Vermont GMO labeling impact

SUBHEAD: Vermont state law requires labeling food packages containing GMO ingredients or face significant fines.

By Dan Charles Akkison Aubrey on 27 March 2016 for NPR -

Image above: A mockup of a possible GMO label on a can of Campbell's Spaghetti-Os, with these words: "Partially produced with genetic engineering." Unless Congress or a federal court intervene, Vermont's new GMO labeling law will go into effect in July. So some companies are scrambling to comply. Courtesy of Campbell Soup Company From original article.
"In the past 3 months alone, Campbell Soup, Kellogg's, Mars, General Mills, Dannon, and ConAgra have ALL announced they will label GMOs in their food products in order to comply with Vermont’s first in the nation GMO labeling law, which goes into effect on July 1st, a little more than 30 days from now.

Even better, many large food companies, like Nestle and Dannon, are simply announcing that they will remove GMOs from their products completely. This is a seismic shift in how major American food companies are responding to the growing power of the food movement." 5/29/16
You'll soon know whether many of the packaged foods you buy contain ingredients derived from genetically modified plants, such as soybeans and corn.

Over the past week or so, big companies including General Mills, Mars and Kellogg have announced plans to label such products – even though they still don't think it's a good idea.

The reason, in a word, is Vermont. The tiny state has boxed big food companies into a corner. Two years ago, the state passed legislation requiring mandatory labeling.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association has fought back against the law, both in court and in Congress, but so far it's been unsuccessful.

Last week, as we reported, Congress failed to pass an industry-supported measure that would have created a voluntary national standard for labeling — and also would have preempted Vermont's law.

Which means for now, food industry giants still face a July 1 deadline to comply with the state's labeling mandate.

And since food companies can't create different packaging just for Vermont, it appears that the tiniest of states has created a labeling standard that will go into effect nationwide.
This statement, from General Mills' Jeff Harmening, sums it up:
"Vermont state law requires us to start labeling certain grocery store food packages that contain GMO ingredients or face significant fines."
"We can't label our products for only one state without significantly driving up costs for our consumers and we simply will not do that," explains Harmening.

So, as a result: "Consumers all over the U.S. will soon begin seeing words legislated by the state of Vermont on the labels of many of their favorite General Mills products," he concludes.

Chocolate giant Mars struck a similar tone in its announcement: "To comply with [the Vermont] law, Mars is introducing clear, on-pack labeling on our products that contain GM ingredients nationwide," the company statement says.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require such labels because - as this guidance document explains - the agency has determined that the nutritional quality and safety of GMO ingredients, such as corn starch or soybean oil, are no different from the same ingredients derived from conventional crops.

According to Mars, "we firmly believe GM ingredients are safe." But consumer expectations are changing. "We aim to deliver products that match the different tastes, preferences and perceptions of consumers," the Mars statement says.

According to a 2015 poll, two-thirds of Americans support labeling of foods that contain genetically modified ingredients.

"Consumers are pushing for more transparency," food industry analyst Jack Russo told us. Earlier this year, the Campbell Soup Co. acknowledged this when it became the first major food company to switch its position and come out in support of mandatory GMO labels.

The food industry overall is still hoping that the federal government will step in.

"We continue to strongly urge Congress to pass a uniform, federal solution for the labeling of GMOs to avoid a confusing patchwork of state-by-state rules," wrote Paul Norman, president of Kellogg North America in an emailed statement.

But it's clear that companies can no longer wait for this federal action. "The horse [is] out the barn," says attorney David Wallace, of the firm Herbert Smith Freehills, who specializes in food issues.

Companies are already preparing new labels to begin hitting store shelves in a few weeks.

"Companies had no choice. ... They've been making plans for this. They had to," explains Wallace.

As a result, both sides in the debate over GMO labeling now will learn the answer to a question that many have posed over the past 20 years: How will consumers react to a label that says "produced with genetic engineering?"

Food companies have argued that such a label will scare consumers away, because they'll see it – incorrectly – as a warning. If it has that effect, companies will react by removing genetically modified ingredients from their products. In fact, food companies see the labeling campaign as a veiled attempt to drive genetically engineered crops out of agriculture.

Privately, however, many companies are hoping that consumers will disregard those labels and continue to buy the same products as always. Consumers who are motivated to avoid GMOs may be doing that already, by buying organic or non-GMO products.

If that's the case, those GMO labels will turn out to be just extra words on the package.


Judgement against RIMPAC 2016

SOURCE: Koohan Paik (
SUBHEAD: In April judge ruled Navy training in Pacific violates laws meant to protect marine life.

By Tom Hasslinger on 3 April 2016 for the Garden Island News -

Image above: The Royal Australian Navy's first-of-class amphibious assault ship Canberra, during its March 2016 mission in Fiji will participate in Hawaii for RIMPAC 2016 exercise with integration USN's MV-22 Osprey, CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter operations. From (

The Navy has underestimated the threat maritime exercises and the use sonar poses on marine life around Hawaii and California, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway in Hawaii concluded that the National Marine Fisheries Service violated environmental laws when it decided that the Navy’s training would have a “negligible impact” on whales, turtles, dolphins and other mammals.

The 66-page ruling said the Navy didn’t explore all possible safeguards to better protect mammals in the ocean, especially given the vast mileage of water that the military used to train.

“The court is saying that the Navy’s categorical and sweeping statements, which allow for no compromise at all as to space, time, species, or condition, do not constitute the ‘hard look’ required by NEPA,” Mollway wrote regarding the Navy’s stance that restrictions would hinder military practices.

“The Navy never explains why, if it can accommodate restrictions for humpback whales, it cannot accommodate restrictions for any other species.”
The ruling was praised by environmentalists.

“We’re not trying to stop all training and testing,” said David Henkin, the Earthjustice attorney representing several groups that filed the lawsuit. “But at the same time, it’s important to take the necessary steps to protect all marine life.”

Earthjustice is representing Conservation Council for Hawaii, the Animal Welfare Institute, Center for Biological Diversity and Ocean Mammal Institute challenging NMFS’s approval of a 5-year plan by the U.S. Navy for testing and training activities off Hawaii and Southern California. The groups have maintained that mammals are being unnecessarily harmed, in part, because the Navy doesn’t avoid “biologically sensitive areas.”

The National Environmental Policy Act requires federal agencies to consider a range of alternatives, including ones that could be pursued with less environmental harm, when embarking on operations.

Henkin said the Navy has access to 3.5 million square miles of the waters sweeping from California to Hawaii. Some select areas are particularly sensitive for sea life, such as whales.

For example, around 50,000 square miles off Hawaiian waters could be classified as sensitive grounds for marine life, and that size can be avoided while leaving plenty of sea for military operations.

“The court’s ruling recognizes that, to defend our country, the Navy doesn’t need to train in every square inch of a swath of ocean larger than all 50 United States combined,” Henkin said.

“If we can limit or prevent training in these small areas we can limit or prevent these deaths that occur,” he added. “It’s completely avoidable ... It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.”

The Navy said it would evaluate the ruling before determining its next move and couldn’t comment on specifics.

“If the Navy cannot realistically train at sea, sailor’s lives and our national security will be at risk,” U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Nick Sherrouse wrote in response to the ruling. “It is essential sailors have realistic training that fully prepares them to fight tonight, if necessary, and have equipment that has been thoroughly tested before they go into harm’s way,”

What happens next is still to be determined. Exercises could be moved or stricter permitting regulations could be agreed to.

In the meantime, Henkin said he will seek a court order to ensure adequate protections are put in place while it settles out.

“We would invite the government to come to an agreement without a need for more (litigation),” he said. “One way or the other, we are going to do whatever we can to make sure there is adequate protection.”

Held every two years and hosted by the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Rim of the Pacific, or RIMPAC, is the world’s largest international maritime war exercise. In total, 22 nations, 49 surface ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participated in last year’s event from June 26 to Aug. 1.

It included live fire target practice, explosives, sonar and the sinking of the decommissioned USS Tuscaloosa 57 nautical miles northwest of Kauai.

The Navy says training will kill 155 whales over five years, but environmentalists say the numbers would be much higher. Some Kauai residents expressed concern when the training was here.
One of those citizens is Hanalei resident and marine biologist Terry Lilley.

He copied U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard on dozens of emails and photos over the last year documenting what he says shows the serious damage being caused to Kauai’s nearshore marine environment, including green sea turtles, sharks, reefs and coral, by the Navy’s activities.

Gabbard, in turn, wrote a letter in October to Adm. Harry Harris Jr. of the United States Pacific Fleet inquiring about monitoring the effects of military operations on marine life.

“I am very pleased to see that the federal court looked at all of the data about the destruction of our reefs caused by the U.S. Navy war games and made the decision they did,” he wrote in an email to The Garden Island. “We now need to get the destructive activities stopped so we can start working on a massive study and coral reef restoration project.”

Sherrouse said the Navy has been training in the Hawaii and Southern California ranges for more than 60 years.

“This training and testing remains critical to the defense of the nation,” he said. “We are committed to meeting our national security mission and protecting marine life by using protective measures, working with regulatory agencies, and better understanding marine mammals through research.”
But the judge’s ruling stated the Navy doesn’t need all of the waters to still conduct its missions successfully.

She also noted the “stunning number of marine mammals” the Navy’s activities threaten with harm. The judge also found the Fisheries Service violated its legal duties to ensure Navy training would not push endangered whales and turtles to extinction.

“No restriction of any kind is even hypothesized,” Mollway wrote of the Navy’s stance. “Again, the breathtaking assertions allow for no limitation at all, but this makes no sense given the size of the ocean area involved.”

 No Scientific Evidence

SUBHEAD: Navy says military exercises not harmful to marine life, but others disagree.

By Chris D'Angelo on 21 November 2014 for the Garden Island News -

The U.S. Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor says community concerns that the Rim of the Pacific maritime exercise and Kauai’s Pacific Missile Range Facility are negatively impacting marine life are unfounded.

In early October, after hearing from several constituents, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard requested information about the Navy’s efforts to monitor the effects of RIMPAC and PMRF on the ocean and marine ecosystems.

“In response to concerns of your constituents, there has been no scientific evidence that RIMPAC 2014 or exercises at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) have caused damage to marine life,” USPF Commander Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. wrote in a response to Gabbard.

In his three-page letter, Harris discussed the aggressive steps taken by the Navy to avoid harming marine mammals, sea turtles and corals, through the use of protective measures during training, especially with sonar and explosives.

Harris also pointed out that the Navy funded over $300 million in independent research over the past 10 years, making it a world leader in marine mammal research and monitoring.

“The Navy works with regulatory agencies, using the best available science, to obtain necessary authorizations and continues to further our understanding of marine mammals through research and monitoring,” he wrote.

Others, however, say the military exercises are harming marine life.

Katherine Muzik, a local marine biologist, said it is proven — as written about in Joshua Horwitz’s book “War of the Whales” — that sonar is lethal to whales. It is only logical, she said, that it would also have deleterious, if not lethal, effects on invertebrates, including shrimp and coral, which rely on vibrations for detecting prey, escaping predators and reproducing.

“I would bet on my life that sonar is hurting other creatures,” she said. “We don’t have the proof, but the absence of proof doesn’t mean it’s an absence of fact.”

Muzik said that with so many factors already damaging the marine environment — warming ocean temperatures, acidification and pollution — for the U.S. military to insist on purposefully, knowingly and deliberately maiming and killing marine life in the name of practice is unacceptable and tragic.

In August 2013, a pair of environmental impact statements detailed that U.S. Navy training and testing activities could inadvertently kill hundreds of whales and dolphins — an injure thousands more — between 2014 and 2018. The studies included waters off the East Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, Southern California and Hawaii.

Most of the deaths — as many as 155 off Hawaii and Southern California — would come from detonating underwater explosives, while some could be caused by sonar testing or animals being struck by ships. In addition to deaths, the EIS report said the activities off Hawaii and Southern California could cause 2,039 serious injuries, 1.86 million temporary injuries and 7.7 million instances of behavioral change.

“I think it’s bogus when they say they have a lookout,” Muzik said. “I think the truth is there are animals there, they know there are animals there, and they are allowed to take them.”

Held every two years and hosted by the Pacific Fleet, RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime war exercise. In total, 22 nations, 49 surface ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participated in this year’s event, which lasted from June 26 to Aug. 1 and included live fire target practice and the sinking of the decommissioned USS Tuscaloosa 57 nautical miles northwest of Kauai.

The drills take place in the Hawaii Operating Area and several off-shore ranges, including PMRF.

Harris told Gabbard there are steps the Navy must take to minimize harm to the environment — per environmental laws such as the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act — during its trainings, including RIMPAC.

Before each RIMPAC, Harris wrote, the Navy briefs participating U.S. and foreign units about protective measures, as well as reminds service members to avoid interaction with sea turtles, Hawaiian monk seals, dolphins, coral reefs and Essential Fish Habitats.

Additionally, Navy officials complete Marine Species Awareness Training and units are required to report sonar use and submit daily marine mammal sighting reports.

Prior to and during training with sonar, the Navy uses trained, qualified lookouts to search the area for marine mammals, according to Harris. If one is sighted within 1,000 yards, sonar transmissions are reduced. Within 200 yards, sonar is shut down completely.

“Safety zones are also established to protect marine life from the effects of explosive and non-explosive munitions,” he wrote.

In an emailed statement Wednesday, Gabbard said she has been “deeply concerned about the scope of devastation” of Kauai’s coral reefs, which continue to suffer from an outbreak of black band coral disease. Over the past year, she said she has reached out to experts in marine biology, local and federal officials, and the U.S. military to ask about potential causes and how the disease can be stopped.

“The broader scientific community does not point to the U.S. Navy as the cause of this coral disease,” Gabbard wrote to The Garden Island. “Rather, experts agree it likely is a combination of runoff, growing population and development, and overfishing, among other cited causes.”

Gordon LaBedz of the Surfrider Foundation Kauai Chapter, which sued the Navy over the 2006 RIMPAC exercises, described Harris’ response letter as “100 percent predictable,” and said he puts the Navy right up there will the commercial fishing industry in terms of the world’s most environmentally destructive entities.

“In my 30 years of suing the Navy, I’ve never experienced them as good stewards of the environment,” he said.

As for Harris’ comments about there being no evidence, LaBedz said it bothers him. When a whale dies, it sinks. It doesn’t float on the surface where it can be found, he said.
In his letter, Harris also addressed a situation in July in which a 16-foot sub adult pilot whale washed ashore and died in Hanalei Bay. In response, the Navy conducted an aerial survey in accordance with the Pacific Fleet’s Stranding Response Plan.

While LaBedz said he is convinced that whale died as a result of sonar, Harris said, “To date, there is no evidence of a connection to Navy.”

When asked how someone would obtain the scientific evidence referenced by Harris, and what that evidence might be, or look like, Pacific Fleet spokesman Mark Matsunaga wrote, “The Navy uses the best available science in its environmental analysis and lists these references at the end of each resource section of our EISs,” and referred TGI to a series of websites, including

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Prepare for RIMPAC War in Hawaii 5/22/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Navy to "take" millions of mammals 5/17/16
Ea O Ka Aina: US court RIMPAC Impact decision 4/3/15
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC 2014 Impact Postmortem 10/22/1
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC 2014 in Full March 7/16/14
Ea O Ka Aina: 21st Century Energy Wars 7/10/14
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC War on the Ocean 7/3/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Voila - World War Three 7/1/14
Ea O Ka Aina: The Pacific Pivot 6/28/14
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC IMPACT 6/8/14
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC Then and Now 5/16/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Earthday TPP Fukushima RIMPAC 4/22/14
Ea O Ka Aina: The Asian Pivot - An ugly dance 12/5/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Help save Mariana Islands 11/13/13
Ea O Ka Aina: End RimPac destruction of Pacific 11/1/13 
Ea O Ka Aina: Moana Nui Confereence 11/1/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Navy to conquer Marianas again  9/3/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Pagan Island beauty threatened 10/26/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Navy license to kill 10/27/12 
Ea O Ka Aina: Sleepwalking through destruction 7/16/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Okinawa breathes easier 4/27/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Navy Next-War-Itis 4/13/12
Ea O Ka Aina: America bullies Koreans 4/13/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Despoiling Jeju island coast begins 3/7/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Jeju Islanders protests Navy Base 2/29/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Hawaii - Start of American Empire 2/26/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Korean Island of Peace 2/26/12   
Ea O Ka Aina: Military schmoozes Guam & Hawaii 3/17/11
Ea O Ka Aina: In Search of Real Security - One 8/31/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Peace for the Blue Continent 8/10/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Shift in Pacific Power Balance 8/5/10
Ea O Ka Aina: RimPac to expand activities 6/29/10
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC War Games here in July 6/20/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Pacific Resistance to U.S. Military 5/24/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Guam Land Grab 11/30/09
Ea O Ka Aina: Guam as a modern Bikini Atoll 12/25/09
Ea O Ka Aina: GUAM - Another Strategic Island 11/8/09
Ea O Ka Aina: Diego Garcia - Another stolen island 11/6/09
Ea O Ka Aina: DARPA & Super-Cavitation on Kauai 3/24/09
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2008 - Navy fired up in Hawaii 7/2/08
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2008 uses destructive sonar 4/22/08
Island Breath: Navy Plans for the Pacific 9/3/07
Island Breath: Judge restricts sonar off California 08/07/07
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2006 sonar compromise 7/9/06
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2006 - Impact on Ocean 5/23/06
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2004 - Whale strandings on Kauai 9/2/04
Island Breath: PMRF Land Grab 3/15/04

Fukushima and Chernobyl

SUBHEAD: We continue to be damaged by these extremely cautionary nuclear catastrophes.

By Robert Snefjella on 28 May 2016 for Counter Currents -

Image above: Black plastic waste bags of nuclear waste from Fukushimadaiichi nuclear plant disaster in 2011 stacked five high at the perimeter surround an inner pile of chaotically placed bags. From (

With phenomenal ingenuity and extreme folly, technically-advanced humanity has managed to conceive and implement a technology that has done much harm to life, and will do much greater harm to life, and that even threatens our extinction.

Whether suddenly through nuclear war, or through a pernicious slow motion assault on life's wondrous, intricate, amazing inner workings and accurate reproductive capabilities, nuclear technology is inherently, inescapably, anti-life. Given that the rest of the marvels of creation – that which has so far survived us – is also along for the ride, it's not just about us.

One might wonder, if the rest of creation were capable of hope, if it would be clinging to the fading hope that humanity at this late hour would transform itself into a species characterized by a decisively dominant strain of sane, careful, sensible behavior, or, if it would be hoping for our demise, the sooner the better, come what may. If we are to extricate ourselves from the trap into which we have placed ourselves, it will take much more ingenuity, and much reduced folly.

This piece is an incomplete overview of our situation, intended to boost general understanding of these subjects. Some reflections on essential reforms close out the piece.

“[In 1936] ... [Fatu Hiva's ocean pools and shorelines] literally teemed with life.”

From the book Fatu-Hiva, By Thor Heyerdahl. (He lived on the Polynesian Island of Fatu-Hiva in 1936)

“[In 2015] … everything [flora and fauna] is missing!” [along the shorelines and in the tidal pools of British Columbia]

Dana Durnford's words, after his 15000 mile odyssey along the west coast of Canada in 2014 and 2015

The unprecedented mass mortality of much life in the North Pacific Ocean in recent years has been given inadequate coverage by corporate mass media, and has not gained widespread public awareness.

In local media close to the 'situation', there have been many reports of unusual numbers of deaths, of strange diseases, of mass disappearances of life forms. And sometimes these reports appear in national and international media. But such reports are typically brief, sporadic, disconnected from each other, and often narrowly focused.

Poorly represented has been the scale and breadth of the devastation: But then, no one knows just how many whales and sea lions and walrus and sardines and sea stars and mussels and sea urchins and sea birds, and countless other creatures large and small, have in recent years died, starved, disappeared, ‘melted away’ in the water, rotted on the shores. And we mustn't forget humans' industrial scale ocean 'harvest'.

But when one puts together the many reports, the scale of the disaster over recent years is pretty mind-boggling. Kelly Ann Thomas has compiled one such list. [1]

A few examples from my own notes:

From National Geographic online, 2015: “...a die off of sea stars...largest marine disease outbreak ever recorded....”; “... no one is sure what is causing it ….” “... we think there's [also] a wasting event going on with [sea] urchins.” [2]

California Senator Mike McGuire in 2015: “We are facing a fishery disaster ….” “... historic crisis [in] the salmon and crab fisheries.” [3]

On March 15, 2015, New Mexico State U. Online, asked what was killing Baja's marine animals, and reported decomposing gray whales, sea lions, dolphins, turtles, and birds on the beaches of Baja. [4]

Feb. 26, 2016 “Sardines off the West Coast [are forecast to be in 2016] 93% lower than in 2007.” [5]

National Geographic from Jan. 24, 2015 offers the headline: “Mass Death of Seabirds in Western U.S. is Unprecedented” [6]

From Alaska Dispatch news, January 29, 2016: “Scientists Think Gulf of Alaska's seabird die- off is biggest ever recorded”; “...staggering die-off … something is awry in the Gulf of Alaska ....” [7]

In August of 2014 large numbers of whales and common murres [ seabirds] were reported as dying along the Alaska coast. [8]

Alaska Dispatch News published an article on August 20, 2015, about the unusual number of dead whales being encountered. [9]

From the Toronto Globe and Mail, Aug. 12, 2013: “...sockeye salmon returns [to British Columbia] plunge to historic lows.” “... scientists don't know why the return numbers are so low.” [10]

From ENE news, citing a document from the Alaska Marine Science Symposium of Jan. 20-24, 2014: “During summer of 2011 it became evident to [Alaskan] coastal communities and wildlife management agencies that there was a novel disease outbreak occurring in several species of Arctic ice-associated seals. Gross symptoms included lethargy, no new hair growth, and skin lesions....”

The paper mentioned concerns that the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe in March of 2011 might be implicated. The pdf document that ENE cited appears to be no longer available on line. [11]

National Geographic in 2013 reported that the quantity of dead stuff on the Pacific Ocean floor had 'mysteriously exploded' recently in many locations. [12]

California Fish and Wildlife Director Chuck Bonham in 2015: “Something's going on in the oceans [that] doesn't fit our historical understandings .... numerous anomalies ….” [13]

From a May 24, 2015 Talk Radio Europe interview with experienced small-boat sailor Ivan Macfadyen, commenting on his voyage across the Pacific from Australia to Japan in 2013: “Ten years ago [on an identical route and at the same time of year]

I could catch fish every day.” Macfadyen noted that in 2003 there were lots of birds, dolphins, turtles, whales, sharks; [But in 2013] “The ocean is broken.” “... quite literally there isn't any fish. … [fish and other lifeforms] are just all gone.” [14]

And Macfadyen again, commenting on his 2013 voyage: “We [saw] a whale, … 1000 miles south of Japan … with like a big tumor on the side of its head ….” [15]

Japanese scientists in 2013 reported finding radioactive cesium, from the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, in plankton [a basic part of the food chain of the ocean] at all ten places tested in the Pacific. [16] on Feb. 4, 2016, published a report by Japanese scientists that they had found on the Pacific coast of Japan a “decline in inter-tidal biota after … the Fukushima nuclear disaster.” “... the number of species and population densities in the inter-tidal zones were much lower at sites near … Fukushima.” [17]

The most revealing description of the situation on the Pacific coast of North America has been compiled by intrepid Canadian sailor and former diver Dana Durnford. In 2014 and 2015 he journeyed over 15000 miles by small boat to document the decimation of life in the tidal pools and along the shorelines of British Columbia.

Durnford took many thousands of photographs and filmed underwater, proving, in his own words, “just about everything [flora and fauna] is missing.”

Durnford also noted a very great decline in bird numbers, and in insects. Until recent years, the tidal pools and shorelines were home to diverse abundance: thousands of species of flora and fauna. [18]

Note that it has been two experienced sailors, Durnford and Macfadyen, independent human beings who love the ocean and who have witnessed the disaster in the Pacific at close quarters, who have given us especially compelling descriptions of the situation.

One might think that Durnford would have been lauded, especially in Canada, for his amazing determination to document, and to tell the world about, the situation along the Pacific shores. He has been largely ignored, when he isn't being vilified.

Latterly, he has had criminal charges brought against him in Canada, for criminal harassment. Here is one journalist's defense of Durnford. [19]

Marine scientists have seemed stumped to explain unprecedented mass mortality and disease in and around the North Pacific. The scientists typically vary from distraught perplexity to stabs in the dark: musings range from we don't know what's going on, to climate change, fungi, bacteria, viruses, over fishing, cyclical ups and downs, acidic water, domoic acid, warm water and cold water.

In fumbling for explanations for unprecedented recent death in the Pacific, there has been an obvious reluctance by scientists to assign significant suspicion to the unprecedented industrial/technological catastrophe which began in Japan at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear reactor complex on the shores of the Pacific on March 11th of 2011.

Four large nuclear reactors were destroyed, melting down and blowing up, and have for over five years released massive amounts of dangerous radioactive elements into the biosphere.

A typical example of the marginal status given to Fukushima radiation: The Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Feb. 2016: “... Fukushima-derived radionuclides [have been detected] in a variety of marine products harvested off the western coast of North America....” The abstract opined that the level of radioactivity found was not a health problem. [20]

Significant for what is happening now in the Pacific,a study published in 1971, authored by E. J. Sternglass, titled 'Fallout and Reproduction of Ocean Fish Populations', showed the huge impact that nuclear fallout from atomic bomb testing had on life in the oceans.

From the study's summary statement: “...very large declines of fish-populations after low-altitude nuclear tests … have been observed in the Atlantic and Pacific, strongly suggesting that the eggs of fish and the developing young are far more sensitive to internal radiation … than had been anticipated, very much as is the case of the human-embryo and fetus.” [21]

So what about Fukushima?

There have been various attempts to quantify the amount and types of radioactive elements that have been released from Fukushima into the biosphere, but these are all guesswork handicapped by an official and corporate policy dedicated to lying and censoring. [22]

Three reactors were destroyed by powerful explosions. [23]

The Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear site contained in total over 4000 tons of highly radioactive nuclear fuel. [24] Reactor 3 at Fukushima Dai-ichi contained especially dangerous fuel rods, combining plutonium with uranium. Much material from the exploding reactors, including reactor 3, was ejected into the biosphere, some circling the planet. [25]

The total amount of radioactive cesium-137 alone, contained in the spent fuel assemblies at Fukushima, is estimated by Robert Alvarez, former Senior Policy Adviser at the US Department of Energy, in an extraordinary letter to the author of Allegedly Apparent Blog, Michael Van Broekhoven, to be roughly 85 times the amount released by Chernobyl. [26]

In desperation, a large amount of sea water was sprayed onto the wrecked reactors. It is questionable whether this did more harm than good. The creation of durable spherical radioactive clusters of materials – buckeyballs – has been reported to be among the fruits of this labor. Some highly radioactive water has been collected in many hundreds of steel tanks of dubious quality. Much water sprayed went wherever water was able to go.

But there is also a large natural flow of water under the destroyed reactors. Extremely radioactive material from the reactors has likely burned its way into the ground below the reactors, to a depth which is either unknown or if known we are not being told, adding to the radioactive contamination of guesstimated hundreds of tonnes of water daily discharging into the Pacific Ocean for near five years now. [26]

In Nov. 2014, for example, TEPCO admitted that 400 tons of radioactivity-contaminated water was reaching the Pacific daily, and that measures to prevent the discharge had been unsuccessful. [28]

It should be emphasized that TEPCO has earned a reputation for hiding and minimizing and distorting the actual situation. And the Japanese government has attempted quite successfully to suppress honest reporting of the situation at Fukushima.

The destroyed reactors continue, and will continue, far into the future, to contaminate the environment with dangerous radionuclides. There remain unapproachable areas, and horrific problems defying solution.

Desperately, millions of large plastic bags of questionable durability have been filled with radioactive material, and this massive effort has managed to temporarily confine a tiny fraction of the radioactive contamination emitted over the five-plus years since the catastrophe.

Robots sent in to inspect areas of high radioactivity have been destroyed by the radioactivity. The Japanese, five years into the catastrophe, are still trying to determine how to proceed. [29]

Arnie Gundersen in 2012 collected 5 random soil samples from Tokyo and all five were radioactive enough to be classified as nuclear waste, under United States standards. [30]

“... 70 percent of [Japan is contaminated by Fukushima radioactivity] … 20 percent [of Japan] including Tokyo, is contaminated with highly toxic radiation.” [31] [32]

But the worst may yet be to come. A German study has predicted that Strontium-90 levels would rise and remain at high levels for many years after a meltdown such as Fukushima, And there is evidence for ongoing out of control fission at the destroyed reactors: long after the initial melt down and explosions, short-lived radioactive iodine-131 has been found both in Japan and on the other side of the planet. [33]

Over the last months of 2015 and in 2016, Michael van Broekhoven's Allegedly Apparent Blog has shone a near solitary public light on evidence indicating that some globally significant nuclear catastrophe has occurred recently.

He also offers evidence that radiation monitors around the world are routinely used to hide, not reveal, high radiation readings, as well as evidence that the situation at, and radiation from, the nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima, far from winding down, may be worsening. His work deserves serious attention. [34]

The Fukushima catastrophe obviously merited, and now perhaps more than ever, merits extreme political, scientific, engineering, mass media and public attention, reflection, and concern, and our utmost intelligence in brainstorming; and, to what extent possible, an all out mitigation response.

But this has not happened. So, not surprisingly, countless people are not even aware of the Fukushima disaster. And of those who do know about it, many think that the problem has been resolved, or is not all that serious.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

It has not been easy, from the very beginning of the nuclear age, to find out what's actually going on with nuclear mishaps, generally, because dishonesty and censorship have been the default position for the nuclear military and nuclear industry since its inception.

So, for example, the World Health Organization, which cheerfully announced immediately after the beginning of the Fukushima catastrophe that no increased cancer risk was to be expected, made a secret agreement in 1959 with the nuclear lobby and promoter IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) to give the IAEA control over WHO pronouncements pertaining to radioactivity and human health. [35] Since the beginning of the atomic age, humanity has been the victim of both nuclear-related deception and radioactive contamination.

And what about the health impact from Fukushima on the Japanese people? In Sept. of 2015, the Asia-Pacific Journal published a study by Eiichiro Ochiai titled 'The Human Consequences of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plants Accidents'. [36]

Ochiai's document includes the important point that damage from chronic exposure to radioactivity is strongly related to whether that exposure is through internal contamination. This critical difference between internal and external exposure to radioactivity has been largely ignored by 'official' bodies and pronouncements and standards regarding the health impact of radiation.

Another key defect in the conventional depiction of the dangers of chronic radiation exposure is that genetic damage, reproductive problems, mutations, chromosomal abnormalities and the like – the entire spectrum of DNA damage, which may endure for generations – is largely ignored. [37]

Cancer risk is highlighted, then minimized. Little mention is made of the hundreds of other serious ailments which increased exposure to artificial radionuclides is implicated as contributing to.

From Ochiai's document: [“... as a result of the Fukushima accident”] “All indications are that incidence of many diseases is increasing not only in Fukushima but also all over Japan.” Ochiai shows charts based on data from Japanese hospitals for incidents of various diseases for the years 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

At the Fukushima Prefectural Medical School, data is for the years 2010 to 2012. Here are the figures for 2010 (before Fukushima) compared to 2012 (two years after Fukushima) : cataracts up 227%; angina up 157%; bleeding in brain up 300%; lung cancer up 163%; esophagus cancer up 122%; stomach cancer up 129%; cancer in small intestine up 400%; colon cancer up 297%; prostate cancer up 300%.

Ochiai included data from fifteen Prefectures re thyroid cancer. Rates went up in all areas, with Japan as a whole having a 148% increase from 2010 to 2013. Incidents of myocardial infarction increased in all 13 prefectures listed; Japan as a whole 151%. Acute leukemia increased 142% overall. The author comments that his data represents only the “tip of the iceberg”.

On Oct. 15, 2015, Japanese Professor Toshihide Tsuda announced the results of an epidemiological study of thyroid cancer in Fukushima prefecture since the catastrophe, and described the increase as “drastic”. The increase was 20 to 50 times 'normal', depending on the specific area and amount of contamination, and this increase was far beyond what the WHO had predicted.

And based on the Chernobyl experience, cited below, an estimated 1000 additional thyroid problems can be expected for every cancer, as a result of heavy radioactive contamination. Tsuda pointed out that preventative iodine had not been given to vulnerable people after the Fukushima disaster, which might have prevented many of the subsequent thyroid problems. [38]

In an interview published Mar. 18, 2016 Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds has disclosed that there has been “a huge spike in the death rates within Fukushima Prefecture for young children....” This information has been suppressed. [39]

One chronological retrospective on Fukushima is found at Modern Survival Blog. [40]

For extraordinary pertinent musical poetry from Japan, attend this video. [41]

Leaving Fukushima for the moment, what can we learn about the health repercussions from massive releases of artificial radioisotopes from the global nuclear catastrophe at Chernobyl in 1986?

An extremely disturbing and illuminating work on the effects of serious and chronic human-created radiation exposure is the detailed examination of the impact of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the book: 'Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment'. [42]

The book has been largely ignored by corporate mass media, and when mentioned, attempts have been made to denigrate it, belittling its competence, methods, and conclusions. This denigration is due to the threat that the document poses to the nuclear delusion: The Chernobyl study is not a good news story.

The Chernobyl book above was based on approximately 5000 studies, but the authors point out that these were only a fraction of those available. Many of the studies were in the Russian language, and some have still not been translated.

The document notes that Chernobyl radiation harmed all life forms studied. And the authors assert that at the time of writing the document, the problems were increasing on the whole, not decreasing.

Here are a few examples of what was found:

Thirteen European countries had over half of their area contaminated, and some European countries have areas that remain contaminated, nearly thirty years later. For example, 10,000 farms in the United Kingdom were contaminated. [43] Four hundred million people live within significantly contaminated areas, and 5 million still live in areas of high contamination in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

The quantity of deposition of dangerous radioactive material varied greatly from place to place, over the entire northern hemisphere. Many different types of conglomerations of radioactive elements were emitted.

Marked increases in a myriad of non-malignant and malignant health problems, including damage to reproductive health and the immune system, have been observed and recorded in the populations exposed to Chernobyl contamination. Over vast areas and in diverse populations and in all age groups that experienced contamination, there has been greatly increased morbidity. In many instances this increase has worsened steadily over time.

Prior to Chernobyl, healthy children were the norm in all countries in question. After Chernobyl, especially in places of heavy contamination, healthy children became fewer, with some areas now reporting virtually no healthy children.

Contaminated areas of Belarus, Ukraine, and European Russia have seen the percentage of ‘practically healthy’ children reduced from 80 or 90% of the child population prior to Chernobyl, to less than 20% more recently.

Markedly higher death rates, reproductive disabilities, low birth weights, and a wide range of illnesses and diseases, and greatly increased numbers of invalid children, were documented in areas of serious contamination. There was a continuing deterioration in the health of children exposed to serious radiation, even from the late 1990s into the new millennium.

There were increases in stillbirths, miscarriages, infant mortality and congenital malformations in many countries following the Chernobyl disaster.

The hundreds of thousands of people – the ‘liquidators’ - who worked in close proximity to the reactor site in the attempt to mitigate the disaster; have experienced extreme decline of well being and greatly increased morbidity. For example, for the Ukraine among liquidators about one in twenty remained reasonably healthy by 2004, and those suffering chronic illness increased 600%.

Russian men, young and healthy prior to Chernobyl, and who participated in cleanup and mitigation efforts, suffered a severe decline in health, leaving only 2% healthy by 1992. By 2004 nearly two thirds of Russian liquidators were disabled.

Accelerated aging was documented in both children and adults living in heavily contaminated areas. Diseases of the blood, circulatory and lymphatic systems increased markedly in populations living in areas of radioactive contamination, as did increases of chromosomal aberrations, mutations, and Down syndrome.

Thyroid problems increased greatly, with 1000 thyroid problems for every thyroid cancer. The damage by Chernobyl radiation to the endocrine system was far greater than previously expected, with millions seriously affected. Immune system impairment strongly correlated with exposure to radiation.

Marked increases in respiratory system problems were documented. A wide range of reproductive system disorders increased greatly in heavily contaminated areas. Serious radiation exposure was strongly associated with impaired brain function and mental health problems.

There have been many surprises: for example, Cesium-137 has been far more persistent than predicted; hot particles are breaking down quickly into a surprising melange of radioactivity; Highly soluble Strontium-90 and Americium-241 are moving through the food chain much more rapidly than had been predicted.

Levels of contamination in plants vary widely, even within species. There was increased and widespread genetic damage, tumour-like growth, and mutation in many plant species in areas of high contamination as compared to areas of low contamination.

Since Chernobyl, in heavily contaminated areas, all resident animal species studied have exhibited increased genetic abnormalities and increased mortality, and generally, the same damage that humans have suffered. This will continue far into future.

In less than half a year after Chernobyl, in heavily contaminated areas, marine species had decreased by up to four fifths of their pre-catastrophe numbers. Bird populations in heavily contaminated areas were greatly reduced.

So where are we? Even without Chernobyl and Fukushima, we were not doing well, us talented, foolish, war-making humans. Neither to ourselves or the rest of life on the planet. The oceans would have been in trouble without Fukushima.

And on land all the creatures that compete in any way with us, or whose death profits us – the lions and tigers and bears and elephants and giraffes and gorillas, etc – would have been in trouble at our hands had we never gone down the cursed nuclear path.

The more fragile creatures, the butterflies and birds and bees and the rest, would be in trouble given a human globe-spanning culture that combines dirty technology and 'living better with chemistry' with a chronic inclination for war, greed, and a too general insensitivity to nature; even if we were without one nuclear bomb or reactor.

But the atomic bomb and the nuclear reactor have introduced a new deadly circumstance. We have been teetering on the edge of nuclear weapons being used in a cataclysmic war since shortly after the second world war.

And nuclear technology, which creates, and spread around the planet, countless new alien atoms that are inherently inimical to life, is also a pernicious step too far, even if nuclear war were to be averted permanently.

As adjuncts to the bomb, many hundreds of nuclear power plants, civilian and military, have been built. There have been catastrophic accidents, with many accidents larger and smaller covered up, and lied about.

Whether from sabotage, from negligence, from stupidity, from natural disasters, from engineering faults, from war, from major coronal ejections that periodically strike earth, more reactors will go badly wrong. And at the best of times, and chronically, as part of normal operating procedure, nuclear reactors contribute to increasing levels of artificial, inimical-to-life radionuclides in the biosphere. [44]

At the dawn of the possibility of a new benign-energy age, at that moment in history when we have created the basis of a transition to a relationship with the natural world that is predominantly respectful and careful, some countries are building new nuclear reactors.

Those hundreds of nuclear power plants already built are aging, deteriorating, often leaking unannounced radioactivity, becoming more and more susceptible to breakdown, and are ever-present terrorist targets; and some are being re-licensed for financial gain in rickety old age, when it had been previously announced they would be 'decommissioned'. [45]

And we still don't really know what to safely do with the highly radioactive results of running nuclear reactors. Fukushima and Chernobyl have been and remain and will continue to be catastrophic problems. But apart from those two majorly lethal conundrums, massive amounts of highly radioactive waste in thousands of locations remain a permanent disposal problem and danger.

Future generations has been given the unwelcome and unasked for task of guarding, paying for, dealing with, being injured by, and having their lives and prospects and social options lessened by this most hellish means by which water is boiled to make electricity for us, and by which nuclear weapons' essential needs are met.

So, wherein does our best chance lie of reducing the harm and risk of our nuclear folly? How do we provide the basis by which we could begin to dismantle our folly and reconstruct cultures that are viable.

Those iconic personages Albert Einstein and Dwight Eisenhower are among the many concerned people who have located hope for policy sanity in an informed public:

Einstein found our “only hope” [regarding nuclear technology] in “an informed citizenry” [that] “will act for life and not for death.”

Eisenhower offered that

“only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

Note well: they did not base their hope on experts or oligarchs or generals or silly people who are enthralled by the illusion of their own extraordinary intelligence. They based hope on a well informed us.

Implied in Einstein and Eisenhower's hope is that the broad public, well informed, has a far greater potential repository of creativity and common sense and decency and such – beneficent functionality - than any cult, tribe, institution or faction thereof.

If indeed an informed public is essential, then modern mass media is largely a hope destroyer: the current use of mass media is largely as a 'public perception management' tool on behalf of demented control freaks and oligarchic wannabees; most mass media is used to brainwash, sell, propagandize, censor, mislead, confuse.

Much of so-called journalism is a real-journalism-free zone. This is lethally dysfunctional and must be overcome. Significant steps in the right direction can be taken via intelligent political initiative, mandating and giving financial and legal aid to priority-sensitive free and full discourse and unfettered information in media.

The real world is challenging enough at the best of times. It requires all the realism and intelligence and heart we can muster. We cannot attain a cultural predominance of sensible public policy via lies and censorship.

If we are to salvage any kind of reasonably benign and propitious human prospect, we must achieve a dominant public discourse which is integrity and forthrightness based. Such honesty is the nemesis of criminals and tyrants, but the indispensable basis for sound public and personal decisions. Again, a fully well informed public is our best chance.

And we might use direct democracy mechanisms – that is to say – a fully politically empowered public - to override the pernicious dysfunctions and corruptions of so many institutions. From Paul Craig Roberts' discerning perspective, every public and most private institutions in the United States are corrupt. [46] The same problem is commonplace in most other countries.

Often the basic source of dysfunction in institutions lies at the executive and managerial level, with political and corporate appointees serving agendas other than the broad public interest.

Direct democracy procedures can be used to set primary policies, select real good leaders to executive positions, and to monitor them, and to replace the inadequate or corrupt people that have been appointed or have wormed their way into so many positions of power.

Local and national direct democracy, informed by honest and free and full public discourse, offers the possibility of achieving genuine public-interest and planetary-interest cultural reform.

We might also begin what has become a more and more desperate journey towards cultural sanity by recognizing the artificiality of all financial barriers for undertaking a full effort to fix deadly problems, especially the nuclear one: unlimited credit is just sane policy away. If trillions can be handed to criminal and dysfunctional banks, trillions can be endowed for beneficent and necessary public and earthly purposes.

The current global financial system is in effect and in fact a criminal system which predominantly serves narrow private interests, and oligarchic agendas and enterprises; and is parasitic upon the people of the planet, and egregiously, tragically disabling of the human prospect. To transform the current global private-interest-enabling financial system into forms that function as in effect public utilities, serving broad human and earthly interests, is necessary and possible. [47]

Another essential reform is to place corporations under, not over, the public and earthly interest. It is self-destructive madness to allow the narrow interests of corporations to trump essential human needs, and the well being of the biosphere. And those individuals who guide corporations and may reap great financial gain and social and political influence through corporate power, are largely immune from paying an appropriate personal penalty for corporate crimes committed and harm done. This too can and must be corrected.

The over-riding need is to transition to a global diversity of cultures that have in common the attempt to function in harmony with each other and the biosphere: Good people, clean air, good nourishment, good water, respecting and caring about all life on the planet. [48]

If we can't achieve essential basic improvements, but cling to a culture of deception, criminality, brutality and dysfunction, then the horrors of the last generations, such as the first and second world wars, the horrors of the war of aggression inflicted upon the innocents of IndoChina, the 2011 destruction of beautiful Libya, Chernobyl's disabled children, the Fukushima catastrophe, a terribly harmed North Pacific, and many more already achieved large crimes and big sorrows, are prelude to even greater horror.

“The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life.” JFK, in his inaugural address.

Video above: A drone buzzes Fukushima temporary a seemingly endless storage facility for bags of nuclear waste shown on Russia Times. From (

• Robert Snefjella is a retired organic farmer



















[18] Dana Durnford's website: for one of many podcasts. Durnford has not been hesitant to place primary blame on Fukushima for the massive death in the North Pacific.



[22] It is not known how much radioactivity was actually released in the first cataclysmic week at Fukushima Daiichi, and how much has been released since then over five years is again unknown. Official estimates are contaminated by secrecy and dishonesty. Independent estimates vary widely. Safe to say Fukushima has released far more radioactivity than Chernobyl, and hasn't stopped. For example, even early on, the unprecedented scale of the disaster was evident to many: Here is agreenroad.blogspot's assessment, which includes more recent considerations: It should be noted that other nuclear power plants in Japan also had problems in March of 2011.

[23] It has been repeatedly reported that all the explosions at Fukushima were hydrogen explosions. But this is at best extremely dubious: In the cases of reactors 3 and 4, especially, the explosions were powerful enough to cause massive structural damage, including to heavily reinforced concrete walls. Here are photographs of the results: ; here is a link to a video of the explosion of reactor 3: Note the yellow flash near midpoint of video, and the enormous detonation force. Among many who consider the hydrogen explosion theory dubious, Japanese reactor designer Setsuo Fujiwara has been quoted as offering that the explosion at reactor 3 gives clear evidence of being a nuclear explosion: How Reactor 4, which was not running at the time, was destroyed by a massive explosion also remains unclear. So much has not been explained; so many lies told: The melt down of reactor cores has been blamed on the failure of back up generators, but that doesn't explain the failure of the emergency systems for circulating cooling water, which were steam driven and not dependent on electricity.






[29] For a video of some of the millions of garbage bags see: For a rough outline of the attempt to achieve some manner of 'decommissioning' see




[33] link to German study in reference to Strontium-90: link to iodine 131 detection:

[34] See Broekhoven's urgent late May 2016 missives to the planet

[35] For a lucid interview on WHO corruption re radioactive dangers: To compound the difficulties of making sense of things nuclear, sudden high radioactivity readings around the planet often coincide with monitors being turned off and gaps in data, as independent sleuth Michael Van Broekhoven has repeatedly reported.

[36] Eiichiro Ochiai also noted the consistent turning off of monitors in Japan to coincide with spikes in radioactivity.








[44] Dr. Dr. Gofman Professor Emeritus, and pioneer in nuclear physics, at the University of California, Berkley: "Licensing a nuclear power plant is in my view, licensing random premeditated murder.”

[45] And let us note well the illusion, more like the mad, irresponsible delusion, of being able to safely and competently store the dangerous radioactive materials for vast periods of time. Ask Hanford how it's doing with its never-ending story of gonna fix it tomorrow. Ask anyone else in more or less the same situation.



[48] Radioactive hydrogen - tritium - does not good H2O/water make:

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Nuclear Power Zombies 5/12/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima radiation damages Japan 4/14/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Indian Point Nuclear Accident 3/5/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Big Fat Radioactive Lie 12/6/15
Ea O Ka Aina: San Onofre left radioactive debris 9/30/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Nuclear is not alternative energy 8/7/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima - the end of atomic power 3/13/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Molten Salt Nuclear Reactors 9/25/14
Ea O Ka Aina: The false science of science 9/2/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Nuclear Wasteland 8/6/14
Ea O Ka Aina: WIPP Worse than you think 5/21/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima - What me worry? 11/29/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Nuclear Power on the Run 8/18/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Five reactors shutdown by Sandy 10/30/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Ten Chernobyls enter Pacific 5/27/11


Mahaulepu Dairy Farm draft EIS

SOURCE: Rayne Raygush (
SUBHEAD: The contents of HDF's draft willbe released to the public 0n 8 June 2016.

By Bridget Hammerquist on 26 May 2016 for Friends of Mahauelepu

Image above: Arial view of Mahaulepu Valley. In foreground is the stunning shoreline. Behind it the area of the proposed industrial dairy farm. From (

On 26 May 2016, HDF (Hawaii Dairy Farm) filed its Draft EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) for their proposed industrial dairy operation in Mahaulepu Valley.  The contents of HDF's draft will not be released to the public until June 8, 2016.  It will then be posted on DOH's (Department of Health's) website and will be sent to all who receive the DOH Environmental Newsletter.

It is hard to believe that any responsible farming operation would propose to add tons of bacteria laden manure, when the water quality testing run at Mahaulepu Beach and in the stream, on water that drains from the proposed farm property, has shown chronic, persistent pollution with high fecal bacteria counts from March, 2014 to the present.

These high bacteria counts and elevations in nitrates have been confirmed by multiple sources over the past two years: DOH, Honolulu Lab, USGS (US Geographical Service) and Surfrider Kauai's Blue Water Task Force.

In complete disregard for the risks to our drinking water and the recreational waters of Maha'ulepu Beach, HDF insists on proceeding even though the current source of pollution is unknown.

As many of you know, FOM (Friends of Mahaulepu) conducted its own site inspection on March 29 & 30 of 2016.  Our experts are finalizing their site inspection report.  Their findings will soon be made available to HDF and the public.  Thus far we have been told they are very confident that the information obtained establishes that Maha'ulepu Valley is not a safe location for any operation dealing with large amounts of manure.

FOM will hold public meetings to assist individuals who want to file a response to HDF's Draft EIS.  All responses will be due within 45 days of the June 8, 2016 public release.

For those who weren't able to attend, the YouTube link that follows shares the island wide meetings which recently occurred.  You may want to hear the comments of guest speaker Paul Cienfuegos who discussed community rights ordinances that have successfully banned harmful corporate operations in over 200 communities throughout the U.S.

Video above: We Love Kuai"presentation by Paul Cienfuegos. From (

Video above: Full Presentation of "We Love Kauai" by Friends of Mahaulepu. From (

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Hawaii Dairy Farm faces lawsuit 6/3/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fed up with factory farming 3/25/15
Ea O Ka Aina: NZ dairy model isn't Mahaulepu 3/10/15 
Ea O Ka Aina: Ugly show at the Cow Palace 3/1/15  
Ea O Ka Aina: Dairy polluted groundwater 1/17/15
Ea O Ka Aina: No Moo Poo in Mahaulepu 10/27/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Hawaii Dairy Farm Factsheet 10/11/14 
Ea O Ka Aina: Disquiet over CAFU in Mahaulepu 9/16/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Kauai Grassfed Dairy Fraud 4/13/14 

Vermont adopts Steady State idea

SUBHEAD: Vermonters have proven the phrase “steady state economy” is not the bogeyman it was thought to be.

By Brian Czech on 15 May 2016 for  -

Image above: Frame of GIF file below illustrating a map of America with each county sized on the basis of Gross Domestic Production.

Here’s a day to remember: May 6, 2016.

That’s the day when, late in the afternoon, the Legislature of the State of Vermont passed H.C.R. 412, “House Concurrent Resolution Honoring the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy for Its Important Work.” In a nation where acts of steady statesmanship – political support for a steady state economy – have only just begun, the Vermont Legislature has offered a perfect and prescient precedent.

Some may scoff at the idea that any resolution could be momentous. It’s true that, typically, a resolution isn’t as distinguished as a statute, an executive order, or a Supreme Court decision. H.C.R. 412 was one of 47 resolutions passed on that adjourning day of the 2015/2016 Vermont Legislature. True, too, that the legislature didn’t resolve to reform any economic policy with H.C.R. 412.

Now that we’ve looked the donut squarely in the hole, let’s consider what the Vermont Legislature did accomplish:
  1. The steady state economy – the only sustainable alternative to unsustainable growth or recession – was brought out of its academic niche into mainstream political dialog. We’re not talking about the ramblings of a quirky county commissioner or misfiring mayor. A state legislature represents the second-highest lawmaking level in the land. In Vermont, a famously beautiful and progressive land that has also offered us a viable presidential candidate, there was virtually unanimous support in the legislature for recognizing limits to economic growth, the problems caused by growth, and the solutions inherent to a steady state economy.

  2. Vermonters have proven the phrase “steady state economy” is not the bogeyman it was thought to be by the architects and activists of the “new economy” movement. If a state legislature can stomach, reprint, and even honor the phrase, it’s time to stop the hand-wringing in futile attempts to come up with a warmer and fuzzier phrase that would connote an economy of stabilized size. “Steady state economy” is perfectly clear with no connotations necessary. Let’s just tell it like it is, and thank you Vermont.

  3. H.C.R. 412 is loaded with implications for future adjustments to tax codes, budgets, program goals and incentives of all kinds. Meanwhile, it provides leadership that is immediately relevant to consumers. Consumers are citizens who constitute the demand side of the economy. Any citizen mulling the construction of a new home, the purchase of a new vehicle, or the development of a new wardrobe has a decision to make. To illustrate by extreme: Hummer or hybrid? Conscientious, widespread tempering of demand toward sustainable levels starts with leadership, such as provided in H.C.R. 412.
Suddenly, doesn’t the donut look bigger than the hole?

H.C.R. 412 was introduced by Representative Curt McCormack of Burlington. The Burlington connection makes a lot of sense, given the long-running leadership in steady state economics coming out of the University of Vermont and its Gund Institute for Ecological Economics. In fact, McCormack is on the UVM Board of Trustees.

It’s refreshing that, in the political days of short-term memory and “small hands” rhetoric, some politicians are doing their homework on the big picture and the long term. The perpetual push for increasing GDP is a growing threat to the environment, the economy, national security, and international stability, but the threat is clear only for those who stop to think about it.

Led by McCormack, May 6 was the day a state legislature stopped to think about it. It’s a day worth remembering.

Image above: From (


Bad Energy in Hawaii

SUBHEAD: Hawaii Public Utility Commission reality check in post HECO-NextEra merger environment.

By Henry Curtis on 26 May 2016 for Ililani Medoa -

Image above: Hawaiian Electric Industries President and CEO Connie Lau stands with Jim Robo, CEO of NextEra Energy announcing takeover plan in January. From (

[IB Publisher's note: The PUC and Hawaii Electric Industries have been pulling the state in the wrong direction for some time. Bringing in cut-throat NextEra energy company and importing Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) from fracked wells in British Colombia and Alberta is not a solution to an energy problem but a boondoggle and risk to the environment of Hawaii.]

Bloomberg News announced on May 24 that NextEra Energy Inc.’s proposed $4.3 billion takeover of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. is looking increasingly less likely as the company gets a new chance to buy Oncor Electric unit of Energy Future Holdings Corp, the largest power distributor in Texas.

Hawaiian Electric Industries CEO Connie Lau, HEI Chief Financial Officer James Ajello, and the then NextEra Vice Chairman and CFO Moray Dewhurst offered contradictory statements and testimony regarding the $90-95 million breakup fee that NextEra may pay to HEI if the deal is not approved by June 3, and NextEra were to walk away from the deal.

The money would go to HEI and its shareholders, not HECO and its ratepayers.

The breakup language is an extremely complex document written by lawyers.

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission was widely expected to issue a decision in the late summer or fall of 2016. PUC staff lawyers, economists and accountants are pouring through the 110,000-page record

With the announcement of the potential breakup, the PUC can suspend their analysis for a few weeks to see if the breakup really happens.

During the next few weeks the PUC can put greater effort on two major efforts underway:
  • The evaluation of the HECO Companies Power Supply Improvement Plans (PSIPs) which state alternative plans for the utility between now and 2045.
  • PUC's Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Working Group which is seeking to advise the Commission on ways of increasing rooftop solar penetration, while accounting for interconnection standards, safety, reliability, and rate structures.
The Commission can also focus on the HECO dockets opened in the last six months which have yet to really start.

HECO`s Utility-Scale Community-Based Renewable Energy Application
A HECO-designed special time-of-use rate structure for the Department of Education
HECO Companies Demand Response Program
An updated Power Purchase Agreement between HECO and the 200MW AES coal-burning facility in Campbell Industrial Park
HELCO purchase of Hamakua Energy Partners generator
HECO`s proposed $736.0 million Smart Grid (which includes ten inter-related and/or independent subcomponents
HECO`s proposal to import largely fracked Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from British Columbia at a cost of $459.3 million
HECO`s request for a waiver from Competitive Bidding for a new Kahe generation facility
HECO`s proposed $859.0 million Kahe Power Plant

The PUC “regulates 1625 entities, which includes all chartered, franchised, certificated, and registered public utility companies that provide electricity, gas, telecommunications, private water and sewage, and motor and water carrier transportation services in the State.”

Earlier this month, Sandwich Isles Communications and Pa Makani LLC, dba Sandwich Isles Wireless filed applications with the PUC to renew their Annual Certification as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier.

For the past two decades the Hawai`i Department of Hawaiian Home Land has given the politically connected Sandwich Isles, the exclusive rights to provide phone service for new customers on Hawaiian Home Lands.

The Federal Communications Commission provided Sandwich Isles, $830 per customer per month from the Universal Service Fund to subsidize phone service.

Earlier the year Federal Judge Susan Oki Mollway gave Sandwich Isles President Albert S.N. Hee a 46-month sentence for providing “false” salaries to family members, college tuition for his children, family vacations, massages and dozens of other personal expenses. Al Hee is the brother of former State Senator Clayton Hee.

HECO to import Canadian LNG

SUBHEAD: research confirms a link between fracking and almost every large induced earthquake in B.C.

By Henry Curtis on 25 May 2016 for Ililani Medoa -

Image above: A LNG tanker ship at port. From (

Hawaiian Electric Company has signed a Fuel Supply Agreement with Fortis Hawaii Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., headquartered in Newfoundland, Canada.

The gas would be exported from their facility on Tilsbury Island in British Columbia.

The facility is about twenty miles north of the U.S. Border and twenty miles south of Vancouver. The deal must be approved by the Public Utilities Commission.

Importing LNG would require a vast infrastructure overhaul. HECO asserted they will need to spend $859 million building the new Kahe generator facility and another $459.3 million on the LNG system.

Ronald Cox, HECO`s Vice President for Power Supply, submitted testimony in the LNG application which stated that the importation of LNG has a double condition, requiring approval of both the HECO-NextEra merger and the Kahe combined cycle facility.

HECO asserted that LNG “burns cleaner,” and it is “the lowest cost alternative for compliance with future environmental regulatory requirements.”

Life of the Land became the first group to file a Motion to Intervene in the proceedings. Their 383-page motion detailed the problems from importing gas from British Columbia.

CBC News reported that the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission confirmed the 4.4-magnitude earthquake in 2014 was "triggered by fluid injection during hydraulic fracturing," making it one of world's largest earthquakes ever triggered by the controversial fracking process."

Canadian Earthquakes are different from American Earthquakes according to a scientific article in the current issue of Seismological Research Letters, published by the Seismological Society of America.
“In the central United States, most induced seismicity is linked to deep disposal of coproduced wastewater from oil and gas extraction.

In contrast, in western Canada most recent cases of induced seismicity are highly correlated in time and space with hydraulic fracturing, during which fluids are injected under high pressure during well completion to induce localized fracturing of rock.

Furthermore, it appears that the maximum-observed magnitude of events associated with hydraulic fracturing may exceed the predictions of an often-cited relationship between the volume of injected fluid and the maximum expected magnitude.”

Canada’s #1 national newspaper, the Globe and Mail, reported that the report “looked at 12,289 fracking wells and 1,236 waste-water wells in an area along the B.C.-Alberta border.” The regulating agency responded, “the BC Oil and Gas Commission says the research does not raise any safety concerns.”

"There's bad news and good news when it comes to fracking and earthquakes in Western Canada, according to new research from a paper co-authored by a Geological Survey of Canada scientist,: according to CNC News.

"The new research confirms a definitive link between hydraulic fracturing and almost every large induced earthquake recorded in B.C. and Alberta's oil and gas patches since 1985.

In other words, scientists now have evidence that 90 per cent of seismic events over magnitude 3.0 that shook the region were triggered by crews fracking for oil and gas underground."

The Council of Canadian Academies published “Environmental Impacts of Shale Gas Extraction in Canada: The Expert Panel on Harnessing Science and Technology to Understand the Environmental Impacts of Shale Gas Extraction.”

The report was misrepresented in HECO`s application which basically asserted that the analysis found no problem. Actually the 292-page report found a lack of data and analysis.

The report noted that Canada is “the world’s third-largest natural gas producer, fourth-largest exporter, and possessing vast shale gas resources of its own, Canada has a major stake in this new source of energy."

“The Council of Canadian Academies was asked by the federal Minister of Environment to assemble an expert panel to assess the state of knowledge about the impacts of shale gas exploration, extraction, and development in Canada.

In response, the Council recruited a multidisciplinary panel of experts from Canada and the United States to conduct an evidence-based and authoritative assessment supported by relevant and credible peer reviewed research.

As with all Council panels, members were selected for their experience and knowledge, not to represent any particular stakeholder group. The report does not include recommendations, since policy prescription falls outside the Council’s mandate.”

The Report detailed the nature of the shale deposits and the problems that exist.

"The rapid expansion of shale gas development in Canada over the past decade has occurred without a corresponding investment in monitoring and research addressing the impacts on the environment, public health, and communities."

"The primary concerns are the degradation of the quality of groundwater and surface water (including the safe disposal of large volumes of wastewater); the risk of increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (including fugitive methane emissions during and after production), thus exacerbating anthropogenic climate change; disruptive effects on communities and land; and adverse effects on human health.

Other concerns include the local release of air contaminants and the potential for triggering small- to moderate-sized earthquakes in seismically active areas."

"These concerns will vary by region. The shale gas regions of Canada can be found near urban areas in the south and in remote regions in the northwest, presenting a large diversity in their geology, hydrology, land uses, and population density."

"The phrase environmental impacts from shale gas development masks many regional differences that are essential to understanding these impacts.”

The Pembina Institute was formed following the 1981 Lodgepole sour gas accident in Alberta, which killed two people and polluted the air for weeks. A small group of rural Albertans came together to secure tougher regulations for drilling sour gas wells, and later went on to form the Pembina Institute.

"We conclude that natural gas has a role to play in a world that avoids 2°C of warming, but that role is unlikely to materialize unless shaped by strong climate change policies in the jurisdictions that produce and consume the gas. Because these policies are not currently in place, claiming that natural gas, and specifically LNG from BC, is a climate solution is inaccurate."

The British Columbia government believes greenhouse gas “targets for 2020 will be extremely difficult to meet.” Therefore, provincial standards have been abandoned and instead future national standards will apply.

Climate Change News reported earlier this year that “British Columbia’s carbon pollution is going up while five other Canadian provinces are bringing their greenhouse gas emissions down.”
The Convention on Wetlands, called the Ramsar Convention, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

Among the 2,240 Ramsar Sites located around the world are Kawai Nui and Hamakua Marsh on Windward O`ahu and the lower Fraser River Delta. The Fortis facility at Delta on Tilsbury Island, British Columbia site is wholly within the lower Fraser River Delta Ramsar site. This site will be expanded to handle exports to Hawai`i.

A report by geoscientist David Hughes asserted that it includes “poisoned water wells, containment ponds that leaked their deadly post-fracking contents into rivers killing fish, and municipal wastewater plants damaged by the industry's corrosive wastewater.”

The report notes fracking occurs in “nearly 90 per cent of all new gas wells in B.C.”