I'm not trying to be unnecessarily alarmist here. And perhaps I've been keeping up too much on the latest Fukushima news. But I woke up this morning having a nightmare that another earthquake had hit Japan. While the quake in my dream was not as big as the massive temblor that initially destroyed the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, it was big enough to destroy the delicate balance at the smoldering ruins, and the plant was set to blow at any moment.
Heck, the plant is teetering on the edge anyway, even without another quake. One fumble in the cleanup could cause a massive chain reaction. Things are bad. And yet, other than a handful of people covering it in the alternative media, it's as if Fukushima doesn't even exist!
It seems like America has been split between two types of people: Folks who believe that if it's not covered in the mainstream media, it didn't happen or isn't an issue, and the recalcitrant non-conformers such as myself who believe most of the mainstream media outlets are simply propaganda machines.
Try talking to someone who only gets their news from CNN and tell them about the latest problems at Fukushima. Chances are, they'll look at you like you are nuts.
Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen has recently come out and stated that it was time to build a sarcophagus (like Chernobyl) and "walk away" from the Fukushima plant for the next 100 years. It's funny to me how many people claim Arnie is a shill - if he really were a shill, don't you think he'd be saying everything was just fine? And he'd be appearing on national news regularly to give us chipper updates on how "swimmingly" the clean-up is going! But he's not. At best he's got an interview on Coast to Coast AM once in a while. He's been marginalized.
Instead, NPR (which one commenter has now dubbed "Nuclear Propaganda Radio") is supposedly helping to "disseminate" Fukushima-related information - along with the California Department of Public Health, which is claiming that there's no risk of radioactive contamination along the state's beaches.
Oh yes, I guess it's just fallout from red-painted plastic spoons! Doh!
I used to live in Los Angeles, and environmental organizations there regularly put out a "beach report card" that grades local beaches on the amount of trash and toxins in the water. For all that these organizations have done to try to mitigate the problems of storm drain run-off, it's absolutely astonishing no-one seems to care about radioactive trash floating in from across the ocean.
Where's the outcry from environmentalists about the poor two-headed whale that just floated up out of the depths off the West Coast?
I used to surf. I miss it terribly, but I'm glad I'm not still in California, looking at the ocean and knowing that going in might give me cancer down the road.
Which brings me to another ocean-related issue: Does anyone remember the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010? I have to admit, I had completely forgotten about it. Then, this little spot in my brain suddenly recalled how many bloggers had sounded the alarm about the Gulf Stream dying due to the oil being pumped into the Gulf thanks to BP's negligence.
Their prediction? With the North Atlantic Current disrupted, the entire Northern hemisphere was going to turn into one huge glacier.
Come of think of it, it has been pretty cold lately...
This is the scenario presented in the movie "The Day After Tomorrow." If the Atlantic current that brings warm water from the south up to the northern regions stalls, then it would basically destroy the warm weather for Europe as well as disrupt the climate for a good chunk of North America.
I admit, I was very skeptical of these doomsayers back then. But if we start seeing these "polar vortexes" happening every year, then that would be very, very bad.
Where is the great American environmental movement in the midst of these worldwide catastrophes? Mostly silent.
No, instead, they are obsessed with how much carbon you are outputting. Never mind radiation...it's carbon that is the big evil.
And they think we are insane?
The Powers That Be are busy trying to stop people from burning wood in fireplaces in places like San Francisco, when if they truly cared about the environment, they'd be doing more about Fukushima than just covering it up. Meanwhile, the EPA wants to limit the amount of particulates that are emitted from wood stoves. Pretty soon, they will attempt to ban fireplaces altogether.
Great. That will help us all when the next Ice Age comes! We can keep the air clean of particulates from burning wood and keep ourselves warm with the skunk-like haze of now-legal marijuana smoke.
So what can we do? Well, it may be a lost cause at this point. Fukushima may blow and the West Coast will become radioactive. Don't expect the mainstream media to tell about the severity of the problem, however. We'll just see a massive increase in cancer and birth defects in the coming decades.
If the Gulf Stream has been shutting down, a new Ice Age will be harder for the media to ignore, but I doubt it's going to happen as quickly as it did in The Day After Tomorrow. People will adjust.
Maybe it's a blessing from disguise. People won't evacuate the North due to the radiation the government is covering up, but they sure as heck won't want to live on a glacier! They'll be moving south just to stay warm! Deepwater Horizon may save their lives!
I'm being a bit facetious here. But in times like these, I wish Douglas Adams were still alive to write some sort of satirical book on all of this insanity. Something like: "The Hitchhikers Guide to Life, the Universe, and the Nuclear Ice Age."