Thursday, March 17, 2011

And Now, Blizzards?

Yes, in Northern Japan. It this point, it's hardly an inconvenience compared to everything else, another little reminder that "loving Mother Gaea" will kill us dead without a blink ('cos a planet is just a big rock, the biosphere little more than an organic smear on the surface. Grow up!)

Otherhandedly, the latest reactor news from a source I trust (also here) is guardedly optimistic, saying helicopter water-spraying had started at Fukushima Daiichi reactor 3, refuting U.S. reports that the problematic spent fuel storage pool at #4 was empty of water and reporting that radiation levels measured at the gate of the plant were, at last, declining. (Down the road at Fukushima Daini, it appears that shut-down went as planned; but there's very few places you'll hear about that.)

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department (advised by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission) has suggested U.S. citizens stay more than twice as far away from the power plant as Japan's told their own citizens. They're recommending Americans leave the country and they're not being especially diplomatic about it, either; based on very pessimistic reports from our own NRC, State cites radiation concerns as the reason. Oh, that'll help intergovernmental relations!

Speaking of fallacies of reification (see first para.), why is it hypothetical and long-term risks keep crowding real, immediate troubles off the front page here in the States? Is it that much easier to emote over possibly increased cancer rates than dig up a spare dime so somebody's baby can get enough milk tomorrow?


Stranger said...

Take time to re-read The Prince. The media's emphasis on the trivial, as in a few tens of thousands of people getting the equivalent of a handful of brazil nuts in extra radiation, is intended to distract the people from news that would outrage most with something short of a foreign war.

Distract from what? Something like a 3% increase in food prices in one month; energy prices through the roof; savings progressively devalued through "print money" inflation, the increasingly cold climate that will severely limit food production and keep the cycle going. Just a few things like that.


Phillip said...

Panicking about the theoretical increase in cancer in years to come lets them run around waving their hands in the air in a fashion approaching headless avians, where dragging out the wallet and helping to feed, clothe, and warm the current victims requires actual sacrifice and facing an immediate problem.

That's a real downer, dude... and it's, like, work man.

Anonymous said...

Because talking about people being cold and hungry and miserable in Japan doesn't do a thing to advance us toward our sacred goal of getting all of our electrical power from green sources by 2016, ya silly!


With regard to the blizzard in northern Japan, I wonder if there were any predictions that Japan, like Britain, would never see snow again due to global warming?

Phillip said...

Okay, that's weird... I had put < hippie > tags in that comment on the second paragraph, but they didn't show up. Guess it thought it was real formatting that it wasn't able to handle.

Anonymous said...

It is simply evidence that the legacy media is fading into the past for a reason. (Not quickly enough, though.)


Drang said...

Re: Snow in Northern Japan--pretty sure they expect to continue getting enough snow in northern japan to continue having a Snow and Ice Festival in Sapporo. Granted this is late for that. (Late January, early February as I recall; it was 15+ years ago.)

Vertex Standard/Yaesu has shut down production. They say all employees and their families are accounted for, and well, but under the circumstances...

Anonymous said...

And the comparisons to Three Mile Island, ignoring the fact that no one died or was badly injured.
Had friends living nearby, and all they kept asking was for the press to go home - and shut up!