Monday, November 04, 2013

hyperbole as a sales tactic for... anything

 I came across an article which a friend had shared on Facebook regarding the way the world is ignoring the radiation still being spewed into the ocean from Fukushima. On our Oregon coast there are signs before you go down to the beach to not handle any of the debris that came from there. A year after the quake, stuff began arriving including even an intact dock at Newport. They say there's no radiation but just microbes on them but do we know that? Who are we trusting to tell us. Microbes could be killing off the sea life here as much as radiation. Who is figuring this out?

Since nations are sovereign, at least among the biggest powers, they can pretty well do whatever they want with building nuclear power plants and maintaining or not maintaining them. So we have Fukushima which met a double whamny of earthquake and tsunami to bring three of its plants to meltdown and more still there with question marks. Those are the facts. The questions come from consequences regarding the radiation being released and the question-- Is the disaster over? Here's some general info from Wikipedia on their nuclear facility.

How often do people pay attention to what is being done to our oceans? Worried about that cruise-liner dumping sewage directly into the sea? How about the airplane or space debris deliberately sent to the middle of the Pacific to clear it from space? Barging  municipal garbage or piping sewage way out to sea is okay? Closer to home, dumping your own garbage out of your car to keep its interior tidy-- after all who cares about plastic in the neighbor's pasture where the cow swallows some in eating grass and dies. No real cause and effect, right?

Since I do believe in cause and effect, I had been thinking of bringing the article here for a rant because it's something that has been concerning me from 2011 when I'd seen maps for how experts projected the radiation spreading. We were in the target zone  but this was a model-- one we might have reason to follow several years later to see if it's happening and is anybody studying results?

Before I could decide whether to bring the Facebook link here, a friend went after me there for sharing it at all as she felt those 28 points were scare tactics and not valid concerns but rather bigotry against the Japanese as well as trying to promote a global takeover of the world by a religious zealot. I didn't much care who the guy was who was posting the points because my interest was what about those points!

So she and I went at it as we often do over whether the article made sense, whether she was being distracted from the real concern by the hyperbole. Should Americans and the world be paying more attention to the consequences to us? Do we have a right to go after Japan for ignoring safety when we so often do also? How much radiation is safe in the fish we eat?

That's when she asked if I'd looked at the video at the bottom of the article. No, I had not as I didn't care what it said-- well not until she began discussing why she found the whole article so despicable. When we ended for the night our friendly debate (she and I are best friends), I had to watch the video and that's when I had a dilemma.

Do I put it in here for environmental rants or does it really belong in my Rain Trueax for writing-- as Snyder's real goal as I saw it was to find

 Here's the thing. The 28 concerns are not necessarily wrong. They should be studied except how much money is there in the US for such studies? We always deal with an expensive cockpit door after terrorists make planes fly into buildings. Heaven forbid (literally) that we do it before something goes catastrophic.

Now most of the 10 minute video is about real news programs and scientists discussing something I hadn't been aware of-- Fukushima could yet do worse to us. It may or may not be over and it's not just forty years of radiation spewing into the ocean. It's not just about being unable to buy Geiger-counters due to an upsurge in demand for them (hubby had earlier found that one out when he wanted one for his business, and they were sold out-- maybe more available now?).

No, there's more to what happened there and what yet might. The world is paying more attention than the US who has busied itself with shutting down government and worrying over websites for insurance purchases. Something far bigger is out there and how much are we aware of it? Most of us zero. I can find articles online saying be afraid be very afraid as well as those saying no concern as it will be too diluted by the time it reaches the US-- all from reputable sources. Which means there is, as is so often the case, diverse opinions. Who is studying it without an agenda?

The video though was about something more than cesium in our food supply [Interesting article exploring that question]. And that other thing is why I was tempted to put it into my writing blog. It mixed facts and concerns with hype for a prophesied religious event and... wait for it-- a book. The goal clearly is mix facts with fear and zealotry to get people all excited about learning more about the end of the earth prophesied in the Bible (or Mayan calendar or 2000 or take your pick).

This is funny if you think about it because if the end of the world is coming due to Christ's return, why should the religious care about Fukushima? Maybe that writer didn't. There is something he should have cared about though-- manipulation of events and scripture. That's what is laughable or would be if people weren't so gullible.

Starting off the video with that mix of news programs and his narration, his phony spiritual voice was a turnoff as he used the image of a tree to convince people the end is near and Fukushima is about to bring it on. Now logically, if you were Christians, see this as the beginning of the end times, why would you worry about securing the power plant (my chemist husband said it could be done with coal/carbon and water so if they aren't, it's to try and keep costs down probably.) The likely buyer of that book though isn't worried about securing the plant. They are on their way up and out anyway in the Rapture. It's funny. Come on, you know it is.

Fukushima, now that's not funny at all and we should care (about our own power plants in earthquake zones also) unless we are one of those counting on the prophecies which this guy even botched. He mentioned as proof that days are shortening due to Japan's earthquake. Now most informed people know big quakes can affect earth rotation and definitely can shorten by a few seconds the lengths of the days but this guy pumped it as significant in that scripture where it says 'unless the days were shortened'. My God doesn't he understand language? I'd really hate to see what a mash he makes of it in his book; but of course, I won't. It'll get read by someone a lot less informed about the Bible than me. They also though won't be worried about fixing Fukushima. They expect to be raptured first!

The rest of us should be concerned as to assume mankind is immune to the kinds of things that took out earlier species is being as dumb as the end timers who have been with humans since apparently the start of human communities.

Anyway check this out and seriously shouldn't we push our politicians to take less vacations and get busy on getting us the facts. The world can put pressure on Japan to do as much as is possible. Maybe they are but do we know that? And for the rest of what is in those 28 points-- check them out, don't stick your head in the sand-- it might be radiated...


Diane Widler Wenzel said...

The problem with the author trying to sell his book was that his article shot generalities which could become emotional ammunition. Aimless shots at a fearful thing without understanding could causing panic and counterproductive actions. A much better article that defines a current problem is:
The author of the article is a Canadian independent investigative reporter living in Japan for five years. James Corbett seeks more transparency of all governments and better news reporting.

Rain Trueax said...

that wasn't really the problem with his selling his book this way. It's that it's about an end times that is supposed to be long prophesied (often repeated) and why should anybody care about Fukushima if that's the end result as it's inevitable as a disaster. He picked up things though that most Americans have been ignoring. So who's worse? The one not caring or paying attention or someone who pushes facts to a conclusion that may or may not be justified? That depends on whether the squeaky wheel really gets the oil. And how many people read the other piece? Did it get people curious or just disappear unless someone uses some hyperbole to get interest in finding answers. Boring doesn't do much for raising concern or action. But what got me was how it totally distracted from what should be of interest either to the writer, who wants to sell his book or the person living where this might impact their health. Humans aren't easy to arouse and when they get aroused too often they want their own answers.

Diane Widler Wenzel said...

While it might be true some hyperbole does get more attention, there is a danger. Consumer beware of unintended consequences of believing vague, flimsily supported hyperbole. A person like the author trying to sell a book could cause an economic disaster. The fear he generates could needlessly cause the avoidance of a perfectly safe product. Or even be one cog in propaganda igniting a war between us and Japan. Before panicking: Search for eyewitness reports supported by data that can be tested. I was immediately on guard when I could not read the map of our supposed West Coast being fried by radiation.
The author of the article is a Canadian independent investigative reporter living in Japan for five years. James Corbett seeks more transparency of all governments and better news reporting. James Corbett has a web news blog with items he translates from Japanese to hold both the Japanese and USA governments accountable.

Rain Trueax said...

The article you posted is actually scarier than anything he said. It is the concern that the government doesn't want the truth out. Same thing is happening in this country with fracking where there are a lot of scary stories about what's going on but all the government can see is us becoming self sufficient on energy. Wind and sun make less money for big oil companies. So you have those like the guy who did two movies on fracking to try and get people worried and doing something. It might be the only way Americans act.

As for it hurting the fish industry, it won't if they do what one Korean company did-- voluntarily test their product for radiation levels. If Americans resist buying beef with hormones or antibiotics, why isn't it fair to hold the seafood industry also accountable!

Rain Trueax said...

The information regarding mercury could do more to make people reluctant to eat fish as often. You wanted that suppressed also?

Rain Trueax said...

I didn't see lies in what he put out. It was mostly asking the question-- could it be linked? Explain something you think was an out and out lie. The site that puts this out is Global Research based in Canada. He just picked up on information others put out to use to push his book. Their site might be all scare tactics or offbeat but it's not the only one out there saying our government is not leveling with us about a LOT of things. And that isn't just a Democrat or Republican run system. It's the system that profits from the wealthy donating to them and protects those like Monsanto so they cannot even be sued if they are found responsible for bad things.