Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Why Fukushima Is Worse Than Chernobyl -

Why Fukushima Is Worse Than Chernobyl - 

Some scientists say Fukushima is worse than the 1986 Chernobyl accident, with which it shares a maximum level-7 rating on the sliding scale of nuclear disasters. One of the most prominent of them is Dr Helen Caldicott, an Australian physician and long time anti-nuclear activist who warns of "horrors to come" in Fukushima.
Chris Busby, a professor at the University of Ulster known for his alarmist views, generated controversy during a Japan visit last month when he said the disaster would result in more than 1 million deaths. "Fukushima is still boiling its radionuclides all over Japan," he said. "Chernobyl went up in one go. So Fukushima is worse."
On the other side of the nuclear fence are the industry friendly scientists who insist that the crisis is under control and radiation levels are mostly safe. "I believe the government and Tokyo Electric Power [Tepco, the plant's operator] are doing their best," said Naoto Sekimura, vice-dean of the Graduate School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo. Mr Sekimura initially advised residents near the plant that a radioactive disaster was "unlikely" and that they should stay "calm", an assessment he has since had to reverse.
Slowly, steadily, and often well behind the curve, the government has worsened its prognosis of the disaster. Last Friday, scientists affiliated with the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said the plant had released 15,000 terabecquerels of cancer-causing Cesium, equivalent to about 168 times the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the event that ushered in the nuclear age. (Professor Busby says the release is at least 72,000 times worse than Hiroshima).
Economic cost
Fukushima: Japan has estimated it will cost as much as £188bn to rebuild following the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis.
Chernobyl There are a number of estimates of the economic impact, but thetotal cost is thought to be about £144bn.
Fukushima: workers are allowed to operate in the crippled plant up to a dose of 250mSv (millisieverts).
Chernobyl: People exposed to 350mSv were relocated. In most countries the maximum annual dosage for a worker is 20mSv. The allowed dose for someone living close to a nuclear plant is 1mSv a year.
Death toll
Fukushima: Two workers died inside the plant. Some scientists predict that one million lives will be lost to cancer.
Chernobyl: It is difficult to say how many people died on the day of the disaster because of state security, but Greenpeace estimates that 200,000 have died from radiation-linked cancers in the 25 years since the accident.
Exclusion zone
Fukushima: Tokyo initially ordered a 20km radius exclusion zone around the plant
Chernobyl: The initial radius of the Chernobyl zone was set at 30km – 25 years later it is still largely in place.
Fukushima: Tepco's share price has collapsed since the disaster largely because of the amount it will need to pay out, about £10,000 a person
Chernobyl: Not a lot. It has been reported that Armenian victims of the disaster were offered about £6 each in 1986
Fukushima: The UN's Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported bilateral aid worth $95m
Chernobyl: 12 years after the disaster, the then Ukrainian president, Leonid Kuchma, complained that his country was still waiting for international help.

10 Lessons We Can Take From People Who Lived Through The Depression -

10 Lessons We Can Take From People Who Lived Through The Depression -

If you've got it, use it

Image: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection
Wanda Bridgeforth was hit hardest on the home front as a child, when her parents couldn't afford to keep her with them. At one point she lived with 19 people -- in a six room house. It was in these situations that she learned to conserve what she had, and reuse what she found.
"And they say, 'Well, what are you going to use this for?' and I say, 'I don't know, but I'm going to use it,'" Bridgeforth told NPR.
Today, individuals and companies would be wise to heed this advice. We can find resources in unlikely places, whether in the the scrap heap or the ideas of the unpaid college intern.

Review the facts

Image: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection
While some figures put the number of people unemployed as even higher than the numbers during the Great Depression, the widespread feeling of despair -- not to mention the sheer numbers of actual starvation, poverty and unemployment -- was much higher during the 1920s and 30s than during the aughts.
1929 to 1932 saw a 50 percent drop in national income, and in 1933, almost 25 percent of the work force was unemployed. There were food shortages to go along with thousands of people filing for bankruptcy. Today's numbers, frankly, speak more to recession than depression.

Grow your own

Image: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection
While small farmers suffered greatly during the Great Depression, those who could generate their own food in small gardens were able to supplement their diet with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Urban subsistence gardens -- on rooftops, in vacant lots, or backyards -- became particularly useful during this era. There were over 20,000 of these gardens in Gary, Indiana alone. Self-reliance, especially when it comes to feeding yourself, is an invaluable tool, recession or not.

Cash, not credit

Image: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection
Debt is a bit of a dirty word for people during the Depression. It's an idea that carries over into today.
"Save and share," Rubilee Craig, 5 years old in 1932, advised. Not a big fan of credit cards, she also said that ""Gold and silver gives you a reserve, and sometime maybe the paper money won't be good."
While we don't suggest throwing away your paper money, taking on more debt in times like these might be digging yourself deeper than you can pull yourself out.

If you have to, move on

Image: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection
Some cities and states have higher unemployment rates than others; same goes for certain businesses. The Great Depression was a time for striking out a new path if the old one turned up short.
While some stories are less successful than others, such as Paul Satko's journey up to Alaska in a wooden ark, the lesson remains: don't be afraid to go where the opportunity is, rather than waiting for it to come to you.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/lessons-from-people-who-lived-through-the-depression-2011-8#if-youve-got-it-use-it-1

30 Signs That America Has Become A Horrible Place For Children -

30 Signs That America Has Become A Horrible Place For Children - 

What in the world has happened to the United States?  Once upon a time the U.S. was one of the best places in the world to raise a child, but today it is an absolutely horrible place for children.  We physically abuse our children at staggering rates, we pump them full of antidepressants and other pharmaceutical drugs and we send them off to public schools that more closely resemble prison camps every single day.  Meanwhile, the economic decline of the America is hitting children far harder than it is hitting the adult population.  More than one out of every five children in America is living in poverty and one out of every four children is on food stamps.  One of the ways that a society is judged is by how it treats its most vulnerable members.  As you will see below, the way that children are treated in America today is absolutely shameful.
The following are 30 signs that America has become a horrible place for children….
#1 There are more than 3 million reports of child abuse in the United States every single year.
#2 There are 314 counties in the United States where at least 30% of the children are facing food insecurity.
#3 In Washington D.C., the “child food insecurity rate” is 32.3%.
#4 If you can believe it, an average of five children die as a result of child abuse in the United States every single day.
#5 In the United States today, it is estimated that one out of every four girls is sexually abused before they become adults.
#6 The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is now publicly advising parents that infants and young children are “sexual beings“.
#7 67 percent of all sexual assault victims in America are children.
#8 The state of Illinois has actually been paying convicted sex offenders to babysit young children.
#9 20 percent of all child sexual abuse victims are under the age of 8.
#10 Children in the United States are three times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants than children in Europe are.
#11 The United States has the highest divorce rate on the globe by a wide margin.  This is ripping millions of families with children to shreds.
#12 According to one recent study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States were living below the poverty line in 2010. In the UK and in France that figure is well under 10 percent.
#13 It is estimated that up to half a million children may currently be homeless in the United States.
#14 In America today, many families allow the television to raise their children.  In fact, the United States is tied with the U.K. for the most hours of television watched per person each week.
#15 Our public schools are being transformed into prison camps.  Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has announced that school officials can search the cell phones and laptops of public school students at any time if there are “reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law or the rules of the school.”
#16 Today, one out of every four American children is on food stamps.
#17 It is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps at some point in their lives before they reach the age of 18.
#18 More than 20 million U.S. children rely on school meal programs to keep from going hungry.
#19 The U.S. Department of Agriculture is spending huge amounts of money to install surveillance cameras in the cafeterias of public schools so that government control freaks can closely monitor what our children are eating.
#20 According to researchers, convicted rapists in the United States report that two-thirds of their victims were under 18, and among those cases 58% said that their victims were 12 years old or younger.
#21 Since 1973, approximately 50 million babies have been slaughtered in the United States before they were even born.
#22 One out of every four teen girls in the United States now has an STD.
#23 It has been reported that Texas police gave “1,000 tickets” to elementary school kids over one recent six year period.
#24 The number of young children that are being ripped out of good homes by “child protective services” continues to soar.
#25 All over the nation, little children are being publicly arrested by police in their own classrooms and are being marched out of their schools in handcuffs.
#26 Law enforcement officials estimate that about 600,000 Americans and about 65,000 Canadians are trading dirty child pictures online.
#27 All over the United States, lemonade stands run by young children are being shut down by police.
#28 The federal government has spent 14 trillion dollars that belong to our children and our grandchildren.  Will future generations thank us for loading such a massive debt on to their backs?
#29 In airports all over the country, many young children are being subjected to “enhanced pat-downs” during which their private parts are touched before they are allowed to get on to their airplanes.
#30 It is estimated that 500,000 babies that will be born this year will be sexually abused before they turn 18.
What in the world has happened to us?  America used to be the envy of the rest of the world, but now they look at us like we are a bunch of degenerates.
How are we supposed to teach our children that it is improper for them to be touched in certain places when the federal government is forcing large numbers of children to be publicly groped at airports before they are allowed to get on to their flights?
How are we supposed to teach our children what liberty and freedom are all about when our public schools are slowly being turned into “Big Brother” prison grids?
How can we claim that we are “the greatest nation on earth” when millions of American children are going hungry tonight?
The way that we are treating our children is shameful.  Sadly, the abuse that we are heaping on to them is going to come out in their behavior as they get older.
When we pump our kids full of “legal” drugs and allow the television, movies, video games and public schools to raise them, we should not be surprised when they turn out very sick and twisted.
So what do all of you think about how we are raising our children?  Do you also believe that America has become a horrible place for children?  Please feel free to leave a comment with your opinion below….

Read more -