A Looking Glass: ‘Hanging By Your Fingernails’

March 22, 2011

As the so-called ‘no-fly’ war in Libya enters it fourth day, the BBC reports early this morning an US two-seater F-15 jet has crashed, and though the story doesn’t say if the aircraft was brought down by hostile or not, one pilot is okay, while the second is being sought.

The Libyan intervention shatters that home-grown-alone circle created by Tunisia’s “jasmine revolution”, a movement which has rolled across the Arab world the last two months — and one wonders why Libya, and not Yemen, or Bahrain?

From The Automatic Earth:

And then of course there’s this: Most of Libya’s oil, some 80%, is in the east near Benghazi.
It’s some of the lightest, sweetest, easiest to extract crude oil left on the planet.
Its marginal extraction could be as low as $1 per barrel.
Libya also has about 41 billion barrels in oil reserves, the US has 21 billion barrels.
Libya has an estimated 1,500 billion M^3 of natural gas as well according to the National Oil Company.
This war, like any other, is first and foremost one of resources.
Getting rid of Gaddafi is a mere bonus, but the main idea for now might well be to split the country in two.
“We” are only interested in the eastern part.

And it literally boils down to that nasty deep-ground black crap.

Meanwhile, nearly a world away, the Japanese are in still the deep shits, and still the old line of a situation worse than earlier reports.
According to CNN: Reactors 1 and 2 at Japan’s earthquake-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant suffered more damage from seawater than originally believed, the plant’s owner said Tuesday.
Radiation has bubbled up in local Pacific seawater, has tainted food (which WHO reports as ‘serious’), and now the wind has shifted landward, in the direction of Tokyo, a village of 35 million people.
How would you evacuate that many people?
And even if mega-preparedness is part of the Tokyo agenda?
From AFP via Raw Story:

All the experts interviewed agreed that cultural factors weigh heavily and Japan — especially Tokyo — is as well prepared for disaster as any society can be.
“If this had happened in a megacity with less preparedness capacity, the toll would have been in the millions, at least the hundreds of thousands,” said Valdes, citing Mumbai and Dhaka as being particularly vulnerable.
“In this sense, the scenario in Japan is positive despite all these horrible impacts.”
Since World War II, government at all levels in Japan has developed what is now a deeply-rooted, three-layered strategy for dealing with calamities.
They call it ‘self help, mutual assistance, public assistance’ — people are trained since kindergarten,” Valdes said.
But Birkmann said the unprecedented amalgam of disasters may have overloaded even Japan’s capacity to cope.
“The cascading event of an earthquake, a tsunami and … major difficulties with critical infrastructures might have reached a tipping point that one could not be prepared for,” he said.

Los Angles, in a simulated radiation emergency test last July, failed: “We were quickly overwhelmed by the scenario,” Ipsen said (Chris Ipsen, head of the Emergency Management Department for the city of Los Angeles). “There are a lot of things we need to tweak.”

Meanwhile, back to the Japanese reactors, and what to do?
Also from same above post at Automatic Earth:

Eminent US physicist Michio Kaku says that the Japanese government may call the situation at Fukushima stable, but that it would be “stable in the sense of hanging by your fingernails” (which I in turn would suggest is a perfectly apt description of our entire global economy and various societies).
Kaku indicates that the only “solution” he sees for Fukushima is for the Japanese army to start dropping massive amounts of sand, boric acid and concrete on the Fukushima 1 reactors.
Two of which are presently producing clouds of smoke, the origin of which is unknown to either TEPCO or Tokyo.
In other words, “stable” is hardly the first term that comes to mind.
And Japan may well be heeding Kaku’s words; just not admitting to it yet.

Just in case: If sirens sound, bend quickly over and kiss…

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