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Subtle “education” in Japan, to downplay the risks of ionising radiation

Disney Educational Video Our Friend, the Atom (1957)

Teaching about radiation after FukushimaBulletin of the Atomic Scientists, By Maxime Polleri, February 26, 2019 “…………..Ultimately, I have doubts about these education programs – [ Centre for Environmental Creation, Japan] . They are selective in their nature, making only certain aspects of radiation tangible through their public activities, while rarely explaining in detail the dangers of adverse health effects linked with residual radioactivity. From my viewpoint, their purpose seems to be dual: While they aim to shed light on the phenomenon of radiation, they are also covertly looking to defuse the threat of widespread societal unrest, to reclaim political control and economic stability, and to pacify a fearful public—and in ways that are perhaps more beneficial to the state than to affected individuals.

In a community where dangerous residual radioactivity has become a public everyday concern, coming to grips with serious contamination requires more education than ever before. The important word here is education. Not state propaganda disguised as education. There is a fine line between these two, but it is a line that needs to be clearly drawn. While Japanese state approaches are innovative in their interactivity and freedom from jargon, they are less so in their content.

I strongly agree that the existence of state-sponsored educational programs is better than to simply ignore radioactive risk. But mobilizing specific explanations that downplay the real risk faced by citizens is not sustainable. Doing so will reproduce the ignorance, secrecy, and values that led to this disaster. Public well-being, democracy, and science cannot thrive in such context. An unbiased effort to educate people about the specific hazards of radioactive contamination, and correct misunderstandings about the risk of radiation exposure, does not have to be delivered in a dry and clinical manner. It can be as fun and engaging as anything the Japanese centers, exhibits, and public days are already doing.

There is one scene from my time in Japan that I cannot forget: the unadulterated smile of the happy child who had won the contest of blocking radiation. While the kid had learned much about radiation, he had learned little about the complexity of radiation hazards. I could not help thinking of Major Kong straddling the bomb in the film Dr. Strangelove, enjoying the nuclear ride without thinking about it too much, shouting “Yee Haw!” at the top of his lungs. https://thebulletin.org/2019/02/teaching-about-radiation-after-fukushima/

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February 27, 2019 Posted by | Education, Japan | Leave a comment

How quickly we ‘normalise’ rising temperatures

 

Just by the way- Scientists found that frogs DO jump out of the water as it gets hot. They are smarter than we are.

 

 

AS THE CLIMATE CHANGES, ARE WE ALL BOILING FROGS?

New research finds that we normalize rising temperatures remarkably quickly. https://psmag.com/environment/as-the-climate-changes-are-we-all-boiling-frogs,TOM JACOBS, FEB 26, 2019 

How about this weird weather we’ve been having? It’s a common query around the Pacific Standard office, and for good reason: Abnormalities such as the recent cold and snow in Southern California capture pretty much everyone’s attention.

Climate change is significantly increasing the chances of more unsettling weather in the years to come, including longer and more severe heat waves. But if you’re hoping the strange conditions will inspire people to realize that something profoundly dangerous is occurring—and will prod politicians into acting—new researchsuggests you’re likely to be disappointed.

An analysis of more than two million Twitter posts finds that people do indeed take note of abnormal temperatures. But it also reports that our definition of “normal” is based on recent history—roughly, the past two to eight years.

These findings suggest that, in less than a decade, climate change-induced conditions cease to seem all that unusual. That lack of historical perspective may make it hard to grasp the enormity of the changes that are already underway, and which promise to accelerate. Continue reading

February 27, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, social effects | Leave a comment

Banned from covering Trump-Kim dinner are reporters from the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, the Los Angeles Times and Reuters

White House bans four journalists from covering Trump-Kim dinner, SMH, By Philip Rucker and Josh Dawsey
February 28, 2019 Hanoi, The White House abruptly banned four US journalists from covering President Donald Trump’s dinner on Wednesday with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un after some of them shouted questions at the leaders during their earlier meetings.Reporters from the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, the Los Angeles Times and Reuters were excluded from covering the dinner because of what White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said were “sensitivities over shouted questions in the previous sprays”. Among the questions asked of Trump was one about the congressional testimony of his former lawyer, Michael Cohen.

The White House’s move to restrict press access was an extraordinary act of retaliation by the US government, which historically has upheld the rights of journalists while a president travels overseas. It was especially remarkable because it came during Trump’s meeting with the leader of a totalitarian state that does not have a free press.

Trump’s exchanges with Kim were being covered by the standard 13-member travelling White House press pool, but ahead of the dinner Sanders sought to exclude all reporters from the pool and permit only the photographers and television crew, citing “sensitivities over shouted questions in the previous sprays”.

After loud pushback, including from photojournalists who protested, Sanders allowed a single reporter in the pool for the dinner: Vivian Salama of the Wall Street Journal, who was serving as the print pooler and did not ask a question at the dinner. In addition, at least two members of the North Korean media contingent, a photographer and cameraman, were seen covering the dinner.

Reporters for the three wire services, as well as a second print pooler, were excluded. They included two journalists who had asked Trump questions in the earlier appearances: Jonathan Lemire of the AP and Jeff Mason of Reuters. Also excluded were Justin Sink of Bloomberg and Eli Stokols of the Los Angeles Times………..

Lauren Easton, a spokeswoman for the AP, said in a statement: “The Associated Press decries such efforts by the White House to restrict access to the president. It is critically important that any president uphold American press freedom standards, not only at home but especially while abroad.” .

…… Trump has long complained about reporters asking him questions at photo opportunities, especially when he is in the presence of foreign leaders, which aides have said he views as disrespectful and lacking in decorum. The White House occasionally has punished reporters for their questioning, including CNN’s Jim Acosta and Kaitlan Collins……https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/white-house-bans-four-journalists-from-covering-trump-kim-dinner-20190228-p510qg.html

February 27, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

To 27 February – Climate and Nuclear News


I’ve tried to find good news – we need it. But, good news, by its nature, is not news. Most people try to behave decently, reasonable. When they don’t – that’s actually unusual , remarkable – and therefore is news. Anyway – here’s a good bit.:

Changing climate change“2040” paints an optimistic picture of the future of the environment, Youtube 2040 teaser http://www.whatsyour2040.com/

Meanwhile  – New report warns of climate Armageddon in less than 150 years.  New research indicates that world efforts towards climate change targets are likely to be too slow to take effectClimate change bringing crises, population displacement, wars to Middle East countries.  Climate change taking its toll on the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bz2pmSw4aWU

Another good bit?  South Korea offers hope that the Trump-Kim nuclear summit could bring an end to the Korean War.

Meanwhile –  We are closer to a nuclear war than we would like to believe – new smaller bombs make this more likely. Indian and Pakistan relations have again reached a dangerous level.

What the planet needs from men .  New York Times – it’s time to panic about climate change. Sudden rises in methane levels – scientists warn on need for urgent action on climate change.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urges the United States and Russia to save nuclear arms safeguards.

Future is not looking good for thorium nuclear reactors.  The nuclear lobby’s dream of small modular nuclear reactors is not likely to come true

INDIA. India. With escalating tensions between India and Pakistan, could India consider a pre-emptive nuclear strike?  Union ministry of mines protects beaches from mining for thorium.

PAKISTAN.  Tensions in Kashmir: Pakistan readies for war.

RUSSIA. Russia flexes nuclear muscles , warns on its ability to strike nuclear targets in USA.  Call for Solidarity with the Russian Environmental Organization Ecodefense.

BELARUS. If USA US deploys nuclear weapons in Europe RUSSIA and Belarus will consider a joint military response.

JAPAN. Okuma, the host town of crippled nuke plant to lift evacuation order.  Japan and Tepco again ordered to pay damages to Fukushima nuclear disaster evacuees.  Tokyo governor won’t speculate on Olympic bribery scandal.  Robot claw grasped bits of molten nuclear fuel in Fukushima reactor.  Probe shows challenges posed by melted nuclear fuel at Fukushima plant.

NORTH KOREA.   North Korea sees nuclear weapons as key to its survival.   North Korea blasts Japan, claiming that Japan in “nuclear weaponizing”.

FRANCE. France’s nuclear corporation, EDF, faces the first of many mammoth nuclear plant burials.

FINLAND. Safety problem at Areva’s Olkiluoto nuclear reactor in Finland.

BELGIUM.  Three Green MP’s arrested after anti-nuclear protest at Belgian military base.

USA.

UK. Britain’s energy policy in a right mess, as new nuclear power stations are shelved.  A hard Brexit is going to be really hard for UK’s nuclear industry.   Packed church in East Suffolk hears residents’ opposition to Sizewell C nuclear project. Church of England backs further action on climate change. Offshore wind could replace UK’s failed plans for new nuclear power.

CHINA. Wind and solar power in China – fast outstripping nuclear power

IRAN. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accuses USA of hypocrisy over planned nuclear technology sales to Saudi Arabia.    International Atomic Energy Agency says that Iran is sticking to the terms of the nuclear deal.  Iran’s nuclear power station struggling financially.

SOUTH AFRICA. South Africa inquiry hears how former president Jacob Zuma pressed for ‘astronomically expensive’ nuclear deal.

 

February 27, 2019 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment