Posts Tagged ‘Japan’

Satireday on Eco-Crap

The results of Japanese scientific sushi whale research…

West Coast Devastation Continues:

Seals, Oysters, Pelicans, Fish, Squid- All Sick, Dying Or Failing To Breed

“The makings of a mass-level extinction event in the world’s oceans appear disturbingly imminent, as marine species after marine species washes ashore on the Pacific West Coast. Ailing seals, dead fish, missing pelicans and much more are being reported in the media as scientists struggle to figure out what, exactly, is causing entire marine ecosystems to suffer and die, seemingly inexplicably. 
 
Much of the carnage is being reported in California, where baby sea lions in distress have been washing ashore in record numbers. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports that, for the second year in a row, more baby sea lions than ever are having trouble surviving after being abandoned by their mothers, the direct result of a lack of food. 
 
According to reports, a record 367 California sea lions were admitted to the Marine Mammal Center near San Francisco between January and May, which is nearly five times the normal average. In Southern California, more than 600 sea lions, or twice the normal average, have been taken in so far this year. This is on top of the 1,600 that were treated last year. “Sea lions are living and feeding on the same resources as humans are,” stated Shawn Johnson, director of veterinary science at the Marine Mammal Center, to WSJ. “If they are starting to have problems, that shows there could be a problem with the ocean.” 
 
A little further north, orcas and beluga whales are suffering similar fates. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says widespread pollution from oil and gas drilling has caused populations of both species to dwindle significantly throughout the past several decades. Also suffering along the Alaskan coast are Alaskan ice seals, more than 250 of which have developed a mystery disease that often results in death. Experts have postulated that toxic algal growth along coastal waters may be to blame, and this a result of excess sun exposure due to continued ozone depletion. 
 
“In all, the federal government has declared 38 ‘unusual mortality events’ involving marine mammal species since 2003,” wrote Jim Carlton for WSJ. “That is nearly twice the number of events recorded from 1999- when the animals were put under greater federal protection- to 2002.” 
 
Over on the other side of the country, hundreds of manatees and about 80 bottlenose dolphins were discovered stranded in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon between 2012 and 2013. And in South Carolina in 2013, as many as 40,000 menhaden fish, which measure between six and eight inches in length, washed up dead between DeBordieu Beach and Pawleys Island, just one week after thousands of the same type of fish washed up along North Carolina’s Masonboro Island. One year prior, thousands of dead starfish washed up along the same beaches. 
 
Back in California, changing weather patterns that some scientists are attributing to the weather phenomenon known as El Nino are causing fish and whales to appear in unusual places. The first ever yellowfin tuna fish was recently caught in San Diego, as well as the first dorado (Mahi Mahi) fish. These fish types typically do not appear in San Diego. 
 
“We’ve already started to see very unusual fish catches here,” stated Tim Barnett, a marine research emeritus with the San Diego-based Scripps Institute of Oceanography, to KPBS. “The first yellowfin tuna was caught in May- that has never happened before to anybody’s recollection. And the other thing too is the first dorado (mahi-mahi)- first of June. That has never happened before. They really like the warm water and you normally don’t see them here until September.” 
 
Ocean mortality events mark beginning of possible global extinction: Since these types of fish don’t normally live in the colder waters off the coast of California, their fate is basically already sealed like the rest of the dead animals that have previously been discovered. Add to this the millions upon millions of dead sea stars being identified up and down the Pacific West Coast and the world has a real problem on its hands. 
 
“It’s the largest mortality event for marine diseases we’ve seen,” added Drew Harvell, a marine epidemiologist at Cornell University, to KUOW News about the phenomenon. “It affects over twenty species on our coast and it’s been causing catastrophic mortality. My expectation is that within the next month all of the stars will die.” 
 
Whether it’s radiation from Fukushima*, residual oil and chemical pollution from the BP oil spill in the Gulf, changing weather patterns, or some combination of all three, one thing is for sure- the world’s oceans are sick. And based on the way things are going, a global extinction event of epic proportions seems like less a matter of if, and more a matter of when.”

Source: Running ‘Cause I Can’t Fly

Opinion:

What’s happening?

Someone knows, and they’re not telling.

To me, the answer is obvious. This is primarily happening on the west coast of North America, nowhere else on this scale.

You need to ask the question – Where did the radiocative water from Japan come?

To the west coast of North America!

To me that is a pretty big clue.

Change the World Wednesday – 2nd Apr

Update

The fruits of my labour…

Orangetree

An orange tree has sprouted from seeds I threw in a box, and some garlic on the left

 

Ginger grown from the green nodules broken off supermarket root

Ginger grown from the green nodules broken off supermarket root

 

Self-sown tomatoes growing in the soil from an ornamental plant

Self-sown tomatoes growing in the soil (my compost) from an ornamental plant

 

Pineapples grow slowly, but still growing

Pineapples grow slowly, but still growing

 

Passion fruit growing up the side of the house, ready for fruit next year

Passion fruit growing up the side of the house, ready for fruit next year

Good News

On Saturday we gained a new little sacolão (fruit and vege store) in the neighborhood. It’s only small, but handy; and only 30 metres (32 yards) from home.

Sacolão, small, but handy

Sacolão, small, but handy

And the good thing is they don’t get their produce from CEASA, the state supplier. With CEASA you can’t guarantee the source. But they get their produce from a smallholder in Teresópolis in the north of the state. They have a choice of organic and pesticide-free veges.

A small range of produce

A small range of produce

And they’re not expensive.

They already know that I don’t like plastic bags and put the produce in my carry bag.

This morning when I took the photos, there was a big plastic bag of cauliflower trimmings, I asked and was able to take it to add to my compost heap. The bag… well, that will be used to put my recyclable water bottles in for the Tuesday recycle collection.

 

Click on the banner for the full post

On with this weeks CTWW.

This week it’s a biggie…

This week, begin by educating yourself on the ocean. Do a google search using the words “protect the ocean” and read some of the articles which come up. Visit the Marine Conservation Institute or NOAA for information.

 

THEN …

Choose one (or more) of the following activities:

  • Say NO to plastic, especially plastic bottles and bags. The world’s largest “landfill” is floating in the North Pacific Ocean and consists of plastic.
  • Contact your state officials and encourage them to vote against off-shore drilling.
  • Walk, ride a bike, or take public transportation this week. If you must drive, drive less.
  • Maintain your car and fix any leaks (oil on the pavement gets washed into storms drains and ultimately finds its way to the ocean). Never toss used oil down the drain.
  • Avoid fish and seafood this week. If you must eat it, make sustainable and healthy choices (look for the Marine Stewardship Council label to ensure that it is sustainable and environmentally friendly).
  • Take part in a beach clean-up.
  • Eliminate the use of toxic chemicals in your home.
  • Avoid the use of herbicides and pesticides.
  • Scoop pet waste. Letting it sit on the lawn means that it will enter our waterways.
  • Stay off the water. If you must boat, do so responsibly (don’t toss things into the water and use a human-powered boat rather than a gas-powered version).
  • Dispose of all trash properly and pick up litter if you see it.

 

Leaves me breathless just reading it.

Part One

The plight of our oceans is disheartening. I have eluded to this in the past. Just because we can’t ‘see’ under the ocean, we seem to forget that is is just as susceptible to pollution and predation as the land.

The ocean is threatened by plastic. Obvious plastic that we can see the plastic strewn beaches, the Pacific gyre are a public disgrace; and the less obvious the micro-pellets from our washing machines that enter the water chain. The ocean also is affected by the run off of pesticides and agro-chemicals from our farmlands. Then there are stupid politicians who make assinine decisions like the Australians to dump millions of tons of waste on coral reefs like the Great Barrier Reef. The oceans are subject to warming which is changing habitats, the you have massive problems with radiation from the likes of Fukushima in Japan; already 100% of tuna caught off the American coast have levels above the acceptable limits for consumption.

The oceans aren’t safe for anyone, let alone the fish. The governments have stopped testing (American and Canadian) because the results are just too embarrassing. The latest IPCC report classifies Fukushima radiation as an ‘extinction event’. Oh, don’t get that wrong, it’s not just the fish that are affected, ALL LIFE on the planet will be affected. Cancer/radiation related deaths in babies, new borns and foetuses are already increasing on the west coast of the USA.

Now that’s just a tad more than serious.

Why isn’t this in the news? The governments don’t want you to know.

Furthermore, there are problems with over-fishing serious straining the life-cycles of marine life.

This week there was good news. Japan has been banned from it’s ‘research whaling’ (read commercial whaling in disguise) in Antarctic waters. Japan has said it will bide by the ruling, but are already looking at loopholes like reduced quotas.

the_world_in_a_nutshellSo to put it in a nutshell, we have totally destroyed the planet.

Not only the visible portions, but the invisible as well.

Man’s irresponsibility is drawing us closer and closer to our own extinction.

It’s time we woke up!

It’s time we let the governments know!

It’s time we got rid of the incumbent arseholes and their pandering to the corporations.

We need to take the dog by the tail and wake the bloody thing up, because until we do, we’re f**ked!

This CTWW by Small is probably one of the most radical we face; certainly it is the most global.

We really need to educate the masses, because most of the populace is just sitting on its sanctimonious backside saying “oh, it’ll never happen!” They are lulled into complacency by the lack of news, the government’s ‘do nothing’ approach. And, worst of all the blatant bullshit of the deniers!

Well, I’ve got news for them: It is happening, here, it is happening now!

Part deux:

  • While I am not perfect, there is plastic in my life, but I go out of my way to reduce it to a minimum.
  • I am bound by public transport, no car; no car, less planetary resources used and wasted.
  • I will not avoid fish, I consider that fish is an important dietary aspect. I do however, spurn fish like panga produced in the Asian sewer known as the Mekong River in Vietnam.
  • I don’t go to the beach, but I am active and vocal in keeping our neighbourhood clean.
  • I use products that are non or less toxic where possible.
  • I am now shopping at the new sacolão who are supporting fruit and vege with no pesiticides and organic produce (this is a new aspect in my life).
  • My pet waste is composted. The worms do a good job.

There you have it, my CTWW.

The Pacific Gyre

greatpacificgyre

If you get closer, it looks like this…

pacificgyre

Some of those plastic bottles may be yours…

Makes you proud, doesn’t it?

 

Monday Moaning

Firstly, I have no net. My ISP went down on Saturday morning. They have a problem.

Not a moan this morning, rather good news.

Japan accepts court ban on Antarctic whaling

Anti-whaling activists filmed Japanese whaling ships in January this year

The UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that the Japanese government must halt its whaling programme in the Antarctic.

It agreed with Australia, which brought the case in May 2010, that the programme was not for scientific research as claimed by Tokyo.

Japan said it would abide by the decision but added it “regrets and is deeply disappointed by the decision”.

Australia argued that the programme was commercial whaling in disguise.

The court’s decision is considered legally binding.

Japan had argued that the suit brought by Australia was an attempt to impose its cultural norms on Japan.

Science ‘myth’

Reading out the judgement on Monday, Presiding Judge Peter Tomka said the court had decided, by 12 votes to four, that Japan should withdraw all permits and licenses for whaling in the Antarctic and refrain from issuing any new ones.

It said Japan had caught some 3,600 minke whales since its current programme began in 2005, but the scientific output was limited.

Read more

Read more

Could this be a needed change?

Japan extracts gas from methane hydrate in world first

Methane hydrate is also known as burnable or flammable ice

Japan says it has successfully extracted natural gas from frozen methane hydrate off its central coast, in a world first.

Methane hydrates, or clathrates, are a type of frozen “cage” of molecules of methane and water.

The gas field is about 50km away from Japan’s main island, in the Nankai Trough.

Researchers say it could provide an alternative energy source for Japan which imports all its energy needs.

Other countries including Canada, the US and China have been looking into ways of exploiting methane hydrate deposits as well.

Pilot experiments in recent years, using methane hydrates found under land ice, have shown that methane can be extracted from the deposits.

Methane clathrate – ‘Fire ice’

Offshore deposits present a potentially enormous source of methane but also some environmental concern, because the underwater geology containing them is unstable in many places.

“It is the world’s first offshore experiment producing gas from methane hydrate,” an official from the economy, trade and industry ministry told the AFP news agency.

A survey of the gas field is being run by state-owned Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC).

Engineers used a depressurisation method that turns methane hydrate into methane gas.

Production tests are expected to continue for about two weeks.

Government officials have said that they aim to establish methane hydrate production technologies for practical use within five years.

A Japanese study estimated that at least 1.1tn cubic metres of methane hydrate exist in offshore deposits.

This is the equivalent of more than a decade of Japan’s gas consumption.

Japan has few natural resources and the cost of importing fuel has increased after a backlash against nuclear power following the Fukushima nuclear disaster two years ago.

  • Hydrates, or clathrates, are a frozen mixture of water and gas, primarily methane
  • The methane molecules reside inside a water molecule lattice
  • The methane will ignite in ice form – hence the “fire ice” moniker
  • Clathrates tend to form under frigid temperatures and high pressures
  • They are found in ocean sediments and under the permafrost on land
  • Vast deposits are thought to exist, rivalling known reserves of traditional fossil fuels

000BBC_logo

Opinion:

Could this be the much needed drift away from nuclear and traditional fossil fuels?

Monday Moaning

Voters on shark conservation facing ‘undue pressure’

Several species of Hammerheads are among those under threat

Delegates at a conservation meeting in Thailand are expected to vote on proposals to extend protection to three vulnerable species of sharks.

But campaigners say undue “pressuring” of developing countries could swing Monday’s vote against the ban.

China and Japan are said to be using their trade connections to unfairly influence the outcome.

Japan denies exercising any unfair pressure, saying every delegation should vote based on their own beliefs.

An estimated 100 million sharks are killed by commercial fishing every year, researchers have recently reported.

They blame a huge appetite for shark-fin soup in China and Hong Kong for stimulating the trade.

The proposals at the Cites conservation meeting in Bangkok suggest protecting some of the most endangered species, who are highly valued for their fins.

These include the Oceanic whitetip, several species of Hammerheads and the Porbeagle shark as well as two types of manta ray which are hunted for their gill plates. These are used in some Chinese traditional medicines.

Blocking tactics

The amendments would not ban the fishing of these species, but would ensure that catches are regulated – meaning that importers and exporters would require permits.

But with support closely divided between those in favour of extending protection and those who want to keep the status quo, some campaigners claim that unfair and underhanded tactics are being used to block the proposal.

“There’s been a lot of shenanigans and pressuring of developing countries,” Dr Susan Lieberman, director of international policy at the Pew Oceanic trust told BBC News at the meeting.

“It is going to be very close,” Dr Lieberman added.

Dr Lieberman said she believed that China and Japan were responsible for placing undue pressure on nations that do not have any great interest in the shark trade, especially countries in Africa and the Middle East.

She says they are concerned that a successful shark vote could set a precedent for regulating other fish species.

“Japan is not a big player in the shark trade but it is a philosophical issue. They don’t want Cites to deal with fisheries. They just want it off the table. For China, they just don’t want to implement this. ”

A large number of countries fish for shark but most trade goes through Hong Kong

One delegate who wished to remain anonymous told BBC News that pressure from China and Japan was the “usual procedure” at these meetings.

The BBC has seen an anonymous leaflet designed to remind delegates that regulating the trade in small number of threatened shark species would be damaging.

“The livelihoods of fishermen would decline,” it says. “No conservation benefits would accrue.”

It is expected that a secret ballot will be called on the shark proposal, according to Dr Colman O’Criodain, who is attending this meeting on behalf of WWF international.

Arm twisting

He also feels that China and Japan are bringing undue pressure on developing countries in particular.

“They certainly seem to be twisting arms from the feedback we are getting. They’re saying people have approached them,” he said.

Read more

Read more

Opinion:

Fine let China use the fish from their own waters. Once they’re extinct there, don’t come looking in our waters.

Ban all exports of shark products to China.

China has to wake up and smell the coffee that their flagrant practices because it’s their traditional ‘medicine’ (which is crap anyway, just superstition) are damaging the planet for the rest of us.

Japan needs to pull its head in too. They are just adding fuel to the fire to protect their own disreputable whaling practices.

Any practice that uses only a part of an animal and discards the rest must be banned.

The world needs to seriously take a stance, you catch it, you use it… all.

Update!

The sharks win!

‘Historic’ day for shark protection

The oceanic whitetip is found in tropical and warm temperate seas

Three types of critically endangered but commercially valuable shark have been given added protection at the Cites meeting in Bangkok.

The body, which regulates trade in flora and fauna, voted by a two-thirds majority to upgrade the sharks’ status.

Campaigners hailed the move as historic and said the vote represented a major breakthrough for marine conservation.

Read more

Read more

Monday Moaning

Butterflies yesterday, and again today.

Has Fukushima radiation created mutant butterflies?

A butterfly study is the first to definitively link Fukushima radiation to physical mutations in any organism

Fukushima butterflies showed some abnormally-developed legs, dented eyes, deformed wing shapes, and changes to the color and spot patterns of their wings. Photograph: Alamy

Last March, the 9.0 magnitude Tōhoku earthquake triggered a tsunami that sent over 45-foot waves of water crashing down on the reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, causing the largest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. While health officials scrambled to quickly stabilize the situation, it was unclear how much radiation had made it out of the plant—and how it could affect people, plants, and animals who came into contact with it.

Preliminary studies concluded that most of the 140,000 people in the surrounding areas of Fukushima had probably been exposed to relatively low doses of radiation that probably wouldn’t lead to any adverse health effects. But a new study published last week in Nature has shown that the radiation is causing a particularly sensitive population—the pale grass blue butterfly—to develop a slew of uncommon and potentially lethal physical abnormalities.

Researchers collected butterflies immediately following the nuclear meltdown and six months later, both from the surrounding areas of Fukushima and from various other localities in Japan where the butterfly is common. As compared with the butterflies collected from elsewhere in the country, Fukushima butterflies showed some abnormally-developed legs, dented eyes, deformed wing shapes, and changes to the color and spot patterns of their wings, with an overall abnormality rate of around 12 percent.

Mutations included malformed antennae, dented eyes, bent wings, and abnormal color patterns. Photo courtesy of Joji M. OtakiMutations included malformed antennae, dented eyes, bent wings, and abnormal color patterns. Photo courtesy of Joji M. Otaki

While these levels of mutations were still relatively mild, perhaps more alarming were the same data on butterflies collected six months later, in September of last year. The overall rate of similar mutations among these butterflies was around 28 percent, while this number skyrocketed to around 52 percent in the second generation produced from the collected butterflies.

Read more

Opinion:

The world still has not been told the whole truth about Fukushima.

Stunted wings courtesy Fukushima

If the radiation has affected butterflies, it has affected all life, including humans.

Butterflies have a fast life-cycle, in humans it will take maybe one or two generations before we start to see similar results.

Meanwhile, the governments and vested interests lie through their teeth.

I read today on a blog of a woman (American) who has just returned from Japan having been there as a tourist. “Japan is beautiful.”

You couldn’t drag me screaming to Japan.

Japan is dead. It just hasn’t rolled over yet.

Remember how they likened Fukushima to Chernobyl; “Fukushima is Chernobyl on steroids!” Now does that give you an idea of the enormity of the problem?

Decades after Chernobyl and the effects are still being seen.
Then there are other problems to consider. Fukushima is not over yet, there is still the risk of global disaster levels of radiation being released if the cooling tanks collapse as a result of another earthquake. In Japan earthquakes are a guarantee. The procrastination in removing this risk is a disgrace. If another disaster happens and the tanks collapse Japan is finished; and guess who’s next? The west coast of the USA.
The American government don’t want the people to know this because the USA has similar reactors (37 from memory) that are of the same faulty design.
Chernobyl – 26 years later.
“It is not unusual to find infants born to women from the Chernobyl area with shocking birth defects.The baby above was found in an orphanage that Mission In East regularly supplies with humanitarian aid. Her mother comes from the Chernobyl district and is unable to keep her.”Chernobyl Today
.
This is the legacy of Chernobyl, will Fukushima be any different?
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