Fukushima Contamination Hype: Facts, or “Fear Porn”?
The following image represents tsunami wave heights — NOT radiation levels.
Fear about Fukushima and its “poisoning of the Pacific” is rampant these days. On Facebook, some of my “truther” friends get angry if I dare to question the reality of a nuclear apocalypse looming in and over the Pacific.
The term “fear porn” has gained a lot of traction, and in this instance I can see why: intelligent people have become so addicted to their Pacific Ocean horror fixation, they refuse to evaluate any data that might contradict it.
Are there dying animal populations? Should residents of the Pacific Northwest be concerned? Does the Pacific Ocean contain large amounts of radioactive material? While the answer to all these questions is “Yes”, there is, as usual, a lot more to know.
Mainstream media outlets peddle the lie that all four obliterated reactor containments at Fukushima remain unbreached. Meanwhile, the so-called “alternative media” has been hammering truth seekers with dire claims that are equally misleading.
These two false scenarios – one, everything is under control, and two, the Pacific Ocean has been destroyed – constitute the usual goalposts by which people are routinely deceived, manipulated, and distracted from reality.
Usually, the goalpost dialectic leads the public down a predetermined path of brainwashed opinion, and reality is somewhere outside the confines of the posts. In this case, however, reality is not only outside the goalposts, but in between them as well.
Let’s look at the latter reality first.
Yes, there was a starfish apocalypse. Dead starfish by the millions littered the ocean floor off the British Columbian coast. Their arms were falling off. Their guts were gooshing out. When marine biologists collected them in tanks for analysis, they sometimes turned to jelly before they reached the laboratory.
“Alternative news” sites such as ENEnews.com promptly attributed the die-off to radiation from Fukushima. Droves of truthers, already terrified by reports of radioactive tuna and Google Maps images showing the killer radiation overtaking the Pacific like a psychedelic oil slick, fell for this bit of disinformation hook, line, and sinker.
The truth is that die-offs are a regular occurrence in nature. Die-offs happen when populations outstrip food supply; malnourishment leads to starvation and, more importantly, disease, which quickly propagates, effecting a population crash.
After the crash, the survivors, presumably the fittest, enjoy less competition for a recovering food supply, and the population rebounds.
Dr. Craig McClain, Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, identifies the syndrome that caused the die-off, and gives three reasons why it had nothing to do with Fukushima: (1) as an observed phenomenon, it predates Fukushima by 3 – 15 years; (2) it also occurs on the East Coast; and (3), other forms of life in the region remained unaffected.
Far from being unusual events, animal die-offs happen all the time, and normally go unremarked by all but the scientists who monitor them. Unscrupulous outlets ENEnews.com and Rense.com, among many others, are now hauling reports of them into the alternative media limelight and attributing them to Fukushima fallout without presenting a shred of evidence.
In doing so, they spread not only disinformation, but needless fear.
There have been claims of high Geiger counter readings in the Pacific Northwest.
According to Jim Stone, the engineer and ex-NSA analyst who proved that Fukushima was an act of environmental terrorism, the nuke that destroyed Reactor 3 did indeed produce particles that were blown eastward and are most likely to end up in North American riverbeds.
That isn’t good, but neither is it the end of the world, when one considers the many Cold War nuclear test detonations, one factor in the cancer rate explosion of the 20th century.
This article from Geigercounter.com traces high readings in California to naturally radioactive sand. How many amateurs with Geiger counters are erroneously jumping to Fukushima conclusions?
Background radiation is not uniform. Naturally occurring hot spots vary widely in intensity. In some parts of Iran, people thrive in radioactive norms much higher than any in the United States.
It makes sense to take the Geiger counter reports with several grains of salt.
Stone makes another good point. In Washington State, police cars are equipped with Geiger counters, which still sometimes detect radiotherapy patients. The background radiation in that region has not spiked because of Fukushima; otherwise, the cops’ Geiger counters would be jammed and useless for detecting cancer patients.
Some particles from the obliterated core of Reactor 3 have found their way to North America, but the reality does not begin to approach the hype.
“The Pacific Ocean is DYING!”
This is where people have been getting most emotional, and understandably so. We love whales and dolphins, and a whole lot of us enjoy seafood too. How much more catastrophic can you get, short of a planetary mass extinction event?
But this claim, that “The Pacific Ocean is dying”, is the most tenuous of them all.
The Pacific took its worst hit when Reactor 3 exploded, sending a portion of its fuel downwind over the waters. The rest will sit on Japanese land, making much of it uninhabitable, for as long as Japan remains above sea level.
Water happens to be an ideal radiation sink. Even gamma rays cannot penetrate more than two and a half feet of seawater. It takes only a fuel pool with a little water to soak up all the radiation from many reactor cores. Meanwhile, the Pacific Ocean occupies fully 30% of Earth’s surface.
Consider also the many nuclear tests conducted in the Pacific during the Cold War. In that context, are we to believe that a bit of fuel from one reactor core could destroy the entire ocean?
Even had Reactor 3’s entire core been ejected into the water, the idea that it could poison the entire ocean is ludicrous.
If you are freaked out by the hype, I suggest that you consider the possibility that you are getting roped in by a fear porn campaign designed to … do what?
Now we come to the reality outside the goalposts.
Stone thinks that the disinformation is to divert truthers’ attention from the real issues surrounding Fukushima: that (1) the disaster on 3/11/11 was a coordinated attack on Japan, (2) the majority of environmental damage outside Japan came in the immediate wake of that attack, and (3) the most serious issue is all the expelled fuel still strewn around Reactor 3’s destroyed containment. So lethal is that debris that not even robots can survive proximity to it. Safe disposal remains untenable.
I think the “elites” enjoy scaring the masses. In a sense, they feed on it. Fear is an excellent tool for keeping people’s minds in chains, especially when they happen to be a demographic (frequenters of “alternative” media) who are consciously trying to shake off those chains and become mentally free.
Stone’s report proving that 3/11/11 was an act of war is available in PDF format here.