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Supercars Taking Steps To Go Eco-Friendly

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Tesla Motors IPO was just $19 a share in 2010, and many on Wall Street thought the company was doomed for disaster. Boy, were they ever wrong. As of 5/5/2014, Tesla is trading at $216/share with specialized Tesla recharge stations starting to pop up across the country. This story of the “little electric engine that could” now looks to be one of the biggest, most daunting shadows to be cast over the car industry since the likes of Henry Ford.

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Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson said on October 31st, 2004,

“[Supercars] are designed to melt ice-caps, kill the poor, poison the water table, destroy the ozone layer, decimate indigenous wildlife, recapture the Falkland Islands, and turn the entire Third World into a huge uninhabitable desert… but only after they’ve nicked all the world’s oil.” 

10 years ago, this sentiment was amusing. Today, as we have become significantly greener as a species and woken up to the damage we’ve done to our planet, it’s not as funny. But what exactly is a “supercar” you ask? Let me give you a few brand names to point you in the right direction —

Bugatti. Ferrari. Lamborghini. Bentley. Aston Martin. Porsche. Mclaren. Koenigsegg. The list goes on. These are car manufacturers that produce vehicles designed for ultra high speeds. If it doesn’t have a top speed above 190 MPH, it’s not a “supercar.”

These cars are not just outrageously expensive to acquire, but to own and maintain as well. I recently had the privilege to drive a 2007 Bentley Continental GT with a W12 engine (that’s basically two V6 engines fused together to produce a monster with 610 brake horsepower.) Everything about it was kingly. Leather covering almost every square inch of the interior. Hand crafted wood panels, steering wheel, and dashboard… And my god was it comfortable. But there was one thing I noticed above all else while driving the car – it had a complete dismissal towards fuel efficiency (6 MPG, and it took premium). I suppose if you can afford a car with an original MSRB of $200,000, you aren’t exactly concerned with what you’re paying for gas. Yet curiously the car was 7 years old, and things have changed quite a bit since then.

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By 2025, California emission standards will require cars to get at least 54.5 MPG. Although California is largely the instigator of higher emission standards, the rest of the country is rallying behind them. Since 2007, Maryland, Connecticut, New Jersey, Vermont, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and New York have all adopted stricter emission standards for vehicles. They’re not as ambitious as California’s 2025 requirement, but it is instigative change none-the-less. And it’s not just here in the United States. If anything, we’re late bloomers to this trend. The European Union, Australia, and Japan all have strict emission regulations for vehicles in their respective countries.

So what does this mean for the future of the supercar? Will you be pulled from your vehicle and beaten by an angry mob of environmentalists who think you’re an eco-terrorist? Unlikely — the supercar game is changing as well.

Enter the Porsche 918 Spyder, the game changer for the supercar industry. It’s considered to be the successor to the now decade-old Porsche Carrera GT. The predecessor had a top speed of more than 205 MPH and got roughly 13 MPG. The 918 Spyder has a top speed of 216 and gets roughly 80 MPG! It’s a gas/electric hybrid that can run 18 miles on pure electricity alone.

Porsche’s 918 Spyder, a supercar that gets 80 MPH and has a top speed of 216 MPH

Only 918 are being built (thus the title, the “918”), and with a sticker price of $845,000, it certainly isn’t a car for the masses. But it is a vehicle that will no doubt change the future of supercars. Mclaren is catching on as well– their recent supercar, the P1, is also a gas/electric hybrid. It’s MPG isn’t nearly as impressive as the 918’s is, but the sheer fact that the car was produced in the first place speaks volumes to the future and importance of the technology. Oh, and now BMW has a $135,000, 95 MPG hybrid sports car as well — the i8. It’s top speed may only be 155 MPH, but its 4.5 second 0-60 is on par with many supercars today.

Mclaren P1

Mclaren’s Gas/Electric P1

Porsche and Mclaren aren’t the only companies waking up to the truth that change is upon them. At this year’s Beijing Auto Show, Bentley unveiled plans to introduce a plug-in hybrid SUV by 2017, and then introducing hybrid technology into their entire lineup thereafter.

Bentley's grand unveiling of a plug in system at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show

Bentley’s grand unveiling of a plug in system at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show

The bottom line is the game is changing in the world of supercars. Rolls Royce, Ferrari, and Lamborghini are all developing hybrids of their own. Every car company “for the masses” are already producing hybrids and are even starting to turn towards fully-electric. In fact, Porsche CEO Matthias Muller recently said he sees Tesla as a serious threat.

Engines are getting smaller, but it does not mean the death of the supercar as we know it. It means the rebirth. Smaller engines that are turbo charged are not only more efficient, but faster too. It’s a win-win for both the drivers of these cars, and for the environment. The only negative consequence of this change is what will happen to the current supercars on the road? The 2005 Ford GT has been known to literally stoop to 3 MPG. In 15 years, will it even be legal to drive something like this any more, and what will this do to the value of these cars?

Only time will tell.

Sources:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/autos-must-average-545-mpg-by-2025-new-epa-standards-are-expected-to-say/2012/08/28/2c47924a-f117-11e1-892d-bc92fee603a7_story.html

http://mde.maryland.gov/programs/Air/MobileSources/CleanCars/Pages/states.aspx

http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/environment/emission/

http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/environment/air_pollution/l28186_en.htm

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/industry/10777398/Bentley-reveals-hybrid-powered-luxury-car.html

http://clarksonisms.com/jeremy-clarkson-quotes/popular/27866-supercars-are-supposed-to-run-over-arthur-scargill-and-then-run-over-him-again-for-good-measure-they-re-designed-to

http://www.carbuzz.com/news/2014/4/10/Porsche-Sees-Tesla-as-a-Real-Threat-7719663/

 

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Defending the Amazon, Indigenous Rights & Planetary Integrity

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As the Amazon Rainforest crisis persists, our inability to protect our planet poses an existential threat to all of Earth’s inhabitants. As the sky recently turned black over Sao Paulo, Brazil because of smoke (thousands of kilometers away) from the fires that is so thick it can be viewed by NASA space satellites, the world’s leaders were assembled at the G-7 summit in Europe, seemingly more interested in exchanging sophomoric insults than solving the world’s most pressing and urgent problems.  According to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, almost 73,000 forest fires have been documented this year alone. That’s an alarming 84% increase from what was observed in 2018. 
As Indigenous groups and conservationists scramble to defend the lungs of our planet, Brazil’ President Jair Bolsonaro audaciously shrugged off the news and blamed NGO’s and Indigenous groups for the glaring uptick in fires in the Amazon. Since taking office in January, Bolsonaro has promised to roll back environmental protections and indigenous rights in order to exploit the Amazon for increased farming and mining, and he has made good on that promise.
Invasion of indigenous territories are on the rise in Brazil, and indigenous groups are increasingly under threat as titans of industry within mining, logging, and animal farming continue to encroach upon indigenous land and destroy precious parcels of the Amazon for commercial exploitation.   Bolsonaro has emboldened these invasions. Recently, a group of heavily armed miners invaded indigenous land in Northern Brazil and assassinated one of the community’s indigenous leaders.
Indigenous peoples in Brazil are once again on the front lines today of one of the most brutal attacks on their rights and on the forest in recent history. We’re now seeing the drastic rollback of 30 years of progress on human rights and environmental protection in Brazil under Bolsonaro’s regime, which romanticizes Brazil’s past when military dictatorship took helm and presided over wanton destruction of the forest. The Munduruku people have been resisting encroachment and destruction of their land for centuries, and their fight (along with other indigenous groups and the very spirit of the Amazon jungle itself) is more urgent than ever as Brazil’s government and commercial industries continue to violate with impunity.

The tragedy currently taking place in the Amazon is indicative of a broader cultural problem in regards to our relationship with our planet. 1/5th of all the world’s plants and birds and about 1/10th of all mammal species are found in the Amazon. Earth has lost half its wildlife in the past four decades. Based on an analysis of thousands of vertebrate species by the wildlife group WWF and the Zoological Society of London, our way of life has presided over the destruction of 60% of our animal populations since 1970. The report calculates a global “ecological footprint,” which measures the area required to supply the ecological goods and services humans use. It concludes that humanity currently needs the regenerative capacity of 1.5 Earths to supply these goods and services each year.

With the planet’s population expected to grow by 2.4 billion people by 2050, the challenge of providing enough food, water and energy (while sustaining planetary health) will be difficult. This should be the real “RED ALERT” placated all over the media, as the shocking and rapid decline of planetary biodiversity poses an imminent catastrophe that plagues all of us, requiring urgent and bold alterations to our way of life.

That being said, we have more than enough resources to profit food and shelter to billions of people. Solutions done seem to be the problem, it’s human consciousness, greed and ego.

Outrage is an understandable response to the Amazon crisis, but not sufficient to redress the problem.  We need to take individual action in our daily lives by altering our lifestyles. One of the most under-reported aspects of Amazonian deforestation is our addiction to consuming meat. Beef, soy, palm oil and wood drive the majority of tropical deforestation.

Animal agriculture is devastating for the Earth. Raising livestock for meat, eggs and milk uses about 70% of agricultural land, and is a primary factor in the proliferation of deforestation, biodiversity loss, and water pollution.

“1.2 billion farmed animals are slaughtered globally every week for human consumption. In one week, more farmed animals are killed than the total number of people killed in all wars throughout history. Although these animals are treated as commodity, they are — in fact — sentient beings — like your pet cat or dog. We tend to assume that only vegans and vegetarians follow a belief system — but when eating animals is not a necessity (which is the case in much of the world today) — then it is a choice, and choices stem from beliefs. “Carnism” is a dominant philosophy — as eating animals is just the way things are — yet it runs contrary to core human values such as compassion, justice, and authenticity. And so — they need to use defense mechanisms that distort our thoughts and numb our feelings so that we act against our core values without fully realizing what we are even doing.” ~Dr. Melanie Joy  

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The challenges that face our planet, our indigenous family, and our own imminent future are immense. It is easy to feel discouraged, angry, and hopeless about the state of the world, but the ability to harness humanity’s intelligence, creativity and compassion to steer the planet in a new direction is with us right now. We can take individual responsibility today, which can resonate immediately and create waves of influence that can lead to a collective change in behavior and attitudinal shift towards our relationship with nature and with ourselves.  This change starts from within, and this work begins with each of us making the choice to defend and protect this wondrous planet which has so graciously hosted our livelihood.

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Your Phone Can Actually Help You Appreciate Nature

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Nature is everywhere. You can help catalog the floral and fauna around you with the app iNaturalist. Photo Credit: David Slipher/UC Davis

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Although we are learning to limit our time on our phones and spend more time in nature, there are apps out there, like iNaturalist, that aid in bridging the gap by identifying various plants and species as we take a stroll outdoors.

  • Reflect On:

    As we begin to taper off the addiction to our devices, it's nice to know that there are apps being created that can help us appreciate nature. Will this create a beautiful trend of environmentally-conscious and aware apps?

In all honesty, I am one of the many people out here still occasionally scrolling endlessly (and at times aimlessly) through social media, and then the next thing I know the day has flown by. But that’s the thing – it isn’t the phone nor platforms’ fault for creating such addicting experiences, but more so how we practice our self-control and hold ourselves accountable throughout our day-to-day that we should reflect on.

I’ve recently moved into the middle of nature and told myself that I would ‘disconnect’ more often.  With that said, when I find apps that actually HELP with that disconnect – from social media, nonstop messaging service providers, and endless feeds – I always seem to download and give it a shot. That’s what happened when I found out about iNaturalist, as I was looking for a way to further educate myself on the various plant species and fauna around my new home.

 Designed with data collection in mind, iNaturalist acts like a pocket repository for all things wildlife. Users snap photos of flora and fauna and then upload it to the app. Fellow citizen and professional scientists can then chime in on the ID, helping make the data research-grade worthy. But like most citizen science efforts, iNaturalist requires broad participation. – UC Davis College of Biological Studies

Essentially you are able to help researchers and scientists see more of the world through your own eyes, which I found pretty neat! I walked around my yard just snapping photos, some of which had already been catalogued and categorized and therefore I was able to find out what I have in my own yard within seconds of taking the photo.

If you’re seeking different ways to utilize your online time, this is one sure way to both learn and help others explore our planet.

The Takeaway

You may have read this title and thought this sounds too good to be true, but the reality is that although we have been hearing otherwise consistently as of late – devices are not the problem – our dependency on them is. So as we place the blame on phones, computers, video games, etc. we must learn to take accountability and learn that self-control and responsible usage of our devices are key. As we break free of the social norm and start to live our lives more in the present, bringing our attention more in tune with our surroundings, our breath, etc. it is really nice to have the ability to further connect by learning more about nature. There are many apps we have at our fingertips that can help us connect more with nature and they’re just there waiting for us to explore. That’s where the app iNaturalist comes in, so what are you waiting for? Go out and see what’s around you!

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Fukushima: “An Ongoing Global Radiological Catastrophe” & “A Huge Coverup” – Dr. Helen Caldicott

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dr. Helen Caldicott is considered by many to be one of the foremost experts on Nuclear Radiation. Here she shares her thoughts on the Fukushima disaster nearly a decade after it happened.

  • Reflect On:

    How many incidents need to occur before the human race changes? Why are we still using nuclear energy when there are several other solutions that are more harmonious with the planet and all life on it?

Despite humanity’s increasing levels of intelligence, if you were an extraterrestrial looking down on our planet, you may conclude that we are one of the dumbest species in the universe. We have so much potential, yet we cling to our archaic ways that destroy our planet and do not operate in harmony with this planet and all life on it.

Energy generation is one of many great examples–we don’t have to use nuclear power, oil, or any other Earth-disrupting method to meet our energy goals and needs. There are a number of ways we can generate energy without harming our planet, and they were discovered decades ago.

This reveals a very important point about humanity and where we are at today. The issue is not finding and discovering solutions to our problems, because the solutions already exist. The issue is acknowledging and identifying what prevents us from implementing these solutions. The problems are red tape, human greed, ego, profit, money, and power. It’s a shame we have yet to dismantle these qualities and characteristics when we are sitting on so many of the solutions to the world’s problems.

The Fukushima disaster is a great example. The three meltdowns and at least four big core explosions at the Fukushima nuclear-power plant’s six American-designed Daiichi reactors in March 2011 still constitute the world’s worst nuclear nightmare thus far, surpassing even the Chernobyl #4 reactor’s explosion and meltdown of April 1986.

According to Global Research:

The eight year anniversary of the triple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility passed mostly without comment in mainstream media circles. In spite of ongoing radiological contamination that will continue to spread and threaten human health for lifetimes to come, other stories dominate the international news cycle. The climate change conundrum, serious though it may be, seemingly crowds out all other clear and present environmental hazards.

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As part of efforts to normalize this historic event and cover it up in its magnitude, the Japanese government has invested considerable financial, public relations and other resources into what they are billing the ‘Recovery Olympics‘ set to take place in a year’s time in Tokyo.

According to Harvey Wasserman (“14,000 Hiroshimas Still Swing in Fukushima’s Air,” The Free Press, October 9, 2013), the situation on the ground was still rather catastrophic more than two years after the disaster, because

“Massive quantities of heavily contaminated water are pouring into the Pacific Ocean, dousing workers along the way. Hundreds of huge, flimsy tanks are leaking untold tons of highly radioactive fluids. At Unit #4, more than 1300 fuel rods, with more than 400 tons of extremely radioactive material, containing potential cesium fallout comparable to 14,000 Hiroshima bombs, are stranded 100 feet in the air.”

New readings at Fukushima have recorded the highest radiation levels seen on site.

Readings inside the containment vessel of reactor no. 2 are as high as 530 Sieverts per hour, a dosage that would be fatal dozens and dozens of times over if a human were to be exposed to it. The previous high was a still very fatal rate of 73 Sieverts per hour.

The new record at Fukushima of 530 Sieverts per hour is 70% higher than that of Chernobyl. The 530 Sievert reading was recorded some distance from the melted fuel, so in reality it could be 10 times higher than recorded, said Hideyuki Ban, co-director of Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center. (source)

Most of this radiation is being washed out to sea and it is  destroying the Pacific Ocean and much of the life in it. Huge amounts of radiation were released into the atmosphere and it circled around the globe especially in the northern hemisphere.

How come we haven’t heard more about Fukushima?

Is it because authorities figure, “What’s the point? There is nothing we can do”? Although that is probably not true, as there are multiple solutions and steps that can be taken, like using hemp to clean up the radiation, for example. 

Dr. Helen Caldicott is an author, physician and one of the world’s leading anti-nuclear campaigners. She helped to reinvigorate the group of Physicians for Social Responsibility, acting as president from 1978 to 1983. Since its founding in 2001, she served as president of the US-based Nuclear Policy Research Institute, later called Beyond Nuclear, which initiates symposia and educational projects aimed at informing the public about the dangers of nuclear power, nuclear weapons, and nuclear war. And she is the editor of the 2014 book, Crisis Without End: The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe.

She is also a Nobel Peace Prize nominee and holder of 21 honorary doctorate degrees.

On the week marking the eighth anniversary of the Fukushima meltdowns, the Global Research News Hour radio program, hosted by Michael Welch, reached out to Dr. Caldicott to get her expert opinion on the health dangers posed by the most serious nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl event.

The Interview

Global Research: Now the Japanese government is preparing to welcome visitors to Japan for the 2020 Olympic Games, and coverage of the 8th anniversary of the Fukushima disaster is hardly, it seems to me, registered given the significant radiological and other dangers that you cited and your authors cited in your 2014 book, Crisis Without End. Now it’s been more than four years since that book came out. I was hoping you could update our listenership on what is currently being recognized as the main health threats in 2019, perhaps not registered in the book, that you’re currently looking at in relation to the Fukushima meltdown.

Helen Caldicott: Well it’s difficult because the Japanese government has authorized really only examination of thyroid cancer. Now thyroid cancer is caused by radioactive iodine and there were many, many cases of that after Chernobyl. And already, they’ve looked at children under the age of 18 in the Fukushima prefecture at the time of the accident, and … how many children… 100…no 201 by June 18 last year… 201 had developed thyroid cancer. Some cancers had metastasized. The incidence of thyroid cancer in that population normally is 1 per million. So obviously it’s an epidemic of thyroid cancer and it’s just starting now.

What people need to understand is the latent period of carcinogenesis, ie the time after exposure to radiation when cancers develop is any time from 3 years to 80 years. And so it’s a very, very long period. Thyroid cancers appear early. Leukemia appears about 5 to 10 years later. They’re not looking for leukemia. Solid cancers of every organ, or any organ as such appear about 15 years later and continue and in fact the Hibakusha from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki who are still alive are still developing cancers in higher than normal numbers.

The Japanese government has told doctors that they are not to talk to their patients about radiation and illnesses derived thereof, and in fact if the doctors do do that, they might lose their funding from the government. The IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency interestingly set up a hospital – a cancer hospital – in Fukushima along with the Fukushima University for people with cancer, which tells you everything.

So there’s a huge, huge cover up. I have been to Japan twice and particularly to Fukushima and spoken to people there and the parents are desperate to hear the truth even if it’s not good truth. And they thanked me for telling them the truth. So it’s an absolute medical catastrophe I would say, and a total cover up to protect the nuclear industry and all its ramifications.

GR: Now, are we talking about some of the, the contamination that happened 8 years ago or are we talking about ongoing emissions from, for example–

HC: Well there are ongoing emissions into the air consistently, number one. Number two, a huge amount of water is being stored –over a million gallons in tanks at the site. That water is being siphoned off from the reactor cores, the damaged melted cores. Water is pumped consistently every day, every hour, to keep the cores cool in case they have another melt. And that water, of course, is extremely contaminated.

Now they say they’ve filtered out the contaminants except for the tritium which is part of the water molecule, but they haven’t. There’s strontium, cesium, and many other elements in that water – it’s highly radioactive – and because there isn’t enough room to build more tanks, they’re talking about emptying all that water into the Pacific Ocean and the fishermen are very, very upset. The fish already being caught off Fukushima, some are obviously contaminated. But this will be a disaster.

Water comes down from the mountains behind the reactors, flows underneath the reactors into the sea and always has. And when the reactors were in good shape, the water was fine, didn’t get contaminated. But now the three molten cores in contact with that water flowing under the reactors and so the water flowing into the Pacific is very radioactive and that’s a separate thing from the million gallons or more in those tanks.

They put up a refrigerated wall of frozen dirt around the reactors to prevent that water from the mountains flowing underneath the reactors, which has cut down the amount of water flowing per day from 500 tons to about a hundred and fifty. But of course, if they lose electricity, that refrigeration system is going to fail, and it’s a transient thing anyway so it’s ridiculous. In terms… So over time the Pacific is going to become more and more radioactive.

They talk about decommissioning and removing those molten cores. When robots go in and try and have a look at them, their wiring just melts and disappears. They’re extraordinarily radioactive. No human can go near them because they would die within 48 hours from the radiation exposure. They will never, and I quote never, decommission those reactors. They will never be able to stop the water coming down from the mountains. And so, the truth be known, it’s an ongoing global radiological catastrophe which no one really is addressing in full.

GR: Do we have a better reading on, for example the thyroids, but also leukemia incubation—

HC: No they’re not looking–well, leukemia they’re not looking for leukemia…

GR: Just thyroid

HC: They’re not charting it. So the only cancer they’re looking at is thyroid cancer and that’s really high, and you know it’s at 201, some have already been diagnosed and some have metastasized. And a very tight lid is being kept on any other sort of radiation related illnesses and leukemia and the like. All the other cancers and the like, and leukemia is so… It’s not just a catastrophe it’s a…

GR: …a cover up

HC: Yeah. I can’t really explain how I feel medically about it. It’s just hideous.

GR: Well I have a brother who’s a physician, who was pointing to where we should be, the World Health Organization is a fairly authoritative body of research for all of the indicators and epidemiological aspects of this, but you seem to suggest the World Health Organization may not be that reliable in light of the fact that they are partnered with the IAEA. Is that my understanding…?

HC: Correct. They signed a document, I think in ‘59, with the IAEA that they would not report any medical effects of radiological disasters and they’ve stuck to that. So they are in effect in this area part of the International Atomic Energy Agency whose mission is to promote nuclear power. So don’t even think about the WHO. it’s really obscene.

GR: So what would… the incentive would be simply that they got funding?

HC: I don’t know. I really don’t know but they sold themselves to the devil.

GR: That’s pretty incredible. So there’s also the issue of biomagnification in the oceans, where you have radioactive debris, hundreds of tons of this radioactive water getting into the oceans and biomagnifying up through the food chain, so these radioactive particles can get inside our bodies. Could you speak to what you anticipate to see, what you would anticipate, whether it’s recorded by World Health authorities or not, what we could expect to see in the years ahead in terms of the illnesses that manifest themselves?

HC: Well number one, Fukushima is a very agricultural prefecture. Beautiful, beautiful peaches, beautiful food, and lots of rice. And the radiation spread far and wide through the Fukushima prefecture, and indeed they have been plowing up millions and millions of tons of radioactive dirt and storing it in plastic bags all over the prefecture. The mountains are highly radioactive and every time it rains, down comes radiation with the water. So the radiation – the elements. And there are over 200 radioactive elements made in a nuclear reactor. Some have lives of seconds and some have lives of millions of years or lasts for millions of years will I say. So there are many many isotopes, long-lasting isotopes – cesium, strontium, tritium is another one – but many, many on the soil in Fukushima.

And what happens is – you talked about biomagnification – when the plants take up the water from the soil, they take up the cesium which is a potassium analog – it resembles potassium. Strontium 90 resembles calcium and the like. And these elements get magnified by orders of magnitude in the rice and in the plants. And so when you eat food that is grown in Fukushima, the chances are it’s going to be relatively radioactive.

They’ve been diluting radioactive rice with non-radioactive rice to make it seem a bit better. Now, into the ocean go these isotopes as well, and the algae bio-magnify them by – you know -ten to a hundred times or more. And then the crustaceans eat the algae, bio-magnify it more. The little fish eat the crustaceans, the big fish eat the little fish and the like. And tuna found in – off the coast of California some years ago contained isotopes from Fukushima. Also fish, being caught on the west coast of California contained some of these isotopes. So, it’s an ongoing bio-magnification catastrophe.

And the thing is that you can’t even taste, smell or see radioactive elements in your food. They’re invisible. And it takes a long time for cancers to occur. And you can’t identify a particular cancer caused by a particular substance or isotope. You can only identify that problem by doing epidemiological studies comparing irradiated people with non-irradiated people to see what the cancer levels are and that data comes from Hiroshima and Nagasaki and many, many, many other studies.

GR: Chernobyl as well, no?

HC: Oh, Chernobyl! Well, a wonderful book was produced by the Russians, and published by the New York Academy of Sciences, called Chernobyl with over 5000 on the ground studies of children and diseases in Belarus and the Ukraine, and all over Europe. And by now over a million people have already died from the Chernobyl disaster. And many diseases have been caused by that, including premature aging in children, microcephaly in babies, very small heads, diabetes, leukemia, I mean, I could go on and on.

And those diseases which have been very well described in that wonderful book, which everyone should read, are not being addressed or identified or looked for in the Fukushima or Japanese population.

May I say that parts of Tokyo are extremely radioactive. People have been measuring the dirt from roofs of apartments, from the roadway, from vacuum cleaner dust. And some of these samples, they’re so radioactive that they would classify to be buried in radioactive waste facilities in America. So, that’s number one.

Number two, to have the Olympics in Fukushima just defies imagination. And some of the areas where the athletes are going to be running, the dust and dirt there has been measured, and it’s highly radioactive. So, this is Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, who set this up to – as a sort of way to obscure what Fukushima really means. And those young athletes, you know, who are – and young people are much more sensitive to radiation, developing cancers later than older people – it’s just a catastrophe waiting to happen.

GR: Dr. Caldicott…

HC:They’re calling it the radioactive Olympics!

GR: (Chuckle). Is there anything that people can do, you know, whether they live in Japan or, say, the west coast of North America to mitigate the effects that this disaster has had, and may still be having eight years later?

HC: Yes. Do not eat any Japanese food because you don’t know where it’s sourced. Do not eat fish from Japan, miso, rice, you name it. Do not eat Japanese food. Period. Fish caught off the west coast of Canada and America, well, they’re not testing the fish so I don’t know what you’d do. I mean, most of it’s probably not radioactive but you don’t know because you can’t taste it.

They’ve closed down the air-borne radioactive measuring instruments off the west coast of America, but that’s pretty bad, because there still could be another huge accident at those reactors.

For instance, if there’s another large earthquake, number one, all those tanks would be destroyed and the water would pour into the Pacific. Number two, there could be another meltdown, a release – huge release of radiation, from the damaged reactors. So, things are very tenuous, but they’re not just tenuous now. They’re going to be tenuous forever.

The Takeaway

The takeaway here is to simply learn from our mistakes. To keep pushing for change and awareness and to hammer home the idea that we must continue to speak up. The Fukushima disaster is one of many great examples of how humanity cannot ignore the “negatives” and only focus on the positives. We have to confront our issues, face them, acknowledge them, and understand them.

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