Against the specialist, the expert and the technocrat

technology is a given

In these days of ecological overshoot, about the only experts I can abide are climate scientists. Without the facts we get from scientists, what would we say to climate science deniers? So I'm glad to see more climate scientists step out of the ivory tower in the world's hour of need. But sometimes I wish even climate brainiacs would stick to their labs and leave public policy … [Read more...]

Fukushima and climate: The earth community in hospice

Fukushima decontamination worker

To be in a body is to hear the heartbeat of death at every moment. -- Andrew Harvey As I write these words in early November, 2013, humanity is confronting an unprecedented and horrific challenge which it may or may not survive. I’m referring to two uncanny realities about which we are not being told the unmitigated truth. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant which suffered a … [Read more...]

Japan greenlights ‘perilous’ cleanup at Fukushima’s Reactor 4

Fukushima sign

Removal of 1,300 spent fuel rods deemed "humankind's most dangerous moment since Cuban Missile Crisis" Regulators with Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority gave the final OK Wednesday for the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to begin to remove the 1300 spent fuel rods from the badly damaged Unit 4 pool, thus initiating a decommissioning process which anti-nuclear … [Read more...]

Soaring radiation in Fukushima groundwater

Fukushima mask

'Now seems more likely' that storage tanks are leaking directly into water, says TEPCO Groundwater that flows directly into the ocean from the area surrounding the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant is highly contaminated with radioactive substances, the plant's operator announced late Monday following sample testing. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) took samples from a well at the … [Read more...]

Fukushima, climate change, near-term extinction: Resignation vs. surrender

sunset

All things die and all things live forever; But our task is to die, To die making roads, Roads over the sea. -- Antonio Machado Recently a reader of my website asked me to clarify the difference between resignation and surrender. When faced with catastrophic climate change, near-term extinction, and the worst emission of radiation in the history of the world from the Fukushima nuclear power … [Read more...]

Fukushima meltdown driving increased abnormalities among US infants

baby fingers

In wake of disaster, children on the west coast almost one-third more likely to suffer from thyroid abnormalities Infants on the West Coast of the United States are showing increased incidents of thyroid abnormalities, which researchers are attributing to radiation released following the March 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. According to a new study (.pdf) … [Read more...]

For sale, habitable planet, too late

Wave Breaker

According to legend, Ernest Hemingway bet his 1920s-era colleagues he could write a complete story in just six words. Hemingway is said to have considered the resulting piece his best work: “For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn.” Making no attempt to keep up with Hemingway, this article provides an overview of the dire climate-change situation in fewer than 300 words. Perhaps even Twitter users … [Read more...]

Fracking for yellowcake

uranium rock

It works for oil and natural gas, so why not frack for uranium too? After all, America relies on foreign uranium just like it depends on foreign oil. In the U.S. these days, it seems like you can sell almost anything if you spin it as part of the pursuit of energy independence. Enter Uranium Energy Corp. A junior mining company with Canadian roots, UEC is developing the newest uranium mine in … [Read more...]

The rust-bucket reactors start to fall

Toy

The US fleet of 104 deteriorating atomic reactors is starting to fall. The much-hyped "nuclear renaissance" is now definitively headed in reverse. The announcement that Wisconsin's Kewaunee will shut next year will be remembered as a critical dam break. Opened in 1974, Kewaunee has fallen victim to low gas prices, declining performance, unsolved technical problems and escalating public … [Read more...]

Indian grid failure offers lesson to us all

US electricity at night

A Washington Post story yesterday about the (so far) two-day electricity blackout that affected 600 million citizens was a study in trying to find an answer to the acute predicament facing Mother India. Numerous officials are cited in the article, mainly scratching their heads, baffled over the cause of grid collapse. Yet one paragraph stood out for its more definitive take on the problem. Indian … [Read more...]