the scrapping of hundreds of flood defences due to cuts in spending. As things stand the number of staff who will be available to deal with flooding out of hours is due to fall. There will be a meeting in mid-January 2016 to discuss how many jobs will be cut and where.’

He slammed ‘the foolhardy stupidity of the government cutting spending on the Environment Agency. It is quite simply penny wise and pound foolish to make any cuts that affects any of the Agency’s vital functions, or cuts the jobs of those who carry them out’.

On Saturday, Lancashire bore the brunt of the flooding, along with parts of Yorkshire, areas of Greater Manchester, including Salford, Bolton, Bury, Rochdale and Wigan, were badly affected by flooding, with more than 300 flood-related calls to the fire service in 24 hours.

The Corbyn-led Labour Party has a duty to working people to demand that the Cameron government resign immediately because of the living hell that his government’s cuts have helped to create. The TUC trade unions need to take action to protect the homes and lives of their members and of all working people.

… The health and safety of the population depends on the Tories being kicked out and all of the cuts and closures imposed on waterway services and the Fire and Rescue Services be restored to bring back real flood prevention and a real flood defence programme.

The cash to carry out this essential task can be easily acquired through the nationalisation of the banks and the major industries, and the cancellation of the ‘mutually assured destruction’ Trident Programme, with its £40bn of costs!

Britain is a rich country, but its wealth is in the hands of its ruling class, a tiny handful of the people. Only a workers government that begins with the needs of the majority of the population, not the needs of a gang of the super rich, can put right what is wrong with the UK!