Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Japanese Utility Uses Ocean as a Dump

Japanese fishermen are incensed that 11,500 tons of radioactive water was dumped into the Pacific Ocean, according to CNN. It is great that they are making headlines because it shines light on the mindset or assumption that the ocean is a dump.

The oceans are the lifeblood of the planet. Healthy oceans mean healthy people. No ocean is a dump. Period.

Unfortunately, the thought that the ocean is a dump is entrenched. Two weeks ago, we saw another example of this as a mining company proposed to dump toxic tailings in pristine waters off Papua New Guinea. In both the Japan and Papua New Guinea case, it would be great if everyone -- not just local fishermen -- were upset by the wrongheaded mentality.

But apparently that's a pipe dream. The concept that the oceans are not a dump seems far from anyone's radar. In the Japan case, the chair of the radiation safety committee at Georgetown University Medical Center, Timothy Jorgensen, defended the ocean dumping saying the Pacific Ocean will dilute the waste. First of all, is Timothy a marine biologist, an expert on currents and fisheries of the Pacific?

Secondly, and more importantly: Why was it ok to even dump in the ocean in the first place?

 Read whole story here.


William said...

Timothy Jorgensen is not a marine biologist. He is only an individual looking at solving the problem from his own perspective, and damn the rest. Viola! problem solved! I'm a freakin genius... Sure, the Pacific will dilute radioactive water, but at what cost? This nearsighted thinking runs rampant in all of humanity, and is a big driver of much of the mess we find ourselves in.

Mike Misner said...

Thanks for the comment William. I agree!