Picture Tomorrow

March 13, 2011

UPDATE: Another example of corporate misleading, BP-like stonewalling in allowing the real truth of dangerous matters out to the public — from the NYT:

On Sunday, Kumiko Fukaya, 48, who fled the area with several family members, she had been lulled into a false sense of complacency at the nearby plants, which she said had not had serious problems before. Then, on 7:30 Saturday morning, loudspeakers hung throughout her town of Tomioka blared a call for evacuation.
“The entire town was enriched by Tokyo Power,” she said, referring to the company that runs the plants, the closest of which is three miles from her home. “I thought they picked a safe and secure location. So instead of opposing the nuclear plant, I felt more security.
“Now I realize it’s a scary thing.”

And it seems, there’s even more problems with even more reactors — indeed a scary thing.

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Another world class event, this time in Japan, and, beyond damage produced by a now-called a 9.0 quake (upgraded this morning) and Friday’s Pacific-wide tsunami, the nuclear reactor can-of-horrible-worms is by far the real fright.
From an early Sunday New York Times report, word that Japanese officials are saying they presumed that partial meltdowns had occurred at two crippled reactors and that they were bracing for a second explosion, even as they faced serious cooling problems at four more reactors.


(Illustration found here).

Use of nuclear power in the extreme-best of times, if anytime at all, is bat-shit-crazy-insane.
The energy produced by these nuclear explosions in-waiting has never, in my estimate, been worth the horror of any least little thing going wrong, and now, from a nation well-school in handling disaster, a mega-major bad event is on the boards — owners of the nuclear plants, Tokyo Electric Power, made the situation worse on Saturday by conflicting reports and a wave of those bullshit phrases like the reactors pose “no immediate health problem;” and Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano’s little ‘yeah,right‘ quote early Sunday: “At the risk of raising further public concern, we cannot rule out the possibility of an explosion,” Edano said. “If there is an explosion, however, there would be no significant impact on human health.”

And with a natural disaster, might just come a much bigger, much scarier, much-more disastrous, man-made disaster.
According to CNN, Friday’s quake moved Japan’s coast eight feet, and shifted the planet on its axis by nearly 4 inches (10 centimeters).
How does something like that further effect a planet seemingly already imploding?
From CBS comes a report the quake shortened the length of the 24-hour day by 1.8 microseconds: “This shift in the position of the figure axis will cause the Earth to wobble a bit differently as it rotates, but will not cause a shift of the Earth’s axis in space – only external forces like the gravitational attraction of the sun, moon, and planets can do that,” Gross said (geophysicist Richard Gross at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.).
The frightful thing is that no one can say shit for sure.

Despite all the double-speak, climate change also lurks below the surface, along with all kinds of other strange indirect/direct/or-even unrelated phenomenon, such as a polar reversal, and all seemingly all arriving for payback near-about the same time.
And on polar reversal – Helen Barratt with Japanese-cruisine for thought at Science 2.0:

The geomagnetic force protects the planet from the lethal effects of solar winds, radiation and cosmic rays and supports and maintains the location of the north and south poles.
The weakening of the Earth’s magnetic field has been happening for 2000 years, some scientists claim and in the past 20 years the magnetic field has become so erratic and unstable that airport and aeroplane equipment has needed to be readjusted for this change in the Earth’s geomagnetic field behavior.

Most interesting piece, though as the writer explains, she ain’t no expert, but it illustrates as one of those oddball situations which seem to be floating around in the global ether nowadays — for instance, why have the two biggest humanity-game changers in all of history, peak oil and climate change, arrive on scene nearly together, and supposedly unrelated?
Climate change, way-of course, is the reality-mother of all game changers.

There’s also been noted connection between the planet’s climate and one of those cause-and-effect situations with earth’s geophysical dimensions — a study was released last May from the UK’s Royal Society with the theme of ‘Climate forcing of geological and geomorphological hazards’ and via one abstract (of 15) from the document: Periods of exceptional climate change in Earth history are associated with a dynamic response from the geosphere, involving enhanced levels of potentially hazardous geological and geomorphological activity. The response is expressed through the adjustment, modulation or triggering of a broad range of surface and crustal phenomena, including volcanic and seismic activity, submarine and subaerial landslides, tsunamis and landslide ‘splash’ waves, glacial outburst and rock-dam failure floods, debris flows and gas-hydrate destabilization.
Other than that, not much happens.

The above information came via a real-good Grist piece on Friday about climate change and the Japanese earthquake, a post which in itself stirred a nasty wingnuttery, climate zombie response.
Sad, though, how valid points get knocked back by dangerous, loud assholes — case in point is how NPR handled being punked last week, despite the CEO telling the truth about the Tea Party nit-wits, Republicans and the foul, nasty and dangerous right-wing assholes in general.
The CEO had to quit because of it, when in reality the guy’s biggest mistake was opening his big mouth to total strangers, especially being in his position — he was just acting like smart-ass dipshit, nothing more.

In climate change, however, people are accommodating — read a good response to the climate change/earthquake/tsunami situation and the dust-up from the Grist post at treehugger.

Also a bit un-nerving up here in northern California’s Humboldt County is the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a geophysical set up similar to Japan’s site of Friday’s quake — the zone stretches from the middle of Vancouver Island to Northern California. It marks the convergence of the submerging Juan de Fuca plate and the North American Plate. Movement here could produce an earthquake with a magnitude of 9.0 or greater.
Hence, the worry — according to a map from the above link on the Cascadia Subduction Zone the tail of the damn thing looks like it disappears right into Humboldt Bay.
Yikes!
On Friday, we were under a tsunami warning for a few hours, later downgraded to a tsunami watch, and several schools were closed, the county shuttered its offices and even some banks were closed.
Just a few miles north, up in Cresent City, an 8-foot tsunami surge destroyed the city’s harbor and caused millions of dollars in damages.
Horribly ironic, the city still hadn’t fully recovered from another 2006 Pacific tsunami.
From Santa Rosa’s Press Democrat: In Crescent City, where a 1964 tsunami took 11 lives, Sheriff Wilson described surging water that came into the recently dredged harbor with such velocity it caused a churning, whirlpool like action that ripped apart docks and pulled boats from moorings, swirling them round and round and crashing everything together.
Wilson added: “This last event truly has just destroyed that harbor, and we don’t have the means to allow our fleet to return and get them back in there. We don’t have anywhere to moor anymore. So this was just devastating to our community. It’s our heritage, our history, and also the lifeblood of our community.”

I’m afraid there’s way-more, way-worse shit coming — the picture for tomorrow ain’t pretty.

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