Despite the attempts of the Japanese Government, Tepco and others to contain the resulting radioactive waste from the Fukushima nuclear meltdown the situation is still dire for the Japanese people. The concern is extending across the Pacific as the radioactive outflow is being identified in the USA while other nations are choosing to halt imports of Japanese seafood and the like due to the detection of high levels of cesium-137.

It is important to review the information maturely as some of the evidence is proven and other evidence yet to be confirmed and linked to the Fukushima meltdown. While it is easy to respond with outrage we must remember that this occurrence was the result firstly of a natural disaster which nobody had control over. Secondly nobody really knows how to control and contain a spill of this magnitude.

It is certain however that the disaster will affect more than just Japan for a long time to come

Sobering thoughts – The Squinting Artist

The full article is available to read at –

http://www.wnd.com/2013/12/japan-radiation-poisoning-america/

TunaNew concerns hitting U.S. Pacific coast

Like a slow-motion train wreck, the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster is still causing damage long after the world’s media has left the news story behind.  “The world is closely watching whether we can dismantle the (Fukushima) plant, including the issue of contaminated water,” said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “The government is determined to work hard to resolve the issue.”

This is quite a change from previous statements the prime minister has made. In a speech Sept. 7 in front of the International Olympic Committee in Buenos Aires, Abe stated categorically, “Let me assure you the situation (the contaminated groundwater problem) is under control.” Six days later, Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the plant, disputed the prime minister’s claim at a meeting in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture. “We regard the current situation as not being under control,” said Kazuhiko Yamashita, a senior official at Tepco.

“The quantities of water they are dealing with are absolutely gigantic,” said Mycle Schneider, an independent consultant who has previously advised the French and German governments and has consulted widely for a variety of organizations and countries on nuclear issues. “What is worse is the water leakage everywhere else – not just from the tanks. It is leaking out from the basements, it is leaking out from the cracks all over the place. Nobody can measure that.”

It is clear that the repercussions from this disaster are far from over. There is evidence the radioactive water emanating from the plants starting two years ago has made its way into the ocean currents and will soon start to affect the ecosystems in North America as early as the spring of 2014. Some say it is already here. Reports are coming in that the North American food supply is already being affected by Fukushima.

Bluefin tuna caught off the San Diego coast is showing evidence of radioactive contamination. This is the first time that a migrating fish has been shown to carry radioactivity 3,000 miles from Fukushima to the U.S. Pacific coast. It is a nutrition source that accounts for approximately 20,000 tons of the world’s food supply each year.

There have been many other reports of fish and sea-creature populations dying in the Pacific. Also, there have been many discoveries of cesium–137 in high concentrations in seafood caught in the Pacific and sold in North America. There have also been many reports of unexplained deaths among wildlife:

  • There is an epidemic of sea lion deaths due to starvation along the California coastline. The question is: why are they starving? Has the food chain been disrupted?
  • Along the Pacific coast of Canada and the Alaska coastline, the population of sockeye salmon is at a historic low
  • Something is causing fish all along the west coast of Canada to bleed from their gills, bellies and eyeballs

Experts have found very high levels of cesium–137 in plankton living in the waters of the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and the west coast, affecting the food chain in a process called “biomagnification”

As of now, there has been no direct correlation between these events and Fukushima, but the timing of the events and some contributing factors are giving scientists pause and are giving substance for calls for more studies. While the evidence may circumstantial at this point, it is enough for countries to take action. Due to radiation fears, Fukushima Prefecture fishermen have had to dump most of their catch. Two years into the nuclear disaster, South Korea still bans Japanese fish and seafood imports from eight Japanese prefectures. The ban covers an area of Japan that exported 5,000 metric tons of fishery products, or about 13 percent of the 40,000 total tons imported last year to South Korea.

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The Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster is indeed worsening despite little reporting locally.

Interestingly the name ‘Fukushima Dai ichi’ translates to something akin to ‘No 1 Good Fortune Island’ !! Tragically the place is more like ‘No 1 Disastrous Fortune Island” and I don’t mean that in any derogatory sense for the unfortunate Japanese people caught up in this mess.

I just read another update report from the site ‘FUKUSHIMA UPDATE’ (Aug 9, 2013 by Prof Christopher Busby) and the picture is far from rosy. Below is an extract from the post. For the full story please visit –

http://fukushimaupdate.com/pump-and-pray-tepco-might-have-to-pour-water-on-fukushima-wreckage-forever/

The Squinting Artist

Pump and pray: Tepco might have to pour water on Fukushima wreckage forever

Fukushima ImageFukushima is a nightmare disaster area, and no one has the slightest idea what to do. The game is to prevent the crippled nuclear plant from turning into an “open-air super reactor spectacular” which would result in a hazardous, melted catastrophe.

I have been keeping an eye on developments, and it is quite clear that the reactors are no longer containing the molten fuel – some proportion of which is now in the ground underneath them. Both this material and the remaining material in what was the containment are very hot and are fissioning (though at a low level). Tepco is quite aware – and so is everyone else in the know – that the only hope of preventing what could become an open-air super reactor spectacular is to cool the fuel, the lumps of fuel distributed throughout the system, mainly in the holed pressure vessels, and also in the spent fuel tanks and in the ground under the reactors.

We hear that 400 tons of highly radioactive water is now escaping the barriers that Tepco erected and is reaching the sea. Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, said on August 7 that “stabilizing Fukushima is our challenge.” Tepco said, “This is extremely serious — we are unable to control radioactive water seeping out of the Fukushima plant.” CNN quoted “industry experts” saying that “Tepco has failed to address the problem…[the experts] question Tepco’s ability to safely decommission the plant.

Let us look at some numbers. Four hundred tons of seawater a day are flowing into the sea. That is 400 cubic meters. In one year, that is 146,000 cubic meters. That is a pond 10 meters deep and 120 meters square. This will have to go on forever, a new pond every year, unless they can get the radioactive material out. But here is the other problem. They can’t get close enough because the radiation levels are too high.  The water itself is lethally radioactive. Gamma radiation levels tens of meters from the water are enormously high. No one can approach without being fried.

There are some things I want to say about all this. First is the inevitable discourse manipulation – something that we have seen in the media ever since this disaster occurred.  “Decommission the plant” suggests some calm and ordered scientific process akin to shutting down and defueling an old reactor which has reached the end of its design life. It sparks images of a wise nuclear engineer in a lab coat consulting a document, discussing some issue with a worker in brilliant white overalls with a Tepco logo, wearing a white hard-hat.  The reality is that this is a nightmare disaster area where no one has the slightest idea what to do and which has always been out of control.

Rembrandt

I’ve always been impressed and inspired by the art of Rembrandt van Rijn. This is not just a wonderful painting by a Dutch master but the brief history of the subject of this particular painting, Jan Six, makes very interesting reading (courtesy Wikipedia). It goes to show that long after people have died certain legacies linger on for generations, generally driven by some unseen but very powerful desire to exert control (as can be discerned in the final paragraph of the article). The motives over the decades would no doubt have been perceived as just, but as with most instances of similar human contentions, the desires generally are not.

(The Wikipedia link is – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Six)

Another interesting account of the continuing power and appeal of Rembrandt can be found at The Guardians Jonathan Jones on Art blog.

THE SQUINTING ARTIST

JAN SIX

The son of a well-to-do merchant family Six, Jan studied liberal arts and law in Leiden in 1634. He became the son-in-law of the mayor of Amsterdam, Nicolaes Tulp, in 1655, when he married Tulp’s daughter Margaretha. Thanks to his father-in-law, he became magistrate of family law and various other appointments on the city council, eventually becoming mayor of Amsterdam himself in 1691 at the ripe age of 73.

Six was good friends with the poet Joost van den Vondel and the painter Rembrandt van Rijn, during the forties. Six remained a devotee of the arts all his life and wrote plays himself, the most famous being Medea, published in 1648 (with an etching by Rembrandt), and Onschult (Innocence) in 1662. In the same year the Dutch translation of Baldassarre Castiglione’s Il libro del Cortegiano was dedicated to Six.

His collection of paintings, drawings, etchings, and other artifacts (including many from his wife’s family) were popular in his lifetime. This collection was eventually handed down generations later to the couple Lucretia Johanna van Winter (1785-1845) and Hendrik Six (1790-1847) whose extensive art collections were combined when they married in 1822 and are known collectively as the Six Collection, though 171 paintings were from the Van Winter family. Among the 76 Van Winter paintings collected by Lucretia Jans herself included a flower painting by Rachel Ruysch that she bought in 1820, the The Milkmaid (Vermeer) and the Serenade by Judith Leyster.

The 171 paintings that Lucretia Jans took with her on her marriage, were only half of her father’s extensive collection that itself had been known and put on display for a half century. The other half went to her sister Anna Louisa, who married Willem van Loon. A few of those paintings can still be seen in Museum Van Loon, but the rest of the other half of the Van Winter collection was sold by Van Loon heirs in 1877 to Gustave baron de Rothschild (son of James Mayer de Rothschild) in Paris.

The Six collection has been the subject of controversy in the Netherlands for decades, because though the house on the Amstel received subsidy from the Dutch government and was open to the public for visiting hours, the house was always also used as a home, and the number of visitors was limited. The dispute has been resolved and the top pieces are lent to the Rijksmuseum several months every other year.

Fukushima Discharge Map

It is now two years since the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan’s north was breached during the 2011 tsunami. I don’t know if there has been any ongoing news coverage where you live since the event but where I live the news reporting is silent.

For the people in Japan affected by the disaster it is devastating. Having recovered from the devastation of the atom bombs during World War 2 Japan is again faced with the results of a power, that when released, can not be contained. Not only that but the consequences may continue to torment them and many other nations for generations. This may be the driving force behind Germany’s decision to open another six more Coal Fired Power Stations in 2013 alone. (See the article at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/23/germany-to-open-six-more-coal-power-stations-in-2013/#more-84720)

Online information abounds as to the suspected/measured releases of radioactive material still being released on a daily basis from the Fukushima site. For more sobering statistics please feel free to visit the following sites:

http://enenews.com/graphic-shows-direct-discharge-fukushima-daiichi-curent-source-pacific-underground-water-flow-indicated-photo

http://enenews.com/study-900-trillion-becquerels-strontium-90-ocean-fukushima-plant-direct-discharges-cooling-water

I have included a brief excerpt from an article posted on the site Fukushima Update for further incite. (This post was via Washington’s Blog, April 2013).

This issue is really too big to ignore – THE SQUINTING ARTIST

Fukushima: Massive Leaks Continuing On a Daily Basis … For Years On End

via Washington’s Blog / April 6, 2013 /

Is Fukushima Leaking … Or Are the the Reactors Wholly Uncontained?

You may have heard that TEPCO – the operator of the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plants – announced a large leak of radioactive water. You may have heard that the cooling system in the spent fuel pools at Fukushima has failed for a second time in a month.

This is newsworthy stuff … but completely misses the big picture. Japanese experts say that Fukushima is currently releasing up to 93 billion becquerels of radioactive cesium into the ocean each day. How much radiation is this?

A quick calculation shows that it is about ten thousand times less than the amounts released by Chernobyl during the actual fire at the Russian nuclear plant.   But the Chernobyl fire only last 10 days … and the Fukushima release has been ongoing for more than 2 years so far.

Indeed, Fukushima has already spewed much more radioactive cesium and iodine than Chernobyl. The amount of radioactive cesium released by Fukushima was some 20-30 times higher than initially admitted.

New research data based on over 10 years’ of study of one of the most southerly populations of polar bears in the world was published in the British Ecological Society’s Journal of Animal Ecology. According to the study, the polar bear population is struggling to cope with climate-induced changes to sea ice and sheds new light on how sea ice conditions drive polar bears’ annual migration on and off the ice.

The study lead by Dr Seth Cherry of the University of Alberta, the team studied polar bears in western Hudson Bay, where sea ice melts completely each summer and typically re-freezes from late November to early December. An interesting observation from the research team identified – Polar bears have adapted to the annual loss of sea ice by migrating onto land each summer. While there, they cannot hunt seals and must rely on fat reserves to see them through until the ice returns.

The full article, and particularly the “10 reasons why we shouldn’t worry” about the polar bear in the Hudson Bay region provides the reader with the necessary balance when it comes to Climate Change induced claims.

The full article can be accessed at WATTS UP WITH THAT. Meanwhile the poster and brief excerpt below paint a rosy picture of the polar bear population and is regarded as a conservation success story.

THE SQUINTING ARTIST

Fat polar bears (Ursus Maritimus Obesus) -vs- CFACT

The press release below is from Wiley, where they worry that the polar bear can’t find enough sea ice. Meanwhile, billboards proclaim the uptick in polar bear numbers thanks to conservation efforts and other factors. See below for 10 reasons to consider why we shouldn’t worry. – Anthony

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/cfact_polar_bear_billboard.jpg

For polar bears, it’s survival of the fattest

(Image courtesy CFACT.org

CFACT writes on their webpage:

The polar bear invasion

While many people believe that polar bears are in danger because of global warming, it might surprise them to learn that polar bear numbers have actually quadrupled in recent decades. Such news is no surprise to residents of Churchill, Manitoba, however, who are experiencing an invasion of polar bears in their town.

According to reports, polar bears are commonly seen walking down Churchill’s main street, and people have learned to leave their cars unlocked so they can quickly duck inside if one approaches. It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that dogs are routinely being eaten, a polar bear hotline has been created, and kids cannot go out trick or treating without a parent packing a shotgun for protection.

Having visited China, Singapore and Hong Kong over time, seeing first hand some of the traditional and the more contemporary Chinese art was stimulating and inspiring. The artists behind the more contemporary art I was privileged to view were using their art to comment on some of the controversial political issues.

The artist in the following excerpt has chosen a different path ‘becoming tired’ of the system among other things. It was quite a pilgrimage it seems.

THE SQUINTING ARTIST

Excerpt from THE ART NEWSPAPER (Newsletter) Thursday 21 March 2013

Chinese photographer travels countryside with mobile portrait studio

By Chris Gill. – Published online: 20 March 2013

Shanghai-based artist Maleonn (aka Ma Liang) has spent the last year (from February to November 2012) traveling around 25 Chinese provinces, photographing some of the 200,000 people in a mobile photo studio and posting the images on his Weibo account (the Chinese version of Twitter). “I became tired of contemporary art, the system, dealing with critics and curators behind closed doors. I wanted to do something with ordinary people,” Maleonn says.

He put out the idea on his Weibo account, and was overwhelmed by the response. Eventually he established a set of guidelines, such as a minimum of eight people per city, who would provide him and his team with food, somewhere to stay and a space to work. Over ten months, in a battered truck and a minivan, he then visited 35 cities around China, taking 1,600 portraits of people in contemporary Chinese society dressed up in various kinds of fantasy dress.

Having completed the huge project in China, Maleonn mused he may next be taking the roadshow to the UK. “I have friends in Swansea,” he said.

FOR THE FULL ARTICLE GO TO:

http://www.theartnewspaper.com/article/Chinese+photographer+travels+countryside+with+mobile+portrait+studio/29079

Portraits by Maleonn from his mobile photo studio (Image courtesy THE ART NEWSPAPER)

Throughout the annuls of history there has been a succession of empires, kingdoms, republics, democracies, corporations etc, all of different political and religious persuasions that have engaged in violent exploits to further their own selfish cause/s. They have resorted to THE SWORD as the means of convincing any opposition that they mean business. There are of course many arguments to justify the use of the SWORD throughout history.  By the sword I mean any weapon that is used to subdue or control a population from raising any opposition to the entrenched power cartel. This can happen just as easily in a democracy (even politicians are still people subject to the magnetism of greed and one or more lies to get a result)

One critical feature of each passing regime and something that has continued to flourish through times of oppression has been ART and it’s perpetrator, the ARTIST. Though artistic expression may have been outlawed or severely controlled under strict political or religious regimes, the artist, controlled by a need to record the injustice, some historic event, beauty amidst the ugliness or just try to make a living, pressed on.

As history shows the transformation that has reshaped civilizations using the sword (or the gun in all it’s incarnations) the brush still remains the simple tool for an artist to express his or her creative drive, that impulse that caused the artist to pick up the brush in the first place. In league with the brush is the pen, the pencil and other simple tools at the disposal of the artist to make comment or express an opinion that may even be the visually representative expression of the majority.

So then, don’t just sit there, go buy a brush and some paint and make a few statements that the sword will never be able to say. Or go and buy an art book and discover what drove artists through history to do what they did, some with lasting historic effects. If you’re feeling revolutionary start a new art movement with your abilities and join the army of brush wielding commentators and make a bold statement and pick up your pen and explain why you’re doing this.

The world needs a new art movement to drive public opinion on issues that really matter. However,  before you take sides with the many opinions yelling at us today, make sure you get the balance, both sides of the coin otherwise you will be deceived. Remember, the artist is to express an informed view to help stimulate opinion from the bottom up. Don’t just accept the status quo as you may be unwittingly manipulated to accept a political compromise.

THE SQUINTING ARTIST

PS: Please visit my website and buy a painting or offer a comment. Both will be gratefully accepted.