Sunday, February 2, 2014

Communicating Climate Science in Music and Theater

I gave a talk last week on Communicating Climate Science in Music, Theater and Film last week at the SRJC Environmental Forum. This was a similar talk I gave at the AGU Chapman Conference on Communicating Climate Science in June 2013, but a bit longer. I dedicated the talk to Pete Seeger who just passed. Some students asked for my powerpoint lecture that has links to great resources including arts programs and artists working on climate change. The only way I could get it uploaded into this blog is by making it a video. I included a Pete Seeger's song One Blue Sky as a soundtrack. It doesn't have a narration so the flow might not make sense but the good info is in there. Maybe I'll add narration so it can stand alone but I wanted to post this ASAP so students could do a project on it. So here it is....

video

I also created a youtube playlist Climate Change Songs with over 70 music videos on climate change from around the world that is public. All the songs in my presentation, plus many more, can be found there. Here is a song on Greenhouse Gases I covered by Hy Zaret: 


Here are some of my favorites Climate Change Songs from other artists:








My favorites from the PNG. They hit the nail with Pete Seeger's proverbial hammer:

 "There is one major cause of climate change-greed and selfishness."



video


A Climate Change Song, written and performed by the Ponai String Band from Ahus Island, Manus Province, Papua New Guinea.

LYRICS (translated to English):

In the world today there is a big problem
of climate change,
In the world today there is a big problem
of climate change

It is a big concern for the government, non-government organisations and grassroots movements,
Weather patterns are changing and the sea is rising,
sea level rise will affect men and women and their land

There is one major cause of climate change-
greed and selfishness cause climate change,
big factories contribute to climate change

We ask the national government create the policies and guidelines to limit human activities,
and therefore look after the people of Manus and of course Ahus Island people too!

There is one major cause of climate change-
greed and selfishness cause climate change,
big factories contribute to climate change...

BACKGROUND:
Ahus Island in Manus Province of Papua New Guinea is a very low-lying sand island severely affected by climate change impacts. Sand erosion is shrinking their island, their freshwater wells are becoming brackish and changing weather patterns and oceanic currents are making finding fish difficult. Their very survival on this island is threatened.

Filmed and edited by Kat Gawlik of 'For Greenies' with support from AusAID - "Building the resilience of communities and their ecosystems to the impacts of climate change in the Pacific", The Nature Conservancy and WWF


With great love, to Pete Seeger:





Monday, June 3, 2013

Fukushima Radiation Risk Media Deception



Yet again, the nuclear power spin doctors are claiming that the only health risk from ionizing radiation is the stress caused by an irrational fear of the risk. Two scientific reports came out this week that predict no health risks or effects from the ionizing radiation released by the Fukushima nuclear accident and the corporate nuclear gangsters driving the media blitz bandwagon have been having a field day with it.

During a recent UN meeting on atomic radiation, UNSCEAR released a preliminary assessment of their research on the heath and cancer risk in Japan due to the Fukushima accident, and surprise, what they have found is that there is no risk. According to their press release

"Radiation exposure following the nuclear accident at Fukushima-Daiichi did not cause any immediate health effects. It is unlikely to be able to attribute any health effects in the future among the general public and the vast majority of workers," concluded the 60 th session of the Vienna-based United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effect of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR).


It didn't take long for World Nuclear News, the megaphone of the nuclear biz to blitz the good news. 

"The most extensive international report to date has concluded that the only observable health effects from the Fukushima accident stem from the stresses of evacuation and unwarranted fear of radiation."


Huffington post carried a Reuters story No Rise In Cancer Seen From Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, UN Says in which they quote a senior member of the committee, Dr.Wolfgang Weiss:

"Weiss, who chairs work on UNSCEAR's Fukushima report, told reporters that dose levels were "so low that we don't expect to see any increase in cancer in the future in the population"."


But who is this Weiss Guy? Who is UNSCEAR and why should I believe what they report?  UNSCEAR is subservient to the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the global pimp of nuclear power.  UNSCEAR, which I like to pronounce "unscare" as it seems that their main purpose is to dispel any concerns about nuclear radiation, are not an autonomous independent agency. Not only is UNSCEAR loaded with scientists in the nuclear industry, every report must be approved by the IAEA. UNSCEAR was strongly criticized by the international scientific community a few years ago with its assessment of the consequences of the Chernobyl accident in which they claimed only 31 people died as a result of radiation. For more information on that coverup, read my blog about it here


Dr. Wolfgang WeissWho is this Weiss guy? Wolfgang Weiss is a boss on Euratom which, according to Wikipedia is an international organisation founded in 1958 with the purpose of creating a specialist market for nuclear power in Europe, developing nuclear energy and distributing it to its member states while selling the surplus to non-member states.  Weiss is in the business of promoting nuclear power!  Do you trust his opinion on the health effects or consequences of ionizing radiation and nuclear accidents? 

More importantly, why didn't Reuters or Huff Post point this out? They have access to google too. It is unethical and irresponsible for the media to not expose the bias and conflict of interest with these nuclear agencies and agents. It is irresponsible for the media to perpetuate the lie and illusion of neutrality of scientists. But it doesn't end there. 

Today, the US National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) published a study Evaluation of radiation doses and associated risk from the Fukushima nuclear accident to marine biota and human consumers of seafood that claims that, although  radioactive Pacific Bluefin Tuna (PBFT) from Fukushima have been detected on the west coast, there is little health risk to eating them:

Bluefin tuna at a Tokyo fish market"Although uncertainties remain regarding the assessment of cancer risk at low doses of ionizing radiation to humans, the dose received from PBFT consumption by subsistence fishermen can be estimated to result in two additional fatal cancer cases per 10,000,000 similarly exposed people."

In today's LA Times article Scientists to eaters: Don't freak out over Fukushima fish, they quote Nicholas Fisher, one of the authors of the study: 

"Fears regarding environmental radioactivity, often a legacy of Cold War activities and distrust of governmental and scientific authorities, have resulted in perception of risks by the public that are not commensurate with actual risks,"

This is the usual tact of the nuclear spin masters: claim that any and all concern over ionizing radiation is due to an irrational fear of everything atomic.  We are too scared and stupid to do the science. And the mainstream media is more than eager to perpetuate that fallacy. But who is this Fisher man? From his website at Stonybrook he clearly is an expert of contamination in marine organisms. However, nowhere do I see any work or background in psychology that would qualify a statement quoted above. And he goes on: 


"This study shows that the committed effective dose received by humans based on a year's average consumption of contaminated Pacific bluefin tuna from the Fukushima accident is comparable to, or less than, the dose we routinely obtain from naturally occuring radionuclides in many food items, medical treatments, air travel and other background sources," Fisher and his co-authors wrote.

So what he seems to be saying is that if you eat the fish for a year you will DOUBLE the your exposure due to background radiation. Is that supposed to be a good thing? It is very deceptive. 

The TRUTH is that is impossible to predict risk due to low level radiation. The TRUTH is that more radiation necessarily implies more risk. How much more? You can never say for certain because the dose is calculated by adding the the total energy per decay over some period of time and then divide that by the mass of the body or organ. Then you multiply that number by a 'dose coefficient' that amplifies or reduces the risk - depending on who did the calculation. It is complicated and worth another blog post for me to try to explain it. But it is really bad science. 

In reality, radiation doesn't work like that. Calculating dose does not calculate real risk. It is some crazy mathematical average. It is like saying that if a shooter goes into a theater and opens fire, nobody will statistically get hurt because the energy of the bullets will be added up and then shared among all of the people. An alpha particle slicing through a DNA molecule or cell membrane doesn't distribute its energy like a flame to a pot of water. It is madness. And stupid science. The dose calculation is a ruse for the scientific-nuclear empire to appear in control of the consequences of its toxic technology so they can continue to propagate more of it. And the corporate media is all too eager to help them spread their lies and deceptions.


******
New news just out on the wire: 

EPA Dramatically Weakens Radiation Protection


"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is publishing in the Federal Register today controversial new Protective Action Guides (PAGs) for responding to radioactive releases. EPA says it solicits public comment but is nonetheless making the PAGs immediately effective.
The new PAGs eliminate requirements to evacuate people in the face of high projected thyroid, skin, or lifetime whole body doses; recommend dumping radioactive waste in municipal garbage dumps not designed for such waste; propose five options for drinking water, which would dramatically increase the permitted concentrations of radioactivity in drinking water, by as much as 27,000 times, compared to EPA's current Safe Drinking Water Act limits; and suggest markedly relaxing long-term cleanup standards."

Is it coincidence or orchestration that the announcement that the EPA is weakening radiation protection comes at the same time as the 'reports' and 'studies' that there is no heath risk or consequence from the Fukushima nuclear disaster? It isn't conspiracy theory, it is media theory and business as usual. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Peace Activist Bruce Gagnon is Coming to Santa Rosa!!

Bruce Gagnon is on a speaking tour on the west coast this month and we are lucky to get him to speak at two events in Santa Rosa. Bruce is a FANTASTIC speaker and is one of the most fun and fabulous people I've ever met in my life. Don't miss him! Here are the two events in Santa Rosa:

Thursday April 12th, 7pm
Newman Auditorium
Santa Rosa Junior College

1501 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa



Friday, April 13th,  6pm – 9pm
POTLUCK! Bring something to share! 
The Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County
467 Sebastopol Ave., Santa Rosa
More Info: http://pjc.drupalgardens.com/ 

He has speaking stops through California, Oregon and Washington States. For a full itinerary, go here: thttp://www.space4peace.org/actions/bg_speaking_tour_2012.htm

Bruce is the coordinator of the international Global Network against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space (www.space4peace.org) and as such works as a full time peace activist, organizer, and writer. He is a Veteran for Peace who served in the Army during the Vietnam War. He also has an awesome blog here in blogger land (http://space4peace.blogspot.com/).

Bruce Robinson interviewed Bruce for his KRCB (91 FM)  radio show "North Bay Report" to be aired on Thursday, April 12th. But you can listen to it now here on their website: http://krcb.org/201204123137/north-bay-report/the-new-cold-war.  Bruce will be interviewed live on KPFA (94.1 FM) Friday, April 13th, at 8am on the radio show "Project Censored" with  Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff. Listen Live or the show will be archived here: http://www.projectcensored.org/radio-archive/.

I joined the Global Network over a decade ago because of its focus on space issues - weaponization and militarism of space, missile defense, nuclear power and weapons and space debris. The GN was a natural fit for me as a space ecologist and peace activist and I've been on the board for a several years, attending their conferences and actions over the years around the world. The common goal of the member organizations in the Global Network is "To Keep Space for Peace" and to end the extension of endless war on Earth into space. Unfortunately, the US government, its allies and the corporate aerospace military industrial complex have been working towards "Full Spectrum Dominance" of the planet as shown in this brochure produced by the US Space Command. Below is a parody song I wrote on the matter showing more images from this brochure and other sources from aerospace corporations, "War in Heaven."





Recently I organized a speaking tour in Hawaii, where GN members Bruce Gagnon, Dave Webb from the UK (http://www.caab.org.uk/) and myself, met with peace activists in Hawaii (http://hawaiipeaceandjustice.org/) who are working to end (or live with) the expanding militarism in the Pacific Region. Bruce and Dave then traveled from Hawaii to Jeju Island in South Korea (Santa Rosa's sister city!) to give support to the people there who are peacefully resisting the destruction of their island paradise to build a naval base to house US Aegis cruisers. (http://www.savejejuisland.org).

Bruce's interest and knowledge in space, war and peace is very impressive but even more than that, his devotion to peace, to cross the line, get arrested, risk his life and liberty for global peace and social justice is a true inspiration.  Please share!





Saturday, April 2, 2011

The UN Coverup on the Health FX of Nuclear Radiation

I watched this video earlier today on Russian TV in which Dr.Chris Busby, British scientist and expert on the health effects of ionizing radiation, says that what is most similar between Fukushima and Chernobyl is how much we are being lied to about the seriousness of the consequences. He actually said that Fukushima may be worse because of the high population in the area. 




I  have sadly spent the rest of the day learning about one of the most evil and horrific scientific and political coverups of all time.


First stop I found this article by Dr. Busby on the Fukushima Radiation Risks: 
http://www.thepowerhour.com/news4/busby_radiation.htm
In it he says that an independent european group of scientists working on the The Low Level Radiation Campaign (http://www.llrc.org) predict that 


 Radioactivity form the Fukushima Catastrophe is now reaching centres of population like Tokyo and will appear in the USA. Authorities are downplaying the risk on the basis of absorbed dose levels using the dose coefficients of the International Commission on Radiological Protection the ICRP. These dose coefficients and the ICRP radiation risk model is unsafe for this purpose.  17,000 cancers will be caused by Fukushima within the 200 km contamination zone by 2061.

So why do we keep hearing 'experts' say that ''the radiation levels are safe' " It is because they are basing the risk on an old outdated and wrong model. It is the ICRP (http://www.icrp.org/) risk model that the UN and its organizations such as IAEA and UNSCEAR uses to determine the risk due to low level radiation.  The ICRP risk model was developed after the Hiroshima nuclear blast and includes exposures and dosages due only to EXTERNAL gamma radiation, not any INTERNAL RADIATION!! It is an entirely outdated model and has been falsified over and over again but these scientific results are suppressed. So. every time you see a chart that shows the health consequences of radiation doses, they are all WRONG because they are based on the ICRP model which is what IAEA and every agency at the UN uses and as well as text book, every reporter and every educator, including me. Up until today. I will no longer perpetuate the lies and coverup. 

The Euopean Commitee on Radiation Risk (ECRR) (http://www.euradcom.org/) has developed and tested a new risk model that is based on internal absorption and exposure to radiation. Their model correlates higher cancer rates due to low dosages that are 100x greater than the ICRP model. They have made their study available online free due to Fukushima. http://www.euradcom.org/2011/ecrr2010.pdf
Here is what Dr. Busby says about the different models: 


Take the dose which is published by the authorities. Multiply it by 600. This is the approximate ECRR dose for the mixture of internal radionuclides released from Fukushima. Then multiply this number by 0.1. This is the ECRR 2010 cancer risk.

Most of this is clearly explained in this video http://vimeo.com/15382750
which took place in Stockholm, 22nd April 2009. The recently resigned Scientific Secretary of the ICRP, Dr Jack Valentin  conceeds to Dr. Chris Busby,  that the ICRP model can not be used to predict the health effects of exposures and that for certain internal exposures it is underestimates the risk by up to two orders of magnitude (100 times).  He also said that as he was no longer employed by ICRP he could agree that the ICRP and the United Nations committee on radiation protection (UNSCEAR) had been wrong in not examining the evidence from the Chernobyl accident, and other evidence outlined below, which shows large errors in the ICRP risk model.  Transcript of the video:
euradcom.org/2009/lesvostranscript.htm

The UN's report on the health consequences of Chernobyl  from UNSCEAR is here:http://www.unscear.org/unscear/en/chernobyl.html  
It is full of lies: 31 workers dead, 2000 children from leukemia. What is astounding to learn is that the IAEA only counts deaths that have been verified by Los Alamos and its equivalent in France - two nuclear bomb makers!!  This is madness. Did you know that? 

The independent European Group published a study you can download for free

and the New York Academy of Science published a study based on Russian science research that claims that some 985,000 people died, mainly of cancer, as a result of the Chernobyl accident. That is between when the accident occurred in 1986 and 2004. More deaths, it projects, will follow.
Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment 
you can read on google books or here is a review

Another VERY important video to watch is "Nuclear Controversies"
a film made by acclaimed Swiss journalist Wladimir Tchertkoff in which he shows scientists debating the science at the UN regarding the health consequences of the Chernobyl accident. If you are a self proclaimed 'realist' or 'rationalist' you may not like this video because it does show sick children. Many of  you all think that this somehow disqualifies an argument, if there is anything emotional or human about it. So get over it. We are all human. Buck up and watch the Russian scientists rage at the UN liars. THey know the consequences. Their families are dying. And Russian scientists are jailed for publishing their scientific studies that dispute the political line. It doesn't make them irrational. It makes them passionate. And there is a huge real difference. 


Why is this information suppressed? Why do these agencies keep using the ICRP model when it is clearly false and underestimates risk? I think it is partly due to greed and technology worship. We want to believe that technology and science can save us. We are in a nuclear quagmire. And who is going to pay to clean up the radioactive mess around the world? We are in a nuclear quagmire and we have no idea how to get out of it. So the UN underestimates the risk and promotes

And  BTW, let us never overlook that GE, who pays no taxes, built the Fukushima reactor and 23 'sister' reactors in the US. Are they liable for any of this? No. You can see here if there is one near you.  http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/list-power-reactor-units.html


Please spread the word. 


After I posted this, I found this brilliant OpEd piece 

The U.N. Would Never Lie to George Monbiot

by Joe Giambrone that deconstructs the recent debate between long time anti-nuclear activist, Dr. Helen Caldicott, and pro-nuke 'environmentalist' George Monbiot. The debate video is also posted there.  

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Women's History Month

March is Women's History Month! Quick - name a famous woman scientist!  Can you? Well, I asked my physics class yesterday to name a woman dead or alive who has made a contribution to science and the only name any one could drum up without racing to their cell phones to look it up was of course: Marie Curie - and that was a struggle, I had to give hints. And then I asked them to name men and, you betcha, the names flew out. Why the discrepancy? Is it because there are no women in history who have made a contribution to science? The answer of course is an emphatic NO. Without getting on my feminist high horse and arguing that women have been written out of history by the dominant group to perpetuate marginalization, blah blah blah....let me just point you to a few songs I wrote to try to bring some parity to our history.

Hi Tech Girl:  A Brief History of Women in Science


Annie Jump Cannon


And for fun: Einstein's Angels




And here is an excellent website: 4000 Years of Women in Science:

http://www.astr.ua.edu/4000WS/


And here is a website that I helped Geoff Marcy make a million years ago on the History of Women in Astronomy:    http://astro.berkeley.edu/~gmarcy/women/history.html

Lovon!