Andrew Revkin‘s posted this amazing “explainer” for kids on what’s happening at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan:
Noticed via @lilliloquy on Twitter (and her blog): “Unique way to explain the situation in Fukushima..” She’s not kidding. The English translation of the animation includes: “Everyone jumped as Nuclear Boy let out a big bang… Did he just poo?? We measured the stinky level around Nuclear Boy…”
(Subbed) Nuclear Boy うんち・おならで例える原発解説 (by GenkiRadio)
What do readers think?
The tragic events in Japan are absolutely devastating and difficult to fathom given the magnitude of compounding disasters. Over the past week I’ve received many emails in support or in protest of nuclear energy. The nightmare unfolding halfway around the world has clearly served to polarize public opinion, but I’d like to take this moment to remind readers that now is not the time for debate or knee-jerk decisions regarding U.S. energy policy.
In the digital age, anyone with an Internet connection can post an opinion, but we must wait to learn more from informed nuclear experts–and take steps to ensure this never happens again. So instead of jumping to rash conclusions about the future of nuclear development, it is a time for compassion. We must unite as a global community to help those hit hardest by the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis. Here are some ways to contribute–and please add more in comments:
AMERICAN RED CROSS: The American Red Cross is currently supporting and advising the Japanese Red Cross, which continues to assist the government in its response. You can help people affected by disasters, like floods, fires, tornadoes and hurricanes, as well as countless other crises at home and around the world by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Donate here.
GLOBALGIVING: Established a fund to disburse donations to organizations providing relief and emergency services to victims of the earthquake and tsunami. We are working with International Medical Corps, Save the Children, and other organizations on the ground to provide support. Our partners on the ground are working hard to provide immediate relief. Donate here.
SAVE THE CHILDREN: Save the Children, which has worked in Japan since 1986, has an immediate goal of $5 million to launch longer-term recovery for children affected by Japan’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Save the Children has opened the first child-friendly space in Japan, protective environments where children can gather to play and share their experiences under the supervision of trained, caring adults. Donate here.
AMERICARES: AmeriCares and its relief workers in Japan are working to deliver medicines and supplies to hospitals, shelters and health responders to treat and care for survivors. The AmeriCares team began mobilizing within hours of the first reports of the dual disasters, dispatching an emergency response manager to Tokyo to direct the efforts of our relief workers in Sendai, the largest city closest to the impact zone. Our team is in direct contact with local officials, evacuation shelters and hospitals treating the injured in Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate to determine health needs. Donate here.
INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS: A team of doctors flew to Sendai, where they will be delivering supplies, assessing needs, and identifying communities that have not yet been reached. We continue to coordinate with local health authorities and partners on critical gaps, providing technical expertise and assisting with logistics. Donate here.
SHELTERBOX: ShelterBox responds instantly to natural and man-made disasters by delivering boxes of aid to those who are most in need. The box includes a tent for a family of 10, cooker, blankets, water purification, tool kit and other items survivors need to rebuild their lives in the days, weeks and months following a disaster. Donate here.
Nuclear Option on Gulf Oil Spill? No Way, U.S. Says
The chatter began weeks ago as armchair engineers brainstormed for ways to stop the torrent of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico: What about nuking the well?
Decades ago, the Soviet Union reportedly used nuclear blasts to successfully seal off runaway gas wells, inserting a bomb deep underground and letting its fiery heat melt the surrounding rock to shut off the flow. Why not try it here?
Of course this won’t happen, but the idea isn’t actually all that far fetched. Furthermore, does anyone have a better suggestion? Now go read the article and let’s get an interesting discussion going in comments…
Here’s the part of last night’s speech that is directed at us nerds:
Next, we need to encourage American innovation. Last year, we made the largest investment in basic research funding in history – an investment that could lead to the world’s cheapest solar cells or treatment that kills cancer cells but leaves healthy ones untouched. And no area is more ripe for such innovation than energy. You can see the results of last year’s investments in clean energy — in the North Carolina company that will create 1,200 jobs nationwide helping to make advanced batteries; or in the California business that will put a thousand people to work making solar panels.
The new investments in science were wonderful–but will they be able to continue with the president’s proposed three year “freeze” on spending?
But to create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives. And that means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country. It means making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development. It means continued investment in advanced biofuels and clean coal technologies. And, yes, it means passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America.
I know greens are ticked about this part of the speech. The conjunction of nuclear, drilling, and clean coal made them understandably apoplectic. But it seems to me that now that Democrats have lost their supermajority in the Senate, it may be necessary to give some ground on these areas if we want a real energy plan to go through. And it sounds like Obama is willing to do that.
I am grateful to the House for passing such a bill last year. And this year I’m eager to help advance the bipartisan effort in the Senate.
I know there have been questions about whether we can afford such changes in a tough economy. I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change. But here’s the thing – even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy-efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future – because the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy. And America must be that nation.
Go Greg Craven–Obama made your argument!
I’m glad the president isn’t backing down on the Senate bill. I am not in a position to handicap the votes, but, let’s face it: George W. Bush would have gotten the bill through without a supermajority in the Senate. He did it again and again. If Democrats play tougher, and smarter, they can still put us on a path towards solving the climate problem.