Thursday, October 17, 2013

Typhoon Wipha Hits Japan, Misses Fukushima

No accountability for this?

Despite Deluge No Evacuation Alert On Island

"Despite the Meteorological Agency’s alerts for an “extraordinary situation” anticipated from powerful Typhoon Wipha, no evacuation advisory was issued on Izu-Oshima, a small island south of Tokyo in the Pacific, where at least 22 people were killed and dozens remain missing.

The failure to get residents to safety has angered those who lost their homes and has left many questions to address about the steps authorities took to issue warnings.

The Meteorological Agency has established yardsticks for issuing special warnings to municipalities when “once in 50 years” heavy rain is forecast — for periods of three hours and 48 hours.

In the town of Oshima, which covers the entire island with a population of just over 8,300, the thresholds were 147 mm in three hours and 419 mm in 48.Precipitation drastically exceeded both thresholds with rainfall through Wednesday morning hitting 335 mm in three hours and 824 mm in 24 hours."

End of excerpt.


Typhoon Wipha Hits Japan, Misses Fukushima

The strongest storm to hit Japan in a decade, Typhoon Wipha hits Japan flooding mostly in the South and Northeast sparing Fukushima in a direct hit which had originally been the concern. Breathing a huge sigh of relief here about that because had this storm directly hit Fukushima well, catastrophe. However, the storm did not leave Fukushima completely untouched (see link below.)

The question is how long before a storm the magnitude of a Wipha hits Fukushima directly? Will we see the convergence of our two worst nightmares come together? We may not have seen to this point an active hurricane season here but the cyclone/typhoon season has been crazy. Are we now passing into an age where these stronger cyclones will now overtake hurricanes? Extra- tropical cyclone Sandy brought that thought home to me in NJ almost one year ago.

Typhoon Wipha Causes More Nuclear Contamination At Fukushima


From link:

Authorities evacuated 20,000 residents on the island of Izu Oshima, 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of Tokyo, as Typhoon Wipha struck early Wednesday. Rescue workers have so far found 17 bodies, most of them buried by mudslides.

Typhoon Wipha, the strongest storm of its type in a decade, also destroyed dozens of homes and has left more than 50 people missing. Authorities have said the tolls would likely rise.

"We have no idea how bad the extent of damage could be," said Hinani Uematsu, a local official on the island.

Fukushima spared

Officials canceled up to 500 flights to and from Tokyo, most of them domestic, according to All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines. Other canceled flights including two between Tokyo and Seoul and another pair between the capital and Hong Kong, according to All Nipon Airways. Altogether, the cancellations affected plans of some 61,600 travelers, according to the airlines.

Typhoon Wipha also shut down dozens of schools in the Tokyo area, and a further three people remain missing in the area surrounding the capital. Further north, the operator of the battered Fukushima nuclear plant announced that it had released some rain water trapped inside its barrages, but added that its radiation reading remained within safety limits. The Tokyo Electric Power Co. reported no ill effects on the power station, which stores thousands of tons of radiation-polluted water used to cool reactors.

By late morning, the storm remained in the Pacific Ocean, about 160 kilometers east of Koriyama in the Fukushima prefecture, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, moving northeast and gradually shifting away from the country. The forecast in the north of the country calls for more heavy rain and wind throughout Wednesday.


More on Super Typhoon Wipha

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Blog Action Day 2013: Water- A Human Right Under Threat

Today as I sit to write my thoughts on this Blog Action Day 2013 I am filled with ambivalence. I do have hope that we will continue to see some progress on the important crises facing us regarding water access, quality and the degradation we see of this life giving resource due to corporate abuse and privatization, pollution, waste, political apathy and climate change. Despite all of the tragedies we see unfolding before us in places from Sub-Saharan Africa to Syria to more pervasive droughts and floods globally there are many who do know the true meaning of human rights and the role water access, quality, sanitation and dignity play in preserving both our planet and our species and who are working diligently every day to bring attention to it and take action.

However, in writing about human rights and the nexus between water, climate change and the effects we see in tandem with corporate abuse and politics there is no disputing that the current picture of our world looks bleak. This is why we have Blog Action Day. This is why we all across the world join in solidarity to speak with one voice about these important topics that speak to who we are as human beings.

Regarding climate change there is no disputing its current effect on water resources. We see it from sea ice loss to more severe droughts, floods, storms, ocean acidification, amplification of the hydrologic cycle leading to more extreme weather and the loss of billions of tons of agricultural output which is the lifeblood of a majority of the developing world. We also see as global temperature continues to increase globally that we are experiencing the beginning of a true human moral catastrophe if we do not take into account the effect climate change has on our global water resources and human rights and act as one. With global temperature expected to climb to 4 degrees by the end of this century water will be the new oil of the 21st Century.

This plays into corporations abusing and privatizing this resource in order to corner profits which leads to many human rights abuses globally. Over a billion people globally currently lack access to water and 2 billion lack sanitation. If this is not a human rights abuse I do not know what is. Water is the lifeblood of our Earth and comprises 70% of our planet and our bodies. It is the resource we cannot live without and as such should never be construed as a commodity.

However, we now see a huge proliferation of corporate profits being gained through water grabs, privatization, dams and the egregious assaults upon our world waterways. In the world we are now making this will simply not sustain us with a population set to hit 9 billion. Famine, malnutrition, agricultural failures, diseases, drought, soil nutrient depletion, oil spills, acidification of our oceans are just some examples of the results of actions that abuse our water and the Earth that depends on it as deforestation, landgrabs, biofuels, oil spills, privatization, hoarding and exclusivity abuse it.

That last word exclusivity is actually the one word that we need to explore on Blog Action Day. As we travel throughout our world exclusivity is playing a huge part in the human rights abuses taking place. In Syria, millions are now in refugee camps because their cries to leadership in leading them out of the worst drought to hit them in decades due to climate change thus bringing on water scarcity and agricultural losses that caused massive amounts of movement from farm areas to cities thus precipitating their civil war was due to exclusivity. That is the thought by those in power positions and those who possess material wealth that because of that power and material wealth they alone have the right to decide who is entitled to the resources of this world.

It is the same exclusivity practiced as well in the massive proliferation of mega dams. From Three Gorges Dam in China to the Belo Monte Dam in Brazil we are also seeing a massive movement of indigenous peoples as they are being removed from their cultural centers in order to build environmentally damaging dams that serve hydro power to the rich upstream while the poor then go without access to water to live and to grow food.

It is the same exclusivity we see in places like the Arctic where record breaking sea ice loss is changing life for the cultures that have lived there for centuries like the Inuit. The total lack of action by the US government in addressing their concerns about climate change and instead giving way to oil companies to actually drill this pristine area that we must preserve in order to also preserve our climate balance as well as the cultures that thrive there is beyond immoral. This is also true on a global scale in regards to fracking which is now poisoning billions of gallons of water in exchange for farmers not having water to grow food while oil companies hoard water even in places like Texas where severe and prolonged drought sees their reservoirs dry.

In what world where human rights are respected is this allowed to flourish? What have we become when money exceeds water in importance to our lives? When people like this control who gets water?

The examples I have given here do not even scratch the surface in revealing the human rights abuses happening globally in relation to water:

To pollute it thus denying access to it is a human rights abuse.
To hoard it in order to deny access or require huge amounts of money to access it is a human rights abuse.
To use water politically as a bargaining chip or a weapon of war is a human rights abuse.
To deny anyone access to water in order to use it for the life giving action of growing food to survive is a human rights abuse.
To use water scarcity and climate change as a way to profit from others' misery and hardship is a human rights abuse.

We are seeing ALL OF THIS taking place in our world today...and it must end. In this world we are making we will not make it unless we find our humanity again. Unless the unheard voices are heard.

That is what Blog Action Day and every day means to me.

The time to hear our voices as one is now.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Oceans In Critical State From Cumulative Impacts




This is one word you will never hear an AGW denier utter: cumulative. It is the one word that smashes any lie, red herring or misrepresentation they will give you in order to continue business as usual for their own comfort and financial state. However, it is the one word that you need to understand in order to see the urgency of what man has done and continues to do to the biosphere that gives all species life. This is even more urgent than the report issued by the IPCC. In the case of our oceans it is imperative because our oceans are the first link in the food chain and the first strand in the web of life.

I strongly recommend you click on the link provided and read this entire report as you won't be seeing this reported on your local news network where people are nothing more than robots giving you the news they are told to give you to keep you mollified.

This is not something to ignore. We have started a chain of events we may not be able to control if we continue to ignore it.

Another World Water Day Gone

We see another World Water Day pass us by. The theme, Water For All, signifies that though some progress has been made we are woefully behin...