BREAKING: Emergency at US nuclear site after collapse — TV: “Fears of radioactive contamination” — Expert: “Could lead to considerable radiological release” — Multiple states activating Emergency Operations Center — Pilots told to avoid flying over area (VIDEOS)
Published: May 9th, 2017 at 6:36 pm ET
KING 5 News, May 9, 2017 (emphasis added): Hundreds of workers were told to take cover at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation after a tunnel full of highly contaminated materials collapsed… Officials say a collapsed patch of ground above the tunnel was larger than first believed. The U.S. Department of Energy said the collapse covered about 400 square feet instead of the 16 square feet first reported… A source said “take cover” status was expanded to the entire site at 10:35 a.m… Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said the Department of Energy and The White House reached out to his office after the incident. “This is a serious situation… Our understanding is that the site went into immediate lockdown“…
USA TODAY, May 9, 2017: [A] manager sent a message to all personnel telling them to “secure ventilation in your building” and “refrain from eating or drinking.”… In the past, rail cars full of radioactive waste were driven into the tunnels and buried… Hanford’s emergency operations center was activated… long-time workers think it may be the first time it was opened for a possible radioactive release.
Yakima Herald, May 9, 2017: BREAKING… Several counties adjacent to the Hanford Site — Yakima, Walla Walla, Grant and Adams counties — participated in a mid-morning conference call with the state Emergency Operations Center, Yakima interim EOC director Tony Miller said. “At this time, we’re monitoring the winds“… If there should be a release of contamination that goes beyond the boundaries of the Hanford site, it would mean that produce would not be allowed in or out of the affected area, Miller said. Milk and the dairies in the Valley could be affected as well…
Statesman Journal, May 9, 2017: Oregon activates emergency operation center after tunnel collapses at Hanford… ODOE officials are coordinating with the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon Health Authority and nuclear safety experts at Oregon State University, ODOE spokeswoman Rachel Wray said Tuesday morning. “Hanford is 35 miles away from Oregon,” Wray said. “We are concerned about Oregonians’ health and that concerns the food we eat.”
US Dept. of Energy: An alert was declared at the Hanford Site this morning… Later this morning, the alert was expanded to a Site Area Emergency. A Site Area Emergency is declared when the event is affecting or could potentially affect personnel beyond the facility boundary…
WA Emergency Mgmt: State Emergency Operations Ctr activated for Hanford Site emergency
Tri-City Herald, May 9, 2017: Private pilots in the area have been told to avoid flying over Hanford. The Hanford Patrol is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to put a formal air restriction in place until the FAA can confirm there is no danger.
Fox News, May 9, 2017: “We need to understand whether there has been any environmental contamination resulting from the subsidence at these tunnels,” [Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.] said.
KHQ, May 9, 2017: Hanford tunnel collapse prompts fears of radioactive contamination
Washington Post, May 9, 2017: “It appears that this is a potentially serious event,” [Edwin Lyman, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists] said. “Collapse of the earth covering the tunnels could lead to a considerable radiological release.”
Triple meltdowns remain out of control causing up to 66,000 excess cancers say two new reports while Americans feast on fishy Pacific seafoodSnow squalls brought the temperature down to a frigid 15.8 degrees Fahrenheit on the trawler January 20. The sea pitched in a rough chop.
Cold Japanese fisherman plied the Pacific Ocean off the east coast of Japan with three klieg lights at 2:30 in the morning. They were the only vessel around.
These weren’t just any waters the men fished in the freezing winds. The water was ‘hot’ with radiation. But the fish were plentiful and if they didn’t pass rad testing, they could be sold overseas.
The vessel bobbed in the choppy waters several hundred yards away from the still stricken, still leaking, still out of control triple nuclear reactors in full meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. Gone fishing in the hot zone.
“Here’s a screenshot I took on 1/20/2016 at 2:36 [Japanese Standard Time] via the TBS Webcam,” says Sierra Nevada musician Chas Haws in a Radiation Conversation comment on EnviroReporter.com not long after taking it earlier this year. “It looks like a very large fishing boat with its trolling lights on. The thought that somebody somewhere could unknowingly consume those fish is a very scary thought. So scary I can’t believe any human being in their right mind would do such a thing.”
Exactly five years after the beginning of one of the two worst nuclear disasters in history, people are doing just that, eating fish from the seas off of Fukushima. If the catch is too radioactive under loose Japanese regulations, it’s sent to seafood consumers in the United States where the allowable radiation limits in fish are even more lax.Americans have been eating meltdowns-contaminated food for half a decade, as EnviroReporter.com’s Fukushima investigation shows. Radioactive cesium (caesium) is rising in fish caught off of British Columbia, the region (including Alaska and the Pacific Northwest) that supplies America’s ravenous seafood consumption.
Two new studies detail the extent of the contamination in Japan, its cancerous impact upon the population and continued Pacific contamination. Government testing has shown sea creatures high in Fukushima radionuclides caught of West Coast of the U.S. and Canada. Yet judging from the robust U.S. consumption of crashing seafood stocks in the Pacific, which have repeatedly tested positive for Fukushima radionuclides, America has ‘gone fishing’ too in the gastronomical sense.
Gone fishing. Most Americans would fit in this category when it comes to the Fukushima meltdowns and their effects. Meltdown fatigue, complicated science and an assortment of pro-nuclear naysayers comparing Fukushima’s radiation with eating bananas has understandably numbed great numbers of people to their peril.
The Long and Ionizing Road
EnviroReporter.com’s 2014 anniversary piece Fukushima – The Perfect Crime? reported that 441 tons of highly radioactive water was sluicing into the Pacific from the stricken cores every day. According to a new report by Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) called 5 Years Living With Fukushima, that number is now 300 tons per day.
The reduction in toxic water released is the good news (even though more than 500,000 thousand tons of radioactive waste water has now gone into the Pacific since 2011). The bad news is up to 66,000 “excess cancers” will hit the Fukushima area because of the meltdowns, according to the report. Workers who fought to save the reactors and their comrades paid the highest price for their valor.
“More than 25,000 cleanup and rescue workers received the highest radiation dose and risked their health, while preventing a deterioration of the situation at the power plant site,” the report says. “If data supplied by the operator TEPCO [plant owner Tokyo Electric Power Company] is to be believed, around 100 workers are expected to contract cancer due to excess radiation, and 50 percent of these will be fatal. The real dose levels, however, are most likely several times higher, as the operator has had no qualms in manipulating the data to avoid claims for damages – from hiring unregistered temporary employees to tampering with radiation dosimeters and even crude forgery.”Even five years out, no one is allowed to live within 12.5 miles of stricken reactors. The hardships experienced by the Japanese people who had to flee Fukushima is well documented in the new short film Five Years On – Voices of Fukushima. About 180,000 remain displaced.
Coinciding with the PSR/IPPNW report launch March 9, Robert Alvarez, a senior scholar specializing in nuclear disarmament, environmental, and energy policies, Institute for Public Studies, and former senior policy advisor, US Department of Energy, issued a statement highlighting their tragedy.
“Radioactive fallout from the reactors has created de faco ‘sacrifice zones’ where human habitation will no longer be possible well into the future,” Alvarez said. “In November 2011, the Japanese Science Ministry reported that long-lived radioactive cesium had contaminated 11,580 square miles (30,000 sq km) of the land surface of Japan. Some 4,500 square miles – an area almost the size of Connecticut – was found to have radiation levels that exceeded Japan’s allowable exposure rate.”
Some cries for justice are finally being heard in Japan. Three top TEPCO executives including the chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, 75, and two former executive vice presidents were indicted February 29 for professional negligence resulting in injury and death. It would seem unlikely that the judgement of these men will happen very quickly since it took five years to call them to task.
Cleaning up the mess in Fukushima won’t happen very quickly either, says TEPCO. The company says it needs 50 years to contain and remediate the reactors with the missing, oozing corium. It claims to have completed 10 percent of that work.
What appears to be a Sisyphean task to restore Fukushima is confirmed in the new March 4 Greenpeace report “Radiation Reloaded: Ecological Impacts of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident 5 years later.” The comprehensive study found that “The current approach of Japanese authorities to forest decontamination is the removal of leaf litter, soil, and understory plants in 20 meter strips along the roads and around homes that are surrounded by forests. In terms of decontaminating the large areas of Fukushima this approach is futile. Over seventy percent of Fukushima prefecture is forested, which is not possible to decontaminate.”
Greenpeace found that even if there is decontamination, it may subsequently be undone. “Mountain streams and rivers transport radioactive particulates and contaminated forest litter downstream, potentially contaminating areas that did not receive fallout, recontaminating ‘decontaminated’ areas, or discharging radioactivity to estuaries and marine ecosystems,” the report said.
Complicating matters even more is hot mist getting into everything, literally. “Both caesium-bearing particulates as well as vaporized, water-soluble radiocaesium were released,” the report says. “Water-soluble caesium, which came down as wet deposition with precipitation and fog, is readily absorbed via bark and leaves into the internal tissues of trees. Hot particles appear to weather and leach caesium under natural conditions. In addition, radiocaesium and 90Sr can be absorbed via root systems. Once absorbed into the internal tissues of trees, 134Cs and 137Cs are translocated with nutrient flows, concentrating in rapidly growing tissues such as new foliar structures, flowers and pollen. Japanese cedar pollen in Fukushima forests appears to have high concentrations of radiocaesium.”Radioactive fog, flowers and pollen? Yes, and hot honey too if the Fukushima sweet stuff soaks up the cesium like Croatian honey did from Chernobyl fallout adding fission to the flowers. It certainly has the potential to make even cherry tree festivals dangerous in the land of the rising radiation.
Naturally, it’s the perfect place to have the 2020 summer Olympics, i.e. Tokyo’s Radiation Olympics. If the swimming events are staged in Fukushima’s rivers, caution would be well advised if Greenpeace’s report is accurate.
“According to radiocaesium discharge projections for the century between 2011 and 2111, the major rivers whose catchments are primarily in Fukushima prefecture (the Abukuma, Arakawa, Naka, Agano, and Tadami rivers) could discharge as much caesium into the Pacific Ocean as is hemorrhaging from the Fukushima Daiichi plant itself,” the report says. “The Abukuma River alone is projected to discharge 111 TBq [Terabecquerel] of 137Cs [cesium-137] and 44 TBq of 134Cs [cesium-134], even with current rates of “decontamination”, in the century after the disaster.”
That is a lot of goo. All of it is headed for the Pacific Ocean. What goes into the water in Fukushima eventually makes its way on the Kuroshio Current to North American shores.
Just Say Glow
Many of the thousands of tests EnviroReporter.com has conducted and reported on since 2011 show Fukushima contamination in fish consumed in California and across America and Canada. Those tests keep coming in and include a variety of animals that have shown signs of Fukushima-related radionuclides in them.
In the summer of 2014, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries division found Fuku rads in northern fur seals. “We detected very small amounts of Fukushima-derived radioactive material in the seal tissue,” the NOAA report says. “We didn’t find any detectable radiation in the marine debris. The two [graph] peaks … show radiation energy for two isotopes of Cesium; 134Cs and 137Cs detected in fur seal muscle.”
Cesium-134 is a Fukushima signature radioisotope because it’s half-life of 2.07 years precludes anything else from being the source like nuclear fallout from atmospheric testing decades ago. It usually is found in tandem with cesium-137 as it indeed was in the seal.
Both of these isotopes of cesium are extremely dangerous with the shorter the half-life, the more intense a rate of ionization. That’s what makes cesium-134 such a perilous poison. NOAA also revealed that it tested water itself positive for cesium-134. Albacore tuna from the East Pacific Ocean, a foodie favorite, came in with 9.6 times higher in cesium-134 than the fur seal reading.“Estimated U.S. per capita consumption of fish and shellfish was 14.6 pounds (edible meat) in 2014,” according to recent NOAA data. “This total was essentially unchanged from the 14.5 pounds consumed in 2013.”
The U.S. fish feast of 2014 weighed in at 4,743,025 tons. Over 72 percent of that haul came from the Pacific with most of that harvested off of Alaska. That’s where so many Fukushima-related isotopes have been measured in all manner of flora and fauna over the last five years.
Foodies gone fishing from Fukushima who just have to have their seafood yet who care about radiation bioaccumulation can take heart. There are fresh water fish and seafood from the Atlantic Ocean. But eating anything out of the Pacific is lunched.
“I know humans do some pretty insanely stupid things, so I wonder,” Haws says of his Fukushima fishing screen capture. “Why else would those fish trolling lights be on… hmm? Did they unload their hefty catch at some far away port and say it came from somewhere else? It would be a crime beyond description. There are no fish police. At least not at 2:30 in the morning just east of ongoing TRIPLE MELTDOWNS.”
The image of that trawler fishing in the freezing night in the fission-rich waters off of Fukushima Dai-chi is truly disturbing. On whose plates will that catch land?
When it comes to Fukushima, and now five years of radioactive madness, most of America – and the world, seems to have simply gone fishing.
Washington Post, Feb 10, 2016 (emphasis added): Five years after nuclear meltdown, no one knows what to do with Fukushima… one huge question remains: What is to be done with all the radioactive material?… Tepco has built a 1,500-yard-long “ice wall” around the four reactor buildings… however, Japan’s nuclear watchdog blocked the plan, saying the risk of leakage was still too high… [M]ost problematically, there’s the nuclear fuel from the plant itself… “The biggest challenge is going to be the removal of the nuclear fuel debris,” [Akira Ono, Tepco’s Fukushima Daiichi superintendent] said. “We don’t even know what state the debris is in at the moment.”… one of the options the government is considering is building a nuclear waste dump under the seabed, about eight miles off the Fukushima coast… Many groups… staunchly oppose the idea of burying the radioactive material at sea in such a seismically active area. “At some point it would leak and affect the environment,” said Hideyuki Ban, co-director of the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center. http://www.stripes.com/news/pacific/five-years-after-nuclear-meltdown-no-one-knows-what-to-do-with-fukushima-1.393368
Japan Times, Feb 20, 2016: NRA commissioner suggests plan to remove all fuel debris at Fukushima plant may not be best option — A Nuclear Regulation Authority commissioner has suggested that removing all fuel debris from reactors at the meltdown-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant may not be the best option. “I wonder if the situation would be desired that work is still underway to extract fuel debris 70 or 80 years after” the nuclear disaster, NRA Commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa told reporters Friday. “There are a variety of options, including removing as much fuel debris as possible and solidifying the rest,” he added… Fuketa said that unlike the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, it is “not realistic” to construct concrete buildings to cover reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 plant because the situation is different. The commissioner also questioned whether construction of an underground ice wall around the reactor buildings to prevent radioactive water buildup will prove effective. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/02/20/national/nra-commissioner-suggests-plan-remove-fuel-debris-fukushima-plant-may-not-best-option#.VsvFm_ySjaw
Official Report: West Coast hit with 220,000,000 atoms per liter of Iodine-129 in rain after Fukushima — 15 Million year half-life — Detected in aquifer that supplies drinking water to large number of people — “Transported rapidly” to Canada and US — Elevated levels continued for many months
Published: February 17th, 2016 at 8:58 am ET
Matt Herod, Univ, of Ottawa Ph.D Candidate, Dec 21, 2015 (emphasis added): A recently published paper (by myself and colleagues from uOttawa and Environment Canada) investigates… [Iodine-129] which was released by the Fukushima-Daichii [sic] Nuclear Accident… Within 6 days of the FDNA 129I concentrations in Vancouver precipitation increased 5-15 times… sampling of groundwater revealed slight increases in 129I… The results in rain show an increase in 129I concentrations of up to 220 million atoms/L… 129I anomalies [in groundwater wells], which occurred exactly when the recharge age predicted they would, suggests that some of the 129I deposited by Fukushima was reaching the wells… [P]ulses of elevated 129I occurred for another several months. Elevated 129I concentrations were measured in two wells… indicating that 129I from Fukushima can be traced into groundwater… [M]odeling has shown that 129I can be rapidly transported to the water table…
Scientists from Univ. of Ottawa’s Dept. of Earth Science and Environment Canada (Government of Canada), Dec 2015: The atmospheric transport of iodine-129 from Fukushima to British Columbia, Canada and its deposition and transport into groundwater
The Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident (FDNA) released iodine-129 (15.7 million year half-life)… The mean pre-accident 129I concentration in rain was [31,000,000 atoms/L]… following the FDNA, 129I values increased to [211,000,000 atoms/L]… [P]ulses of elevated 129I continued for several months…
The 129I in shallow… groundwater showed measurable variability through March 2013 with an average of [3,200,000 atoms/L]… coincident with modeled travel times…
Radionuclides released from the FDNA have been detected across the globe… [R]eleases of 129I and 131I… travel great distances…
The Abbotsford-Sumas Aquifer… spans the Canada–U.S. border between [B.C., Canada and Washington, US] and supplies ∼120,000 people with drinking water…
A pulse of 129I in precipitation with maximum concentrations of [211,000,000 atoms/L] in Vancouver and [221,000,000 atoms/L] at Saturna Island was observed 6 days following the FDNA. A value of [311,000,000 atoms/L] was also measured during the first week of July…
The high 129I concentrations while the FDNA was ongoing are attributed to the rapid trans-Pacific transport of 129I from Fukushima… This response in 129I concentrations shows that radionuclides from Fukushima were transported rapidly from Japan to the west coast of Canada and the US… [Sampling from Washington State], which is a composite of rainfall events spanning 15 March 2011 to 16 April 2011 shows a significantly elevated 129I concentration of [95,000,000 atoms/L]…
There was a spike in 129I concentration observed in the precipitation sample from the period of 1 July 2011 to 8 July 2011 [which] rose to [311,000,000 atoms/L]… a substantially higher concentration than any other sample… As monitoring at Fukushima detected no pulse of 129I in precipitation in July… this spike is likely due to a… nuclear fuel reprocessing facility. Modeling of the air parcel back trajectories… for the sampling period shows air mass trajectories from Hawaii, north Japan, and Russia…
The initial increase in 129I concentration at the water table appeared within ∼95 days, with a maximum concentration of [10,500,000 atoms/L]…
In the model cases, 129I reached the water table very rapidly…
Groundwater 129I concentrations in two nearby wells showed minor anomalies over the sampling period which could be due to rapid infiltration of the FDNA atmospheric 129I signal… [M]odeling shows that it was possible for a component of the 129I deposited by the FDNA to be conducted rapidly from the ground surface to the water table… We conclude that it is possible that a fraction of 129I from the FDNA is transported conservatively in this aquifer via preferential flow paths to the water table…
See also: Official in Canada advises public not to drink rainwater coming from Fukushima http://enenews.com/canada-local-official-advising-residents-not-to-drink-rainwater-after-tests-find-increasing-radioactivity-govt-pressuring-him-to-stop-testing
And: Rain with 20,000,000 particles of Iodine-131 per liter fell on US (VIDEO)
Report: Wildlife “disappearing” around massive LA gas disaster — Residents: “It’s completely quiet”… birds, butterflies, rabbits, coyotes are missing… all fish in pond found dead — “All of this is gone… Makes me wonder how bad it really is” — Animal with “worst blood” ever seen by doctor (VIDEO)
L.A. Daily News, Jan 16, 2016: [Residents] have noticed fewer bird and wildlife sightings… [Attorney Rex Parris wrote to officials] that pets are ill or disappearing and wildlife, such as birds and rabbits, seem to be disappearing as well from the community… [Sally Taylor’s dog] quickly became lethargic and threw up some 20 times within an hour… “[The vet hospital] said it was the worst blood work the vet has ever seen”… For the Balen family, it’s the sound of birds they’ve missed the most. In late December, they said the absence made their home… “completely quiet… for 10 years… every morning, we wake up to the birds chirping. Not anymore.”
KABC, Jan 19, 2016: [The gas leak is] affecting many pets… “We’re seeing probably several hundred total and it’s been going on for around three months now,” [Dr. David Smith at Northridge Animal Hospital] said. Smith said it started shortly after [they] first reported the leak… Smith said he has serious concerns about the health risks for the animals.
Government officials have come up with their own interesting explanations for the disappearance of wildlife:
L.A. Times, Jan 18, 2016: Wild animals may have left the area because of the noise coming from crews attempting to fix the well, [Department of Fish and Wildlife] spokeswoman Mary Fricke said.
Steve Gonzalez, public information officer for the Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, Jan 16, 2016: “There is a lot of noise and construction… Typically, animals like coyotes and bears will stay away from loud noises.”
(Photo Courtesy of LA Times/Al Seib)
TV: Radioactive material reportedly now being released from massive gas blowout in LA — Byproduct of Uranium — Expert: “A lot” has been detected in area… Very dangerous… May be coming up from ground into people’s homes — Official: Levels can cause “significant long-term health effects” (VIDEO)
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Jan 8, 2016: Their animals are dying… their fish are dying in their fish bowls, their dogs are dying, their cats are getting sick. And their children are getting sick — they’re suffering nose bleeds, they’re suffering terrible debilitating migraine headaches, asthma attacks, respiratory infections, eye infections, ear infections, stomach ailments… The health impact — it’s not just methane coming out of that hole… This is global crisis, more importantly this is a local crisis. Because not only do you have methane — you have benzene, toluene, xylene, which are carcinogenic. You have hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide — which are neurotoxic, which can injure your brain, affect memory, injure your kidneys, your liver, your other bodily organs. There’s also a lot of radon gas being measured in the area. People believe — we don’t know if this is true — the gas that is leaking at 2 miles deep is now coming out and pushing that radon up into people’s living rooms, their bedrooms, their nurseries.
CBS LA, Dec 11, 2015: Dr. Cyrus Rangan, the Director of Toxicology and Assessment for the county, came to CBS2/KCAL9 to answer questions…. It’s been reported that radon is being released… “This is a theoretical possibility,” Dr. Rangan said, “and when you’re addressing a problem that might be several hundred or even several thousand feet deep, you might generate what are called preferential pathways for something like radon, beneath the Earth’s surface, to make its way up to the surface. So primarily our concern about radon is from the worker’s exposure, for the people actually doing the repair job. If we find radon there, we can address the situation. And if radon does exist in the work site then we may need to have to look at the residential community and monitor for it.”
Lawyers and Settlements, Dec 12, 2015: There is the issue of radon, a naturally occurring byproduct of uranium… as SoCalGas and its partners bore into the ground in an attempt to stem a leak that is unleashing a constant cloud of gas into the atmosphere, radon has crept into the conversation.
Robert Kennedy Jr, Dec 17, 2015: Public officials and the gas industry have a tricky and deceptive way of saying things. Methane itself is not dangerous… methane is an indicator that other gases are involved, including radon and benzene, both carcinogenic and very dangerous… gas can escape through any perforation in the earth and on the way up to the surface, it can encounter the aquifers underground, where it will leave behind chemicals, including benzene and radon.
Los Angeles Daily News, Dec 2, 2015: [R]adon gas, which may potentially be released during repair operations, is also a concern [L.A. County Department of Public Health Interim Director Cynthia Harding] said.
Los Angeles Times, Dec 2, 2015: Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich said a new report by county public health officials had concluded that since the gas leak has continued for so long, emissions levels could produce “significant long-term health effects, including cancer.” Antonovich said the report had identified benzene as the “chemical of greatest concern,” because it is known to cause cancer. It also cited concerns about radon, another known carcinogen.
KPCC, Dec 9, 2015: Public Health Director Cynthia Harding told members of the Board of Supervisors in a Dec. 1 letter [that radon] could also be released as the leak is repaired.
Los Angeles Times, Dec 20, 2015: Health officials are also concerned that the company’s attempt to fix the leak by drilling into the ground to construct a relief well could release radon, a radioactive, naturally occurring and odorless gas that is found in geologic formations and causes lung cancer.
(Garnet the California sea lion, deceased, arrives at the Marine Mammal Center. Azure Gilman / Al Jazeera America)
Al Jazeera, Jan 6, 2016 (emphasis added): In warming ocean, record number of seals and sea lions sicken and starve — Ailing or dead seals and sea lions washed up on California beaches in record numbers in 2015; this year could be worse… They are brought in with all sorts of problems: lockjaw, poisoning, cancer… But most of the record number of seals and sea lions washing up on California’s shores and being brought to a regional rescue center are starving… this slow-motion catastrophe is likely to continue… In 2015, [NOAA] counted more than 4,200 California sea lions, 90 Guadalupe fur seals, and 70 northern fur seals. The [Marine Mammal Center’s] staff began to realize something was different early in the year… the pups brought in for rescue were unlike anything the veterinarians had ever seen… It was the worst year in the center’s 40-year history, staff said… Only half the usual number of sea lion pups were born off the California coast in 2015, [Dr. Shawn Johnson, director of veterinary science at the Marine Mammal Center] said… veterinarians at the Marine Mammal Center are bracing for the worst. http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2016/1/6/in-warming-ocean-record-numbers-of-seals-and-sea-lions-are-sick-or-starving.html
(Volunteers using wooden sheilds to corrall an evasive animalAzure Gilman / Al Jazeera America)
Dr. Shawn Johnson, director of veterinary science at the Marine Mammal Center: “They were basically just skin and bones. Their liver, their pancreas, their intestines were basically shut down. And they were eating themselves from the inside to stay alive by the time we saw them… If it continues, if this is the new normal, the sea lion population and the fur seal population in California are going to have severe drops in their overall population.”
Laguna Beach Independent, Dec 18, 2015: With the lowest body weights ever documented, California sea lion pups are not only starving from lack of food, they’re infested with parasites and immune to antibiotics, said [Keith Matassa] the director of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center… A record number of emaciated and dying sea lion and seal pups is expected along local shores this winter… Last year, 3,500 sea lions and seals were rescued by various California marine rehab facilities. This year, the stranded pinnipeds are expected to hit 4,000… The animals are riddled with intestine-perforating parasites, known as thorny-head hookworms. “We’re seeing such a high level of parasites now, it’s not normal,” said Matassa… Antibiotics for infections are proving ineffective… Conditions have “not gotten much better over the past couple of years,” [Sharon Melin, NOAA wildlife biologist] said… The food web, said Melin, “has been out of whack now for quite some time.”… The fact that northern pup seals are following suit signifies the domino effect of a distressed environment, she said… the California sea lion population tops out at 300,000… she predicts a drastic decline to 100,000 due to low food availability… “There’s so many stressors on the ocean right now,” Matassa said.
( An emaciated sea lion pup. Pups have had trouble finding their usual prey of sardines and anchovies, which are moving to cooler areas because of ocean warming caused by El Niño. Photograph: Noaa Fisheries West Coast)
Guardian, Dec 30, 2015: Unprecedented numbers of dead or starving seals washing ashore as Pacific Ocean warms, with experts saying they are ‘preparing for the worst’ in 2016… According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, there has been a huge increase in stranded sea lions… According to NOAA, more than 4,200 sick sea lions have been washed up in California so far this year, comfortably the greatest number of strandings over the past decade. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/30/el-nino-ocean-warming-seals-california-pacific
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Faith in Jesus Christ is our response to God's elective purpose in our life. These two truths--God's initiative and man's response--co-exist throughout the Bible. The gospel is "the message of truth" because truth is its predominant characteristic. Salvation was conceived by the God of truth (Ps. 31:5); purchased by the Son, who is the truth (John 14:6); and is applied by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). To know it is to know the truth that sets men free (John 8:32). Believers are people of the truth (John 18:37), who worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), and who obey the Word of truth (John 17:17). People have rejected, neglected, redefined, and opposed God’s truth for centuries. Some cynically deny that truth even exists or that it can be known by men (John 18:38). Others foolishly think that denying truth will somehow make it go away. Truth determines the validity of one's belief. Believing a lie doesn't make it true. Conversely, failing to believe the truth doesn't make it a lie. The gospel is true because Jesus is true, not simply because Christians believe in Him. His resurrection proved the truth of His claims and constitutes the objective basis of our faith (Rom. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:3). Truth is our protection and strength (Eph. 6:14). Throughout history, people have tried everything imaginable to gain favor with God. Most turn to religion, but religion apart from Christ is merely a satanic counterfeit of the truth. At the heart of every false religion is the notion that man can come to God by any means he chooses--by meditating, doing good deeds, and so on. But Scripture says, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, and we come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sin, trusting in His atoning death on the cross, and affirming His bodily resurrection from the grave (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). There is no other way to God. False religious leaders and teachers talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical worldview of the saving gospel and replaces it with the worldview of postmodernism with its dominant ethical system of relativism. The Bible describes mankind in the end times: “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it’s tainted by man’s sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God. That is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can’t find on our own. It is God’s Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Post-truth is the word of the year for 2016 and also the philosophy of the day, According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. In a “post-truth” world, people make choices based on emotion and experience rather than objective fact. So in a post-truth world, truth is irrelevant. What exactly is a post-truth culture? It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Christianity is grounded in objective truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Objective truth exists because we have God’s Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul and James describe the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). The Psalmist says, “The entirety of your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6), He wasn’t expressing His personal belief or opinion. He was speaking the truth, a fundamental reality that doesn’t change from person to person. It doesn’t matter if our culture thinks all roads lead to God. The truth of the matter is “no one comes to the Father but by [Jesus].” This blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell