Happy Day

A sunny morning. It is beautiful outside my windows, the morning sun is warm and nourishing.

I received news today that my relocation at work has been processed. This will be my last week working in the office with the negative coworker. I may accept an occasional work day at this office, but I won’t work an entire week in such an environment again; unless I’m starving and there are no other options at all. I have four more days to put in! March has been a very long month.

My new boss called me to congratulate me and welcome me to her office. We are off to an excellent start, I can feel it. There isn’t much work at the new office, but all of it will be in a pleasant atmosphere. It is also an atmosphere where quality is appreciated, even expected; things are well run, organized and predictable where they need to be. Oh happy day!

I have only 8 hours of work scheduled for the month of April. We will tighten our belts again. This comes at a wonderful time of year, with spring bursting onto the landscape. I need a bit of a rest; time to become reacquainted with myself, recover from my numbing month of March.

Attila and I have decided that television reception is not worth the annual cost, which is the equivalent of heating the house for most of the winter. We will cancel today, and have to pay for one more month of service. This was a difficult decision, particularly since we already lead a relatively isolated existence. The only channel we have watched since Christmas is The Weather Network, the rest of the programming is either uninteresting, too violent or aired at inconvenient times, so that we are ether away or fast asleep during the broadcast.

< Japan Nuclear Catastrophe >

For those readers who prefer not to read or think about events in Japan, I have encapsulated my comments on the Japan Nuclear Catastrophe so that this section of the journal / blog can be skipped over. The Catastrophe is on my mind constantly, as a conscientious Rural Geographer I am watching the destruction of landscape with horror and concern. My analytical bent is relentless, my training extensive and now ingrained.

I grew up on a farm, love the land, love the landscape and must express my concerns for our planet. If you map all the nuclear plants in the world, it is easy to visualize concerns for the long-term health of the planet. For some, thinking about these things is overwhelming, terrifying, frightening; for me, it is as natural and as necessary as breathing.

Here are the sources I visit every morning to review what is happening in Japan in relation to their nuclear catastrophe. Suffice it to say, there is no definitive source of reliable information available to the public anywhere on planet earth, just my opinion and I’m “just saying”, a common phrase I’ve been hearing a lot lately.

Reuters Japan on Twitter

NHK WORLD English

< /Japan Nuclear Catastrophe >

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-4 °C
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 102.3 kPa
Temperature: -4.0°C
Dewpoint: -6.0°C
Humidity: 86 %
Wind: NW 11 km/h
Wind Chill: -8

Quote

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”
Carl Jung
1875 – 1961

You Can’t See Me

It was very cold here last night. The house is a bit cooler but still comfortable. The sun is shining! This should provide some additional heat, since I’ve opened up the blinds on the south side of the house.

The situation in Japan continues to haunt. Why so more than the situation in Libya? I’m not sure, but I think it is because the makings of war are so far removed from public opinion, in my view, that there is little to be gained by voicing an opinion. In the case of nuclear disaster, well, that is something I do hope is subject to influence by public opinion. This may be a naive fantasy. I’m only human after all. Another factor affecting my focus, is that while the war in Libya is “over there”, the threat of nuclear disaster is everywhere, including “here”, my “here”, and your “here” and the “here” of most other humans and life forms on the planet earth. The factor of time is also relevant to me, my distant descendants most likely will not be affected by the actual conflict in Libya; they may be affected by nuclear waste.

The child who covers their eyes and says “You Can’t See Me” [see Notes] assumes others see the world as they themselves do. In order to see the world as clearly as is possible, we cannot assume that others see the world as we do. We cannot assume that the media sees the world comprehensively or as we see it.

What do we do when our window on the world is coloured by the agenda of those controlling what and how we know of the world? Can we make informed decisions?

There seems relatively little reaction internationally to the nuclear tragedy that continues to unfold in Japan. The natural disaster, the earthquake and tsunami, are an “act of nature”. The “man”-made disaster that is Fukushima is an act of “man”; as a species we didn’t have to go there, we didn’t have to have this experience, the common people of Japan did not have to suffer the consequences of this situation.

Many believe it can never happen again; that it can never happen “here”, “here” being any other nuclear facility in the world that a believer happens to live near. I don’t believe that it could never happen “here”. That doesn’t mean I believe it will happen here, in Ontario, Canada. I just think there is real long-term risk. The risk isn’t to me necessarily, but my grandchildren, great-grandchildren and those who follow, might also be at risk. The risk isn’t just in the here and now, and no scientist in the world denies the long-term challenge of handling nuclear waste. The “magic bullet” [see Notes below] in the gun of nuclear power might be aimed at the distant future.

I know that other people may not agree with me on the topic of nuclear power, and other issues I write about. I read writing based on “other” perspectives on a daily basis, on many topics. Their perspectives interest me, occasionally inform me and inspire me to better understand my own values and views. Because my world view is not zero sum, the “other” need not be a threat to my world view; although it can be a threat to my physical well-being, as we observed in the case of the Walkerton water supply tragedy and nuclear power catastrophe in Japan.

If you are reading this, I can’t see you. You can only see part of me. My agenda, even if I am not conscious of it, determines what I show you of me. I do my best as a human biped.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Condition: Clear
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -10.0°C
Dewpoint: -13.8°C
Humidity: 74 %
Wind: N 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -15

Quotes

Reuters International Moderated Blog on the Situation in Japan

“@TomB I was down in Osaka for a few days last week and the people there were mostly oblivious to the reactor problems in Fukushima. Knowing this country having lived here for over 20 years, I would offer that if the government was more forthcoming and appealed to the whole nation, a lot more could be done. Volunteer groups around the country would mobilize to take people in and all kinds of creative responses would be found. It is a lack of information and imagination that is stopping necessary and calm evacuation efforts. Instead, the government has decided to sacrifice the lives of its own citizens for what it thinks is the greater good of social order.”
comment by Worried in Tokyo at 5:27 AM [March 24, 2011]

“Without this site there would be almost no information at all coming from other vendors. I believe we are being purposely kept in the dark about this in order to avoid panic and to attempt to rescue the positive sides of nuclear power. If there are any. My sympathy to the people of Japan AND New Zealand, and thanks to Reuters for this invaluable web site.”
comment by ray king at 6:03 AM [March 24. 2011]

“@Reuters_AnujaJaiman I wonder why geothermal energy has caught so little interest so far. If we get 1 MW of geotermal energy for $3.5 million then it’s really cheap compared to new nuclear power plants, e.g. Olkiluoto 3 in Finland. And it would be clean and steady energy with minimal risks.”
comment by jkn at 6:05 AM [March 24, 2011]

@Reuters I found your site through the Calculated Risk blog and have been following (lurking, mostly, since I have little by way of expertise) since March 12. Every morning I see readership numbers are lower and worry that you will pull the plug on this valuable liveblog. Thanks for keeping it up and thanks especially to the consistent commenters helping straighten out and explain facts without injecting rhetoric one way or the other. This has become my first source and I have more than once been able to use this information to help my colleagues with friends and family in the Tokyo region. My opinion of Reuters has increased tremendously over the past weeks and I’ll continue to turn to your site in the future. Thanks again, and please keep this blog going.
comment by Kisa at 6:44 AM [March 24, 2011]

Nuclear disaster hinders search for missing in Fukushima Pref. english.kyodonews.jp
comment by NHK Listener at 8:28 AM [March 24, 2011]

Got up this moring and ritually checked my local news. Something I didn’t expect to see – radiation has actually reached my part of the world, Newfoundland. This is the most easterly Canadian province. Apparently it’s coming down the Atlantic from Iceland and hitting our east side – the capital region where I’m located. Of course the levels are very low but it’s fascinating all the same. Weather can really move things around. Never thought we’d experience anything… Even these very minimal levels. www.cbc.ca
comment by Quiltea at 8:43 AM [March 24, 2011]

Source: http://live.reuters.com/Event/Japan_earthquake2 Moderated by Reuters

Notes

Egocentrism: You Can’t See Me

“Egocentrism is the child’s inability to see other people’s view points. The child at this stage of cognitive development assumes that their view of the world is the same as other peoples, e.g. a little girl covers her eyes and says ‘mummy you can’t see me now, can you?'”

Source: http://www.websters-online-dictionary.net/definitions/egocentrism?cx=partner-pub-0939450753529744%3Av0qd01-tdlq&cof=FORID%3A9&ie=UTF-8&q=egocentrism&sa=Search#922

NIMBY

“NIMBY or Nimby is an acronym for the phrase not in my back yard. The term (or the derivative Nimbyism) is used pejoratively to describe opposition by residents to a proposal for a new development close to them. Opposing residents themselves are sometimes called Nimbies. The term was coined in 1980 by Emilie Travel Livezey, and was popularized by British politician Nicholas Ridley, who was Conservative Secretary of State for the Environment.[citation needed]
Projects likely to be opposed include but are not limited to tall buildings, chemical plants, industrial parks, wind turbines, desalination plants, landfills, incinerators, power plants, prisons,[1] mobile telephone network masts, schools, mosques, nuclear waste dumps, landfill dump sites, youth hostels, wind farms, golf courses, housing developments and especially transportation improvement schemes (e.g. new roads, passenger and freight railways, highways, airports, seaports).
NIMBY is also used more generally to describe people who advocate some proposal (for example, austerity measures including budget cuts, tax increases, downsizing), but oppose implementing it in a way that would require sacrifice on their part.”

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NIMBY

Magic Bullet

“A substance or therapy capable of destroying pathogenic agents (as bacteria or cancer cells) or providing a remedy for a disease or condition without deleterious side effects”

Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/magic+bullet

The Pieces I Am

Today I worked at a different office, very pleasant, just a “one-off”. At the end of the day, tired, I dragged my paraphernalia out to the car, loaded it all in, walked around the car, opened the door and got in, started the car up and… lights started flashing on the dashboard. All kinds of yellowy orange icons blinked madly.

A quick call to the dealership on the cell phone and I was reassured that I could drive it home. They encouraged me to bring the car in tomorrow morning. Apparently once those lights start flashing only they can turn them off. The shop is open tomorrow morning, I am working, Attila is working. We are off at noon, the dealership closes at noon. They recommended that we not drive to the little house in the city until they have a look at the car and turn off the flashing lights. They told me at the dealership where we bought the car that it is safe to drive, but not a good idea to take it on a long trip.

Weekend plans scuppered!

Monday the dealership is open again, so maybe Monday the car will make the two hour round trip to the dealership. Sheesh. Small potatoes as far as having a problem is concerned.

Attila made a turkey soup for dinner, it was very, very good and very, very healthy.

Netflix offers certain TV series. We have watched their available seasons of Huff and Dead Like Me. Amusing. We started watching Monk, which we like, but the constant diet of murder vignettes weighed heavily on me and affected my sleeping patterns, so we stopped watching it. We are currently watching The Riches, to see what the series is like; and we are watching The Duchess of Duke Street which we thoroughly enjoy.

We had thunderstorms last night, severe enough that our power went out for a little while and the lightening necessitated that the computers and electronic equipment be shut down and unplugged for the evening.

I continue to tune in to the ongoing updates about the earthquake and tsunami aftermath in Japan.

HAPPENING NOW: Live updates of developments in Japan
JAPAN EARTHQUAKE LIVE

Worldly Distractions

Weather

1 °C
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 1.0°C
Dewpoint: -1.9°C
Humidity: 81 %
Wind: WNW 13 km/h

Quote

“She is a friend of my mind… The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.”
Toni Morrison
1931 –

Captains of Industry

Devastating, the situation in Japan. Should be an eye opener to all of us, what the captains of industry have gotten us into, and how our governments are implicated. I feel a lot of compassion and respect for the general population of Japan. I feel disgust and contempt for the movers and shakers of industry, business and progress, worldwide. The fear of nuclear contamination is not generated by a war, it is created in the name of progress, aka greed, the very same progress that promotes nuclear power in Canada as a “green” alternative. The hubris of the powerful has been visited upon the meek.

In my opinion, the powerful are invisible to the general public and self-protective, the politicians are glib, incredibly convoluted and cunning. History is written for the powerful. Knowledge is generated for the powerful.

For all we know, humans existed in peaceful co-existence with each other and the planet, before this brief era of written history. The stories of our distant ancestors are buried in time.

As a species we need leadership with integrity, not politics. There is a world of difference.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

1 °C
Condition: Light Freezing Rain
Visibility: 5 km
Temperature: 1.0°C
Dewpoint: 1.0°C
Humidity: 100 %
Wind: SE 5 km/h

Quote 

“Life Is What You Make It: Find Your Own Path to Fulfillment”
Peter Buffett

Notes

Raw Data from Japan

Fukushima Nuclear Plant Japan March 16, 2011
Source: http://www.jaif.or.jp/english/news_images/pdf/ENGNEWS01_1300273535P.pdf

Ongoing News from Japan

HAPPENING NOW: Live updates of developments in Japan
JAPAN EARTHQUAKE LIVE

Our Government’s Stance on Nuclear Issues

Harper embraces the nuclear future
Climate-change anxiety breathes new life into nuclear power, and shifts Ottawa’s plans
JOHN GEDDES | May 7, 2007 |

“Stephen Harper would seem an unlikely pitchman for nuclear power. When the Prime Minister launches into his familiar spiel about Canada as an emerging “energy superpower,” we all think we know what he’s talking about — he’s an Alberta MP, after all, and his father worked for Imperial Oil. Yet in a key speech last summer in London, his most gleeful boast was not about record oil profits, but about soaring uranium prices. “There aren’t many hotter commodities, so to speak, in the resource markets these days,” Harper joked to the Canada-U.K. Chamber of Commerce crowd. Then, noting that Britain is among those countries poised to begin buying new reactors for the first time in decades, he added: “We’ll hope you remember that Canada is not just a source of uranium; we also manufacture state-of-the-art CANDU reactor technology, and we’re world leaders in safe management of fuel waste…

It’s a renaissance fuelled largely by climate-change anxiety…

However these battles unfold, the nuclear industry and its political supporters will be looking to exploit cracks they see in the wall of environmentalist opposition…

In an email exchange with Maclean’s, Suzuki explained his position. “I don’t say unequivocally that nuclear is not an option. It may very well be sometime in the future,” he wrote. “But right now, I think it’s nuts to even suggest nuclear. Climate change confronts us with the opportunity to think and design the kind of energy we want in the future and to me, it’s clear it should be a network of small-scale, diverse sources.” He lists wind, solar and tidal power as his preferences….”

Source: http://www.macleans.ca/canada/features/article.jsp?content=20070507_105095_105095

Chernobyl 1986 – 2006, 20 years later

English Russia: The Lost City of Chernobyl

Earth Quake

Rubber Boots and Geraniums

Yesterday, as Attila was walking through the kitchen towards the stove, pots began to rattle.  I thought it was just Attila’s heavy foot on the kitchen floor.  But no, when I glanced up at him he was not moving.  We looked at each other, puzzled.  Perhaps large trucks at the construction site a few doors down the road?  Perhaps.  The rattling continued for almost a minute, then ceased.  We shrugged and carried on with our lunch preparations.

Later in the afternoon Terra called to see if I had noticed the earth quake.  Aha!  So that is what made the pots rattle!

The visitor who tore open our garbage, and distributed it across the public roadway yesterday, may have been a raven.  I had seen a bear the day before, and Attila had spotted a large raven perched high on a tree just down the road, the morning of the incident.  Either way, we need a second garbage can to deter our visitors.

A quiet day, with intermittent torrential rain and sunshine. My geranium is moved indoors for the duration of the stormy weather, just in case we get hail. I’ve been wearing Attila’s rubber boots in my forays outdoors, even though they are much too big for me. I like clomping around in them, it delights my sense of the ridiculous.

Worldly Distractions

Quote

To the soul, there is hardly anything more healing than friendship.
Thomas Moore
(1779 – 1852)

Weather

20 °C
Condition:Stormy
Pressure:100.7 kPa
Visibility:16 km
Temperature:20.0°C
Dewpoint:18.3°C
Humidity:90 %
Wind:W 13 km/h
Humidex:26

Earthquake Details

Magnitude
5.0
Date-Time
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at 17:41:41 UTC
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at 01:41:41 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
45.904°N, 75.497°W
Depth
16.4 km (10.2 miles) set by location program
Region
ONTARIO-QUEBEC BORDER REGION, CANADA
Distances
43 km (27 miles) N (352°) from Cumberland, Ontario, Canada
48 km (30 miles) NNE (15°) from Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
54 km (34 miles) NNE (21°) from Hull, Quebec, Canada
56 km (35 miles) NNE (16°) from OTTAWA, Ontario, Canada
Location Uncertainty
Error estimate not available
Parameters
NST=355, Nph=354, Dmin=153.9 km, Rmss=0 sec, Gp= 25°,
M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=A
Source
Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada