Ten Years Later
September 11, 2011
No Nukes Action Committee
Ten Years ago, the twenty-first century opened up with the big lie known as 9/11, followed by a barrage of lesser lies—WMD's, links betweeen Iraq and Al Qaeda, torture and rendition—with disastrous connsequences worldwide.
Ten years later, the events of 3/11 this year will go down in history as the second big lie of this century, which is called Fukushima, the big lie being that nuclear power is safe and controllable, a lie that has been festering since the dawn of the nuclear age.
The events of March 11—the earthquake, tsunami and subsequent meltdowns and explosiions at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power complex have likewise led to the spinning off of a web of lies by the nuclear industry and the politicians they own: lying about the severity of the damage to the plant, lying about the conditions of the plant before the accident, lying about the levels of radiation contamination in the countryside surrounding the plant, leading to the exposure of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people to dangerous levels of radiation .
CHILDREN IN NEARBY SCHOOLS WEAR DOSIMETERS AND MASKS TO SCHOOL, CAN'T PLAY OUTSIDE AND ARE FED CONTAMINATED LOCAL FOOD.
THIS IS REAL.
OUT OF A THOUSAND CHILDREN TESTED IN ONE STUDY IN fUKUSHIMA, HALF TESTED POSITIVE FOR HIGH LEVELS OF RADIOACTIVE IODINE IN THEIR THYROID.
Before the nuclear meltdown, the region was one of the most productive agricultural areas of Japan, growing rice, beef, fruits, and vegetables and one of Japan's top fisheries in a country that eats a lot of fish.
Gone. No more. Radiation poisoning has destroyed the entire agriculture and fishing industry there for many years to come, maybe forever. All those jobs, that way of life, gone. For what? For the lie of nuclear power, god damn it.
Let me warn you, here and now. They say they have it under control. What have you heard in the last few weeks about Fukushima? Nothing! But I and others who are paying attention and receiving daily reports are here to tell you it's not okay, it's far from under control. Those plants are melting down and releasing huge amounts of radiation constantly, every second, every minute of every day and they can't stop it. Where is that radiation going? In the ocean and in the air and into the soil of the surrounding area. They have built a tent around one plant to contain the radiation so workers can get near it. But the radiation and gases and heat build up inside that tent and have to be vented, so they're vented in a big smokestack high into the air, away from the plant, but then the radiation becomes airborne. And they're burning radioactive debris because there's so much of it they can't store it all. Once again the radioactive particles are released up the smokestack and fall wherever the weather takes them, including here in California.
As Sarah Palin says, I can see Japan from here—right over there acrosss that ocean, with very little between us. San Francisco is the same latitude as Tokyo. If my arm was a little longer, I could reach across there and shake hands with my fellow workers and with the brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews and good old friends of my dear wife Akiyo.
Take a breath. Today, like every day, all day, I'm breathing in air that has come from that direction, from the West, from over the Pacific Ocean. Breathing it in and out. Some of it is radiated air, that has already been well documented, carried with the jet stream, mixed and dispersed and combined and brought down here to you and me, illustrating our interdependence and connectedness with the web of all humanity. We breathe the same air. I am Fukushima. You are Fukushima. We are one. Their air is our air, their danger is our danger, their pain our pain. Their future is our future; we have a shared destiny. Their lessons are our lessons. Therefore, the wisdom and understanding that they've gained through this disaster can provide an awakening for us as well.
Thanks to the terrible tragedy at Fukushima, the people of Japan have seen through the big lie of big science, and now understand that they have been lied to over and over again by their government and by the nuclear industry. Geiger counters are in the hands of organized people so they can see for themselves where the levels of radiation are dangerously high, and publish their results online. The industry, the government and a compliant press no longer have a monopoly on information. With the facts out, the people can move. Look at Germany, closing down all its nuclear plants. And Italy and Switzerland, the states of Bengal and Tamil Nadu in India and Vermont and New York in the United States, saying no to the dangers of nuclear power.
Here in California, we can and I believe we will close down Diablo Canyon and San Onofre. They are, just like their cousins across the water in Fukushima, old reactors located on earthquake faults at the edge of the ocean and are accumulating spent radioactive fuel in dangerous pools with nowhere to send it, waiting for a disaster. They say it can't happen here, but they said it couldn't happen there either, and it did.
AND IF IT DOES HAPPEN HERE? IMAGINE IF ALL THE FARMLAND IN CALIFORNIA WERE IRRADIATED LIKE FUKUSHIMA. If it was your children and grandchildren exposed day after day to mounting levels of radioactive poison with our government telling us over and over it's okay when we know god damn well that it isn't okay and that people will die of cancer prematurely as a result.
Right now, there's a statewide campaign gearing up to close those two dangerous monster facilities. This is a battle we can win, this is something the younger generation can be proud of, a viable way to express the outrage we have over the whole damn system, a place we can hold the line. The nuclear power industry is more vulnerable right now than it has ever been in my lifetime. A little bit of effort on our parts and we can give our children and grandchildren the amazing gift of a nuclear-free California. Please pay attention and get involved. Thank you.
Ruel Bernard and his wife, Akiyo