2013

Gray Brechin: Imperial San Francisco TWO/TWO

Part Two: THE QUEST FOR WATER
In Part one of this program Dr. Gray Brechin explained that San Francisco grew in only 15 years to the largest city on the West Coast due to the convergence of people and gold/capital. However the city needed another essential ingredient to maintain growth: water.
Brechin describes how water was important not only for people and fire protection, but for industry and to give value to dry land that had been bought up by real estate speculators. As the first wave of destruction of Northern California was bought about by gold mining, the second wave was caused by the quest for water, the damming of rivers, and the flooding of land for reservoirs, even inside the [ . . . ]

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Gray Brechin: Imperial San Francisco ONE/TWO

This is part of the history of a city, grown from 16 houses on sand dunes in 1850 to the largest city on the Pacific in only 15 years. The book, Imperial San Francisco by Dr. Gray Brechin, is one of the few examples of a scholarly dissertation that describes history in a new way and becomes a very popular book. Imperial San Francisco brings to light the huge sacrifices extracted by the surrounding land by any city from Babylon to the Italian city states to the instant cities of North America. Brechin says that he tried to answer the question he posed himself: was it worth it – and what was it worth for whom.
This program focuses on the [ . . . ]

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Akio Matsumura: What did the World Learn from the Fukushima Accident?

This is the last of a ten part program series covering the most recent and complex status of the ecological and medical consequences of the Fukushima catastrophe – as well as the very important details of engineering in nuclear power technology. The information was presented at the two day Fukushima Symposium at the New York Academy of Medicine in March 2013. The overwhelming conclusion was that the Fukushima accident is by no means over and another earthquake or tsunami might cause the reactor fuel to ignite.
I’m ending the series with a voice from Japan. I first heard from Ambassador Akio Matsumura in 2011 when he launched his ongoing attempt to engage international organizations and the governments of countries most affected to [ . . . ]

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Ken Buesseler: Fukushima Ocean Impacts

Ken Buesseler is Senior Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod. He specializes in natural and manmade radionuclides in the ocean. First he worked on fallout from atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, then on the impacts of the Chernobyl explosion on the Black Sea. Most recently he examined radionuclide contaminants in the Pacific ocean after the melt downs of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants.
Within weeks of the accident Buesseler managed to charter and equip a research vessel that arrived off the coast of Japan in June of 2011 to take the first ocean measurements. And you are about to hear his report from that scientific venture and his follow-up.
The most shocking result in those first weeks was [ . . . ]

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Joseph Mangano: Post Fukushima Increases in Thyroid disease in Newborns on the West Coast of the USA

On March 7, 2013, an article was published in the Open Journal of Pediatrics. Co-written by Joseph Mangano and Dr. Jeanette Sherman it stated that in the first 15 weeks, after the fallout from Japan arrived in the US, the number of newborns with Hypothyroid disease increased by 28% on the West Coast while declining by 3% in the rest of the country. Mangano presented this report on March 12, 2013, at the Fukushima Symposium at the New York Academy of Medicine in New York City.
Mangano is the Executive Director of the Radiation and Public Health Project. He is a public health administrator and researcher.
The Fukushima Symposium presented two days of medicine, environmental science and nuclear engineering related to the [ . . . ]

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Wladimir Wertelecki: Congenital Malformations in the Ukraine and the Chernobyl Accident

When Wladimir Wertelecki took the podium at the Fukushima Symposium in New York City he clearly stated that he was presenting breaking news. As this program goes to broadcast in May, 2013, two month after his talk, no major media and no international agency have taken up this report.
Wertelecki presented the results of OMNI-Net Ukraine’s Congenital Malformations Monitoring Program; the results of ten years of scientific study of birth defects of children and their possible relation to ionizing radiation. Since 2000 OMNI-Net scientists have conducted research of the Rivne, Polissia region just north-west of the exploded Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
They found statistically higher than normal incidents of the most heartbreaking birth defects: NTD, Neural Tube Defects of the brain or [ . . . ]

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Timothy Mousseau: Chernobyl, Fukushima and Other Hot Places – Biological Implications

When the biologist, Professor Tim Mousseau, concluded this talk by showing heartbreaking pictures of the birds of Chernobyl and their tumors and birth defects, the physician and anti nuclear campaigner Dr. Helen Caldicott stepped up to the podium to thank him.
She said: “I want to pay homage to Tim Mousseau, who with his colleagues is actually endangering his life by going into extremely high radioactive areas doing pioneering work, which is going to change the concept of radiation exposure to humans. What is happening to the animals, the insects and the plants is going to happen to us.”
Mousseau is a Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina. For 13 years he and his scientific collaborator Anders Moller [ . . . ]

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Cindy Folkers and Mary Olson: Post-Fukushima Food Monitoring and: Gender Matters in the Atomic Age

Cindy Folkers specializes in radiation impacts on health. She works with Beyond Nuclear. They call attention to the connections between nuclear power and nuclear weapons and the need to abandon both to safeguard our future. Two weeks after Folkers gave this talk, Beyond Nuclear, in coalition with other groups, filed a petition with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to drastically reduce the amount of radioactive cesium permitted in food, from an unreasonable 1200 Bq/kg, to 5 Bq/kg. In post-Chernobyl Belarus, at just 11 Bq/kg of internal cesium contamination children can be susceptible to heart problems. At 50 Bq/kg, children can start having permanent tissue damage.
Mary Olson is Southeast Regional Director of NIRS, the Nuclear Information and Resource Services. [ . . . ]

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Steven Starr: Massive Radiation Contamination of Japan with Radioactive Cesium

Fukushima Symposium 2013 – Steven Starr says: “Long lived radio-nuclides such as Cesium 137 are something new to us as a species. Although they are invisible to our senses they are millions of times more poisonous than most of the common poisons we are familiar with. They emit radiation, invisible forms  of matter and energy, that we might compare to fire. It’s not a fire that can be scattered of suffocated because it burns at the atomic level, it comes from the disintegration of single atoms”.
Starr gives an update as to what people in Japan are facing now and into the future. He explains how Cesium 137 is created in the Nuclear Power Plant and how it disperses and continues [ . . . ]

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David Freeman: My Experience with Nuclear Power

Freeman served in Chief Executive positions at the largest power authorities in the world, including the New York Power Authority, the TVA in Tennessee Valley, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
In spite of, or maybe really because of, being the consummate insider in energy production, Freeman is one of the most brilliant, funny and knowledgeable critics of fossil fuels and nuclear power. Freeman closed down 8 nuclear reactor projects during his tenure as Chief Executive at the TVA, and one more when he was General Manager of the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District in California.
His 2007 book: Winning our Energy Independence, describes in detail the urgent need of weaning the U.S. from what he calls the “three poisons” [ . . . ]

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Bob Alvarez: Spent Fuel Pools and Radioactive Waste

Bob Alvarez, Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies became the focus of intense character assassination by the nuclear industry when he wrote in April 2012: Why Fukushima Is a Greater Disaster than Chernobyl and a Warning Sign for the U.S. He explained: “The radioactive inventory of all the irradiated nuclear fuel stored in spent fuel pools at Fukushima is far greater and even more problematic than the molten reactor cores.”
“Spent” fuel is a misnomer, far from being harmless, irradiated fuel remains too radioactive to handle for 5 years and thermally and radiologically dangerous way beyond that period. When the US government was looking for permanent storage for high level waste, which includes fuel rods, they were looking for [ . . . ]

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Arnie Gundersen: What did they know? When did they know it?

FUKUSHIMA SYMPOSIUM 2013: Gundersen argues that the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident in Japan began in 1965, inside the US, with General Electric and the engineers who designed the site plan and architecture for the Mark I reactor at Fukushima. He also points the finger at the US Atomic Energy Commission that permitted a flawed design to be licensed and built.
Gundersen holds an MA in nuclear engineering and once worked for the nuclear industry. He was an expert witness on the Three Mile Island partial melt-down, and more recently on the serious safety risks at the Vermont Yankee and California’s San Onofre reactors. He and his website at Fairewinds Energy Education <www.fairewinds.org/> became well known and respected after the Fukushima accident [ . . . ]

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Gary Nabhan: The Future of Orchards in Times of Climate Change

Farmers are not debating weather climate change is real or not, they are dealing with it already. At the 2012 Heirloom Seed Expo the co-founder of the local food movement, ethnobotanist and tender of a 6 acre orchard in Arizona, Gary Nabhan, made a wise and moving appeal to value the vast contribution orchards can make to mitigating climate change and resisting the impact of drought and heat.
Gary Nabhan, in 2011, made the Utne reader list of 30 people who made the world a better place to live. As teacher in academia and author of over 25 books, he inspired a new generation to understand the link between bio-diversity and cultural diversity. Many of them now dream of becoming farmers [ . . . ]

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Cathrine Sneed: The Garden Project in San Francisco

One program, self contained, 29min – Great special for Women’s Day
When prisoners in the San Francisco County Jail asked to remain in jail beyond their release date, prison authorities, Sheriff Hennessy, and Cathrine Sneed who started the gardening program that prisoners did not want to leave, – all realized that they had created a success, a model, or a mystery.
Cathrine Sneed credits John Steinbeck. In Grapes of Wrath he writes that there is hope, even in abject poverty, as long as the connection to the land can be restored.
The way in which she has connected land, the growing of organic food, and the resolution to hunger, addiction, unhealthy food, and crime, has become a model not just for prisons, but [ . . . ]

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Sandor Katz: Wild Fermentation TWO of TWO

Sandor Katz is a much loved fermented food maker, teacher and respected author of two books: Wild Fermentation and The Art of Fermentation. His mission is to rescue this ancient craft from oblivion and to inspire people to practice the arts of fermentation in their kitchens. This is the Question and Answer section after his talk at the second annual Heirloom Seed Expo in Santa Rosa, CA in September 2012. Katz responds to practical DIY questions about yoghurt, Kefir, and Kombucha. He ends with an inspiring linguistic flourish about political ferment and social change.