It was with quite some anticipation and fear that today approached. Almost a month ago ABC Nightline came and filmed at Twin Oaks and several members were unhappy about the high impact of their visit. For me, even more worrying was the prospect of them doing a slash piece on us, as the NY Times did some years back (after the NY Times photographer had spent a bunch of time telling us how wonderful and important we were – but it is editors, not photographers who determine what is news).
In the end, I was mostly relieved by the piece. I don’t need them to depict Twin Oaks as paradise. I certainly don’t see it that way and almost always tell people about the down sides of the commune (including minimal access to resources including money and thus general inability to travel personally, labyrinth decision making process and reduced privacy). And it is still a better place than almost any other i have visited.
And it seems this time, the mainstream media mostly agreed with me.
Despite Japanese polling 2:1 against restarting the reactor fleet which has been completely shuttered for the last two years, the Abe government forced through the first restart of a reactor at Sendai complex. Sendai was chosen for a number of reasons. Comically, one of the reasons was that it was far from possible natural disaster. Perhaps the most important (not listed in the excellent BAS article) is that it is the farthest from Tokyo (over 1000 km), where anti-nuclear protests continue.
Former PM Kan spoke at the protest. He was in office when Fukushima melted down and it destroyed his political career. Now he is reminding fellow citizens that 1) Many new safety standards (like separate control rooms) have been skipped in restarting this reactor. 2) Tens of thousands of people remain unable to return to their homes because of radioactive fall out in the Fukushima area. 3) Japan does not need nuclear power to have a vibrant economy.
And as if Mother Nature had a sense of humor, five days after the restart the nearest Volcano to the Sendai complex started erupting. In all fairness, the active volcano at Sakurajima erupts quite regularly. This time however it has reached level 4, which is the second highest warning level meaning that the 4,000 local residents should be prepared to immediately evacuate. Level 5 is immediate evacuation. The last major eruption of Sakurajima was in August 2013 (see above video), when ash and debris flew 5 km from the volcano. Sendai is 50 km from the volcano.
Many people don’t know that there is a secret document used to instruct organizers who work with the Point A project. I can’t say much about it, but a small piece has leaked to the internet, so i can reveal it here.
Remembering that frivolous fun and preposterous propositions may be the most crucial tools for Point A organizers, we will strive to attend all nearby giant whale puppet events, gravity altering cooperative games, and jello slam dances.
From the “Secret Cabal Handbook of More Clever Revolutions,” Article 23, Section c.
With this mandate in mind, GPaul, Alanna (the new Point A media intern), a handful of Baltimore Free Farm activists and myself hiked up to the park near the skate park to see Ballenarca. This is surreal, salvaged art, cross cultural puppetry at its best.
Did i understand every moment of the performance? No way. And it is still totally worth going out of your way to see. Their next performance is on Monday Aug 17th at Pyramid Atlantic in Washington DC.
These still pics don’t really do the performance justice. There are videos on their website.
This is the beating heart of a giant whale.
The jellyfish own the night.
And if you find a jello slam dance event, let me know.
This is some good news which i am compelled to repost. Obama appears more concerned with legacy than his corporate cronies and has done the right thing with the EPA clean power policy.
Originally posted on GreenWorld:
Thousands joined the nuclear-free, carbon-free contingent at last September’s People’s Climate March in New York City. The unexpectedly large turnout–followed by tens of thousands of comments and petitions to the EPA–helped open the agency’s eyes to first understand our position and then realize it made a lot of sense.
Yesterday, an amazing thing happened. Yes, President Obama released the first real climate action policy in the U.S. ever. But that’s not all. The incredible thing—the one that will be most important in the years to come—is … they got it basically right.
Including on nuclear power. President Obama just made it the policy of the United States that nuclear power is not a viable climate solution. And not just that, but renewable energy can replace nuclear power just like it can replace fossil fuels.
This is a game-changer, both for reducing carbon emissions in the US, and for discrediting the…
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The big announcement in the nuclear world means almost nothing. Electricity de France (EdF) is taking over Areva. EdF runs Frances fleet of nuclear reactors. Areva builds them. But since there is only one reactor under construction in all of France and no solid plans for more (in fact the country is moving rapidly away from nuclear, cutting it national nuclear fraction by 33% in the next 10 years). Areva instead tries to export them and builds them mostly in other countries.
But it does not try very successfully to complete them. The flagship Areva nuclear power plant worldwide is the troubled Gen 3 European Pressurized Reactor. There are 4 of them under construction globally. 2 in China, 1 in Finland and 1 in France. They are all late, they are all over budget, hugely so in France and Finland. Areva posting a US$5.3 billion dollar loss last year (which also resulted in S&P down grading it’s long term debt to junk bond status). The reactor vessel head failed its structural test by the highly independent French nuclear regulator, further delaying and perhaps even jeopardizing the native project.
EdF is the largest nuclear operator in the world. Areva is the largest nuclear construction company in the world. And they are both in trouble (tho Areva more than EdF). The reason it does not matter is both companies are 85% owned by the French government. Think Titanic deck chairs.
EDF said the acquisition of a 51 to 75 percent stake in the reactor business would have a neutral impact on its 2018 cash flow and it would be completely protected from any risks related to Areva’s long-delayed Olkiluoto 3 reactor in Finland, where Areva’s customer TVO is claiming billions of euros in damages.
Oh, i don’t think this is going to be that easy.