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Kevin Shepheard

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Why are the Governments of the world communicating about, monitoring or acting on the radiation coming from the Fukushima area?

All over the news, radio, government websites and internet as a whole there is a rather curious silence about the, still very much occurring, escape of radioactive materials into the atmosphere from the Fukushima area.

When it comes to any other disaster the government, media, and people in general are usually quite quick to discern the danger and look for ways to be aware of its extent.

Yet, since the Fukushima disaster theres been no official statement about the matter of radioactive contamination eastward through the jet stream.

TED is a community of thinkers, activists, artists scientists and people of all experience. Let us band together, disregard this silent oath of ignorance and bring the matter to the forefront.

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  • Sep 21 2011: "not to mention here we probably get more radiation from yourdaily bannana then is coming from Fukishima. "

    Did you pull that sentence out of a banana?
    This is the exact type of ignorance I was speaking of disregarding once and for all.

    First nobody cared about lead, look where that went.

    More recently we have the flouride issue, still hardly paid any attention too even though people know full well the effect of ingesting flouride.

    What does it take for people to start caring about whats going into there bodys?

    If radiation coating the air of the entire planet ( Look up Michio Kaku's talk on this ) isn't enough, WHAT IS.

    Thats what I ask you.
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      Sep 21 2011: so you have some data that indicates you suffered more significant radiation from fukushima than a banana? show us.

      the actual fact is that fukushima is still a local event. 150km away, no effects can be felt. i'm sorry that you can't interpret data. when a journalist writes they detected radioactive iodine isotopes over europe for example, people freak out. the article also mentioned that the measured iodine level was some microbecquerels. but who cares about the number? there is RADIATION! everybody RUN!

      well, my thinking was a little different. i asked: how can there be such a unit in the first place? one becquerel is one decay per second. a microbecquerel is one decay in a million seconds. a million second is 11 days. how do you measure one freaking decay in 11 days?? turns out that they have some clever methods to actually carry that measurement out in a short timespan. science is truly magnificent.

      effects of a few microbecquerels of radiation? zip. nil. your own body creates zillion times more. you are more dangerous to your environment than this iodine fallout. and i don't mean the fearmongering, but your radioactivity.
  • Oct 3 2011: Chris Hedges, U.S.citizen, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, war correspondent, and theologian (ethics, practical theology, etc.) was recently asked, “ …how do you explain to someone…there is a news ‘blackout’?” His instructive response addresses something like the question Kevin Shepheard asked to start this dialogue. (see: 4:25 into Interview with Chris Hedges Part 2, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=io8RLacFjlo)

    Hedges said, “Because most Americans are passive consumers of information, and very few are proactive … internet is only useful if you are proactive … we are the most illusioned society on the planet … the vast majority of Americans live in fantasy about themselves, about who they are, about where we’re going. …we believe, courtesy of a vast system of propoganda, that we embody and promote virtues that the rest of the world should emulate.” Later in the interview he said, “ …economic equality rather than long debates with people who have embraced fantasy is what we should be working for and spending our time doing”. In response to a different later question Hedges also said, “… culturally, the systems of power have worked overtime, especially since 9-11, to make us afraid.”

    I agree with Hedges and I think if the media honestly reports the details of Fukushima and radioactive contamination eastward through the jet stream, those cultural power systems stand to lose much of the benefit their propoganda (such as atomic energy can peacefully, ecologically and cheaply supply our electricity) has won for them. More people might respond by working vigorously to rebel and then pursue that economic equality which Hedges and others promote rather than passively consume yet again the old “atoms for peace” propoganda .
  • Sep 26 2011: Tyler (Sep 16 2011) and Kevin, Hello! I’m grateful you each are expressing good health by vigorously participating in, as Kevin so well portrays our situation, “a dialog…free from pointless ignorance.”

    Kevin, RT is a controversial, publicly funded, television news network alternative to mainstream media showing frequent international news bulletins, similar to other 24 hour news television channels like BBC, Sky, CNN, etc., all alike in providing international news updates delivered through satellite and cable operators around the world. I think RT has done some high quality work covering the ongoing Fukushima-Daichii event. Like you, I wish we could easily find more news about the danger and ways to be aware of its extent.

    I recommend viewing and considering with an open mind two (2) videos entitled “Fukushima Like the TITANIC (Christopher Busby) p1 of 2” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUP9dYgCnGg and “…p2 of 2” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8w2QQ6B5w4.

    I also recommend re-reading President Eisenhower’s dire warning, “This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government.” He also addressed science-based threats later in his speech, “Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientifictechnological elite.” Eisenhower’s “…message of leave-taking and farewell…” is at http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu/~hst306/documents/indust.html .

    Debra and Krisztian, Thanks for your good-hearted efforts to help us learn in our situation.

    Please also read my reply to Tyler.
  • Sep 21 2011: Debra I appreciate your response, I only want to start a dialog and be free from pointless ignorance.
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    Sep 16 2011: HI Kevin, What an important question. I do not know the answer but it is something that we as citizens of the world should be monitoring and demanding answers for! Thanks for bringing us this question. I hope other TEDsters can fill us in.
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      Sep 21 2011: that's a kind of important remark, i'm not sure if intentional. so far, we trusted the governments to safeguard our nuclear plants (dams, chemical factories, etc). the result is disappointing. as you said "we, the citizens of the world" need to take over, and do this ourselves. i don't know how, but either this, or nothing.
  • Sep 16 2011: Well, first off, would you want to take responsibility for that kind of disaster? I thought not. theres japans reason. All the other countries are just trying to stop mass panic, not to mention here we probably get more radiation from yourdaily bannana then is coming from Fukishima. No real need to worry, unless you plan on visiting japan soon...
    • Sep 26 2011: Tyler, have you seen the Atmospheric dispersion of radionuclides from the Fukushima-Daichii nuclear power plant presented by CEREA, joint laboratory École des Ponts ParisTech and EdF R&D that includes a simulation of the numerical atmospheric chemistry and transport model results which should be seen as preliminary and are likely to be revised as new information become available? The Movie of the Fukushima-Daichii activity in the air (caesium-137, ground level) shows animation of the plumes from 3-12-11 to 4-6-11 but within 10 days, by 3-22-11, the case can be argued that the contamination is rightly interpreted as a northern hemispheric tragic event rather than a local or regional event about which there is “No real need to worry, unless you plan on visiting japan soon...” see: http://cerea.enpc.fr/en/fukushima.html .

      Tyler and Kevin, Christopher Busby is a scientist known for his theories about the negative health effects of very low-dose ionizing radiation who has been interviewed in recent Fukushima-Daichii event RT stories. Dr. Busby, European Committee on Radiation Risks Scientific Secretary, was interviewed in one of two (2) videos that are in the 8-17-11 RT story, Fukushima in meltdown before tsunami hit. see: http://rt.com/news/fukushima-doomed-reactor-plant/ . The military-industrial complex of which we were warned by U.S. President Eisenhower on Jan. 17, 1961 to beware has grown into a global machine. The machine is nuclear, military, economic and political. It is so committed to making nuclear energy and its military applications a massive, undifferentiated whole that it now has overwhelming inertia. So, it can easily manipulate corporate media empires like we have in the U.S., U.K., and elsewhere. Kevin, I believe those media empires simply refuse to report stories and promote “a dialog…free from pointless ignorance.” I disagree with Tyler that “countries are just trying to stop mass panic”.
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        Sep 26 2011: that machine is much more wind and solar today. no surprise, the first thing politicians did after the event is announcing cancellation of new nuclear plants and temporary or final shutdown of existing ones. this situation does not strike me as power groups pushing nuclear.

        effects of low dose radiation is non-measurable, it is demonstrated by numerous experiments. busby can try to get in newspapers all day long, it won't change the fact. it is easy to point out that non-measurable does not mean zero. but on the other hand, it does mean negligible. however, the effects of carbon dioxide can prove itself very measurable, so maybe our attention is at the wrong place.
        • Sep 28 2011: Hi Krisztian & again, thanks for your thoughts. The military-industrial complex global machine is a player addressed several times and ways by Mark Jacobson in his arguments within "Debate: Does the world need nuclear energy?" at debate times 10:42 through 10:48. From debate times 11:23 to 11:31 his hypothetical "Nuclear Terrorism or War" death rates overwhelm the othres by 27 000 to 1 500 per year for 30 years, an accumulated effect ( 810 000 deaths) that should not be minimalized.

          I agree with you, Krisztan, that Busby attempts to heighten his profile in news and professional forums. He is a political and journalistic as well as a scientific/engineering personality. Nonetheless, those who attack him often seem to have a self-serving dog in the fight. I think his notariety adds to the themes brought to the fore in ""Debate: Does the world need nuclear energy?"

          ttyl, Ernie