— Fukushima catastrophe at 6 years: normalizing radiation exposure demeans women and kids, shames people into risking their health

From Counterpunch

March 6, 2017

By Cindy Folkers

Since the election of President Trump, certain words have taken prominence in our lexicon: “alternative facts”, “gaslighting”, “normalization”. But the techniques these words represent have been used by the nuclear industry and its purveyors in government since the Cold War love affair with nuclear weapons began.

And as we deal with the continuing fallout 6 years after the Fukushima, and 31 years after the Chernobyl, catastrophes began, the nuclear industry continues to put these techniques to good use. They have labeled “radiophobic” those who question nuclear power or who refuse to move back to contaminated areas or eat contaminated food. They shame people into taking health risks and socially isolate those who refuse to comply. They sell the lie of decontamination despite the fact that what has been decontaminated one day, may be recontaminated the next.

Women and children are often the focus of these “normalization” techniques. And they are the ones with the most to lose including supportive social and familial structures, and ultimately, health. Females, children and pregnancy pay a disproportionate price for nuclear energy because they are especially vulnerable to radiation damage. When a catastrophe like Fukushima happens, they become targets: targets of gaslighting, social isolation, radiation damage.

Japan’s radiation refugees

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) estimates that as of Nov 2016, the number of people displaced because of the earthquake, tsunami and radioactive contamination remains at 134,000. Of this number, 84,000 are still displaced around Fukushima, where evacuation orders are not yet lifted around the reactor.

In 2017, Japan is lifting evacuation orders and basically forcing people to move back to towns that were, and still are, contaminated with radioactivity from the ruined Fukushima nuclear reactors. Those who return are promised a one-time sum for doing so. For those who will not go back, the Japan government will cut off compensation. The IDMC frames the issue as a horrible choice: return to risk or try to reintegrate elsewhere without any resources. Greenpeace, in their February 2017 report, demonstrates that the uncertain risks and unpredictable nature of radiological contamination mean there is no return to normal.

Taking radiation into your psyche, as if it is normal

Radiation is associated with disease, even at low levels. Nuclear power proponents incorrectly contend that if you think you are sick from radiation exposure, it is all in your head and your health problems resulted from your worry. In other words, it was your fault, not theirs. They term it “radiophobia”. This pernicious label was first coined in the United States in the 1950’s. Like much of the initial Cold War nuclear policy, it attempted to “normalize” nuclear technology so that above ground atomic bomb tests could continue unhindered.

In fact, an opinion piece in the Western journal of surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, a medical journal which addressed women’s health issues, blamed caretakers for inciting fear of nuclear weapons in children. In the piece, entitled “RADIOPHOBIA; a new psychological syndrome,” the author claims “Anxiety-ridden parents or teachers who fear atomic bombs probably project the same fears to their children…” And that this “conditioning amounts to psychological punishment”. In essence the author, who was not a qualified mental health practitioner, was accusing these parents of abuse. The not-so-subtle implication was that radiophobia was a woman’s disease that she passed to any children she contacted.

The unscientific radiophobia label has persisted through the larger nuclear power catastrophes. For instance, according to a Macmillan dictionary entry, “Chernobyl has left an enduring legacy of opposition to nuclear power, now often referred to as radiophobia by technical experts…” However, the targets of this dismissive and derisive label are not just those who oppose nuclear power. The mysogynistic overtones of the radiophobic label are clearly present as the Fukushima and Chernobyl catastrophes continue to unfold.

In the wake of a nuclear catastrophe, exposed women and children are specifically berated into silence. If they continue to express concerns about health impacts, they risk becoming social outcasts. In this context, radiophobia is a social label used to stigmatize, not a scientific or medical diagnosis. In the case of Japan, radiophobia is called “radiation brain mom“. This epithet particularly refers to women who question whether food is contaminated; and it implies that they are irrational, overly emotional and unscientific, merely for asking the question.

Radiophobia accusations at Fukushima put children and women’s health at risk

After Fukushima began, doctor of psychosomatic medicine, Katsuno Onozawa, was interviewed by the Asahi Shimbun in 2013. As an actual expert on psychosomatic disorders, she stated: “children were exhibiting a range of symptoms including sore throats, nosebleeds, diarrhea, fatigue, headaches and rashes…” Yet these symptoms were written off as “radiophobia” and the mothers were accused of making their children sick by worrying. “Many reproach themselves, thinking, ‘Maybe I’m the one who’s strange,’ and become depressed.” She concludes: “If we say ‘it’s safe’ despite the risks only to erase fears, then we simply leave in place the danger that defenseless children may be contaminated.”

For the record, here are some symptoms of short-term, higher radiation exposure: “nausea, vomiting, headache, and diarrhea…swelling, itching, and redness of the skin” Many around Three Mile Island complained of similar symptoms following the partial meltdown there. The higher the radiation dose, the quicker the symptoms manifest. Children are more vulnerable to radiation exposure than adults, women more vulnerable than men.

In Japan, the “radiation brain mom” label has resulted in a self-censoring of concern about radiological contamination, leaving women and children unprotected after exposure to the initial radiation cloud. Subsequently their health is continually put at risk from food and environmental contamination. “Silence was not imposed by an iron fist of government, but rather wrapped around people like soft velvet, gently making women feel that they had to be silent.”

Taking radiation into your body, as if it is normal

Since the Fukushima catastrophe started, recommendations for radiation exposure limits in Japan were increased by 20 times. The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) sets non-binding recommendations internationally for post nuclear catastrophes. Their limit is 1 mSv per year in addition to background radiation. This effectively would double the dose from unavoidable natural background, which is already 0.8 to 1 mSv per year. However, according to the IAEA, 1-20 mSv per year “is acceptable and in line with the international standards and with the recommendations from the relevant international organisations, e.g. ICRP, IAEA, UNSCEAR and WHO”.

Therefore Japan is, under controversy, encouraging resettlement in areas up to 20 mSv/yr. The increase in the allowable exposure limit occurred after contamination created wide-reaching negative economic impacts. Before the radioactive release contaminated Fukushima province, it was a center for organic farming and the “eat locally” movement. Since the contamination, consumer instinct has been to avoid Fukushima products.

Since studies show cancer and other disease impacts can occur within the range of natural background, clearly, the decision to allow a higher exposure level had nothing to do with health. Instead, it was an economic decision that took advantage of the fact that many diseases induced by this radiation exposure may not show for years, or may show as hard-to-attribute subclinical impacts, masking radiation’s disease-causing role. For those health impacts that do appear, nuclear proponents can always fall back on the argument that “it is all in your head”–i.e. radiophobia.

International agencies and industries normalize eating contaminated food to save face and money.

The ICRP is guilty of encouraging radiation ingestion, despite known risks. One recommendation is the encouragement of growing, selling and consuming, contaminated food, as an economic imperative for those in contaminated areas.

ICRP has also supported an effort in the wake of Fukushima called ETHOS that encourages “practical radiation protection culture” (PRPC). ETHOS was an effort originally started with the French nuclear industry, after the Chernobyl catastrophe began, when they realized that the cost of evacuation and compensation was starting to impact the nuclear industry’s financial and public standing worldwide.

Encouraging PRPC is a cowardly way of saying it’s too expensive to move people away from contaminated areas or allow them to eat clean eat food, so officials need to tell people there is no health risk from contamination. This is done under the guise of empowering the local populations by providing them with monitoring equipment, training, and a sense that eating contaminated food is okay. Mothers in Belarus were trained to measure the radioactive contamination of their children and to accept a certain level, resigning them to the fate of living with and eating radioactivity.

ETHOS goes one step further in claiming that individuals bear the responsibility to keep themselves safe from radioactive contamination with little to no help or resources from the industry that caused the contamination in the first place. Now, ETHOS is in Fukushima, protecting the nuclear industry from those whose lands it has defiled and whose lives it has marred.

The U.S. will be no different

For those who are hoping the U.S. will somehow escape the radiation normalization process, think again. We are learning from Fukushima and Chernobyl that international bodies like the World Health Organization (WHO) or ICRP will provide no support for clean food and relocation to uncontaminated land should we suffer a nuclear catastrophe.

We are further learning that our U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) admits that decontamination is a lie. Using very colorful and demeaning language regarding radiological cleanup, an EPA employee said in 2013 “‘U.S. residents are used to having ‘cleanup to perfection,’ but would have to abandon their ‘not-in-my-backyard’ mentality in such cases. ‘People are going to have to put on their big-boy pants and suck it up…’”.

Dove-tailing on this egregiously tone-deaf statement, EPA proceeded to institute “protective” action guides (PAGs) meant to provide levels of acceptable contamination in food and water subsequent to a radiological incident. A radiological incident can include a catastrophic release but also lesser releases from transport accidents, for instance. The limits EPA recommends are hundreds to thousands of times higher for some radionuclides than previously allowed. Exposure could continue at these levels for years, endangering women and children the most. Just like women have been resigned or bullied into silence at Chernobyl and Fukushima, we can expect the same modus operandi here.

UN Human rights instruments offer women and children radiation protection when other  national and international agencies fail to

Women and children are more susceptible to radioactivity, therefore any attempt to label women as irrational for fearing radioactivity is ludicrous. The fact is, women and early life stages are not protected by the recommendations of international experts. Women and children have, and will continue to, pay a disproportionate price for the use of nuclear power, it’s routine radioactive releases, and the catastrophes it causes.

Increasing allowable levels of exposure post accident for economic convenience or to tamp down fear is unacceptable. Encouraging women and children to eat contaminated food appears to be in violation of Article 24 of the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), particularly the principle of needed access to “adequate nutritious foods and clean drinking-water, taking into consideration the dangers and risks of environmental pollution”.

Women’s voices should count for more, not less

Women are often the most concerned about social health, and are the first and most vociferous in protecting public health following a nuclear catastrophe. And science shows they should be. Women and children are more vulnerable to radiation’s impacts and the life-stage of pregnancy is uniquely sensitive. They pay the highest price for nuclear power and it releases, so their voices should count for more, both in the energy decisions we currently face and in how we protect those whose lives are upturned by nuclear catastrophes.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/06/fukushima-catastrophe-at-6-normalizing-radiation-exposure-demeans-women-and-kids-and-risks-their-health/

Posted under Fair Use Rules.

The great Fukushima nuclear cover-up

From the Ecologist

No bliss in this ignorance: the great Fukushima nuclear cover-up
Linda Pentz Gunther
February 20, 2016

The Japanese were kept in the dark from the start of the Fukushima disaster about high radiation levels and their dangers to health, writes Linda Pentz Gunter. In order to proclaim the Fukushima area ‘safe’, the Government increased exposure limits to twenty times the international norm. Soon, many Fukushima refugees will be forced to return home to endure damaging levels of radiation.

Once you enter a radiation controlled area, you aren’t supposed to drink water, let alone eat anything. The idea that somebody is living in a place like that is unimaginable.

Dr. Tetsunari Iida is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP) in Japan.

As such, one might have expected a recent presentation he gave in the UK within the hallowed halls of the House of Commons, to have focused on Japan’s capacity to replace the electricity once generated by its now mainly shuttered nuclear power plants, with renewable energy.

But Dr lida’s passionate polemic was not about the power of the sun, but the power of propaganda. March 11, 2011 might have been the day the Great East Japan Earthquake struck. But it was also the beginning of the Great Japan Cover-Up.

On the ISEP website, Iida extols the coming of the Fourth Revolution, following on from those in agriculture, industry and IT. “This fourth revolution will be an energy revolution, a green industrial revolution, and a decentralized network revolution”, he writes.

But in person, Iida was most interested in conveying the extent to which the Japanese people were lied to before, during and after the devastating nuclear disaster at Fukushima-Daiichi, precipitated on that same fateful day and by the deadly duo of earthquake and tsunami.

“Shinzo Abe says ‘everything is under control'”, said Iida, speaking at an event hosted by Nuclear Free Local Authorities, Green Cross, and Nuclear Consulting Group in late January. It was headlined by the former Japan Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, who was at the helm when the triple disasters struck. “Yes – under the control of the media!”

A trial for Tepco like post-war Tokyo Trials

The media may have played the willing government handmaiden in reassuring the public with falsehoods, but in July 2012, the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission concluded that the disaster was really no accident but man-made. It came about, the researchers said, as a result of “collusion” between the government, regulators and the nuclear industry, in this case, Tepco.

“There should be a Tepco trial like the post-war Tokyo Trials”, Iida said, referring to the post World War II war crimes trial in which 28 Japanese were tried, seven of whom were subsequently executed by hanging.

Hope for such accountability – without advocating hanging – is fleeting at best. In 2011, while addressing a conference in Berlin hosted by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, I suggested the Tepco officials should be sent to the International Criminal Court at The Hague, (a body the US still conveniently refuses to recognize) to answer for what clearly amounts to crimes against humanity.

The remark caused a bit of a stir and earnest questions about the mechanism by which Tepco could be brought there. Needless to say, nothing of the kind ever happened, or is likely to.

Instead, the Abe’s government’s preferred tactic is to go full out to restart reactors and move everybody back home as soon as possible, as if nothing serious had happened. Just scoop off a little topsoil, cart it away somewhere else and, Abracadabra! Everything is clean and safe again!

Normalizing radiation, a policy and now a practice

Of course radiological decontamination is not that easy. Nor is it reliable. It is more likepushing contamination from one spot to the next”, as independent nuclear expert, Mycle Schneider describes it. And radiation does not remain obediently in one place, either.

“The mountains and forests that cannot even be vaguely decontaminated, will serve as a permanent source of new contamination, each rainfall washing out radiation and bringing it down from the mountains to the flat lands”, Schneider explained. Birds move around. Animals eat and excrete radioactive plant life. Radiation gets swept out to sea. It is a cycle with no end.

Next in the ‘normalization’ process came the decision to raise allowable radiation exposure standards to 20 millisieverts of radiation a year, up from the prior level of 2 mSv a year. The globally-accepted limit for radiation absorption is 1 mSv a year.

This meant that children were potentially being exposed to the same levels of radiation that are permitted for adult nuclear power plant workers in Europe. Some officials even argued that zones where rates were as high as 100 mSv a year should be considered ‘safe’. Writing on his blog, anti-pollution New Orleans-based attorney, Stuart Smith,observed wryly:

“Instead of taking corrective measures to protect its people, Japan has simply increased internationally recognized exposure limits. It seems that the priority – as we’ve seen in so many other industrial disasters in so many other countries – is to protect industry and limit its liability rather than to ensure the long-term health and well being of the masses. Go figure.”

For the entire article:

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2987222/no_bliss_in_this_ignorance_the_great_fukushima_nuclear_coverup.html

– ‘Astronomical amounts of radiation’ in downtown Tokyo; ‘high doses of radiation, usually found in nuclear waste…highly radioactive dust’ in ‘decontaminated’ area; ‘serious internal exposure’ from inhalation into the lungs

Posted on ENE News

August 22, 2016

CCTV (Channel 17 in Burlington, Vermont), published Jun 20, 2016 (emphasis added):

  • Margaret Harrington, host: I know you mentioned Arnie Gundersen, the chief engineer at Fairewinds, and he said that he measured the radiation there, too. Could you talk about that a little bit?
  • Maggie Gundersen, Fairewinds Energy Education founder and CEO: He’s working with some other scientists who are studying — both Japanese scientists, the samples that they took, and the US scientists who are evaluating the samples — and they’re finding astronomical amounts of radiation, even in downtown Tokyo outside of METI’s door. METI is the regulatory agency over nuclear power… When he and others were downtown in Tokyo, they took samples right there in a garden right outside the door and on the front doormat, and these are really, really high samples. Frightening, because people walking in Tokyo will then be inhaling that dust. What was the film we saw from Japan that had the mothers who were in an area where kids play and run from middle school?
  • Caroline Phillips, Fairewinds Energy Education: It’s a fantastic video… it’s a mothers organization, they live in the Fukushima Prefecture and they’re actually using Geiger counters that have been issued by the government. They’re walking along the river [in Fukushima City.]
  • Maggie Gundersen: What’s so tragic about it – kids are running along dirt paths doing gym class and track and things like that and the mothers are right down in areas that are not posted and the kids can go after school and play, and people do nature hikes and stuff. And the radiation readings are horrific.

Gendai Business Online (article in Japanese here), Jun 14, 2016: [J]ust before the 5th anniversary of the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi, a group of young girls in the city of Minami-Soma rode their bikes to school past a shocked and saddened pedestrian. That upset observer was Arnie Gundersen, nuclear reactor expert… “What surprised me at this visit to Japan… is that the decontaminated area is contaminated again,” Mr. Gundersen said while explaining why it was such as sad shock to witness the girls on their bicycles. “This was not what I had expected. I had thought that we would not find such high doses of radiation in the decontaminated area. But, sadly, our results prove otherwise.”… Gundersen collected samples of dust [though] the official data cannot be released before the publication of formal scientific papers, it is evident that high doses of radiation, usually found in nuclear waste, was detected from these samples. “This means that highly radioactive dust is flying around the city. In other words, the decontaminated land is contaminated again. Little girls are affected by the radiation 20 times as much as adult men. The Japanese government’s standard of 20 mSv is based on exposure assessments for adult men. The girls on their bicycles are actually being affected by a radiation dose equivalent to as much as 400 mSv.” Mr. Gundersen also pointed out that human lungs are heavily affected by internal exposures to radiation. “At this visit, I wore a radiation proof mask that can filter out 99.98% of radiation for six hours. I sent my filter to the lab, and they found a high dose of Cesium. But, unfortunately, the Japanese government only cares about the number on a Geiger counter and does not consider the internal exposure. This has resulted in a hazardous downplay of this kind of data and human lungs are affected by the serious internal exposure.”… [T]he radiation from the mountains are coming back to the city by way of wind and rain. Mr. Gundersen noted the extreme radioactive contamination of the mountains… vegetables grown in that area exceed the government’s standard by 1500 Bq. These vegetables were sold at the MichinoEki in Tochigi prefecture, and the bamboo shoot grown in this contaminated region was used for elementary school lunches in Utsunomiya. These school lunches contained more than twice as much radiation as the government’s standard… However, the government continues to push for the end of people’s relocation and force the return to recontaminated areas… Mr. Gundersen also found that Tokyo remains contaminated. He measured dust… and found a high dose of radiation. That dust is in the air that will be inhaled by the visitors and athletes of the 2020 Olympic Games. Needless to say, the current residents are inhaling it every day…

Watch the CCTV Channel 17 interview here

http://enenews.com/tv-astronomical-amounts-radiation-found-downtown-tokyo-horrific-readings-detected-children-playing-fukushima-extreme-contamination-found-food-grown-school-lunches-nuclear-expert-shocked-upsettin

— Fukushima medical survey confirms 14 new child thyroid cancer cases, dozens more suspected

From RT
June 7, 2016

A doctor conducts a thyroid examination on four-year-old Maria Sakamoto, brought by her mother to the office of Iwaki Radiation Citizen Centre NPO, Iwaki town, Fukushima prefecture. © Damir Sagolj
The number of child thyroid cancers discovered in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster has reached 131, with the latest panel review adding 14 to the list of those suffering from the deadly disease, along with dozens of new suspected cases.
After the latest review of the ongoing second round of medical checkups conducted on almost 300,000 children who were aged 18 or younger at the time of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in March 2011, the prefecture-run program announced that a total 131 people have now been diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

Some 30 thyroid cancer cases were added to the radiation victims toll following the second round of checkups that began in April 2014. A further 27 people are suspected of having the disease. Previous numbers disclosed in February showed that 16 patients suffered from cancer.

In the latest announcement, scientists also say that a child who was less than five-years-old at the time of the tragedy had also been diagnosed with cancer. The new figures of those confirmed or suspected to have thyroid cancer have tumors ranging from 5.3 mm to 35.6 mm.

The first thyroid cancer detection round studying minors was conducted in Japan between 2011 to 2014 and discovered 101 people with thyroid cancer. With the latest numbers, the new toll stands at 131, while another 41 are suspected of suffering from radiation exposure, Japan Times reports.

“Concerns have been growing among Fukushima residents with the increase in the number of cancer patients. We’d like to further conduct an in-depth study,” said Hokuto Hoshi, head of the panel and a senior member of the Fukushima Medical Association.

He however maintained the panel’s earlier accession that it is “unlikely” that the disease cases was caused by radiation exposure, reiterating claims that there is no direct link between thyroid cancer and the nuclear disaster.

After the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, radioactive elements were released from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. After the release, Fukushima Prefecture continued to conduct thyroid screening ultrasounds on all residents agds 18 years and younger. The first round of screening included 298,577 examinees, while the round that began in April 2014 focuses on 267,769 people.

https://www.rt.com/news/345641-fukushima-child-thyroid-cancer/

Press conference in March:

 

Our Future: Nature, Children, and the Moral Imperative of Saving Trees

By Nina Beety
Global Research, December 23, 2015

This is a magnificent universe. It is alive by its very nature. And in your bones, you know that. It is your deepest dream and desire.

Everything is alive and conscious. Children know that. Indigenous people know that. Atoms and particles are alive. Where else would life and consciousness come from? Everything around us has life, from the atomic level on up. You are surrounded by friends and allies. You are not alone.

How is it that we turn our backs on such a glorious reality? Why do we cut ourselves off from such knowledge, learning, communication, and friendship?

The secret life of plants

Westerners often wonder how indigenous people know what plants to use for healing. The simple answer is: the plants tell them. Indigenous people cultivate relationships with the creatures around them. All of us can do that.

In 1966, polygraph expert Clive Backster hooked up his house plant to a lie detector machine to see if it would indicate when it needed watering. Instead, he made very different discoveries. He found that plants have profound awareness, they feel pain, they have a range of emotions, they go into shock when overwhelmed with events or emotions, they exhibit compassion and love, they communicate with each other instantaneously across distance without regard to distance, they telegraph threats to each other, they care about the people who care for them, and they connect with those people across distances. These discoveries, as well as those by other people, are detailed in The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird.

Biophilia is the birthright of every human – real fellowship with all living beings. It is no wonder that many humans, particularly in Western society, feel so lost and alone. This level of relationship is what we’re made for.

Nature is reality and wisdom

Trees, plants, and mycelium are chief examples of the highest species on Earth.

They are integrated into existence, into life. They are rooted and Interact and interface with the very elements which are the foundation of life. Think of that.

Their interaction with the earth includes this essential rootedness to a place and to the Earth. Humans, the most mobile species, are the least connected. Mobility comes at a high cost: connection and belonging. When home and rootedness are removed, with its related earth wisdom, humans are lost — uncertain who they are, unhappy, refugees and aliens in their own land, prey to hucksters, reduced to survival, their moral base gone. Look around.

The wise thing to do is to root and land, to learn from trees and plants, to connect to place, and to spend time outside sitting, listening, and seeing.

Children are most connected to rootedness, and they grow deeper, stronger, calmer, wiser, healthier, more compassionate, and more independent the more time they are in nature and with trees. They are our teachers. The most important thing for communities and our world is to free children to spend their time outside so they can show us how to be connected.

In a healthy society, every child would have a connection to trees, would have their own garden, would have special places outdoors, and would be expert in the nuances, the seasons, the species, the sounds, and the wisdom of those places. Those places would be laboratories of learning and study. Each child would be a teacher of his or her discoveries. Children would be leaders in our communities.

The more connected humans are, the more content and capable they are and the less need for material things, for status, or to be placated or soothed. We become free when we are connected.

Freedom is our birthright. Examples surround us — wolves, horses, prairie dogs, coyotes, snakes, streams and rivers, mountains, trees, and children. These are our teachers and mentors.

Happiness and creating the future

Plants and trees harm no one in order to live. Think of that. This is true of bees and butterflies and other species. They are life-positive. They take what they need to live and harm no one. Their lives are a constant and beautiful gift, full of abundance, and they are essential for the rest of us. The oxygen alone from trees and plants makes our lives possible.

What vast wisdom is in these life-nourishing people that use no violence. To create thriving, diverse, happy, and healthy societies, we begin by sitting at their feet and listening and learning.

Universities of life

Skills permeate every bit of life from the atomic level, as well as

  • resources
  • insights, knowledge, and wisdom
  • community
  • values, and
  • love

They are intrinsic to life, a part of the “is-ness” of reality. They are in cells, molecules, atoms, particles, and light. They are part of all beings.

The highest education is the most connected to nature, the most rooted and local-based, the most integrated, and the least technological, with only the most porous of walls. The true universities are outdoors and integrated with nature. The best universities would be the forests.

Can you talk with trees and plants? Can you hear nature’s wisdom and messages? Are you rooted and connected to a place? What do you know about your home? These are the most important skills and knowledge.

Places of learning would be typified by diversity and teaching flowing back and forth; all would be students and teachers. No degrees or pieces of paper. One’s life is the only reliable proof of learning and wisdom.

This type of education would be free. No college debt. And no SAT, GRE, or ACT tests required.

Real world skills would include creating new healthy systems of food, water, energy, building, and production, eliminating waste, and recycling. Each person would discover for themselves what is good and valuable and important.

These learning places would be characterized by languages, community, healing arts. They would be everywhere — vibrant, pulsating with honest, open dialogue, with life and happiness, authentic, open, heart-based, and earth-based, for all ages and species. Each would learn many skills.

Trees, plants, mycelium, and other species transmute elements by the “technology” of their own beings. Water responds to spoken or written words. What incredible skill sets to include in any curriculum.

Trees

Trees are very special among Earth’s people. Wise and beautiful, their deep, abiding qualities have been honored throughout time, and many regard them as sacred.

As a long-lived people, they acquire a deep wisdom and perspective. Because they are place-based, they embody and create home. They are protectors, strong, often tall, fragrant hiding places for people large and small, with fruits and flowers available to all, and amazing voices. They offer deep and soul-nourishing friendship to all who wish it.

They are our hope for the future. The Ents of J.R.R. Tolkein’s stories were not a huge stretch of the imagination. Trees are wisdom keepers, mentors, teachers, and friends.

Trees are people. They are not fuel or building material or oxygen factory. They are not extra or unimportant.  They are living, breathing, feeling, tremendously wise and good people. When humans cut down a tree, they murder a person. Protecting trees is of the very highest importance.

Trees can help us be at home, wherever we are on Earth. Their friendship can bring us joy, fulfillment, and peace. Trees are willing to be a part of our lives into the future.

Trees are the master teachers living everywhere who can help us create life and peace, prosperity and health beyond the 7th generation. They stand ready to be partners in creating communities brimming with life and happiness.

Healing life

The only hope for the world is if we realize the reality and goodness that surrounds us, if we start paying attention to all the people, whether they have leaves, bark, fins, wings, horns, fur, scales, feathers, cilia, many legs, or no legs, and understand, in the midst of all the other benefits, that we belong to a community of extraordinary people.

Our partners wait. The future is possible. The rest is up to us.

Nina Beety is a researcher, writer, and public speaker on foreign policy, the environment, and wireless radiation hazards. Her 2012 report for public officials “Smart Meter and Smart Grid Problems: Legislative Solutions” is on her website www.smartmeterharm.org. She lives in Monterey, California.

The original source of this article is Global Research

Copyright © Nina Beety, Global Research, 2015

http://www.globalresearch.ca/our-future-nature-children-and-the-moral-imperative-of-saving-trees/5497589