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Misterbadexample On August - 12 - 2014

A decomposing starfish off Vancouver, Canada. Full article here.

I’m recommending a video that I have my concerns about. The presentation aesthetic is pure ‘Great White North’ a la Bill & Doug Mckenzie. Decidedly grass roots. Dana Durnford, (who’s been blogging about Fukushima for several years) makes more than a fair share of mistakes in the presentation. He’s doing most of the talking and he’s not a public speaker. He repeats again and again that this was an amateur effort with a cheap camera, and they didn’t have enough money or time to look at any area in depth (the trip was facilitated by $600 in donations).  But there’s another possibility here: Dana’s rambling presentation seems to come out of a sense of shock–he and his colleague Terry Daniels (who barely speaks) are taken aback by what they’ve seen. Dana was once a commercial diver, until an accident put him into a wheelchair, but he and Daniels know the beaches and tidal pools of Pacific coast Canada.

The video, uploaded from a streaming webcast earlier on Sunday, documents their recent research trip made along 200 km of the Western coast of Canada to look at the sea life on the beaches and in the tide pools.They saw only four species in areas that used to be home to scores of marine animals. They saw very few insects, only one seagull and one crow, and no eagles.  They did not travel with Geiger counters or other radiation detection equipment. And it’s possible that what they were seeing in terms of a lack of animal life has something to do with global climate collapse. Still… imagine traveling 130 miles of beaches over a week in August  and seeing so few signs of life.

The late journalist/whistleblower Michael C Ruppert had spent the last months of his life talking about Fukushima and all the implications of the ongoing disaster there. There are some 300 tons of highly radioactive water flushing off the site DAILY for the past three years, pushing all sorts of radioactive substances into the Pacific. Fragments of the destroyed reactor fuel have been found in Europe. In one of his last interviews for Vice TV (called ‘Apocalypse, Man’), he talks about Fukushima as a human extinction event–that the currents of the Pacific and the migratory habits of the fish make it inevitable that life-ending radiation would be spread throughout the world’s oceans.

I don’t know what to think now. I have been following the climate story for several months, and the problems appear pretty dire. But the favorite prophet of extinction has admitted that reactor meltdowns trump global warming issues. On Friday night, I interviewed a Competitive Enterprise Institute Climate ‘expert’. He doesn’t deny climate change, but says it’s all normal variation. We didn’t get to discuss Fukushima, but since CEI pushes nuclear energy, I doubt it’s on their radar as an issue. For once I wish the denialists were right.

15 Responses so far.

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  1. Thanks for the comments. I understand the folks who are skeptical (and I include myself in their ranks). The starfish population crash is happening, and it doesn’t seem to have any parallel in historic memory along the West coast. Could it be ocean acidification or warming temperatures? Sure. But someone would be able to replicate these in a controlled environment. And putting rescued starfish into a controlled environment would (at least in theory) ameliorate the problems. And starfish aren’t the only species showing sudden decline.
    \
    Meanwhile, this is a video response to Dana Durnford’s original broadcast. Again, these aren’t scientists--these are locals who have some sense of what they would ‘normally’ see in the tidal waters off Vancouver’s coast. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=20HYCDKKKmg&app=desktop

    I don’t know what the answer is. But the problem of massive amounts of radiation (including actual fuel particles) going into the oceans is real. And nobody wants to talk about it.

  2. GreenChica says:

    I’m a docent at the marine sanctuary museum in Port Angeles, operated by NOAA. We are a bit south of there. There are a lot of frightening problems going on (ocean acidification among them) but no massive die off of general marine life, except for the sea stars. The scientists around here do not attribute the sea star die off to Fukushima. A good clue is that it has happened before. They don’t really know what’s causing it but most scientists think it is a virus. I went tidepooling a couple months ago and saw massive amounts of sea life in the pools including anemones, sea stars, urchins, etc. I see seagulls and other sea birds every day. So I’m skeptical. If there was a massive die off I think it would be a huge story around here. Why would Fukushima radiation affect that area and not us? It would likely go past our coastline to get there.

    I will send the link to the youtube to my buddies at the sanctuary and see what they think.

    • Greenchica, thank you very much for your comments. On the Youtube site I linked to, a local resident put up a ‘response’ video confirming what was in the original. The ‘starfish melt’discussion has been ongoing among Fukushima activists--the phenomenon may have begun several years ago, but nobody noticed it much before March of 2011 when Fukushima went critical. Part of my reason in posting this was to see if others had stories to tell.

      • GreenChica says:

        Hi Mister,
        I heard back from a couple folks at NOAA here on the Olympic Peninsula. Both are skeptical. The scientist had seen the video already and didn’t give it any credence (well, he used the phrase “a couple of kooks.”) And this scientist is someone who researches and educates people on climate change and acidification, etc., so he’s not a “denier.”

        I think that it’s unhelpful to see hysterical stuff like “Pacific Ocean Dead!!” as it says on the youtube when it’s so obviously not true. It taints true climate science with a “World Net Daily” type of attitude. I can see climate change deniers using stuff like this to “prove” that it’s all a hoax.

  3. Kalima says:

    Maybe the changes in the marine life in the waters off Canada have their source much closer to home, and I would like to know what Canada dumps daily into their waters. After all, their conservative government strongly deny climate change and ban people from mentioning it on the tv, while chastising journalists who dare to write about it. Something strange must be going on there to cause this strong reaction. Must be counting on making pots of money from their environmentally destructive fracking. They also have nuclear reactors and facilities, some have even had spills.

    Here is an article from last year, and if this were from Fukushima, where are our dead fish, surely our beaches and eastern coastline would have been piled high with them in the last three years? With millions in fishing villages living in coastal regions that would have been very hard to hide.

    —-

    Fukushima’s Radioactive Water Leak

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2013/08/130807-fukushima-radioactive-water-leak/

    —-

    A closer look at Canada’s nuclear plants

    http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/#!/content/1.1194756

    • sillylittleme says:

      I was thinking more along the lines of the tar sands oil that they are extracting and still want to run that pipeline through the US. Since Canada has been extracting that for over a decade, it has to have caused some damage.

      • Kalima says:

        You are absolutely right, sillylittleme me, tar sands. The words eluded me yesterday as I struggle with scrambled brains because of our heat. For the life of me I couldn’t remember what was flowing through the KeystoneXL pipeline except for republican bullshit that is. Thanks for reminding me although they are probably frikking fracking somewhere too. Cheers!

    • Nirek says:

      Kalima, I agree that it must be something local causing this dead zone. Your suggestion that it could be fracking seems more believable to me.
      What does the coast off Fukushima look like? Are there dead zones there?
      I have to question the validity of the speakers assumption that it is from Fukushima?

      • Kalima says:

        Hello Nirek. Well now many countries have an excuse for every mistake and for ruining their own environment and waters. Just blame every finding of radioactivity in the ocean on Fukushima. Saves money on investigating your own shit and pollution.

        As the article said at the end, and I’ve read the same opinion from different experts so many times over these three years, the radioactivity will have weakened so much it would be almost harmless to life.

        As for your question about the coastline, I’ve read no reports on the toll to marine life, but have read about high levels of certain radioactive elements in fish still swimming in the waters off the reactor. They are not being consumed here or exported. There are some very thorough investigations going on here by private groups against nuclear power, so I would have read about “dead zones” by now.

        Peace.

  4. S-Man says:

    Thanks for the article MBX.

    We’ve been over-fishing the world’s oceans on an industrial scale far too long, and adding tons of radioactive waste isn’t helping either. Yes the oceans are indeed sick and as long as our population grows and short-term profit trumps long-term sustainability we are headed for a dark future.

  5. kesmarn says:

    MBX, thanks so much for raising these issues, but like Nirek, I have to say listening to the speaker in the video was difficult. As you mentioned, he’s not a public speaker and does need someone to sharpen his rhetoric, edit out very numerous repetitious statements, clearly define exactly what he’s trying to say and get it said in less than an hour and a half. If his science is solid, that is the only way to get people to listen to it.

    That said, I wondered if you’d seen this article yet:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/08/11/1320245/-The-Pentagon-is-preparing-for-societal-collapse-due-to-Climate-Change

    • Thanks for comments, Kesman. I’ve seen the Kos article, and it has been circulated by a number of folks including Guy McPherson, who I referenced in the post about near-term extinction. There was a similar article last year--an experienced yachtsman sailing from Melbourne to Osaka saw virtually no sea life in the 8,116 KM trip. Ivan MacFadyen did see evidence of factory fishing, and encountered plenty of debris (some possibly from the tsunami), but the lack of sea birds indicated that there was no food in the water. his words: “the ocean is broken”. http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1848433/the-ocean-is-broken/

      I posted here to see what people’s reactions were. One of the complaints of many who’ve been following the aftermath of Fukushima is the lack of official interest in issues such as the die-off of fish and sea birds. I probably need to do follow-up on this as well.

  6. Nirek says:

    MBX, are you suggesting that the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima has reached Canada and killed off several species of marine life? Or is that just one possibility? Climate change is doing strange things to our environment. This story has me baffled. I am sure the guy talking is knowledgeable but he is not a very good speaker.

    I am always interested in the environment. I love nature and have been swimming with dolphins and sharks. It is worrisome that they found such a dead zone.

    Thanks for the article, MBX.


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