Where Heart Shift Happens. Teaching the Science of Sustainable Health. What works for 7 future generations? "Do not go where the freeway may lead - Go instead where there is no path and build - A Green Road"
(NaturalNews) The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster is far from over, as new reports explains that water samples taken nearly 400 miles off the coast of Japan in the Pacific Ocean are showing radiation levels of up to 1,000 times higher than previous readings. Presenting their findings at the recent Ocean Sciences Meeting in Salt Lake City, Ut., scientists continued to claim these severely elevated radiation levels are not a significant health or environmental threat.
Back in June 2011, a ship carrying scientists traveled off the eastern coast of Japan collecting water samples at distances of roughly 20 miles to 400 miles from the coast. Upon analysis, these samples were found to contain elevated levels of cesium-137 at ten to 1,000 times higher than levels detected before the Fukushima disaster, which is highly alarming.
Included in the detections was the presence of radioactive silver, which is an obvious product of melted control rods at the nuclear facility. The mainstream media is claiming that this silver is simply a result of nuclear fission, but the reality of the situation is that this silver is evidence of a complete core meltdown at the facility, which is obviously having widespread repercussions.
Meanwhile, Hartmut Nies, an official from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), insists that all this radiation is not that big of a deal. He even went so far at the recent meeting to claim that "if it was not seawater, you could drink it without any problems," a completely absurd position that has no grounding in science.
As part of their misinformation campaign, IAEA officials and others compared the radioactive cesium and silver to the naturally-occurring, elemental potassium-40 found in seawater. This natural potassium, of course, is much different than the radioactive elements being emitted from Fukushima, as sea creatures have developed a natural tolerance for potassium-40.
Even those falsely claiming that all this radiation is completely harmless to humans are at least admitting that the findings are indicative that the Fukushima nuclear facility is still leaking radiation into the environment. Marine chemist Ken Buesseler, for instance, who recently said radioactive seafood is safe and that he would eat it, toldFish Info & Servicesthat the reactor "still seems to be leaking," and that it "hasn't shut off completely."
Saturday marked the two-year anniversary of one of the most influential Supreme Court decisions of our lifetime - Citizens United. The Supreme Court's ruling made it legal for corporations to pour millions of dollars into elections.
To fight back, we launched a petition calling on President Obama to support a constitutional amendment that would ban corporate money in elections and restore democracy.
It has turned out to be Rebuild The Dream's hottest petition ever!
In the first three days, more than 75,000 people have already signed on. With your help, we can push the number much higher - and get real attention on this issue. Americans can demand that elected officials be accountable to their constituents, not big corporate donors.
Ask President Obama to support an amendment banning corporate money in elections.
Raising awareness is key to pushing for fair and democratic elections. President Obama's acknowledgement of the corruption that has stemmed from Citizens United will bring national attention to the issue.
Join the 75,000 others who have already asked Obama to reject corporate money in politics. With the 2012 elections approaching, there's no better time to demand a firm and just stance from our President.
Evacuation Notices By Different Countries For Their Citizens In Japan
Many people do not know that many foreign countries had a totally different reaction than Japan did to the Fukishima crisis. Even fewer people realize that many foreign companies that had previously employed many employees in Japan, pulled them all out. See links to actual articles for the following summary below.
Many foreign companies evacuated all of their employees out of Japan
Belgium; Evacuated all of Japan
Norway; Evacuated all of Japan
Australia; Evacuated all of Japan
France; Evacuated all of Japan
Russia; Evacuated all of Japan
Belgium; Evacuated all of Japan
Sri Lanka; Evacuated all of Japan
China; Evacuated all of Japan
Algeria; Evacuated all of Japan
UK/British; 135 Km or larger evacuation zone
Spain; 120 Km evacuation zone
Germany; 120 Km evacuation zone
China; 120 Km or larger evacuation zone
South Korea; 80 Km evacuation zone
United States; 50 MILES = 80 Km for US citizens, military further than that
Indonesia/Algeria 50 Km evacuation zone
Compare the above response to Fukushima crisis to the Japanese government response…. First they told people to 'shelter in place within 10 Km. Eventually they evacuated those within 20 Km, but are now inviting people to come back into it. Why is there a huge difference between what japan did and what all of the foreign countries did above?
Consider that the number of people who would have to be evacuated within 50 KM of Fukushima would total about 2 million people, compared to ONLY 62,000 people within a 20 Km radius of the Fukushima complex. There are also a large number of manufacturing firms and factories inside this 50 Km zone. If this zone was evacuated, Japan would lose the economic base that is provided by these firms and their tax revenue.
The tradeoff was to minimize economic damage, for greater risk of radiation exposure to all of the people living in this ‘grey zone’ where all other countries pulled their people out. Tokyo alone, if it had to be evacuated, has over 35 million people living in it.
"To assure the safety of our citizens, we would evacuate our citizens at least 50 km away from Fukushima, or farther than the evacuation radius set by local authority," he said, adding that most of Indonesian evacuees are now approaching Tokyo." Algerians also evacuated.http://english.cri.cn/6966/2011/03/18/1461s626941.htm
“On Wednesday, the American Embassy in Tokyo, on advice from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, told Americans to evacuate a radius of “approximately 50 miles” from the Fukushima plant. South Korea, Australia and New Zealand followed suit in advice to their citizens, and Spanish authorities on Thursday recommended an either wider berth, about 75 miles, news agencies reported.”http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/18/world/asia/18nuclear.html?pagewanted=all
Arsenic found in juice drinks! Consumer Reports found surprising amounts of arsenic and lead in apple and grape juice drinks. Our drinking water has limits on these chemicals, but there’s no limit in these popular kids' drinks.
This video explains how the former editor of Japan Times says he is hearing reports from workers at a Fukushima medical college and how in the cold storage rooms there, dead nuke worker bodies are piling up. Allegedly, these bodies are part of approximately ten ambulances per day going to Fukushima, hauling off workers who are collapsing at work inside the plants, and taking them to this cold storage if they do not make it, rather than reporting about these illnesses and/or deaths in public.
Officially, no deaths have resulted at Fukushima, despite numerous people dying. The only way deaths are counted as being due to Fukushima radiation, is if a medical doctor certifies the death as being due to this cause, and so far, no doctor has done that. As a matter of record, even though children are suffering from what seems like radiation sickness and have stopped growing, doctors refuse to say this is due to radiation. Everything; illnesses, deaths, and suffering is all some other cause, but NEVER is it radiation.
Here is another mainstream media story, saying that they have 'lost contact' with 143 workers. Hmmm, wonder if they could be in cold storage?
This story talks about how an engineer approved a design that is being used in about a 1/3 of all US nuclear plants, despite KNOWING that the design is defective and will not survive an earthquake that these nuclear building design engineers CLAIM it will survive.
Efforts are underway across the multifamily housing sector to collect the data necessary to spur private investment in retrofits. Recent multifamily green building and retrofitting programs demonstrate the federal government’s commitment to providing concrete examples of multifamily housing’s potential for cost and energy savings. In 2009 the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) received $5 billion as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA). WAP has been making grants to low-income households for home weatherization measures such as sealing ducts, caulking, and insulating since 1976. DOE used the opportunity afforded by the new infusion of funding to collaborate with HUD to provide weatherization assistance to owners of federally subsidized public and multifamily housing.20 WAP has already helped weatherize more than 82,000 multifamily units since its inception; Stockton Williams, senior advisor for urban policy at DOE, says that this infusion of funding has doubled the percentage of weatherization funds allocated to multifamily housing, from 8 to 10 percent of WAP funds to up to 20 percent of ARRA weatherization funds.21,22 DOE expects a 10- to 20-percent improvement in energy efficiency, with an average first-year heating and cooling bill reduction of $437.23,24
HUD’s Green Retrofit Program is another ARRA-funded program aimed at creating scalable solutions to the multifamily retrofit problem, injecting capital into the areas of the market most in need while preserving affordable housing for the most vulnerable populations. The program has awarded nearly $250 million in retrofit grants for Section 8 and HUD-subsidized elderly and disabled housing to fund energy upgrades for 20,000 affordable units at an average cost of about $12,000 per unit. To accept the funds, building owners must allow thorough audits of energy consumption both before and after the retrofits to create benchmarks for expected energy savings.25 The Office of Multifamily Housing is currently projecting that this investment will produce an average annual energy savings of 27 percent per unit.26
In addition to efforts to directly subsidize multifamily retrofits and data collection, two new HUD programs aim to make energy efficiency attractive to investors. The Energy Innovation Fund was created to overcome barriers to residential energy efficiency by catalyzing private investment, with the eventual goal of creating a flourishing home energy retrofit market in the United States. The fund will award $25 million in highly leveraged funding by the end of 2011 through a competitive grant process that will seed up to $200 million in investment in revolving loan funds, loan guarantees, and energy-efficiency mortgages. The second program, Green Refinance Plus, is an enhancement of the existing Risk-Share program in which the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) assumes half of the risk of loans for refinancing or property acquisition underwritten and issued by Fannie Mae’s lending network. In Green Refinance Plus, at least five percent of these loans is dedicated to renovations or green retrofits, and FHA insures this portion of the loan under relaxed but still responsible underwriting standards. This way, FHA can demonstrate the cash-flow benefits of green retrofits, but borrowers will not default even if the improvements do not yield the expected savings, says Chris Tawa, senior advisor in the HUD Office of Multifamily Housing Programs, who helped design the program.27 Ted Toon hopes that this program will show that “green retrofits can be financed. When FHA insures it and Fannie Mae underwrites it, private borrowers can go to private lenders and let the market work.”28
The private sector is starting to recognize this potential market. Bank of America recently announced the availability of $55 million in low-interest loans to community development financial institutions (CDFIs) for energy-efficiency programs. The financing is intended for CDFIs that have started pilot programs to finance energy savings in multifamily retrofits. Most of these funds will provide long-term financing to 12 CDFIs judged to have the most effective, nationally applicable solutions for funding energy-efficiency improvements.29 Amy Brusiloff, senior vice president of CDFI lending and investing at Bank of America, explains that CDFIs have “lending expertise and can aggregate resources to mitigate risk and credit enhance loans. They can also use government and philanthropic resources to help defray the costs of marketing to building owners, data collection, and energy-efficiency underwriting training.”30 Bank of America will work with Bright Power to track the energy and water savings post-retrofit in buildings funded through the program.
Before and After: The infrared image on the right highlights the effectiveness of weatherization. The area of blue shows where metal panels have been installed; the “blue” is cold air kept outside the building. The area of reds and yellow, where the plates have not yet been installed, show heat and energy escaping from the building. Energy Initiatives | Preservation of Affordable Housing
One area of focus for the Bank of America’s program will be finding a scalable model for stand-alone retrofits (that is, retrofits not connected to mortgage initiation or refinancing). These investments are particularly difficult to finance because the risk for the lender is not bundled with other, less risky investments. In addition, because loans for retrofits are relatively small compared with the mortgage for an entire building, underwriting costs will be much larger relative to the expected return, making the loan comparatively more expensive. Moreover, owners of properties with individually metered utilities do not capture the energy savings from retrofits, which limits the revenue that can be applied to debt payments. However, stand-alone retrofits have the benefits of stabilizing tenants through decreased utility costs and increasing owners’ solvency because of the net increase in cash flow.
The Cook County Energy Savers program is providing a model of how the difficulties of stand-alone retrofits can be overcome. Designed and managed by the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), a Chicago-based think tank that works on sustainable development issues, the program targets affordable housing in Chicago not already going through major recapitalization. Using funds from various public and private sources, CNT is a one-stop shop for all of the technical information, capital, and skilled workers necessary for stand-alone retrofits. This centralization substantially lowers the high transaction costs of retrofits for individual owners. In addition, CNT ensures the quality of the retrofit and monitors the results. Community Investment Corporation, a local CDFI, provides the financing (used by about 50 percent of participants) as well as financial advice to participants. Since 2007 Energy Savers has retrofitted 5,000 units in Chicago at an average cost of $2,500 per unit; the program has 2,500 more units in the pipeline and estimates that an additional 4,000 to 5,000 units will be finished by the end of 2011. The retrofits have resulted in a 30-percent reduction in energy consumption; other benefits include a 5,000 metric ton reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and 75 new jobs.31
The innovation and collaboration currently underway in the multifamily green retrofit market are encouraging. These developments may soon make capturing the untapped energy savings in the multifamily sector a reality.
Energy Information Administration, Office of Electricity, Renewables & Uranium Statistics. Electric Power Monthly, July 2011, table 5.3; Energy Information Administration, Office of Electricity, Renewables & Uranium Statistics. Natural Gas Monthly, July 2011, table 19. 1 therm = 100 cubic feet of gas.
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