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


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


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.
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.
comment by Quiltea at 8:43 AM [March 24, 2011]

Source: Moderated by Reuters


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?'”



“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.”


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”