Tag Archives: health

Nuclear Energy = Kids with Tumors

Nuclear Energy is not pro life.

From Business Insider:

Of more than 38,000 children tested from the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan, 36 percent have abnormal growths – cysts or nodules – on their thyroids a year after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, as reported by ENENews.

The shocking numbers come from the thyroid examination section of the “Sixth Report of Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey,” published by Fukushima Radioactive Contamination Symptoms Research (FRCSR) and translated by the blog Fukushima Voice.

Shunichi Yamashita, M.D., president of the Japan Thyroid Association, sent a letter to members in January with guidelines for treating thyroid abnormalities. In 2001 Yamashita co-authored a study that found normal children in Nagasaki to have 0 percent nodules and 0.8 percent cysts.

The introduction of the letter, written by Fukushima Voice, states that the results in Fukushima show a “much faster progression compared to Chernobyl” as research done around Chernobyl showed the rate of thyroid nodules in children 5 to 10 years after the accident to be 1.74 percent.

In March 2011 a massive earthquake triggered a tsunami that led to series of nuclear meltdowns and releases of radioactive materials at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, leading to the largest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

The introduction of the letter notes that Australian pediatrician Helen Caldicott said that is”not at all normal for children to have thyroid nodules or cysts and that early appearance of thyroid abnormalities, less than one year, meant the Fukushima children received a very high dose of radiation.

No amount of convenience, comfort or efficiency is worth children getting tumors. Nuclear energy does not make sense for many reasons, but this story brings it down to a very tangible story in the course of one year. Kids that used to be healthy now have multiple tumors in their throat. People that used to be healthy are now suffering, not just with tumors, but other debilitating symptoms of radiation poisoning.
Then there’s the water. Stories like this one let us know that no one has a handle on how to manage this nuclear disaster or control its impact on our natural resources. Ground water is involved, the ocean becomes an exhaust valve. The people are expected to trust TEPCO – a company that has been lying about the severity of the Fukushima Daiichi Disaster.  Radioactive waste is like the ultimate case of cooties that you can’t get rid of and infects everything it touches. Nuclear energy facilities are permanent propositions and natural disaster circumstances are only a matter of time for each and every one of them. We can’t look to the future generation and honestly say it is safe. We should be trying to solve the nuclear waste problem we have already created.
The question of our time is: how much is energy today worth? Is it worth life tomorrow? Is it worth future generations?
It is costing humankind dearly.
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The Epidemic of Capitalism

Sick seems to be the theme lately. Santorum read a speech on keeping the church and state separated which, “made him want to throw up” – which might make some of the rest of us feel queasy. Well, I am truly getting sick of pointing out why Rick Santorum keeps getting it wrong about keeping the church and the state separate – so I’m writing about health, specifically vaccines.

Bill Moyers has a piece today on the Huffingtonpost about vaccines. Someone one (or two) people went to the Superbowl with measles, which is super contagious. So there is a possibility that thousands of people were contaminated, but so far nothing has been reported. Bill takes the opportunity to point out how sometimes Americans opt to not have their children vaccinated. He seems mostly concerned with the religious exemption, pointing out that the “herd immunity” begins to break down if just five out of twenty five students are not vaccinated. No doubt we are all susceptible to disease and would not want our loved ones to battle one unnecessarily, so what gives? Why are some of us choosing not to vaccinate?

I can think of many good reasons. Continue reading

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Obama Straddles the Fence

I began this post as a sort of Cliff’s notes on the framing of the State of the Union address, but now have done the equivalent of ripping the page out of the typewriter, crumpling it up and tossing it in the can. Obama’s speech had a lot of great points, he is a good speaker and has good writers – the majority of Americans can rally around the majority of the ideas put forward in the speech. He does speak of values – which is where his progressive streak sparks a flame – then he snuffs it out when he tries to walk the fence for the sake of being “moderate”.

Americans aren’t moderates! It is popular to seem moderate and say you’re moderate, but in fact that is not how our brains operate. There are really only two positions for each detail of an issue –  we agree or disagree, yes or no, good or bad – you can almost always break an issue down in this way. We answer those questions by checking our internal value system; is it making us feel empathetic (nurturing, caring) or judgemental (strict, authoritarian). The only other possibility is that of being apathetic or unaware; even if you are uninformed, malinformed, or ignorant you may have a strong opinion, as is painfully apparent today. We are like computers in that this system of forming opinions is basically a set of ones and zeroes.

Let’s try an issue. Continue reading

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