Thursday, March 24, 2011

Meltdown with The Enviro Show



Greetings Earthlings. On Tuesday it's day 18 of the Fukushima Daiichi nuke disaster and a day after the 32nd anniversary of the Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown. Why are we boiling water with deadly radioactive material we don't know how to dispose? This is the real March Madness, yes? Former Valley resident and nuclear activist,Harvey Wasserman calls in with updates and Citizens Awareness Network's Deb Katz returns to connect the dots to Vermont Yankee. D.O. waxes poetic with his take on Pluto Rising and we report back on the recent Vermont Yankee action in our E-Valley-uation segment. Time permitting we'll also have a peak into The Enviro Show Echo Chamber and over at the Fool-on-the-Hill, but first it's time for...Revenge of the Critters! Whale commandeers yacht, demands passage to new planet! (OK, so we lied about that last part).

"Shut 'em Down" means it's time for another E-Valley-uation: was last week's anti-nuke vigil at Vermont Yankee effective? When will the state shut it down? Post your thoughts on the blog.



This week's Fool-on-the-Hill is Congressman Ron Paul,(Repugnican,TX), who seems to feel that much of the reaction to the nuclear power crisis in Japan is "overblown". Paul stated: "Nuclear power is very dangerous, but it is also the safest form of energy we have.” Say what?? Maybe Ron worships the Invisible Hand of the Free Market. That might explain his....er..incongruity? Hey Ron! Would you like salt with that meltdown?



D.O. is all freaked out about plutonium these days. Just because it's THE most toxic substance known to the human race and may be escaping into the atmosphere from Japan, why get all worked up about it?? Anyway, he does the spoken word on it and notes on his blog that sensors inside Daiichi reactors are not working, but censors outside work just fine!



In the Enviro Show Echo Chamber we bring you a Blog Bonus: Vermont Yankee license renewal? No way! Seabrooke renewal? HA!. So, why is no one talking about how bad Fukushima could be? Also this: Beyond Nuclear asks YOU to act now, but just signing a petition is not enough. Everyone needs to get active. Remember the old saw: "Better active today than radioactive tomorrow". It looks like Physicians for Social Responsibility is active: they just called for a nationwide moratorium on "new nuclear reactors in the United States and a suspension of operations at the nuclear reactors with a similar design as those involved in the disaster in Japan". And, get this: Germany set to abandon nuclear energy. Macht den Menschen!



Here's our Enviro Show nuclear link fest featuring the sites we've been pretty much glued to these past few weeks. First is our favorite nuclear physicist's site Michio Kaku's Big Think. Next we've linked above to our friends at Beyond Nuclear. Also we often check in with The Bulletin of Atom Scientists Daily Update from Japan as well as The Radiation Network's National Radiation Map, showing radiation levels across the U.S. from non-governmental sources. Finally, if you want to know where the prevailing winds are in any given day you can go to End Times Report (yes, it's a creepy name, but hey! these are creepy times, no?).



Following our interviews with Harvey & Deb it's on to the Bus Stop Billboard:

Friday, April 1, 2011 at 7:00 pm. The Committee for the Leverett Peace Commission sponsors a Community Talk, “Fear or Consciousness: Dare We Change?” with Penny Gill, Professor of Politics, Dean of the College at Mount Holyoke at Leverett Town Hall. In her talk, Penny will address some of the obstacles we have inherited from the post-industrial capitalist structures of our world. These barriers inhibit our confidence in our ability to create the changes we all so long for - a peaceful world, a sustainable economy, and stable climate. Call: (413)367-9520

Sunday, April 3, 7:00-9:00 p.m. “An Evening with Starhawk in Celebration of the Heart and Soul of the Five Rivers Community”. Look for booksigning following the talk. Admission: sliding scale. Montague Grange, Main Street, Village of Montague, Massachusetts. For more information, contact Joshua: jjwaffles[at]juno.com or 520-358-1520

April 4, 2011, a day to stand in solidarity with working people in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and dozens of other states where well-funded, right-wing corporate politicians are trying to take away the rights Dr. King gave his life for. It’s a day to show movement. A day to be creative, but clear: We Are One! Call: (413)732-7970

Tuesday, April 5, 6:30 PM plan to attend the public hearing at Duggan Middle School, 1015 Wilbraham Road, where the state will present its draft air permit for the PRE biomass incinerator proposed for Page Boulevard in Springfield. This is the final permit the developers need before they can put a shovel in the ground. Please prepare to speak, submit written comments or just come and show support with your presence which really does matter! Call 455-3829 or 734-4948.

Friday, April 8th. PENTAGON ACTION FOR PEACE “DISARMAGEDDON”. Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia Metro entrance Arlington, VA. Local contact: (413)522-7505

Saturday, April 9, 2011, 12:00 pm "Bring the Troops Home Now!" Union Sq. to Foley Sq./ Broadway and 14th St. New York, NY. Call: 518-227-6947

Tuesday, April 12, 2011, 6-8pm. Bi-monthly meeting of the Springfield-Area Sustainable Energy Association. Topic: Organic Landcare. Hear about a how to care for your lawn and garden using anon pesticide, petro chemical fertilizer approach. Help learn how you can stop the pollution of our waterways and still have a healthy vibrant green space. Western New England College (WNEC), Sleith Hall, Rm S101, 1215 Wilbraham Rd, Springfield. Call: (413) 883-3144




OK then, next time we get back to that canceled on acount a' snow show: "Shad for a Brighter Future" with Karl Meyer. Until then remember: Listen to your Mother!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Japanese nuke disaster - a media meltdown too!


Ever since it began, the nuclear diaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in northern Japan has also proved to be a media disaster. Coverage of the event has been all over the map and continues to confuse people at a time where precise information is most important. A good part of the reason for this confusion seems to come from Japan itself, where "damage repair" is not simply confined to the reactor site, but to the boardroom and official press briefings as well. It has been reported that Tokyo Electric Power Company, the operator of the complex, has a history of of falsified safety reports, fatal accidents and underestimated earthquake risk. If this is the case, why should such dishonesty change now when the company faces its biggest challenge ever? Indeed, the Japanese government itself has been accused of a cover-up. Does this remind us of something? Making matters worse, international agencies that are supposed to protect and inform us in times of a nuclear crisis apparently have a hidden agenda. In the U.S. there has always been problems with the ‘politicization’ of nuclear energy.



Given all that disinformation and media manipulation it's no surprise that U.S. reports of the nuclear disaster and its global effects are replete with mixed messages. However, that situation is made even worse by news or informational organizations that have their own corporate agendas. On one end of the spectrum are outright propaganda outfits like Faux "News" (Fox News) who even promote radiation! Less overt, but seemingly just as pro-corporate, National Public Radio (NPR) has a history of nuclear industry bias and NBC is actually owned in-part by nuclear reactor maker GE. These outlets often make use of questionable information from nuclear industry lobbying groups, passing it off as news. But such manufactured media is not limited to the United States. Public relations hacks and commentators in Australia, the UK, and elsewhere are engaged in the effort as well.



Add to all this the propensity for most all media in this day and age to suffer from a highly limited attention span. Always on the lookout for the next new thing, editors and reporters may be some of the most sensation-driven professionals among us. "If it bleeds it leads" is the infamous tagline associated mainly with the mainstream media, but that sort of voyeurism is partly derived from human nature. The media simply makes an art of it. Now, we see the multiple meltdowns in Japan, not to mention the thousands who died in the earthquake and tsunami, fall from the headlines or be pushed aside by the war in Libya. The fact of the matter is: the Fukushima meltdowns have the potential to be the WORST NUCLEAR CRISIS EVER. The media needs to stay on the case.



So, where does one go to get the actual facts? Didn't we ask that same question last year during the BP oil disaster in the Gulf? Wasn't there just as much disinformation and spin coming from government and industry? Given the dynamics of the so-called "Information Age", it is left up to us to seek out a wide range of information on our own and decide for ourselves what is relevant and factual. I guess that's the same as it ever was, only there's more of it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Real Ides of March Enviro Show




Greetings Earthlings. The Earth has shifted on its' axis, Japan is not where it used to be, and nukes are melting down. The New York Times reported this morning at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station "an explosion damaged the vessel containing the nuclear core at one reactor and a fire at another [possibly in the spent fuel pool] spewed large amounts of radioactive material into the air". Radioactive fallout anyone? Who is running the show in Japan anyway? When will it get here? We think that qualifies for the Ides of March, no? The sins of Old King Coal was to be the theme of this show but life got in the way. Deb Katz from the Citizen Awareness Network calls-in with the latest on nuclear meltdown, radioactive exposure, official obfuscation and, of course, cover-ups. The Fukishima Nuclear Power Plant is a General Electric (GE) Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) with a Mark 1 containment, the same type of creaky old nuke as Vermont Yankee. Did we mention that the Nuclear Recommendation...err...Regulatory Commission just granted VY another 20 year opportunity to meltdown right here in the Valley? In any case, we'll truly have a full house 'cuz: Jeff Biggers, activist and author of Reckoning at Eagle Creek also calls in from Coal Country while here in the not-so-large studio Peter Vickery joins D.O., Glen & Jean to tie-in that funky old Mt. Tom coal burner looming over the Valley. Peter has been working with Mass Sierra Club in an effort to get Mt. Tom to switch to cleaner burning natural gas. Of course gas drilling comes with its' own host of ills and in our Enviro Show perfect world we'd rather see corporados in treadmills producing power, but hey, it's not exactly the 19th century, right? If time allows we'll tumble into some of our usual segments like The Enviro Show Echo Chamber, the Quote of the Week, Fool-on-the-Hill and whatever, but first it's time for.....Revenge of the Critters! Yellow sack spiders driving people crazy!



Our Fool-on-the-Hill this week is Rep. John Shimkus, Repugnican chair of the House Subcommittee on Environment and Economy who actually believes the climate crisis exists but that there's no reason to worry, since God promised Noah after the great flood that he wouldn't deluge the world again. "I do believe in the Bible as the final word of God," he said. "And I do believe that God said the Earth would not be destroyed by a flood." Whew! That was a close one.




Our Enviro Show Quote of the Week is way on theme: "Football is a game designed to keep coal miners off the streets". - Jimmy Breslin



In The Enviro Show Echo Chamber we first go to Monday's Democracy Now! to hear from the Valley's own Harvey Wasserman. Also we checkout the biomess over in the UK where some would have you think biomass incineration as an answer to the ills of burning coal for power. And since coal is our focus here, let's hear out Bill McKibben on coal exports. Also, Chris Hedges takes the long view regarding empires and the environment. Is there hope that enviros will get it together and have the kind of mass action we've been talking about for years now? Rainforest Action Network, 350.org and others FINALLY take the plunge! And this: March on Blair Mountain! Witch side are you on? (sorry). A march to preserve Blair Mountain, abolish mountaintop removal in Appalachia, strengthen labor rights, and invest in sustainable job creation for all Appalachian communities, June 6 to 11. Some good news here: the proposed biomass incinerator for Pownal, VT just over the border has been put on hold. Finally this: a list of Koch Industry products to boycott.



"Just a Little Meltdown" by Tom Neilson takes us to our interviews. Then it's on to the Bus Stop Billboard:


Saturday, March 19th, 10:30am-12pm, Improving Access to Free Energy Efficiency Services through MassSAVE, Alliance to Develop Power, 130 Union Street, Springfield. Contact: Boone Shear at (413)739-7233

Saturday March 19 from 9 AM – 10PM. Equinox and the Making of a Sacred Landscape. At the University of the Wild’s Center, Earthlands There is a deposit for Saturday’s programs, please make reservations to assure your place and meal, at office@earthlands.org

Monday evening, March 21, at 7:00 pm, "COUTDOWN TO CLOSURE and a Green, Nuclear-Free Future" will take place on at the Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main St. in downtown Brattleboro. March 21 is exactly one year before the scheduled shutdown of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. All are welcome. Call: (413) 624-8858

March 22, 2011 is World Water Day. Declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993.

Friday, April 1, 2011 at 7:00 pm. The Committee for the Leverett Peace Commission sponsors a Community Talk, “Fear or Consciousness: Dare We Change?” with Penny Gill, Professor of Politics, Dean of the College at Mount Holyoke at Leverett Town Hall. In her talk, Penny will address some of the obstacles we have inherited from the post-industrial capitalist structures of our world. These barriers inhibit our confidence in our ability to create the changes we all so long for - a peaceful world, a sustainable economy, and stable climate. Call: (413)367-9520

April 4, 2011, a day to stand in solidarity with working people in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and dozens of other states where well-funded, right-wing corporate politicians are trying to take away the rights Dr. King gave his life for. It’s a day to show movement. A day to be creative, but clear: We Are One! Call: (413)732-7970

Tuesday, April 5, 6:30 PM plan to attend the public hearing at Duggan Middle School, 1015 Wilbraham Road, where the state will present its draft air permit for the PRE biomass incinerator proposed for Page Boulevard in Springfield. This is the final permit the developers need before they can put a shovel in the ground. Please prepare to speak, submit written comments or just come and show support with your presence which really does matter! Call 455-3829 or 734-4948.

Friday, April 8th. PENTAGON ACTION FOR PEACE “DISARMAGEDDON”. Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia Metro entrance Arlington, VA. Local contact: (413)522-7505

Next time: Amherst's proposed Gateway Project with Mary Wentworth, Until then remember: Listen to your Mother!