Press**Watch: I caused Doomsday
Destroy billionaire rule...
Doomsday, as it turns out, is a queer-bashing event.
Gay-hating fundamentalists are insisting that Saturday night is Doomsday, when they will be vacuumed up into Heaven, leaving us to gnash our teeth and stuff. Harold Camping says that gays are in the same category of sinning as thieves and murderers, and that "gay pride" is The Most Important Sign from god that the final destruction-o-rama is nigh. I had been hearing that phrase, that my transgender existence is a sign of the end times, from some of the more hateful religious bigots over the last year, as I performed my public service duties, and I knew something was up with the religious demagogues. It turns out this crap has been exuding from Family Radio. It's all pretty sad, in a wickedly funny way.
Whereas I find these people noxious and dangerous to me personally, I would like to say that, after the party, the appropriate response to Harold Camping's victims is compassion. Some of these people have lost their life savings promoting the non-event. They're going to need help, and a lot of them were dependent on their now-missing savings, and are too old to start over again from scratch. I don't believe in punishing idiocy with homelessness. Camping should be charged with fraud, and his ministry should be scrapped, and his bankroll distributed to his victims.
As there is little or nothing on the news agenda about the nuclear disaster in Japan, most people could be forgiven for thinking that the crisis is over. As is the case with the BP Gulf of Mexico disaster, the real news is ongoing and shocking to investigate. Right now it has been determined that Unit One has a leak in the inner container, caused by a meltdown, and that the fuel assembly has been exposed all this time and cooled only by the river of water that the improvised equipment has been spraying on it. Devastating radiation continues to flow into the Pacific Ocean from the complex. The building holding radioactive fuel rod storage, Building Four, is being held up by scaffolding to prevent its leaning and swaying in the constant aftershocks. Workers in one of the reactors have to rush in for ten minutes and then quit for the day, to be replaced by another and another, so that they don't die of radiation. And over the whole operation the danger of sudden and exponentially compounded catastrophe hangs like Damocles' sword.
The Daily Yomiuri, an English language newspaper in Japan, had this to say about Fukushima Daiichi:
....On Tuesday, the government revealed a timetable for ending the nuclear crisis. The road map called for increased surveillance of the workers' radiation levels, including a measure requiring TEPCO to periodically report such data to the government.
Internal exposure is caused by taking radioactive substances into the body via eating, drinking or breathing. Its unit, counts per minute (cpm), indicates the amount of radiation emitted per minute.
Regulations on preventing health problems caused by ionizing radiation require operators of power plants to conduct internal exposure tests every three months on plant employees who enter areas designated by laws and regulations on radiation-related health problems.
"My measured value [of radioactive exposure] exceeded the standard value by a double-digit factor. That's never happened before," said a plant worker in his 20s, recalling the time he saw the results of a test he took outside Fukushima Prefecture in early May.
The man, an employee of a company that works with TEPCO, installed power cables near a reactor building at the plant for a month beginning at the end of March.
The test is conducted by a device called a "whole-body counter."
While a normal internal radiation level would range from several hundred cpm to 1,000 cpm, he was told his level was 30,000 cpm.
Tuna migrate from Japan. Memorize that fact. Here are details from Bnet:
The majority of bluefin tuna spawn in the northwest Pacific Ocean in an area from the Philippines past Taiwan to Okinawa from April to June, and small numbers spawn off southern Honshu in the Pacific Ocean in July and in the Sea of Japan in August (Yabe et al., 1966; Ueyanagi, 1969; Okiyama, 1974; Yonemori, 1989; Kitagawa et al., 1995). Carried by the Kuroshio Current, juveniles arrive near the coast of Japan, move northward during summer and early autumn, and then most turn around and move back southward during late autumn and winter along the Japanese coast. During the first few years of their lives, the majority of young fish repeat a similar north-south seasonal migration. However a small fraction, increasing each year, moves away from the Japanese coast and often reaches the eastern side of the Pacific Ocean, off the United States and Mexico. These fish stay in the eastern Pacific Ocean for 1-3 years. Some time later, as mature fish, they gather in the northwest Pacific Ocean to spawn and then disperse after the spawning season. This information on Pacific bluefin tuna movements has been accumulated through analyses of fishery catch data and tag-recapture data.
(That means that radioactive tuna will be appearing off Oregon and Washington, and on your plate, for many years. Meanwhile the USDA has ratched down testing. Feel safe?)
CLATHRATE BOMB TICKING
Methane (CH4) is a very potent greenhouse gas, 20-30 times more powerful than carbon dioxide (CO2) on a century timescale. Fortunately, it only occurs in very low concentrations in the atmosphere - about 0.3 to 0.4 parts per million during ice ages and 0.6 to 0.7ppm during warmer periods.
In 1750 at the start of the Industrial Revolution, the concentration was about 0.7ppm. By 2010 it had reached more than 1.85ppm and is now at its highest level in more than 500,000 years. This is largely due to human activities such as keeping large herds of cattle and flocks of chickens, the destruction of forests, and the mining and burning of fossil fuels. Methane only stays in the atmosphere for 9-15 years during which time it oxidizes into CO2.
Large amounts of methane are produced by bacteria in the sediments below the seabed and by chemical action in organic material buried at greater depths. When this methane comes into contact with very cold or deep water, it bonds with water to form an ice-like substance called a clathrate. Clathrate remains stable provided it remains beneath deep water where there is high pressure or in shallower, very cold water such as that found in Polar Regions. When it melts, clathrate yields 164 cubic meters of methane per cubic meter of solid clathrate.
Like Savoir Faire, Clathrates are seemingly everywhere
Clathrate is found in the Antarctic and particularly in the Arctic where large quantities are found in the relatively shallow though very cold seabed of the vast continental shelves which almost encircle the Arctic Ocean. It is also found in the seabed of warmer water deep enough to exert sufficient pressure on the clathrate to prevent it from becoming unstable and releasing methane.
Over millions of years, methane clathrate has accumulated below the seabed. Billions of tonnes of it now lie dormant beneath permafrost, in the pores of sandstone or shrouded in silt. As long as it remains under pressure (covered by deep water) or in cold conditions (below 0°C) it remains stable and does not release methane.
We know that in the past there have been sudden changes resulting in global warming and that these changes have been associated with releases of greenhouse gases. These releases occurred very quickly, they were very large and were characterized by an unusually low amount of carbon isotope 13 and by large extinction (30-50%) of water breathing animals, particularly those living on or near the seabed. Most recently, this occurred at the time of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) about 55.8 million years ago. This was a time when average global temperatures increased by around 6°C and by over 10°C at the poles.
....Methane released from the ECS and onshore swamplands is already helping to raise temperatures in the Arctic, with the resultant warming at more than twice the rate of increase in average global temperature. The rate of release from onshore sources alone is conservatively predicted to reach 1.5 billion tonnes of carbon per annum before 2030, helping to make climate change even faster. This could result in the amount of ice being lost from the Greenland Ice Sheet to double every ten years, causing it to collapse (Hansen et al, 2011. This would produce a possible sea level rise of about 5 meters before 2100, according to Hansen et al.
Evidence supports the theory that sudden and massive releases of greenhouse gases, including methane, caused decade-scale climate changes - with consequent species extinctions - culminating in the Holocene Thermal Optimum.
'Ware the Kraken
In summary, immense quantities of methane clathrate have been identified in the Arctic. If a fraction of these were to melt, the result would be massive release of carbon, initially as CH4. This would produce global warming sufficient to cause deeper clathrate to melt and oxidize, adding CO2 to the atmosphere. Were this to occur, it would greatly worsen global warming.
While natural global warming during the ice ages was started by increased solar radiation due to cyclic changes in the way the Earth orbits the sun, there is no evident way of correcting Anthropogenic Global Warming over the next several centuries.
The latter has already begun producing methane and CO2 in the Arctic, starting a feedback process which may lead to uncontrollable, very dangerous global warming, akin to that which occurred at the PETM.
This extremis we ignore - to our peril.
After continuing and expanding the Great Giveaway of trillions to the banksters who created the current financial crisis by gambling away mortgage values, after expanding imperialism to Pakistan and Libya, I'll bet you thought President Obama was some sort of hyper-capitalist. Well, that's not what the billionaire-shinola-slurping Right thinks. Nope--he's a socialist. The Koch brothers say they fear his socialism.
Here's David Horowitz bloviating about Obama's supposed socialism:
"Obama and other stealth socialists seek not to bring about a revolution in which all the things that folks like West call “justice” are implemented in one fell swoop. Rather, stealth socialists work through the existing machine of politics to nudge America further to the Left a little at a time, until, like the frog in the boiling pot, we suddenly discover we’re living in a European-style socialist nation."
A European-style socialist nation? A nation like, say, Belgium or Denmark or Finland, where the wages are better even after taxation, where the standard of living is so much higher, the education is free through college, and medicine is free to all? I only wish President Obama was taking us there. But he's clearly not, since ObamaCare is a giveaway to the existing health denial industry, and prisons are expanding much faster than university enrollment. That ain't socialism, rightie whiners. I'll show you socialist:
I propose a society in which all broadcast and print media above a certain size in relation to its target population is required to prominently run political discourse prior to elections, free of charge. I propose that attempting to buy political ads for elections would be punishable by jail time. I propose a society that guarantees health care without charge, housing for all, and jobs for everyone that wants one. I propose a minimum income of $20,000 in 2010 dollars and a maximum income of $3 million. I say open the prisons, admit that the drug war is a racist scam, and let all nonviolent drug prisoners go now. I propose the death penalty for repeat-offender corporations and the immediate nationalization of the banking industry. I propose shutting down the imperial murder industry altogether, with all of our foreign bases closed now and the Pentagon converted to an apartment complex and museum. I say all power to the worker and her family. I say the big corporations should be converted to worker-run cooperatives.
That's democratic socialism, David Koch and David Horowitz, and Obama ain't got it. Lenin and Stalin screwed up socialism, applying the red flag to a totalitarian system, but bullies will do that sort of thing, and that just means it's time to get up and try again. Europe may not be very socialist, but they apply a lot more of it than we do, and guess who's richer and more peaceful? Guess who has cleaner air and better food quality? Where do you think your kids would grow up smarter and safer, Texas or Denmark?