Perhaps at no time in human history has it been more crucial to get involved and battle corrupt corporate interests -- the catalysts of our own self-annihilation.
Contaminated soil, undrinkable water, birth defects in both animals and humans: This is what the people of Japan can expect from their inexplicable use of nuclear power -- “inexplicable” in that Japan is the only country to have ever been subjected to uranium’s use as a weapon of mass destruction. Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami sums it up best: “This time no one dropped a bomb on us .... We set the stage, we committed the crime with our own hands, we are destroying our own lands.”
What the anti-nuke movement often misses in its efforts to stop the catastrophic effects of nuclear anything is that it begins with uranium mining -- a process that is horribly dangerous to the earth, the water and the ability of future generations to survive. Stop uranium mining and we stop the issues of nuclear waste and nuclear meltdowns like those seen at Chernobyl and Fukushima.
Despite changing claims by corporate scientists and governments, Japan is now experiencing uncontrolled radioactive discharges at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant following the events of March 11, 2011. Chernobyl was a picnic compared to what’s happening there. Chernobyl had one reactor, and it didn’t sit on a beach 2,500 feet from the largest body of water on earth. Fukushima involves four reactors, three of which have melted down into the bedrock. Experts from two Japanese universities have tested the radiation levels and found that the plant, with its 4,400 tons of nuclear fuel rods, “greatly dwarfs the total size of radiation sources at Chernobyl.”
Obviously, the intentional and unintentional release of highly contaminated water from Fukushima’s core into the Pacific Ocean is a wide-open, man-made door to the “process of global radioactive contamination,” says Michel Chossudovsky, the founder of Canada’s Center for Research on Globalization.
Radioactive rainwater has been recorded up and down the west coast of North America, California in particular. Once contamination reaches any body of water -- especially one as significant as the planet's oceans -- the process of getting into the food chain is a simple one.
The same goes for cannabis. North America’s west coast represents the front lines in the Fukushima “invasion.” Will we always be able to grow marijuana in California soil with California rain? The same question applies to indoor gardens, since using contaminated water in hydroponic cultivation is no guarantee of safety.
As early as 2011, only weeks after the disaster, fish caught off the California coast contained elements of nasty radioactive materials -- and though the test sample wasn’t large, every one of the fish tested was dosed with contaminants. Interestingly, the tested fish were all born before the disaster, meaning their exposure was limited. One of the study’s experts stated that fish swimming across the Pacific Ocean ever since will have “considerably more radioactivity” and could result in a serious “public health hazard.”
He’s only discussing the present. Imagine 10, 15 or 20 years from now: These doses of alpha-, beta- and gamma-radiation emitters easily set up shop in algae, fish, grass, cattle and -- oh, yeah -- human beings.
Then there’s contamination from the nuclear cloud. For months now, “steam” has been observed erupting from the top of one of the reactors. Tepco, the corporation most directly responsible for this catastrophe, can’t explain this steam or what it contains. (Why? Because the company’s crane is malfunctioning!) But recent reports indicate that a wealth of new radioactive materials has been spewed into the atmosphere from Fukushima, spreading globally.
Indigenous peoples around the world have always been on the front lines of environmental disasters. Indigenous lands are the last ones containing significant untouched concentrations of the most prized resources on earth -- and corporations and governments will do anything to get at them.
Repeatedly, indigenous leaders have warned that the planet is not a resource for exploitation. Arvol Looking Horse is the 19th-generation pipe carrier of all the bands of the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota nations in North America. For Chief Looking Horse, the events at Fukushima -- and the generally disastrous treatment of the planet spurred by corporate greed -- is not surprising. At a recent gathering at the United Nations, he put the challenge in stark terms: “You must decide. You can’t avoid it. Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of humankind. Know that you yourself are essential to this world. Believe that! Understand both the blessing and the burden of that. You yourself are desperately needed to save the soul of this world. Did you think you were put here for something less?”
Fukushima is more just than a warning -- it’s our future if this madness continues. The real weapons of mass destruction are being promoted by our national, state and even local governments, and it’s our responsibility to stop them. If we can’t drink the water or eat the food -- or smoke the pot, for that matter -- will any of the other issues really matter?