Friday, May 24, 2019

Japan and South Korea Battle Over (Fukushima-Induced) Seafood Risks

After the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, South Korea imposed import restrictions on Japanese seafood. Japan took South Korea to the World Trade Organization, which found in favor of Korea's sovereignty over suspected food risks.

Japan responded by asking the World Trade Organization to CHANGE its dispute resolution process:
Seoul urged Tokyo to accept the World Trade Organization's ruling in favor of Korea's import restrictions on Japanese seafood. (2019, May 24). Arirang., May 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's trade minister has urged Japan to accept the World Trade Organization's (WTO) decision that upheld Seoul's import restrictions on Japanese seafood following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Seoul's trade ministry said Friday. 

Japan asks WTO to reform dispute settlement. (2019, May 22). NHK. Available Foreign Minister Taro Kono has asked the World Trade Organization to improve its dispute settlement system. This comes in the wake of a WTO ruling against Japan's claim opposing South Korea's import restrictions on Japanese fishery products.
I strongly agree that every nation has the right to impose import restrictions when human and/or environmental risks are suspected.

The right to protect one's population and ecology are foundational to sovereignty, while precautionary risk management is OPTIMAL for protecting life (see UN definition here).

NUCLEAR is dirty and risky - see what a former nuclear regulator has to say about nuclear here. 

Contaminated fish aren't restricted to Japan. We produce them here in the US and every other nuclear nation does as well.  But we shouldn't have to eat them, particularly when their levels of contamination are demonstrably elevated.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Relevant News: Societal Elites Are Over-Confident

There is a significant body of scholarship demonstrating that experts typically are over-confident regarding their knowledge. 

New research shows that people who are from higher socio-economic classes are more likely to be over-confident but, tragically for us all, their over-confidence is too often interpreted as competence by the rest of us:
Murphy, Heather. (2019, May ).Why High-Class People Get Away With Incompetence. The New York Times,
In several experiments, they [researchers] found that people who came from a higher social class were more likely to have an inflated sense of their skills — even when tests proved that they were average. This unmerited overconfidence, they found, was interpreted by strangers as competence. The findings highlight yet another way that family wealth and parents’ education — two of a number of factors used to assess social class in the study — affect a person’s experience as they move through the world.

“With this research, we now have reason to think that coming from a higher social class confers yet another advantage,” said Jessica A. Kennedy, a professor of management at Vanderbilt University, who was not involved in the study….

“But what they do very consistently show is that social class is tied to overconfidence,” she said. Other studies have also shown that people who are overconfident are perceived as more competent.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Tech Downgrades Humanity - According to Tech's "Time Well Spent" Founder

Tristan Harris, described as the "conscience" of the tech industry for his critique of how social media promotes narcissism, was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as stating:
"As we've been upgrading machines, we've been downgrading humanity" (cited in Morris, B. 2019, May 24, WSJ p. B4)

Mr. Harris reportedly wants tech to develop more understanding of impacts on the brain in order to develop "products that strengthen society instead of pulling it apart" (cited in Morris).

I guess the question is what counts as "strengthening" society rather than pulling it apart?

I am all for technology that optimizes individual and collective well-being and believe we have a long way to go in that direction but am also concerned about a tendency to label as dangerous any messaging that is regarded as "polarizing" (which implies that polarization unravels society).

The argument about filter bubbles, siloing, and polarization claims an unravelling of society as the effect of too much social media sharing and advocates increased (automated) censoring as the solution.

I doubt Mr. Harris is making that argument, but the idea that the problem with tech is "users" is gaining force, reinforcing the censorship solution frame, described by A. Rouvroy as algorithmic governmentality.

Wikileaks founder Julien Assange (2018) has decried this new algorithmic governmentality, arguing that “The future of humanity is the struggle between humans that control machines and machines that control humans. Between the democratization of communication and usurpation of communication by artificial intelligence.”

I like to keep Assange's quote front and center whenever the limits of social media get rehearsed.


Monday, May 13, 2019

How Label of "Propaganda" is Used by NYT to Denounce Real Uncertainties Regarding Biological Risks

In fact, the real "propaganda" here is the argument that 5G and radio waves generally pose NO biological risks at all -

NYT "Your 5G Phone Won’t Hurt You. But Russia Wants You to Think Otherwise."


Portsmouth3h ago
According to an article published last year in the Nation magazine about cell phones and 5G, "the World Health Organization classifies cell-phone radiation as a possible carcinogen." The article, "How Big Wireless Made Us Think That Cell Phones Are Safe: A Special Investigation" goes on to state that cautionary findings reported by the Wireless Technology Research project (WTR), "were replicated by numerous other scientists in the United States and around the world, leading the World Health Organization in 2011 to classify cell-phone radiation as a “possible” human carcinogen and the governments of Great Britain, France, and Israel to issue strong warnings on cell-phone use by children."

New York3h ago
"The National Agency ANFR of France recently released the cell phone SAR test data for 450 cell phones that measure 10-g SARs reducing by 10%–30% for each millimeter distal placement from the planar body phantom. Their data corroborate our findings that most cell phones will exceed the safety guidelines when held against the body by factors of 1.6–3.7 times for the European/ICNIRP standard or by factors as high as 11 if 1-g SAR values were to be measured as required by the U.S. FCC." This is an abstract from one of scores of studies that question RF safety claims. And readers should note, the last time I checked the French National Agency was not designated as a pawn of Vladimir Putin. But according to the Times if RT ran this story the science should be disregarded as Russian propaganda. So if you don't like the message, kill the messenger? What kind of journalism is that?

Chicago3h ago
(1) Observation: X-rays and Gamma rays lie at the highest end of frequency spectrum (2) Quote from NY times: "The truth is exactly the opposite, scientists say. The higher the radio frequency, the less it penetrates human skin, lowering exposure of the body’s internal organs, including the brain." From (1) and (2), should we infer that X-rays and Gamma rays are safe? Note that I am not claiming that 5G is unsafe but the utter lack of logical consistency with NY Times writing. Is RT really that worse than NY times?
Reply6 Recommend

An article about the influence of a foreign news channel in American should not result in reducing a legitimate inquiry and timely debate about the potential adverse impacts of a fast deployment of 5G technology. How many people know that the 1996 Telecommunication Act forbids environmental claims to be even raised? As a result, the question of safety got sidelined, research underfunded with not enough data to prove safety (please check US Senate Hearing 2/19/2019 on the future of 5G wireless communication for example). Has anyone read the warning sent by the Lancet scientific magazine on this? (Vol 2, Issue 12, Dec 01, 2018). These links challenge the assertion that "over the years, plenty of careful science has scrutinized wireless technology for potential health risks. Virtually all the data contradict the dire alarms". To go the opposite route, as the article does, not do good to your trustful readers. Pinning the concerns as a Russian hoax discourages from investigating further a very complex subject. Thank you for allowing my voice to be heard as well.
Reply10 Recommend

Nuclear News

Nuclear news today:

Amazing video of Dr. Kate Brown discussing the Chernobyl disaster (strangely I cannot insert the video here as the link cannot be found - weird)

Chernobyl: HBO series just started on Sky Atlantic:

As Reactors Shut in Massachusetts & Pennsylvania,
Nuke War Rages in Ohio & New York
By Harvey Wasserman, Reader Supported News

As the nuke power industry slumps toward oblivion, two huge reactors are shutting in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. The shutdowns are a body blow to atomic energy. The soaring costs of the decayed US reactor fleet have forced them to beg gerrymandered state legislatures for huge bailouts.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Happy Mothers Day as We Destroy the Conditions for Successful Reproduction

Many people discussed the Fukushima disaster at Enenews but some of the most insightful comments were posted by The Blue Light, who warned of unmitigated releases from Fukushima Daiichi:

The Blue Light. April 6, 2012 at 11:54 pm · Reply
As I pointed out in another thread several physicists and I worked out how much ceasium137 is contained in spent fuel at Fukushima. We took into account average burn up of the fuel and decay since the fuel was removed from the reactors and several other factors. 
The estimates for the amount of ceasium137 that has been released into the environment so far has been independently calculated to range from 10 to 60 kilograms. The spent fuel on site contains between 12500 to 16300 kilograms of ceasium137. A more accurate figure was impossible to calculate due to a lack of available data from TEPCO.

When all the other radionuclides are taken into account then life in places like Hawaii could become impossible, even a short term exposure could be fatal. This could also be true for any fallout hot spots in north america. Countries like the United kingdom, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Sweden which are connected to Japan by the northern jet stream would also be gravely effected.
Within a year, global background radiation levels would rise by as much as a factor of thirty.  This would truly be a global disaster.
The fires at the plant spreading the radiation were controlled but the ruined reactors continue to contaminate the ocean and the atmosphere, albeit at a reduced rate.

Japan is not the only place that is being contaminated:

Akio Matsumura (2019, April 30).When will Californians wake up to the Risk to Children from Nuclear Radiation? Dissident Voice,
...According to a radiation simulation map by the Centre d’Enseignement et de Recherche en Environnement Atmosphérique (CEREA), along with research by Professor Hiroaki Koide, of Kyoto University, radiation levels in the state of California seem to be higher than those of the city of Hokkaido in Japan. As it is understandable that scientists have not yet calculated the cumulative impact of radiation on the West Coast 40 years from now, we therefore need the International Assessment Team to analyze the current situation and to dedicate the best expertise and resources to plan both short- and long-term strategies. It must also be noted that prevailing winds carrying airborne radiation from Fukushima do not stop at the western U.S. coastline. Indeed, this is both a national and global issue
The US is actively pursuing its own Fukushima as it extends licensing for aging reactors, approves uprating of fuel that increases meltdown risks, and refuses to shut reactors in danger of imminent flooding from climate change.


Japan’s nuclear safety chief raps Tepco’s attitude on Fukushima No. 1 crisis, restarting other reactors. Kyodo/The Japan Times, July 10, 2017

The head of the Nuclear Regulation Authority told Tepco’s top management he questions their attitude toward decommissioning the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and the company’s ability to resume operating its other reactors.