High radioactive detections in land, sea and air are met with media derision and mass denial
News & Analysis
- Readings from multiple private and government sources over past three years indicate Fukushima radiation in the US
- YouTube Fukushima sleuths doing what government won’t trigger massive denial and mockery from LA Times, Al Jazeera America, Heal the Bay, others
- Sources for media meltdown deniers, such as oceanographer Kim Martini, demonstrate exuberant ignorance about radiation and health
- New report finds evidence of Fukushima radioactivity in Santa Cruz seawater
- Soil in California’s Humboldt County, famed for marijuana production, tests high for Fukushima radiation as well
Multiple hazardous readings of suspected Fukushima radiation have been detected in air, rain, snow, and surf in California and across the nation. The high radioactivity findings came during tests of air across America, Pacific Ocean surf south of San Francisco and Santa Cruz, rain in Death Valley and nearby Las Vegas, and in the soil of California’s marijuana-growing heartland in Humboldt County.
The radioactivity has been detected by EnviroReporter.com, its associated radiation stations, the Environmental Protection Agency’s RadNet monitoring posts, and YouTube users across the globe. Some of the hottest tests were videotaped and seen by thousands including one going viral and reaching over 770,000 YouTube viewers. The hot Humboldt dirt was discovered by an outspoken amateur Fukushima radiation sleuth.
The alarming detections show that the threat from the ongoing Fukushima Japan triple meltdowns may be arriving in force. The worst single environmental disaster in history is the most logical source for the myriad positive tests for radioactivity based on EnviroReporter.com‘s extensive investigation of the meltdowns that has resulted in over 5,436 samples and assessments across the country.
Many of those assessments have been done by Dale Ramicone who operates Radiation Station Glendale California which has a 24/7 live feed showing radiation readings along with a graph to put it in perspective.
“You know, this massive release, is so huge that it’s probably everywhere now,” Ramicone says. “I suspect that all you have to do is take samples, all up and down the coast, anywhere, and you will find contamination. It will be on the beach, in the salt spray, in the mussels and clams, the fish, everything that grows bones, shells, or exoskeletons. It may take some sensitive equipment to find it, but it’s there, I have no doubt.”
Ramicone is right. The Sea of Fuku Goo has arrived by land, sea and air just as EnviroReporter.com predicted not long after the poorly situated reactors were slammed by a 30-foot high tsunami after the Great Japan Earthquake March 11, 2011. Yet even with the destruction of much of the nuclear complex being three years ago today, the disaster has steadily worsened.
As anti-nuker Harvey Wasserman’s recent 50 Reasons to Fear the Worst from Fukushima details, events past and current illuminate the nuclear folly and foresee a grim future where Fukushima is concerned.
Indeed, nuclear reactor disasters of this sort get worse as time goes by, continually pumping poisonous radiation into the environment. No one even knows where the molten reactor cores are, located let alone what to do about them. All the while, 441 tons of highly radioactive water sluices into the Pacific every day.
News of Japan’s ongoing nuclear nightmare has become harder to come by since its lower house of Parliament passed a draconian Japanese censorship law passed in late November, 2013. Journalists who publish “inappropriately” or “wrongfully” obtained information on Fukushima face up to five years in prison. Inappropriate reporting, attempted leaks, solicitation and complicity are also illegal according to the new state secrecy act.
No need to censor most U.S. reporters to keep the lid on Fukushima. American media has reacted to these latest radiation revelations by issuing a barrage of poorly written screeds designed to discredit the people doing the actual detection work abandoned by the government in late 2011. Even once-august media outlets like the Los Angeles Times and newer media concerns like Al Jazeera America have been long on hyperbole but short on facts. This third year anniversary of the worst nuclear reactor meltdowns ever has also given us the worst ever government and media coverage of an environmental disaster.
Information obtained by EnviroReporter.com shows that the Fukushima radiation is already impacting California in ways that may crash the fishing industry, destroy coastal real estate values, poison the Golden State’s famed pot and irradiate the San Joaquin Valley breadbasket of the nation.
All manner of nuclear nightmare may be enveloping the state yet far too few even know about it. The ongoing misery wrought by these meltdowns could be classified as criminal if government and media ineptitude and deception were any measure. Yet there is no outrage, no public effort to even avoid known pathways that the Fuku goo is taking in our air, water and food. Instead of facing the fission, mass media and most people have taken a mocking, dismissive tone towards anyone worried about the unrestrained radiation releases upwind and up current of America.
Does that make Fukushima the “perfect crime?”
Stephan Timmermans’s 2006 book Postmortem: how medical examiners explain suspicious deaths posits that a crime can’t be perfect if it is indeed identified as a crime. So far, Fukushima fits this description because most of the victims, human and animal alike, don’t even know what has been happening since March 11, 2011. So it’s perfect in this regard.
Amazingly, a small group of people exists who do know what’s happening and have the ability to document evidence of it and share it on a grand scale. They are armed with nuclear radiation monitors and cell phone cameras.
The challenge is daunting for these nuclear Paul Reveres who aim to warn the country of imminent disaster. The third anniversary of Fukushima reveals that the forces allayed against them are almost insurmountable.
Flying the Fissile Skies
Recent high air, rain and snow radiation findings were detected in California, Michigan, Illinois and across nine states in a commercial jet since late last year. EnviroReporter.com has discovered that the storm that brought highly radioactive rain to Death Valley in November also slammed Las Vegas with radioactive precipitation.
Radiation readings by EnviroReporter.com revealed that flying the skies over America remains abundantly radioactive. On a December 23 flight from Los Angeles to Chicago, this reporter measured radiation at 922.1 Counts Per Minute (CPM) using an Inspector Alert. This reading was taken at the cruising altitude of 37,000 feet and was nearly 24 times the background measured in the terminal at Los Angeles International Airport.
According to documentation obtained by EnviroReporter.com, the California Highway Patrol considers any material or situation over three times background to be the triggering level for a hazardous materials incident. Of course, at high altitudes the radiation is elevated as the atmosphere thins. Nevertheless, this reporter wore a face mask to reduce radiation inhalation caused by continuously falling out and being re-suspended radiation from the triple meltdowns.
The radiation detected en route to Chicago was lower than the readings detected in late 2011 on a flight along the same flight path nine months after the meltdowns had begun. That December 23, 2011 reading at 38,000 feet registered 1,238 CPM.
Similarly, the radiation readings of southwest Michigan snow were lower this year. A December 26, 2012 kilo of snow radiated 24.1 percent above background compared to measurements of 15.3 percent and 19.6 percent above background in late December 2013 snowfalls.
Chicago snowfall measured 43.0 percent above background January 5, 2014 prior to departing back to LAX the next day before an Arctic cold front brought temperatures down to 26 degrees below zero Fahrenheit January 7.
Flying above Four Corners, the jet was at 30,000 feet. This allowed a direct comparison to the expected readings one would get at that elevation with an Inspector. According to Ionizing Radiation Basics by Inspector Radiation Alert manufacturers S.E. International of Summertown, Tennessee, “When you fly in an air plane at 30,000 feet your rate meter is getting 200 CPM for anywhere between 2 to 5 hours.”
Passing over Monument Valley at 30,000 feet, this reporter’s Inspector Alert absorbed 625 CPM, over triple what the guide says is normal. S.E. International’s basics were written prior to Fukushima nuclear fiasco.
Death Valley’s Fukushima Rains
The Inspector Alert nuclear radiation monitor used on this winter testing sojourn was donated to EnviroReporter.com by International Medcom, the Sebastopol California-based manufacturer. The company provided the instrument after seeing the shocking readings detected in Death Valley in November where rain radiation readings in the national park came in dozens of times background over several days.
Unlike the latest Michigan snow readings somewhat above background, Death Valley snow from the November 2013 storm Boreas registered at background or below. Inexplicably, the same Boreas rain lit up the Inspector Alert with a startling 26.7 times background November 22, 2013 at Badwater and 31.5 times normal at Furnace Creek, the national park’s headquarters.
These rains weren’t blazing hot because of naturally occurring radon progeny. That had been washed out long before the readings took place in the multi-day rain event. Rain tested the next day at Stovepipe Wells in the center of the park at a whopping 29.7 times background in a test performed by EnviroReporter.com entirely on camera to fully explain the testing technique and to verify the result for any skeptical viewers.
The first inkling that Fukushima radiation was raining down on Death Valley came two days before when the first Stovepipe Wells sampling came in at 7.0 times normal. During this exceptional three-day storm, nearby Las Vegas was hit with the same Boreas rain. High radiation activity during this period was evident at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency radiation station in Las Vegas.
Coast to Coast
An EnviroReporter.com analysis reveals that there have been massive beta radiation surges in cities from coast to coast since last autumn. The levels of air radiation have been many times what is considered relatively safe. Even dry regions of the country got a stiff dose not normally associated with those areas.
With no other obvious sources than the WIPP radiation leaks in southwest New Mexico, the Fukushima meltdowns again come to the fore as the prime suspect. There is no doubt that this unnatural and unexplained radiation is here and it is hot. In some cases, really hot.
The federal government’s stations run by qualified volunteers have been going offline regularly without reappearing in the last few months, oft times as the readings have gone through the roof. Just 43 of the EPA beta radiation stations are online in the 123 city network of beta and gamma monitoring posts as of March 10. That’s just 34 percent operational compared with 49 percent of the beta detectors functioning in July 2013. Compounding the mystery of the non-functioning beta monitors is that they are literally built into the same EPA RadNet monitoring apparatus as the gamma detectors are which begs the question – why would the beta detector not function in such a unit when the gamma one does? And how can these beta detectors stay offline for over a year or longer with no sign of ever being repaired?
Beta radiation is of particular concern because of its manmade origins. Lethal radionuclides like cesium-134, cesium-137, strontium-90 and plutonium 239-240 have been released in unrelenting massive quantities since the triple meltdowns began. Without the EPA beta stations functioning, the country is blind to the threat because it can’t detect it.
It isn’t wise to be blind when on Beta Watch. Yet that is exactly what America is unless the information is being cut off at the source perhaps because it shows such extremes. EPA did not respond to past requests for comment on the inoperative radiation stations.
Even with a fraction of RadNet working, it still is invaluable and certainly more accurate and functional as a nationwide radiation monitoring system than any for-profit private systems available. An EnviroReporter.com analysis reveals that there have been massive beta radiation surges in cities from coast to coast over the last few months.
To determine what exactly a radiation surge is depends on a variety of factors. The most common tripwire is the multiple of three times background for the alert level. This yields a value of approximately 100 CPM on the detector determining when the readings have gone into ‘alert’ level.
The Inspector Alert sets its alarm default to 100 CPM as do several private radiation networks based in the United States. The presumption is 100 CPM is 2.5 times a typical background of 40 CPM. This alert level is conservative because much of the nation has much lower background levels. Before Fukushima, for example, San Francisco’s background was usually between 12 to 15 CPM.
Through thousands of interior and exterior tests, Radiation Station Santa Monica‘s background was determined to be between 42 to 46 CPM outside and 35 to 40 CPM inside. The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency in 2007 had a “Recommended Decontamination Decision Criteria for Individuals When Using Selected Portable Instrument/Detector Combinations” of 300 CPM. This high standard, ignored by the actual people in the field or laboratory using these nuclear radiation monitors, is triple what triggers a Haz-Mat emergency for the CHP.
Readings all over the country have far exceeded these standards. Vast swaths of America have become hot zones.
California has been hit especially hard with Fresno peaking off the charts over 1,000 CPM last November. Since hitting 950 CPM on the night of December 17 through 18, the town adjacent America’s most productive farmland in the San Joaquin Valley settled down to a still excessive 250 CPM January 11. At Bakersfield a hundred miles to the southeast, the RadNet monitor blew out after hitting 750 CPM September 15.
Southern California has not been immune to the higher readings. Normally registering near background, Los Angeles hit 350 CPM October 27 and topped off at 190 CPM January 4 with all readings in between jumping around significantly above background. This belies the assumption that precipitation is needed to bring radiation to ground. Currently, however, L.A.’s readings seem to be the result of a malfunctioning detector.
Moving into even drier climes, Phoenix, Arizona saw 650 CPM January 7 and Albuquerque, New Mexico blew through 1,000 CPM three days before New Year’s Eve. Four days before its beta monitoring ceased working December 9, Denver charged up over 1,000 CPM. Salt Lake City, Utah topped off at 330 CPM November 18.
Texas has consistently had some of the highest radiation readings in the country. Fort Worth endured nearly five times the hazardous alert level with a December 18 high of 460 CPM. Dallas registered 300 CPM December 21 and Amarillo blew through 1,000 CPM a week later. Recent high detections in the Texas Panhandle may be partly a result of the WIPP nuclear waste dump fire in upwind New Mexico.
High RadNet beta readings were felt in the Midwest as well. St. Paul, Minnesota saw 320 CPM January 12 and Madison, Wisconsin was hit with 300 CPM the day before. Grand Rapids, Michigan had over double the alert level January 10 with 225 counts per minute after hitting 310 CPM December 4.
Not even the South escaped the radiation brought to it from Fukushima on the jet stream in addition to recirculated fallout from re-suspended dust and sea spray. Charleston, West Virginia, pre-chemical catastrophe, was already having a bad day December 29 with a beta blast humming in at 440 CPM. Tallahassee, Florida posted a huge 715 CPM January 23.
There is hope, however, in dealing with the threat. EnviroReporter.com‘s advice on how to mitigate against excessive radiation includes how to eat and drink including the most comprehensive online Radiation Food Lab in the world. Common sense dictates that children and pregnant women stay out of radiation rains that exceed 100 CPM.
The Glowden State
Californians also have access to this online news organization’s affiliated Radiation Stations in East Los Angeles, Glendale, Hemet, Pacifica, Santa Monica, Simi Valley and Ventura California. Radiation Station Pacifica California has precipitated over 770,000 YouTube views alone since December 24 when station operator David Crain uploaded Fukushima radiation hits San Francisco? (Dec 2013).
Despite several technical errors, the retired Yahoo executive and restaurateur managed to capture what seems to be the glow of the inexorable flow of the Sea of Fuku Goo sloshing down the coast of the Golden State. Crain’s viral video, and subsequent tests by the surfer and others who descended on the coast, suggest that California’s nickname should be the Glowden State.
“Not good news!” Crain wrote EnviroReporter.com and others via email December 21. “I have been taking readings around Pacifica, in airplanes, Colorado trips, etc. for over two years now. Thursday I went to a beach I frequent.”
Crain was visiting Surfer’s Beach which is several miles south of Pacifica which is down the coast from San Francisco. The popular Half Moon Bay beach is hundreds of miles south of where the Kuroshio Current hits North America and splits into two currents that run north to the Gulf of Alaska and south along the Northwest coast down along to as far as Baja California, Mexico.
“The background radiation counts (CPM) average 25-35 around Pacifica,” Crain continued. “I have fewer readings from Surfer’s Beach but they were close to levels in Pacifica. As I stepped out on the sand about 25 yards from the water’s edge, my alarm on the detector started to beep. I have never had my detector go into alarm before. I went back Friday morning and took more readings. See below. The alarm is set to 99 CPM, roughly x 3 over background. A HazMat situation is assumed present when counts go x 3 and higher.”
Crain’s nuclear radiation monitor topped out at 156 CPM. The subsequent explosion of his YouTube video brought on a tide of other people seeing if they could detect radiation at the water’s edge. Another would-be radiation investigator descended on Esplanade beach in Pacifica January 2 and proceeded to lay his Geiger counter on the same kind of black sand that seemed to be the source of radiation that Crain had found.
“This area is at Esplanade beach, in North Pacifica, appx. 150-200 yards North of stairs,” wrote YouTube poster FrostyFjords wrote in his video description. “Readings were well above 800 counts per minute! Yikes!”
Yikes indeed. Instead of testing for Fukushima radiation, Crain and FrostyFjords were testing sand that appears to have been radiating natural radium and thorium according to a subsequent test of the Surfer’s Beach sand by Inspector Alert’s manufacturer, International Medcom CEO Dan Sythe. Crain was using an Inspector Alert in his viral video.
He was also using incorrectly if he wanted to detect possible Fukushima radiation in the Pacific Ocean. Crain should have been taking measurements of the water, not the sand. In addition, he should have been establishing a database of Pacific water readings to help confirm a range of normal background readings ever since he first contacted EnviroReporter.com about establishing a radiation station May 6, 2012.
It could be argued on Crain’s behalf that testing the ocean water isn’t as easy as it seems because water is a nature block of ionizing radiation resulting in sometimes skewered readings that are too low. Filtering the water is one way around this problem. Regardless, the huge Death Valley radiation rain detections demonstrated that testing water can yield some spectacular results.
YouTube poster FrostyFjords also is shown committing a serious error by putting his Geiger counter directly on the radioactive sand. This can contaminate a nuclear radiation monitor rendering it useless.
Another way to assess sea water was explained in the February 20, 2012 EnviroReporter.com feature exposé Beta Watch. The report documented several British radiation surveys that gauged radioactivity in the Irish Sea mist floating up to 124 miles inland in Wales. In one study, muslin fabric was stretched on frames at various distances from the seashore to capture radioactive spray.
Shaky Science Pushback
Perhaps just as disturbing, the government and a hapless media unfamiliar with radiation science are attempting to fob off the latest bad radiation news as anything but something caused by Fukushima. In response to the Crain video’s viral spread, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) rose up to refute the Fukushima connection before even testing the beach.
“The Department recently responded to reports of elevated radioactivity readings on California’s beaches in the vicinity of Half Moon Bay, south along the coast from San Francisco,” CDPH said in a statement. “Preliminary data compiled by the Department indicates the elevated radioactivity is due to naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM), not Fukushima related activities.”
Perhaps the CDPH was measuring the same thorium and radium-rich sand Crain was. If so, it would have made the same mistake not seeing the ocean for the waves. It would also fit in to calming concerned communities along the coast south of San Francisco.
Keeping people calm about radiation readings taken as plain as day and shown on YouTube to hundreds of thousands isn’t easy. But with the huge stakes at play with currents contaminated with Fukushima radiation flowing down the coast, government agencies are going out of their way to help propagandize their way out of the obvious.
However the radioactivity arrived on the beach that Crain has been monitoring for over two years, one thing is for certain, much of the nuclear industry, state and federal government agencies, academia and media have been brought together to cast doubt on massive detections of radiation as have been coming from Japan.
A Harvard presentation by Kenji Tateiwa, manager of the Nuclear Power Programs at the Washington DC office of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), revealed as much in a presentation December 3, 2013 in Cambridge.
Entitled Fukushima Nuclear Accident and Roadmap for Decommissioning ~ A TEPCO Nuclear Engineer’s Perspective, the report delineates “TEPCO’s Post-Accident Activities in the U.S.” The goal, according to the presentation, is to be “Committed to disseminating lessons learned globally and working together to make nuclear power plants safer.”
Distrusted by the Japanese people and its own government which stepped in to assume ‘control’ at the stricken plant last year, TEPCO’s plan to handle the American people is far reaching and unprecedented.
Joining in this effort are state and federal entities like CDPH, Department of Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Commission and even the EPA. Nuclear powerhouses Exelon, Westinghouse and Diablo Canyon nuclear power-plant owner Pacific Gas and Electric are also spreading the TEPCO word according to Tateiwa. Even Harvard, MIT and the National Academy of Sciences have united in “disseminating lessons” about the meltdowns.
Media Meltdown Deniers
TEPCO must surely have been pleased at the snarky and dismissive media that reported on Crain’s radiation findings. Southern California legacy media and some online media commentators decided to decliare Crain’s anonymous video and the reaction to it as just pure fear-mongering. In the process, the coverage showed just has facile and science-challenged the press has become in light of Fukushima’s inexorable onslaught in the Pacific.
A January 12 Los Angeles Times article dismissed the threat as a “burst of online videos and blog posts in recent months.” The paper claimed that Fukushima radionuclides were “so low that they are trivial compared with what already exists in nature,” betraying why the paper shouldn’t have canned its science editor position: Fukushima radionuclides are manmade and extremely poisonous and shouldn’t be compared to natural radionuclides.
The newspaper compounded its errors by saying that “even at its worst” eating cesium-134 (Cs-134) and cesium-137 (Cs-137) contaminated blue fin tuna was like “eating bananas.” This is false.
Bananas contain slightly radioactive potassium-40 (K-40). Humans need K-40 and no matter how many bananas one eats, the body keeps the K-40 at a regular threshold. It doesn’t concentrate in particular organs because of the body’s homeostatic mechanism for regulating K-40. Potassium-40 doesn’t present a threat to the human body for another reason: it has a half-life of 1.248×109 years or about 1.25 billion years.
A half-life is the time necessary for a radioactive substance to drop to half its mass. The shorter the half-life means the more ferocious the ionization is which can damage the DNA of cells and cause oft-times fatal cancer.
Cs-137 and strontium-90 have much shorter half-lives than K-40, 30.17 years and 28.79 years respectively. The half-life of Cs-134 is only 2.07 years so for it to show up anywhere, such as in blue fin tuna caught off a San Diego pier in August 2011, just five months after the meltdowns began, can only be attributed to Fukushima and not fallout from nuclear bomb tests decades ago.
Unlike K-40 in bananas, Cs-137 does concentrate in organs sometimes as much as one hundred times the amount of K-40. “[I]nternal exposure to Cs-137, through ingestion or inhalation, allows the radioactive material to be distributed in the soft tissues, especially muscle tissue, exposing these tissues to the beta particles and gamma radiation and increasing cancer risk,” according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention toxicology brief.
Cesium-137 harms children more than adults even in tiny amounts. Children near Chernobyl in the Ukraine suffered cardiovascular disease showing signs of heart pain, faint heart sounds, systolic murmur on auscultation and heart failure as a result of the 1986 meltdown. Heart disease and cancer are the leading cause of death amongst children in neighboring Belarus.
Female hormones are also seriously imbalanced by Cs-137 which is a primary cause of infertility. Cs-137 exposure will lead to a prolonged gestation, increased newborn delivery complications and developmental disorders. There is no safe level of Cs-137 in food or drink.
Yet the Los Angeles Times would have its declining readership believe that this fearsome Fukushima radioisotope is as benign as bananas. The fruity fission fib has been a common ruse used to negate high radiation readings by nuclear power allies since nuclear power began.
A snarky style dominated the Los Angeles Times piece that attempted to demean even when at odds with the facts.
“Every single environmental issue was being blamed on Fukushima,” Kim Martini told the paper January 12. “And I thought there’s no way that can be true.”
Martini’s was right. It wasn’t true because what she said wasn’t true. The LA Times reporter should have known that her blanket statement was patently false on the face of it. Instead the paper elaborate on her University of Washington oceanographer background as if that field translates into Fukushima radiation dispersion expertise.
The paper also noted, by way of establishing Martini’s credentials, her contributions to Deep Sea News (DSN). Martini’s November 28 DSN story True facts about Ocean Radiation and the Fukushima Disaster set the tone for the current tide of vocal meltdown deniers. Instead of attempting a sound science appraisal of the triple meltdowns’ threat to the Pacific and North America, the reader is treated to a jokey tautological title and ‘exposé’ filled with more holes than a Fukushima reactor.
Martini, who lives in an Alaskan yurt and says “her goal in life is throw expensive s**t into the ocean,” got her wish in the piece – so-called facts drown in Martini’s sarcasm. She claimed that the “radioactive rods in the Fukushima power plant are usually cooled by seawater” which is, of course, wrong. Fresh water was used to cool the rods before the nuclear reactors were destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami.
There are so many mistakes in her piece that there are strikeouts and corrections throughout. Some statements imply that Martini and her editors don’t understand the very basics of radiation exposure. “Like I said before, the West Coast will probably not see more than 20 Bq/m3 of radiation,” Martini wrote. “Radiation will increase in the Pacific, but it’s at most 10 times higher than previous levels, not thousands.”
The implications of anything over three times background radiation are huge, let alone 10. Ten times is over three times the CHP’s hazmat trigger. Martini is clearly unaware of the significance of what’s she’s saying.
Martini’s mixes snide fact mangling with incredulous statements like “most fish are kinda lazy” to imply local supplies are safe since most fish don’t migrate to Japan and back to North American waters like blue fin tuna do.
“It’s not even dangerous to swim off the coast of Fukushima,” Martini wrote apparently unaware that over 400 metric tons of highly radioactive water have been gushing into the waters off of Fukushima for over two years. “Hell, the radiation was so small even immediately after the accident scientists did not wear any special equipment to handle the seawater samples (but they did wear detectors just in case). If you want danger, you’re better off licking the dial on an old-school glow in the dark watch.”
That is perhaps the singularly dumbest thing said about Fukushima in the last three years. But how would any normal L.A. Times reader know that?
No meltdown denier screed is complete without the bananas comparison. “You’ll get the same amount of radiation by eating 9 bananas,” Martini summed up in her DSN opus. “Monkeys might be doomed, but you are not.”
The Los Angeles Times article that pushed Martini as its sage expert also looked to Heal the Bay which, according to the paper, had “fielded such a swell of alarmist calls, emails and Facebook inquires that its staff posted an online Q&A.” Note that the callers weren’t alarmed, they were alarmist. That means, according to the ‘paper of record’ in Southern California, that to even be concerned that Fukushima radiation was affecting marine life, the fish we eat or the Pacific was to be not only a fool, but a dangerous one at that.
Also note that like Martini, Heal the Bay betrays its ignorance of the most basic fundamentals of how Fukushima radiation has and will continue to impact the east Pacific along the West Coast.
“It takes years for seawater plumes from Japan to reach U.S. shores,” Heal the Bay says in its “Mythbusting: The Latest from Fukushima.”
The notion that it would take the plume years to reach us would appear to be a myth in the making itself. That’s not how the Kuroshio Current works according to the United States Navy’s Office of Naval Research.
“Two of the largest currents are the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and the Kuroshio Current,” the research branch writes in Ocean in Motion: Currents – Characteristics. “The Kuroshio Current, which is located just off Japan’s coast, travels up to 75 miles a day at a speed of up to 3 miles per hour.”
The Navy map of the Kuroshio Current shows it splitting along the West Coast with the southern-bound California Current making its way down the coast to Southern California before turning back west along Baja California. Fukushima is 5,363 miles up current from Los Angeles.
Even adding on extra miles since the water doesn’t flow straight to Southern California, a 6,000-mile long journey from the radioactive shores of Fukushima to the beaches of Malibu takes less than three months, not years.
Another myth perpetuated by Heal the Bay was that something was actually being done specifically to monitor for Fukushima fallout in the air, rain, snow and Pacific.
“Three major federal agencies are currently monitoring radiation from the Fukushima disaster,” Heal the Bays claims, “The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is monitoring marine debris and atmospheric dispersion of radioactive particles; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is monitoring air and water for radiation that is harmful to human health; and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is monitoring Japanese imports to insure food safety. These agencies work closely together to monitor radiation leveling in the United States as well as our imported goods.”
Heal the Bay is wrong on all counts: NOAA isn’t testing the water for radionuclides and the EPA is generally testing with its RadNet data with nothing specific to Fukushima, let alone any warnings when the beta readings zoom north of 100 CPM. The FDA’s monitoring of food in general, let alone Japanese imports, is woefully undermanned and underfunded. Actual responsibility for monitoring, investigating, sampling and analyzing radiation from Japan is non-existent on both the state and federal levels.
Why does it matter that Heal the Bay is wrong on how long Fukushima infused water takes to get here? Or that it is unaware of how there’s no ongoing state or federal government testing? Because the group is giving out false information under the guise of being expert in the subject. Still, Heal the Bay trumpets its own brand of sloppy science.
“There is a great deal of inaccurate information floating around the Internet about Fukushima radiation and its impacts to human and marine life,” Heal the Bay concludes in its ‘mythbusting’ page. “We recommend double-checking your news sources for credibility, and when in doubt, check out how Heal the Bay is keeping up to date on the most recent news and scientific studies on the Fukushima disaster.”
EnviroReporter.com recommends the same thing – credible news sources. Heal the Bay simply isn’t credible yet dares to put out clearly inaccurate information to an unsuspecting public looking for answers. The organization is treading on its good name to its own detriment and is doing a grave disservice to the public. Perhaps it should stick to its multimillion fundraisers where, according to an invitation sent to EnviroReporter.com February 13, it touted “Sipping on an artisanal cocktail, winning a life-changing vacation and jamming to the music of a Grammy winner during a Santa Monica beach sunset — does life get any better? Yes, when it all benefits healthy oceans!”
Heal the Bay wouldn’t know how to deal with its “healthy oceans” under constant siege by Fukushima if it drowned in one of them. No matter to the Los Angeles Times. Heal the Bay and oceanographer Kim Martini have enough ‘credibility’ to blow this dangerous nonsense past the paper. Not just past the writer but his editors too. Any digging would have revealed to the Times what you’ve just read here.
Naturally, the Los Angeles Times Fukushima-denier article was picked up for “curated” aggregation by LA Observed. “With anyone who uses Facebook exposed to bogus but viral hype about supposed high radiation levels, public officials and scientists have put out the word that for them the evidence is in,” a blog post read January 12, 2014. “Things are still dicey to be sure at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power — and likely to get worse before they get better. But that’s a separate question from whether Pacific fish are being seriously contaminated, and the threat of impact here is yet another separate issue.”
Science-challenged reactions to the peril posed by Fukushima to the Southland aren’t confined to mainstream legacy media and news aggregators. One LA Weekly editor opined soon after the meltdowns on her Facebook page that the effect here wouldn’t be worse than getting sunburn on her arm driving with an open window.
A blogger for LA Weekly, which this reporter freelanced for from 1986 to 2012, referred to Santa Monica rain which EnviroReporter.com tested at over five times background in April 2012 as “acid rain” in a blog post covering what we had discovered. When this reporter objected and asked that the word “acid” be removed because it wasn’t accurate or that I would have to correct the mistake in the post’s comments, the blogger became defensive.
“I think there’s a popular perception about acid rain simply being toxic rain, but I’ll change it,” he responded. “I fixed your niggles. It’s the last time I’m picking anything up from you though, given your threats.”
Threats? Asking for a stupid mistake to be corrected is a threat coming from someone he knew for years from mutually contributing to the now defunct Los Angeles CityBeat? He stayed true to his word, though, and nothing critical of the Fukushima fiasco and its impact here has come out of the ever-thinning paper since. The once vaunted LA Weekly now investigates stories like broken parking meters.
Perhaps the blogger, who had previously won a Pulitzer Prize no less with a team of reporters at the Los Angeles Times, should be given some slack considering the shape of science knowledge in the United States at large. In short, the country is as dumb as a stump when it comes to all things scientific.
A National Science Foundation survey of 2,200 Americans released in early February found that 26 percent of those surveyed incorrectly answered the question “Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth.” The same survey found that only 48 percent thought that human beings “developed from earlier species of animals.”
Results from a 2012 Program for International Student Assessment showed this race to the bottom is nothing new and getting worse. U.S. students fell behind 29 nations and jurisdictions worldwide in mathematics, falling six slots from 23 just three years prior. Science acumen had American pupils placed behind 22 other education systems in the 2012 survey.
Even mountains of money thrown at American kids’ educations refuse to budge their rankings. Spending more than most countries on our students, about $115,000 per pupil, hasn’t amounted to much. Slovak kids perform at the same level as American ones with a per student expenditure of around $53,000 per pupil (which is less than half for any arithmetically challenged American reading this).
This ignorance isn’t confined to legacy media or U.S. students. One particularly snarky Internet host, “TakePart Live” presenter Jacob Soboroff, hit a new low in a web video called Paranoia of the Deep in February. But Soboroff’s laughable antics harassing fishermen with a Geiger counter to prove his point too could be partially forgiven because of the nonsense he got in an interview with Colin Hill, a professor of radiobiology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California according to TakePart Live.
Soboroff showed Hill a newly purchased Geiger counter which was reading background outside the medical school and asked if it was anything to be worried about. “It would need to be showing tens of thousands of them,” Dr. Hill said. “It would be 10,000 instead of 0.1.”
Tens of thousands of times background is something to be concerned about when the California Highway Patrol considers three times background a hazmat situation? Preposterous isn’t strong enough a word to describe Hill’s hogwash.
It isn’t easily discernable which is more terrifying – a medical doctor who believes this rubbish or one that teaches it to future medical doctors. One can only wonder how many patients have and will get too much radiation from USC’s glowing school of radiobiology graduates.
Hill is not alone in his hooey. University of California Berkeley nuclear physics professor Kai Vetter went even further in Fukushima denial when interviewed by San Francisco’s CBS affiliate station KPIX-5 January 31. When asked about Radiation Station Pacifica California‘s David Crain and his use of an Inspector nuclear radiation monitor, Vetter blew off any remote possibility that such advanced Geiger counters work.
“A Geiger counter is not good enough,” said Vetter. “Not good enough at all.”
Vetter was not done. “We still see Cesium 137 back from the atmospheric tests in the 40s and 50s,” Vetter said. “We still see that. It’s, in a way, part of our natural background now.”
So now one of the fiercest manmade radionuclides is part of our “natural” background radiation? Is that like murder being part a “natural” cause of death because it is so common? Following Vetter’s logic, the answer is yes. And, once again, UC Berkeley has outdone USC but not in a good way. Perhaps most shocking is that Hill and Vetter didn’t think anybody would notice that what they were saying was untrue.
Meltdown denying maven Kim Martini, upon whose shoddy pronouncements so much of this hyperbolic media nonsense has been based was right in one thing: a widely distributed cover story artwork of a Ventura County Reporter feature as fear-stoking fallaciousness. The article was written by this reporter, who had nothing to do with the cover art selected to accompany it.
“There are a bunch of maps being thrown around on the internet as evidence that we are all going to die from Fukushima radiation,” Martini wrote in her November 2013 DSN feature. “This is not a map of Fukushima Radiation spreading across the Pacific. This is a map of the estimated maximum wave heights of the Japanese Tohuku Tsunami by modelers at NOAA. In fact, tsunamis don’t even transport particles horizontally in the deep ocean. So there is no way a Tsunami could even spread radiation (except maybe locally at scales of several miles as the wave breaks onshore). Dear VC reporter, I regret to inform you this cover image could be the poster child for the importance of journalistic fact-checking for years to come.”
Martini had VC Reporter dead to rights. When this reporter saw the massive mistake, I knew that the Fukushima deniers would have a field day with it.
“The last feature was damaged due to the incorrect use of an earthquake shockwave map on the cover to represent what?” I subsequently wrote to the managing editor. “I don’t know. Fukushima contamination certainly did not and does not flow like the illustration. I repeatedly have had to explain that it was not my mistake, but the paper’s, as it angered a number of my readers.”
This wasn’t the last inadvertent sabotaging of this reporter’s work through art or editing. And I was not alone. These ‘own goals’ were a far cry from when the paper ran stories that changed Southern California history, like Rocketdyne Ranch in 2002. The decision to no longer write for publications that mistakenly damage my work was not an easy one. This reporter has had a long and fruitful experience with print media and wants it to survive and thrive.
Newspapers aren’t the only medium in which legacy media has either ignored or fumbled the Fukushima story. Al Jazeera America, which used the VC Reporter cover as its major art in a January 8 story, went on its own meltdowns denier spree subsequently with Debunking Fukushima’s radiation myths which featured a photoshopped giant mutant squid on a beach. AJA‘s piece was typical of the kind of false information being spun by an apparently clueless media.
“The first thing that people don’t realize is that radiation is natural,” AJA quoted Malcolm Crick, secretary of the UN’s Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, in the piece. “We are exposed to radiation from outer space… that radiation is there, it provides us with a background exposure as we live on this planet.”
So the cesium-137, strontium-90 and plutonium 239/240 are natural? AJA doesn’t even ask. Nor does AJA question Crick’s assertion of Fukushima that “there were no radiation-related deaths or acute diseases among the general public and workers.”
Crick is clearly wrong according to numerous Japanese and international reports. A recent report in the Japanese publication Asahi Shimbun reported December 12, 2013 that 59 young people in the Fukushima prefecture had been diagnosed with or are suspected of having thyroid cancer. All of the thyroid cases were in people younger than 18 when the triple meltdowns began March 11, 2011. That the cancers developed so soon after the disaster started is somewhat of a mystery to scientists but that didn’t prevent Toshihide Tsuda, a professor of epidemiology at Okayama University from expressing alarm.
“The rate at which children in Fukushima prefecture have developed thyroid cancer can be called frequent, because it is several times to several tens of times higher,” he told the newspaper.
One of the first peer-reviewed studies to link Fukushima with American deaths was released by the International Journal of Health Services (IJHS) in January 2012. The study was authored by epidemiologist Joseph Mangano, executive director of the Radiation and Public Health Project, and Janette Sherman, an adjunct professor and toxicologist at the University of Michigan. It found that deaths rose in 122 American cities after the meltdowns began, “Projecting these figures for the entire United States yields 13,983 total deaths and 822 infant deaths in excess of the expected.”
That’s over 14,000 American dead according to the IJHS. That Al Jazeera America would posit such false blanket statements by Crick that no one was harmed by Fukushima with no AJA pushback is amazing. The few journalism outfits that do push back on Fukushima, or in rare instances uncover original news material which EnviroReporter.com does regularly, do face the wrath from Fukushima deniers. But attacking the credibility of anyone who actually exposes Fukushima radiation in America can come from the most unlikely places including one that has placed heavy emphasis on the Fukushima disaster.
Popular conspiracy Internet radio host Jeff Rense began a rumor last October 28 that this reporter had been threatened and had disappeared probably due to outspoken Fukushima coverage. Nothing of the sort happened, which I had made clear to him.
The story got so twisted that regular program guest Yoichi Shimatsu speculated that my disappearance coincided with the U.S. Department of Energy’s impending deal with Vietnam for nuclear reactors which may be something I might have to do with.
The bogus threat rumor ripped through the Internet in large part because of comments made on the most trafficked news aggregator on the Fukushima crisis, Enenews.com. Claiming over two million visitors a month, Enenews also publishes thousands of comments, including ones about this reporter’s apparent demise.
“I read some comments on ENENEWS that you and a few others have not been heard from for some time now and it was raising some suspicion about your safety,” wrote “Sunnie” from St. Louis in an email to EnviroReporter.com January 29. “I took it to another level, as I have been noticing some ‘untimely’ deaths, etc amongst some Fukushima ‘insiders’ and have been keeping an eye on the situation. I was fearful that you and your wife, Denise, might be among them.”
These kinds of comments on Enenews perpetuated the myth that this reporter and his editor had to hide from some unseen wholly fictional threat. A news organization that has been threatened and hides is not the reality or image EnviroReporter.com wants its readers to have of it. We cover serious subjects and scurrilous chatter perpetuated on the largest Fukushima disaster news aggregator can be harmful.
Enenews, which calls itself a “news outlet,” has no easily identified publisher. The website was registered as a Florida limited liability company by a Palm City attorney named Grant N. Grand July 1, 2011. Grant N. Grand is also the registrant for FLORIDAOILSPILLLAW.COM which says it is “Documenting the BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil, Gas, & Dispersant Disaster.”
Grand was sued for copyright infringement July 15, 2010 for allegedly posting a May 10, 2010 Las Vegas Review-Journal story, “Exxon Valdez oil risks spur warning for gulf cleanup crews” by R-J staffer Keith Rogers on his own website in its entirety. The headline changed to “Exxon Valdez foreman: ‘Oil is 1,000 times more toxic than we thought’” and the byline to “OILFLORIDA.”
Las Vegas-based Righthaven LLC bought the rights to the R-J article July 7, 2010 and sued Grand a week later. “Rather than requesting websites remove R-J stories before filing lawsuits, Righthaven typically sues the websites and seeks $75,000 in damages for copyright infringement,” a July 16, 2010 Review-Journal article revealed. According to VegasInc in “Righthaven files, settles more copyright lawsuits” October 13, 2010, Righthaven had reached a confidential settlement with Grand.
Wholesale article thefts with fake bylines are two of the reasons that EnviroReporter.com was forced soon after the Fukushima meltdowns began to employ anti-copying mechanisms on our website. It was not an easy choice because of the inconvenience that it causes readers who want to ‘clip’ parts of a piece to share. We have heard an earful of complaints about the “glossing” of the site but there is little choice when faced with Internet theft and appropriation which can damage EnviroReporter.com on a number of levels.
It has not damaged our ability to report news, including exposés regarding Fukushima’s impact on the Pacific and North America that is seen nowhere else. There is no other news website in the world that has the breadth of original radiation testing, monitoring and reporting that EnviroReporter.com has. Phony rumors and aggregators are mere sideshows to the hot news that, unfortunately, just keeps coming.
That is little consolation to Radiation Station Pacifica California’s David Crain for the thrashing he has taken over his viral video, which has been seen by over 770,062 viewers as of March 10. “The video I made and shared and then got picked up then went nuts was my first attempt and perhaps my last” Crain told EnviroReporter.com January 6. “I now would have done it differently, more like you have done, perhaps. You can’t deny the results. It’s in the universe. This has never happened to me before nor have I ever posted anything on YouTube.”
Whatever faults can be attributed to Crain’s somewhat misguided beach testing, they were not repeated by Michael E. Boyd of Soquel, California, as EnviroReporter.com has discovered. Boyd posted Implications of radioactivity in seawater to desalination in Santa Cruz County California January 11 and the results are amazing.
Boyd took multiple radiation measurements at Capitola Beach in Monterey Bay January 9 just 67 miles down the coast, and down current, from where Crain made his now infamous video at Pacifica State Beach. The same day, the Santa Cruz Sentinel ran with a story called “State rebuffs radiation concerns at beach.”
Equipped with a GMC200 Geiger Muller nuclear radiation monitor with software for USB data logging, Boyd looked for where Fukushima radiation would actually be, the Pacific Ocean. “The sea water sample taken at the tide line from high turbidity tide water was examined in comparison to a sample taken from [a] reverse osmosis filtration system in my home,” Boyd wrote. “The tap water is supplied by the Soquel Creek Water District.”
Laying out his results with the precision of someone who would be submitting a scientific report for formal peer review, with multiple graphs and tables, Boyd exposes just how hot the water in Soquel Cove, just south of Santa Cruz, is getting. “This radiation exposure is eight to sixteen times the slightly elevated background of 52.5 CPM or 0.43 uSv/h,” the report says with its original emphasis. “At the Capitola Beach sea wall the radiation exposure is eight to fifteen times and half way in between the tide and the wall on the beach the radiation exposure is four to six times the slightly elevated background of 52.5 CPM or 0.43 uSv/h.”
Boyd also detected huge radiation readings in the mists generated by the churning surf. He is not mystified, however, as to the source of the hot sea spray. “Fukushima Japan’s TEPCO nuclear power plant melting down must be the cause of higher radiation levels on the Pacific seashore, not the government compelled speech on the subject, that natural sources are the cause, as reported by the media,” Boyd concluded in the report. “Irrespective, the fact remains that radiation levels are elevate[d], what ever the cause.”
The Sea of Fuku Goo has arrived in Monterey Bay, home of one of the richest marine habitats in the world. It is sloshing southward along the California Current to Los Angeles and beyond to Baja California before curving back along a westward current across the Pacific to reload up on Fuku goo.
The implications of such a radioactive environment extend beyond the state’s shoreline. Some of the priciest real estate in the world is along the California coast, worth hundreds of billions of dollars in a state with over $4.4 trillion worth of property. If and when radiation sleuths, including EnviroReporter.com, detect these astronomical readings, videotape them, and post the hot shots online, will wealthy residents along the Southern California coast take notice? Most rich folks aren’t stupid and the thought of breathing in Fukushima radionuclides at such high levels day in and day out might not appeal to many of them.
The hottest property in the Golden State could become, literally, the hottest property courtesy of a triple meltdown begun exactly three years ago with no end in sight. Whether this causes a massive real estate crash is still to be seen. More than one wealthy homeowner along the Pacific has told EnviroReporter.com that they are unloading their multi-million dollar properties while the market is on the upswing.
EnviroReporter.com has also learned that soil in the most marijuana-intensive growing region of California is hot with radionuclides that could have come from nowhere but Fukushima. The implications are enormous as marijuana is California’s largest agricultural product. Plus, it is inhaled deeply with users holding their breath as long as possible to absorb the psychoactive components of cannabis.
Amateur radiation sleuth Michael Van Broekhoven gathered two soil samples from near Willow Creek and from “commercially available top soil in Northern California.” Both samples, collected in April 2013, tested positive for cesium-134 and cesium-137.
That the samples contained cesium-134 is proof that the radiation came from Fukushima as Cs-134 has a half-life of 2.0652 years meaning it couldn’t have been fallout from atomic weapons fallout. Nor is there an active nuclear reactor in the area leaking radiation that could have been the source.
The Willow Creek soil sample had 0.962 Becquerels per kilogram (Bq/kg) of cesium-134 and 13.39 Bq/kg of cesium-137 according to the lab gamma spectroscopy analysis done for Van Broekhoven in May 2013 by Cinnaminson, New Jersey-headquartered EMSL Analytical, Inc.. The store-bought dirt had even more Cs-134 with 1.11 Bq/kq though less Cs-137 at 4.10 Bq/kg.
Willow Creek is in Humboldt County which is part of the so-called Emerald Triangle of counties that grow the most potent marijuana in the world. Clandestine pot farms dot the inaccessible mountains around Willow Creek often bordering – and using – national forest land to grow “medicinal marijuana.”
Super strong strains of the pot are sold in Los Angeles for nearly $300 an ounce and have names like “Gucci OG” and “King Louie XIII.” Indoor grows use the commercially available top soil in Northern California that Van Broekhoven bought to test to raise potent plants as well. Now, both indoor and outdoor Humboldt County dope could have been grown in Fukushima-contaminated dirt.
This alarming revelation means that the twelfth-largest economy in the world, California, has its number one product being grown in potentially lethal soil. The marijuana industry in California was worth $13.8 billion according to public policy analyst Jon Gettman in 2006. Gettman holds a Ph.D. in public policy from George Mason University where his doctoral studies were focused on regional economic development. His report is one of the few that tackle the hard to discern production figures and value of the product.
The worth of the California’s annual marijuana crop could cost double that now according to EnviroReporter.com sources. Even the 2006 pot crop worth dwarf’s the 2012 value of California’s second most valuable commodity, milk, which was valued at $6.9 billion by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
The meltdown misery doesn’t end in California. The state’s San Joaquin Valley’s $105.81 billion produce industry packs and ships to everywhere in the country. Common sense would suggest that with high radiation along the California coast down as far as Santa Cruz, and hot radiation rains in Death Valley, that there would be evidence of unnaturally high radiation somewhere in between. There is. An approximate line between the two places goes through the central valley city of Fresno which has had incredibly high beta radiation detections.
With all this evidence, then, how could it be the perfect crime? Well, it isn’t.
Even with public apathy, an asleep at the switch government, and a hostile media, David Crain’s video going viral shows that hot radiation gets hits. People will watch videos showing Fukushima’s invisible fingers tightening around the throat of the West Coast. A lot of people. No matter the amount of media derision, seeing is believing.
All anyone needs is a cell phone video camera, Geiger counter and Fukushima radiation. It can also pay to post solid evidence of Fuku Goo. Had Crain monetized his video, he would have made over $2,300 by this time.
Dale Ramicone is ready for that day and already has the right equipment. He and other dutiful Americans will also continue to monitor for Fukushima radiation because they know it’s the right thing to do. That doesn’t mean he sees much chance of people rising to the challenge of facing Fukushima.
“The cost will come little by little,” Ramicone says. “Men, women, children will have their lives impacted over the coming decades. More cases of leukemia, thyroid cancer, an insidious poisoning that leaches into our bodies. Our lives will be shortened, health slowly sapped from an entire population.
“The truth will be hidden, of course. Denials will come from every corner. It will be easy, since no one will really look. If no one looks, no one knows, and of course, there will never be an official acknowledgment. No headlines blaring “Two Decades, 20,000 dead!” No accounting, so no one is accountable. It’s perfect, a perfect crime, don’t you think?”
As long as there are people and reporters willing to tease out and find Fukushima radiation in America and beyond, there is hope that a sober facing up to the radioactive reality is possible.
Over 500 of such souls gathered on a San Francisco beach October 19, 2013 using themselves to spell out FUKUSHIMA is HERE.
Since the miseries of Japan’s triple meltdowns won’t end anytime soon, perhaps for hundreds if not thousands of years, intrepid and brave individuals and groups have plenty of time to expose the continuing radioactive nightmare of Fukushima.