NASA on climate change: Official Facebook account smacks down dissenters, news.com.au APRIL 19, 2016 WHEN it comes to climate change, don’t mess with NASA.
The space agency has shut down climate changers in the best possible way in an ongoing Facebook discussion.
The agency, which has a NASA Climate Change Facebook page, is used to dealing with sceptics and deniers.
But one comment made last week saw the agency pounce and the comments have kept flowing since, coming faster than melting ice.
It all started after a post by the science guy Bill Nye who was talking about a climate change denier refusing his $20,000 bet that the planet will keep getting hotter.
But the thread was quickly hijacked by climate deniers.
Facebook user Fer Morales argued NASA confirmed fossil fuels were actually cooling the planet, but the agency jumped straight on it, firing back: “Do not misrepresent NASA. Fossil fuels are not cooling the planet.”……..http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/climate-change/nasa-on-climate-change-official-facebook-account-smacks-down-dissenters/news-story/25219d16e4478ce851046d22b1620b63
With the continuing worldwide success of renewable energy, the nuclear lobby’s in a bit of a tizz – doing their best to win hearts and minds with some slick articles in mainstream media, touting nuclear as cure for climate change, spruiking small nukes, and downplaying radiation effects of Fukushima nuclear disaster.
However, the nuclear industry is also now redoubling their efforts on social media, as they’ve discovered all the possibilities of Twitter, Facebook etc:
“Social media channels, like Facebook and Twitter, can be an opportunity for us to listen and engage on energy issues and EDF Energy has created digital tools based on the same principle as its physical visitor centres. These tools have been viewed over 1.3 million times,” “As an industry we must harness the power of social media to broaden understanding of what we do” This is a vital part of gaining and maintaining public trust.” – WNA 14/04/16
We can be confident that those digital tools include not only real lobbyists’ messages, but autobots set to swamp social media with pro nuclear spin, and triggered to respond to any messages critical of the industry
The World Nuclear Association obviously is well aware of the statistical liklelihood of a serious nuclear accident within the next few decades. They’re priming the nuclear lobbyists up to keep the propaganda well and truly going, in advance of that nuc lear accident.
“If an accident occurs, there will be many voices seeking to be heard and media channels will want to use the information sources they know and trust. And trust has to be gained before an event” WNA 14/04/16
Japanese journalists allege government pressure on media http://bigstory.ap.org/urn:publicid:ap.org:8b04d4cd11ec4f289c57a7c88c02e1ca By MARI YAMAGUCHI Mar. 24, 2016 TOKYO (AP) — Five Japanese journalists accused Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government on Thursday of pressuring broadcasters to reduce criticism of its policies, but also lamented what they called a failure by media to live up to their convictions.
They spoke at a news conference after Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Sanae Takaichi warned broadcasters last month that their licenses could be revoked if they failed to be impartial in political coverage. Continue reading
Pascale’s analysis initially characterized the risk to the general population in one of three ways: low, uncertain, or high. However, when examining the bases on which these characterizations were made, it was clear that all media characterizations of uncertain risk were subsequently interpreted as evidence of low risk.
“The mainstream media–in print and online–did little to report on health risks to the general population or to challenge the narratives of public officials and their experts,”
News coverage of Fukushima disaster found lacking http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-03/au-nco031016.php American University sociologist’s new research finds few reports identified health risks to public
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY (WASHINGTON, D.C.) March 10, 2016 –– Five years after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan, the disaster no longer dominates U.S. news headlines, although experts say it is a continuing disaster with broad implications. A new analysis by American University sociology professor Celine-Marie Pascale finds that U.S. news media coverage following the disaster minimized health risks to the general population.
Pascale analyzed more than 2,000 news articles from four major U.S. outlets following the disaster’s occurrence from March 11, 2011 through March 11, 2013. Only 6 percent of the coverage–129 articles–focused on health risks to the public in Japan or elsewhere. Human risks were framed, instead, in terms of workers in the disabled nuclear plant. Pascale’s research has published in the flagship journal for the International Sociology Association,Current Sociology.
“It’s shocking to see how few articles discussed risk to the general population, and when they did, they typically characterized risk as low,” said Pascale, who studies the social construction of risk and meanings of risk in the 21st century. “We see articles in prestigious news outlets claiming that radioactivity from cosmic rays and rocks is more dangerous than the radiation emanating from the collapsing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.”
Pascale studied news articles, editorials, and letters to the editor from two newspapers, The Washington Post and The New York Times, and two nationally prominent online news sites, Politico and The Huffington Post. These four media outlets are among the most prominent in the United States. They also are among the most cited by television news, talk shows, other newspapers, social media and blogs Pascale said.
Nuclear disasters have potentially large-scale and long-term consequences for people, environments, and economies around the globe. Given limited public knowledge about the details of nuclear energy and encumbered access to disaster sites, the media have disproportionate power around the globe to shape public knowledge, perception, and reaction to nuclear crises, Pascale said. Pascale’s article illustrates how systematic media practices minimized the presence of health risks, contributed to misinformation, and exacerbated uncertainties.
Pascale’s analysis initially characterized the risk to the general population in one of three ways: low, uncertain, or high. However, when examining the bases on which these characterizations were made, it was clear that all media characterizations of uncertain risk were subsequently interpreted as evidence of low risk. In two years of reporting, across all four media outlets, there were only a combined total of 17 articles reporting any noteworthy risk from the largest nuclear disaster in history.
Corporations and government agencies had disproportionate access to framing the event in the media, Pascale says. Even years after the disaster, government and corporate spokespersons constituted the majority of voices published. News accounts about local impact–for example, parents organizing to protect their children from radiation in school lunches–were also scarce.
Globalization of risk
Pascale says her findings show the need for the public to be critical consumers of news; expert knowledge can be used to create misinformation and uncertainty–especially in the information vacuums that arise during disasters.
“The mainstream media–in print and online–did little to report on health risks to the general population or to challenge the narratives of public officials and their experts,” Pascale said. “Discourses of the risks surrounding disasters are political struggles to control the presence and meaning of events and their consequences. How knowledge about disasters is reported can have more to do with relations of power than it does with the material consequences to people’s lives.”
While it is clear that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown was a consequence of an earthquake and tsunami, like all disasters, it was also the result of political, economic and social choices that created or exacerbated broad-scale risks. In the 21st century, there’s an increasing “globalization of risk,” Pascale argues.
“People’s understanding of disasters will continue to be constructed primarily by media. How media members frame the presence of risk and the nature of disaster has enormous consequence for our well-being,” she said.
Today, Friday 5 February at 08:30 CET, WikiLeaks releases a collection of documents that open up a corrupt multi-billion dollar war by Western and Chinese companies grab uranium and other mining rights in the Central African Republic (CAR) and escape paying for the environmental consequences. Among the hundreds of pages in this publication are detailed maps of mining rights, mining contracts with illegal kickbacks and secret investigative reports. The documents have been long sought by fraud investigators. In December 2015 a case was filed against Areva, alleging corruption related to the €1.8 billion purchase of three uranium mines in 2007.
The most powerful nuclear company in the world, AREVA, abandoned its Central African Republic exploitation without having launched any of the promised investments after an enormous political and financial scandal, amidst a social and environmental crisis, with skyrocketing radioactivity levels (up to 30 times the natural radioactivity in the zone) and literally transporting its former employees back to their homes like cattle. The following documents show the constant disdain of the company towards Central African Republic institutions and its population, and the neocolonial conditions of exploitation of its mines in Africa. ……. https://wikileaks.org/car-mining/#areva
NEW YEARS EVE NUCLEAR WASTE SITE FLOOD ALERT VIRTUALLY UNREPORTED http://www.celticleague.net/news/new-years-eve-nuclear-waste-site-flood-alert-virtually-unreported/ NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE, 6 Jan 16
Our thanks to Albert Froon in the UK for posting us details of the attached article from ‘The Ecologist’ which was published on New Years Eve and warns of possible dangers from flooding at the Drigg nuclear waste site near Sellafield.
We have in the past highlighted the dangers posed by the drainage inadequacies of the main Sellafield site and the possibility of breaching of the River Calder which flows through the site (see links):
However in this case as you will see The Ecologist also highlights a UK Environment Agency alert about the River Irt which is adjacent to Drigg described as a nuclear waste repository. Basically however it’s simply a ‘nuclear landfill site’ and it’s probably no exaggeration to say that in its early years very little accurate record of what was disposed there was kept (see link):
You will also see in the article that Cumbrian environment campaigners ‘Radiation Free Lakeland’ sum the issue up succinctly in a letter to Cumbria County Council asking for Drigg’s gates to be locked to any more nuclear waste given the dangers from flood waters entering the site, eroding the landfill and contaminating land, river and sea with radioactive waste.
“To describe the UKs nuclear waste site as a ‘Repository’ is putting a spin on the UKs main nuclear dump for ‘low level’ waste”, the letter states.
“There is controlled discharge direct to the Irish Sea not to mention run off to the Drigg Stream and River Irt.
“Discharges to the air of radioactive gases are ongoing. According to the British Geological Society the Drigg site is above a regional aquifer. It is also likely to be destroyed by coastal erosion in 500 to 5,000 years (computer modelling can be wrong either way). Much of the waste is long lived and high risk.”
There is no doubt that the increasing frequency of storm and flood events in Cumbria pose a danger of sudden and irreversible pollution of the North Irish Sea area.
Meanwhile what are the Manx and Irish governments saying – nothing!
The Taboo Of Radiation Exposure In Japan: The Social Effects Of Fukushima, Activist Post, By Erin O’Flaherty, 11 Dec 15 “…..why is society reacting in such a way? [keeping quiet about radiation effects] In order to attempt to answer this question, let us break society into two groups: the government/nuclear power companies, and the ordinary Japanese people.
The level of intensity with which the former group have tried to diminish the seriousness of the incident and divert blame from themselves – by appealing to public well-being (avoiding panic), ‘radiophobia’, and the supposed harmlessness of radiation – leads to the obvious conclusion that they are acting to protect their own interests. Companies such as TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) wish to continue running so they can continue making money. It appears the government also wants to continue the use of nuclear power. This may be to do with nuclear power’s close relationship to war and military power, due to its association with nuclear weapons. It is no secret that the current government are in favour of restoring Japan’s military status, as evidenced by the recent changes to Article 9, which essentially render it meaningless.
The down-playing of the catastrophe of Fukushima is crucial not only for economic reasons (the issue of the continuing operation of the remaining 54 nuclear power plants); it is also vital for the implementation of the state’s military plans for the future.
In order to keep these plans, it is necessary to make everything feel normal, meaning there will be no questioning of nuclear power or of the government’s policies towards it. Information about radiation exposure would breed more empathy with the victims of Fukushima among the public, thus bringing the issue to a more personal level. This empathy could potentially cause a much larger number of people to become angry at the government and wish for the nuclear power companies to be held responsible. It is to avoid this situation that radiation exposure is intentionally not discussed in mainstream Japanese media……..
In order to break past the social stigmas and question the government and nuclear power companies’ actions, people need to start speaking out. But this is an extremely risky and frightening thing to do, especially in light of the treatment journalists may face if they discuss radiation exposure. At the end of the day, people need to make a living, put food on the table and protect their families. Thus, it is much easier to keep your head down and look the other way.
As we have seen, the social effects of the Fukushima nuclear incident are many, including displacement, poverty, depression, anxiety and social discrimination. These effects are all compounded by the media treatment of the incident: lack of information breeds fear and encourages discrimination, victims’ fears are dismissed as irrational, and the actions of the government and nuclear power companies are not questioned because it is made to appear as if everything is fine. The reason for such a reaction can be understood as the government and nuclear power companies protecting their own interests, both economically and militarily. Traditional conceptions of impurity combined with a general by-stander effect within Japanese society, also encourage discrimination and allow the status-quo to be maintained. In this way, we can see that the social effects on Fukushima victims are complex and interwoven, and that their lives have been changed, perhaps irreversibly; “Their lives will be divided into two parts: before and after Fukushima.” References: …… http://www.activistpost.com/2015/12/the-taboo-of-radiation-exposure-in-japan-the-social-effects-of-fukushima.html
In a time when many news outlets are cutting staff, slashing budgets and eliminating their investigative reporting, KNBC’s total commitment to this story is a testament to a mission of producing investigative journalism that matters.
The Story Behind Our Story: LA’s Nuclear Secret, NBC4 Southern California, 21 Sept 2015 To learn more about how this series came to fruition, we asked the producer of the series to share his journey from
the first tip to the completion of the stories By Matthew Glasser Our investigative series, LA’s Nuclear Secret, was a year in the making. One year to the night that the first part of our series aired on NBC4, the I-Team was asked to investigate why a
group of children and parents in Calabasas had come down with rare illnesses including brain tumors and cancers.
Worst nuclear disaster in US history is a secret
In September 2014, we reached out to the former UCLA lecturer who is now an instructor at UC Santa Cruz who helped NBC4 with a series of stories in 1979 exposing a nuclear accident at the Santa Susana Field Lab. At the time, it was believed that while there was an accident at the Lab’s largest nuclear reactor, no release of radioactive material occurred. That’s what the U.S. government said, and that’s what we reported.
We would eventually learn in the reporting of LA’s Nuclear Secret – that wasn’t true.
We learned that a growing number of people in the San Fernando and Simi valleys believed that the work done at the Santa Susana Field Lab resulted in on- and off-site chemical and radioactive contamination that may have made them or their family members sick. Continue reading
Media Reports ISIS Nuclear Plot That Never Actually Involved ISIS, Fair – Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, By Adam Johnson , 9 Oct 15 The AP published this week (10/5/15) a thrilling account of how the FBI, in concert with Moldovan authorities, “disrupted” a smuggling ring that was supposedly trying to sell “nuclear material” to ISIS and other terror organizations over a five-year span. The primary developments in the story are almost a year old, but the resurfaced tale made news across the English-speaking world:
‘Annihilate America’: Inside a Secret, Frightening Scheme to Sell Nuclear Material to ISIS
AP: Smugglers Busted Trying to Sell Nuclear Material to ISIS
—CBS News (10/7/15)
FBI Foils Smugglers’ Plot to Sell Nuclear Material to ISIS
—The Independent (10/7/15)
There was only one problem: At no point do the multiple iterations of the AP‘s reporting show that anyone involved in the FBI sting were members of or have any connection to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (aka ISIL or Daesh). While one of several smuggling attempts discussed in AP‘s reporting involved an actual potential buyer–an otherwise unknown Sudanese doctor who four years ago “suggested that he was interested” in obtaining uranium–the “terrorists” otherwise involved in the cases were FBI and other law enforcement agents posing as such. According to the AP and NBC’s Pete Williams:
However, the official emphasized that there was no known ISIS connection. An undercover informant, working with Moldovan police, claimed that he was an ISIS representative.
“But that was totally made up,” the official said.
This would not perturb the American press, who once again eager to hype an ISIS threat, either A) heavily implied this “plot” was evidence of ISIS seeking a nuclear weapon or B) actually went a step further and said as much despite it being wholly untrue.
First the outlets who heavily implied ISIS was involved but used the qualifiers “attempted,” “tried” or the abstract “plots” so as to not expressly lie:
Smugglers Tried to Sell Nuclear Material to ISIS
—NBC News (10/7/15)
Smugglers Try to Sell Nukes to ISIS
—Fox News (10/7/15)
FBI Has Foiled 4 Attempts by Gangs to Sell Nuclear Material to ISIS Through Russian Connections
—Daily Mail (10/7/15)
(Note that the Daily Mail managed to also work the threat du jour into the headline by means of the reference to “Russian connections”–a phrase so vague as to be virtually meaningless.)
Then there were the publications who said ISIS was involved (a falsehood):
AP Investigation Finds That Nuclear Smugglers Shopped Radioactive Material to ISIS and Other Terrorists
Nuclear Smugglers Shopped Radioactive Material to Islamic State, Other Terrorists: AP report
—Chicago Tribune (10/6/15)
Again, there was nothing “shopped” to ISIS, because ISIS was never involved. Continue reading
Hinkley: a truly major national scandal http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/11893698/Hinkley-a-truly-major-national-scandal.html The new nuclear power station will be the costliest engineering project Britain has ever embarked on, and a total waste of money. By Christopher Booker 26 Sep 2015
Although it was originally claimed that Hinkley Point C would cost only £10 billion and be “cooking Christmas dinners by 2017”, its completion date is now likely to be well after 2023, and its cost has spiralled so fast it will be way over the current figure of £24.5 billion. This would already make it more expensive than the Channel Tunnel and half the estimated cost of the vast, as-yet unapproved HS2 rail project.
But all we might get for this colossal sum would be 3.2 gigawatts of heavily subsidised “low-carbon” electricity, when the latest £1 billion gas-fired power station at Pembroke can already provide 2GW of unsubsidised power at half the price and at less than a 20th of the capital cost. Furthermore, the two obsolete European Pressurised Reactors the French firm EDF plans to install in Somerset have so many design problems that those it is already building in France and Finland have massively overrun on cost and time, while a modern nuclear plant built by South Koreans in Qatar is completed on time and at a fraction of the cost.
Everything about Hinkley Point indicates that it is as absurd a project as any government has ever fallen for. Yet when Channel 4 News reported the story on Monday, Jon Snow could think of no one better to interview on it than that great energy expert Vivienne Westwood, the dress designer, who could only repeat that “renewables” are getting “ever cheaper”, while subsidies to fossil fuels (non-existent) are rising ever higher.
At least when John Humphrys interviewed the Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd, that morning on the Today programme, he began by gabbling some of the more obvious objections to Hinkley. But he then gave Rudd a free run to babble about how thankful we should be to the Chinese and the French for helping to give us “low-carbon energy security”. Please, guys, we know you are besotted with climate change and “low-carbon” energy. But even in your own terms, can you not recognise a truly massive national scandal when it is staring you in the face?
The Reopening Of Nahara Fukushima, What The Press Failed To Mention, Simply Info September 9th, 2015 The press has widely reported the reopening of Nahara as the government uses it as a PR tool. Much of the reporting focused on issues such as the lack of stores, services or schools. This is a distraction from the very real pressing concern of the radiation levels and uncertain status of the town’s decontamination efforts.
Nahara has been plagued with problems and high radiation levels yet the government has characterized the town as being “safe”. Nahara was the site of Fukushima Daiichi debris findings in 2013. ……..
Asahi Shimbun discovered illegal practices were being used in the decontamination work being done in Nahara in 2013. Nahara currently houses large stockpiles of radioactive soil and debris as seen in this photo. The town is part of the long term consolidated storage plan where contaminated soil from around Japan is being collected and stored near Fukushima Daiichi.
Nahara’s city water supply was found to have 18,700 bq/kg of cesium in the soil in the bottom of the reservoir. In May of 2014 Nahara officials demanded that the central government decontaminate Nahara to pre-disaster levels. Nothing further was reported on this to show any response to these requests………
Soil samples in Nahara were found as high as:
52500 bq/kg cesium 137 & 134 combined
34790 bq/kg cesium 137 & 134 combined
26480 bq/kg cesium 137 & 134 combined……..http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?p=15023
In Muller’s previous presentations on his YouTube show Veritasium, he has consistently confused the
naturally occurring radioactive potassium K, with the nuclear fission produced radioactive isotopes…..Muller seems to have no understanding of the way in which bananas are used in the body
What Muller and Thomas are doing is following the script from the tobacco and asbestos industries.
This documentary “Uranium – twisting the Dragon’s Tail” is just Series One. I would love to know who helped to fund Gene Pool Productions for PBS and SBS to produce this. I’m betting that Series Two will follow before long, with a glossy and positive story about Generation IV nuclear reactors.
The half lie of the Dragon’s Tail. Online opinion, By Noel Wauchope Thursday, 27 August 2015 The documentary “Uranium – Twisting the Dragon’s Tail” is the latest glossy and highly sophisticated soft sell for the nuclear industry. It’s also, if you look at it closely, rather confusing.
I will start from the end, because that’s where the main message of this film comes out clearly “Just imagine a world where reactors can produce immense amounts of clean, safe, energy. There is no such thing as a future without uranium.” These final words are said against a background of soaring celestial choirs.
This seems to be the formula now, in nuclear promotion. The 2013 propaganda film “Pandora’s Promise” carried the same positive message – an ever rocketing energy demand to be met by ever increasing, indeed limitless, electrical energy provided by new nuclear reactors.
But, like ‘Pandora’s Promise’, this new documentary devotes the first two thirds of its series to discussing the negative aspects of the nuclear industry. Episode One covers its history, ill effects of radiation, the atomic bomb and its use. Episode Two continues this, with a sympathetic attitude to Australian Aboriginal concerns.
Unlike “Pandora’s Promise” this film does not denigrate anti-nuclear activists, and there is no attempt to ridicule Dr Helen Caldicott, as “Pandora’s Promise” did.
Indeed, the first two episodes are beautifully clear and accurate, as well as entertaining. Really, I couldn’t criticise them.
With the final episode – that’s when the message kicks in, and also when it gets confusing…….
Muller consistently mixes up “natural” radiation with ionising radiation from nuclear fission. He talks about background radiation as “natural”. There’s no mention of the increased ionising radiation in the biosphere as a result of the atomic bomb testing in the 1950s and 60s.
In Muller’s previous presentations on his YouTube show Veritasium, he has consistently confused the naturally occurring radioactive potassium K, with the nuclear fission produced radioactive isotopes, such as caesium 137 and strontium 90. As part of this confusion he constantly uses bananas as a comparison https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRL7o2kPqw0.
Cesium-137 is 12 million times more radioactive than potassium-40. Another highly-radioactive fission product, strontium-90, releases almost 20 million times more radiation per unit mass than does potassium-40. Muller seems to have no understanding of the way in which bananas are used in the body. The human species has had thousands of years of experience with bananas and other foods containing potassium 40 (K40). We have a natural trace level of K40 in our bodies. When we eat bananas, our bodies excrete the extra cesium, so by the natural process of homeostasis, our K40 level remains the same. This is not the case with the very recently created radioactive isotopes from nuclear fission; they remain….., there is absolutely no mention of the effects of internal emitters of radiation – that is, the radioactive isotopes breathed in or ingested, that can sit in a body’s organs for years, decades, emitting high dose gamma radiation..
Moving on to the Fukushima nuclear accident, we are told that the psychological effects are the serious ones. What a great piece of spin this is! Of course the psychological effects are extremely serious. Wouldn’t you be worried, if you were a pregnant woman, or if you feared that your child might later get leukaemia, because you decided to return to a radioactive environment? It is the reality of increased risk of fatal illness that accentuates the other disastrous consequences of that accident.
Prof Thomas assures us “The most important studies will be those on the mental effects”. In the context of this documentary, that just makes me envisage more documentaries like this one – with more spin about how we mustn’t worry about ionising radiation…….
The documentary appeared in Australia at a very convenient time for the South Australian Royal Commission. Dr Muller often covers his back with remarks about nuclear weapons “the most savage thing that man has ever built” and like his “feeling that renewables are going so fast – perhaps we can use alternatives”. But ultimately, his is a message of confidence in nuclear power. He says “Every year uranium saves more lives than it has ever destroyed” Really? Where are the facts to back up these kinds of statements? And all is spoken with guru like solemnity, and the backing of soaring holy choral music……..
What Muller and Thomas are doing is following the script from the tobacco and asbestos industries. They know full well that the toll of cancers, heart conditions, birth defects, from persistent exposure to ionising radiation will not become apparent for decades. They would have us believe that it will be impossible to establish ionising radiation as the cause of this toll of suffering and death…….
We are living in a strange time, where science is valued if it brings a benefit to corporations. Dr Derek Muller and Professor Geraldine Thomas are comfortably ensconced in that world. But there must be some scientists out there who are like Sir Richard Doll, and whose work is motivated by the public good.
And we desperately need those scientists.
This documentary “Uranium – Twisting the Dragon’s Tail” is just Series One. I would love to know who helped to fund Gene Pool Productions for PBS and SBS to produce this. I’m betting that Series Two will follow before long, with a glossy and positive story about Generation IV nuclear reactors. http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=17624
China’s censors crack down on online chatter about the Tianjin explosions, Shanghaiist.com, 16 Aug 15 Aside from some wind-related misinformation leaking through, China’s censors have managed to maintain that tight control of the Chinese internet we have come to expect following disasters like the Tianjin explosions, liberally expunging thousands upon thousands of “dangerous” tweets.
Many Weibo posters have claimed that their posts on the disaster have “disappeared”. With just two days gone by since the blast and so little reliable information available, it is hard to discern if China’s PR team are simply deleting inaccurate and potentially harmful rumors—like that pollutants from the explosions will be blown to Beijing—or are harmonizing potentially inconvenient truths.
The top 10 most censored terms on Free Weibo, which captures all messages censored or deleted on the social media platform, are almost entirely made up of some combination of “Tianjin” and “explosion.”……..
China Digital Times has published Chinese media directives about how best to report/bury the disaster: “Remove news and images from the explosions from headlines.” Reporters are also forbidden to write posts about the explosions on their personal Weibo and WeChat accounts.
However, some conversations are still allowed to go on…….http://shanghaiist.com/2015/08/14/chinas-censors-crack-down-online-chatter-tianjin-explosion.php
The spectre of the new nuclear renaissance
Al’Khalili then went on to give every impression that high level nuclear waste can be safely stored using the process of ‘vitrification’, that is, turning it in glass, and so binding the waste safely into a permanent, impermeable matrix.
What he failed to mention is that the glass is by no means permanent and durable storage medium for “thousands of generations” as the glass is liable to break down – and that the problem of long term disposal of these wastes remains unsolved. For example, asR C Ewing and colleagues wrote in 1995 in the journal Progress in Nuclear Energy,
“the post-disposal radiation damage to waste form glasses and crystalline ceramics is significant. The cumulative α-decay doses which are projected for nuclear waste glasses … are well within the range for which important changes in the physical and chemical properties may occur, e.g. the transition from the crystalline-to-aperiodic state in ceramics.”
of_omission.html Dr David Lowry 12th August 2015
For one of these programmes the BBC commissioned Baghdad-born Professor Jameel ‘Jim’ Al-Khalili, theoretical physicist and Chair in the Public Engagement in Science from the University of Surrey, to research and present one programme called ‘Britain’s Nuclear Secrets: Inside Sellafield‘.
As a regular BBC broadcaster, hosting the long-running The Life Scientific on Radio 4, and maker of several science television programmes on television, including on quantum physics and the history of electricity, he was eminently qualified to make this programme.
However the programme was highly misleading thanks to major omissions, concealing the severity of accidents, and how the UK’s entire ‘civilian’ nuclear programme was subverted into producing military plutonium that fed into the Sellafield bomb factory. Continue reading
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