Japan’s environmental worries

An article from the Ovi magazine

Whatever logic I use I cannot understand it when countries like Japan seriously announce that they are going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 to 80% but all that by the year 2050! This is two generations from now and I presume my grandkids will be adults and me …well long dead!

I’m not trying to be dramatic, after all if you spend a couple of hours in the internet searching environmental issues it is enough to scare the shit out of you and start planning a shelter for you and your family, or better start praying to whatever you might believe. I think the truth is not exactly there but it is not half way either. I believe that we still have time to do something; we just need to listen to the experts and follow their advice without any hysterics and neurotic reactions. There is a problem and the last five years it has been obvious even to the nonbelievers that it’s a fact. There is responsibility for all the environmental problems we have and this responsibility is collective to all of us, from the single house hold and the way we treat our immediate environment to governments and of course international economic interests. That’s another fact!

Solution; well, this is the part I don’t feel so sure and the main reason is that the scientists haven’t manage to analyze the exact damage and calculate the timing. When the tsunami hit south Asia we were all shocked and we all pointed the responsibility of the human factor to the event. That didn’t mean that it was the first time we had a tsunami, I think Lisbon is one of the European cities that has met the catastrophic effects of a tsunami. What changed everything was the unbelievable loss of human lives. Tsunamis happened before and they will probably happen again, the thing is that in the beginning of the 21st century the loss of tens of thousands of lives is unexpected and unexcused. What caused this loss of life it was not the tsunami itself, it was the lack of natural defenses and this is a fact. It was not the lack of natural defenses but the lack of artificial ones as well. The local governments instead of protecting their own people gave license to open more and more hotels destroying an environment that was able to defend itself under any circumstances and it has done before.

Look what happens in the rain forest in South America. Cutting the forest doesn’t destroy the environment, destroys first of all the lungs of the earth regarding filtering the air – it is funny but this is one of the things we learn from our very first years at school, trees filter the air – but these rainforest do something far more important, they are natural defenders before natural catastrophes. Or better natural catastrophes are the result of lacking natural defenses. New Orleans is the best example, don’t tell me that the biggest scientific and material power in the world didn’t have the right warning and the right equipment to prevent the catastrophe, they were just ignoring that with every new meter of concrete they destroy a meter of natural defenses.

What I’m trying to say is that our responsibility as humanity for the destruction of the environment and the coast of thousands and thousands of lives is huge and the sooner we realize it the better. We are not causing tsunamis and earthquakes but with our actions we are responsible of the human loses. And who is the best to put some rules, who is more than any other responsible to put the blueprint so we can prevent these catastrophes and this loss, the state, even better the international community represented from the UN.

Now the state has a dual role, to listen and decide which means experts advising and experts decide, politics have no room in these decisions. Actually politics was what led to those wrong decisions, politics was what made states give license for cutting the rainforest, politics was what let all this uncontrolled building areas that should be protected, politics and in extent greed was what build all these factories without any care for the damage they bring in long term. The destruction of the ozone layer is another example of this, nobody took an axe destroying the ozone layer on the earth sky, what we did it was destroying its defenses and now we are called to repair the damage. And we can do that as I said without hysterics and with a program. But this demands an active support and leading role of the states especially the ones who have the activist role in this destruction.

Don’t worry I’m not going to blame all to the industrial west, all the states have their responsibilities. Is not the industrial Europe responsible for the destruction of the rain forest it is mainly the local governments leading the Brazilian government that even now with the populist Silva sells out the last defenses of the earth to the big forest companies for just a few dollars more. The African governments have their share when they became the backyard of the nuclear waste for all the industrial countries all around the world and that …for a few dollars more. The Asian government that decided in one night to compete the industrial west using humans as slaves and ignoring any security warnings. And yes, the industrial west that seen the results of their action inside their countries they are still thinking how to react.

Japan is a beautiful and overpopulated country; I know, I lived there for a period and I learn to love this country. But in the name of the industrial revolution a country without materials, that has to import nearly everything stormed in the industrial area conquering everything but with what cost? They ignored the environment including the humans as big element of this environment. They tighten their future and their survival with the economic growth and their industry and now they have no way to escape from this path. Changing route will mean changing a way of life that has become their nature the last century. Amazingly a nation that loves so much nature, apparently worships nature has become so depending from artificial surroundings. That’s a nation that totally lost their path and they need to find their way back.

The new Japanese Prime Minister Yasho Fukuda shows that he misses the point as well. I’m not sure if that’s because of politics or because he really has forgotten and the tragic thing with the Japanese politicians is that they all stand on the need of return to traditions while they fly further and further away from the traditions that created the Japanese nation and the nature they love so much to give names from the nature to all their women.

Next month the G8 meet again and this time environment is the main agenda. The Japanese prime minister tried to show that Japan is there strong and ready to do her part. After failing the Kyoto protocol I think that this is hypocrisy and the year 2050 without any hysterics seems too far away and I’m afraid that the same way the Japanese prime minister forgot how it was to enjoy the clean nature it will be the same for my grandkids who will think that a picnic in the fields and living without an asthma mask is something ancients used to do!


Talking to the deaf

An article from the Ovi magazine

It has been a long time since I wrote anything about Iran and that’s not because we are lacking news from Teheran or quotes from its president but because the man so often crosses the line so much that I’m speechless and cannot think of anything to write except… Man, shut your mouth, you are dangerous! The problem is that when I think of that I then read the new threats by an American politician and that makes me think that this is a totally idiotic situation.
When Ahmadinejad, Iran’s puppet president, demands the destruction of Israel you think that the man is not only an idiot but a dangerous idiot, but what can you call the US presidency hopeful Hillary Clinton when she’s warning that if Iran continues with nuclear plants she will bomb the country; she will start another war in the area? You might say that Hillary says things like this for internal use trying to attract voters who want a US international supreme police, judge and executioner. Yet, then again, how many of these people can drive a foreign policy by threatening a war that will definitely push the Middle East even further into the dark? How strong these few voters are? And if there are so many to influence foreign policy then Obama has bigger problem than he thought!

My position for this issue has been very clear from the very beginning. I’m strongly against using nuclear power for energy and that is not because I’m blinded by the dark side of the nuclear power; I have the logic to understand the need of energy in the modern world and I do understand that nuclear is one option but I’m against the use of it because there are three unsolved factors. First of all the cost is not lower, especially now we are talking about new generation nuclear plants. When governments talk about cheaper energy they mean the cost of energy after the plant is fully working but nuclear plants don’t just grow in the field one spring day, they need a huge amount of money and effort to be built and naturally all the costs lay on the consumers in the end. The use of electricity hasn’t become cheaper in Finland because there are four nuclear plants and definitely will not become cheaper after building the fifth and sixth.

The second worrying factor is the nuclear waste. Most of the countries that use nuclear power for energy have problems with nuclear waste and after poisoning oceans and African countries now they have to store this waste in their own country without been able to calculate the damage they do. Finland is using an old cave to store the nuclear waste in north western Finland but the damage which most of the scientists describe it is to be seen after two or three generations. To understand how dangerous that is you just need to look the mistakes two or three generations did in the last decades and the damage they have done to the earth today. How different things would have been if back in sixties and seventies we had done some simple things to protect environment, things we were aware back then anyway. How different would have been for metropolis like Los Angeles, London, Tokyo or even Athens cities that have become environmental monsters with their pollution and citizens with constant asthma problems.

And then it is the third factor, the human factor! All the accidents happened in nuclear plants from the Three Miles Island to Chernobyl a human error was what started the disaster and whatever they do, however much robotics develop, concrete on the cell becomes stronger and heavy water purer a human will press the right or the …wrong button in the end. Please don’t tell me that the people who work in these places are experts and fully aware of their work because the same responsible experts a few years ago sent the Challenger spacecraft to death by using cheaper material due to budgets and costs; and I’m taking the official excuse avoiding all the theories for enriching bank accounts and corrupted directors. The human error can happen in any level of the nuclear reactor and the result …well nobody knows for how long the area and the people who lived around Chernobyl when the accident happened will have to deal with and pay the cost often with their own lives. Sorry for been dramatic or cynic but nobody knows how many generations, especially young kids will have to deal with leukaemia because of a …human error.

This has nothing to do with Iranians capability to handle a project like a nuclear plant, first of all if you check all the scientific centres you will be surprised how many Iranian scientists you will find and Three Miles Island was not in Teheran or in any Third World country!

But human error is the choice to turn an otherwise for peaceful use nuclear reactor into a nuclear bomb – this is not literal but I know you understand what you mean. I do understand the logic behind this balance of horror, actually my generation in Europe lived it, and we were learning naively how to cover ourselves behind concrete walls in a case of nuclear war like there was any chance to be saved from the invisible power. And it did work but why do we have to continue a mistake just because it didn’t prove lethal the first and the second time? It needs only one time to destroy us all and there is no trial period in that.

The US and Russia are not the only ones living in this balance of terror, Pakistan and India do the same, Pakistan a country proved corrupt at every level from the ones we call terrorists, the Taliban. But then neither the Indians who have nuclear bombs nor the Pakistani people are worrying. Neither leader ever said that they are planning to eliminate the other country and both even in the worst of times when there were minor conflicts in Nepal tried to find ways through diplomacy.

Ahmadinejad on his side has called provocatively for the elimination of Israel; he has used the most prejudice often racist language for the people who are his neighbours damaging in the end every single right the Palestinians might have in their conflict with Israel since they are Ahmadinejad’s excuse to show his haters against Israel. The people who ruling Iran are dangerous and they are in an dangerous are where people blinded of their cause can become suicide bombers without caring how many innocent they are going to take with them. This is the human element that makes Iran a dangerous country to have a nuclear plant and in extent the ability to have nuclear weapons, the word weapons of mash distraction takes a different meaning in the hands of the Iranian cleric dictators and fanatics.

And when you feel that you made your argument and that there was logic in it Hillary comes and threatens with a war and you feel like talking to deaf for so long!