Even though there are serious downsides to the impending arrival of tsunami debris from Japan onto the shores of BC, and even though our marine life and salmon will face accumulations of Cesium-131, -137 and Plutonium, there is an upside.
One can turn away from acknowledging the truth, like every politician, or one can face it head on and develop a plan to address it. One man from Japan has done this. Michael Craven was born in Richmond, raised in Kitimat and spent the last 13 years living and working in Japan. Of his life he says, 1/3 in Tokyo, 1/3 in Kitimat and almost 1/3 in the lower mainland. Although his primary career was teaching at a University he was so fluent in both Japanese and English; written and spoken, he was hired by the highest levels of the Japanese Government to interpret their technical documents and speeches. After the devastating Tsunami and Fukushima Nuclear meltdowns, Craven was immediately sought after to translate the time sensitive and critical documents into English for the American and other foreign governments. Craven read about the seriousness of the disaster long before any other outsider got wind of it. He was rightfully very alarmed.
While he knew it was wrong, while he knew he could lose his job, he risked it to warn Canadians, in particular those in Northwest BC. He contacted Nathan Cullen and expressed his concerns. Cullen spoke with Health Canada and they told him there was nothing to worry about. And then Canada went into election mode and the media became focused on invading Libya. Japan and the disaster became old news. Health Canada had to back peddle however after the acting Band Manager at Old Massett Village on Haida Gwaii, John Disney, began testing the rain water and discovered high levels of radioactive fallout. Listen to an interview with John Disney attached to this article. Click Here
Today Craven is in Northwest BC from Japan. He has been here for over a month. He came with a plan and with some influential Japanese connections as well as an informed knowledge of the future. Cravens plan is to prepare for the future in a coordinated and organized fashion. The debris from the Tsunami will arrive on our shores, for this there is no doubt. The radioactive water dumped into the waters off the coast of Fukushima Daiichi will be swam through by Salmon originating from and returning to our rivers and streams. Again, for this there is also no doubt. And lastly, besides the radioactive fallout from the skies during every rainfall, there is a real potential for the cesium and the plutonium in the ocean currents from Japan reaching the shores of BC. The only question in this regard is the quantity and density. News article, Radioactive cesium from fukushima on tour of Pacific Ocean. Click Here.
Will the seaweed show signs of these materials in two or three years? At this time it is anyone’s guess, but in Craven’ plan it is time to prepare, to make a plan and develop the required systems to test for all of these eventualities. Starting in two or three years from now is far too late. An analogy could be similar to installing smoke detectors in our homes. We need to set up testing systems now, radiation particulate detectors, so when the minute amounts begin to arrive, whether they be in the water, the marine life, beaches or airborne we are able to be prepared before the worst arrives.
Like smoke detectors that warn of the impending doom of an inferno with high pitched screams, waking the residents long before they are overcome with toxic gasses and burn, we need radiation dectectors. Not installing smoke detectors is not just foolhardy it is close to being criminal. All building codes don’t just include fire and smoke detection devices; in commercial applications they also require fire suppression systems such as water sprinklers.
Craven has developed a ‘White Paper’, a presentation document on what he see’s as an appropriate starting point in addressing this arriving situation from Japan. He has presented it to a few NW Mayors (Kitimats mayor Joanne Monahan and through his secretary to Prince Ruperts Jack Mussallem), the local Economic Development Agencies TEDA and KTIDS, and two political representatives, MP Nathan Cullen and MLA Gary Coons. So far the reception has been warm and congenial but no one has taken the lead.
Craven has a family back in Japan and needs to return. His children are obviously scared about their future as almost everyone in Japan has suffered some degree of radioactive fallout, but more so the earthquakes keep coming. They need their father. Their father however wishes to provide them a better future. In fact he is offering to provide them, and the entire northwest, a more positive future by instituting a plan to help protect the heath of the people of BC along with all life; plant and animal.
The first step is becoming aware of the present situation. Knowing what is present right now; testing. Currently the closest testing station for radioactive elements in water is in Saskatchewan. This is unacceptable. We need to set up a laboratory here in the Northwest to test for all types of potential hazardous elements. Testing now will provide a base line from which to begin. There are numerous strains of migrating sea life. Our salmon bearing streams all travel through different waters and across different regions of the North and Central Pacific. Japanese fisherman have already caught and tested a variety of sea life hundreds of miles off shore and found high levels of Cesium within them. In two or three years the various returning spawning salmon will be contaminated. We need to start testing now to have all systems in place to be able to be reassured of the safety of what we are catching, harvesting and consuming. And every strain of returning salmon need to be tested. They travel, as schools, through different waters. Each will be different. The First Nations people should be very aware. This is their life blood.
At the same time debris from the destroyed homes and villages will be landing on our shores. Any coastal residing person worth their salt is aware of the glass Japanese fishing net floats. These have been found on beaches and shorelines up and down the west coast. In the very near future there will be much more found on the shores. Scientists are predicting not just the village homes and debris but the body parts. If the horror of finding an Adidas or Nike running shoe on the beach and seeing an ankle bone sticking out of it has chills running down your spine, you ain’t seen nutin yet. These runners are likely to be found everywhere in the next few years. Most body parts will disintegrate and fall into the bottom of the Pacific, however running shoes and other attire will keep the body parts floating for years in not decades. Read more on the debris fields by clicking here
All of this debris may be contaminated with the discharged radioactive waste water. It all needs to be recovered and tested. It then needs to be properly disposed of. Systems need to be set up now.
Cravens ‘White Paper’ address many of these issues. He has laid out a clear vision for the future and sees the Northwest as being best suited for a fully prepared laboratory and recycling and disposal facility. He believes, through his Japanese contacts (he has some of the most influential Japanese people as friends) he will be able to get their assistance. They are likely to want to be closely involved as it will be their families bodies arriving on our shores, it will be their debris, it will be their radioactive fallout, and if the Japanese are anything, they are duty bound. They feel a complete duty and responsibility to address any situation they are even remotely connected to. There is nothing more important to a Japanese person than Honour. They will help. We just need to allow them to. And this means we need to have our governments at the lead. The Japanese, through their honour, will not initiate this, but when asked, they'll be here in spades with smiles.
Craven came to BC leaving his family behind to face the consequences of the tremors and the immediate fallout on their own. He did this for two reasons. He did this to come and offer his assistance and insight, to forewarn the political leaders in person. He also did this in an attempt to provide a new and safer future for his family.
This week Craven advised us he was returning to Japan. He has had a difficult time getting into elite meetings to discuss this topic and present both his concept and concerns. He believes this impending disaster might possibly be too extreme for the political and economic leaders.
The plan needs support, financial support. The Provincial or the Federal government needs to take the lead. Economic development agencies have the contacts to pursue this goal. They could prepare for the certain future with the appropriate ministerial contacts. One would think this could be a great argument for an executive director to make to those who wish to develop a new industry. Money to fund it could come from various agencies, the need is obvious and it isn’t some new venture capital project like a pellet plant or a proto type vision. This is a serious, well thought out, necessary operation.
If the local agencies got behind it and pushed their provincial counterparts to pursue it, they could lean on the feds. If then, all three levels of government were pursuing this advanced planning objective, the Japanese would be a shoe in. And that pun, as rude as it is, was meant.
We have a disaster in the making. Our proudest food source may be destroyed. We brag about the Great Bear Rain Forest, the pristine Coastal waters and Northwest rivers. These are all in harms way. We need to be prepared.
When John Disney from Haida Gwaii began testing for radioactive Fallout everyone told him he was wasting his time and money. He was proven correct and Health Canada had to back track. Today Craven is presenting not just an idea, a belief that maybe something might be happening, he is presenting a solution to an event that is certain and all scientists are predicting will arrive on our shores within the next two years.
It is time we take advantage of the people who spend their own time and money to assist us all. Disney did it and was instrumental in keeping people from drinking potentially deadly rainwater. This was a minor situation compared to what is coming. We need to be prepared. We need to embrace Craven's plan and build on it. It is only a beginning but we need to start now. Waiting until we start breathing in the noxious gasses, waiting until the fire blocks all our exits because we didn’t install the alarms ahead of time is not just foolhardy it is a crime.Read a composition by Craven published on our site in April by clicking here.Read Craven's 'White Paper' attached belowHere is a link to a unique image of how the Japanese respond. They spare no expense dealing with their own situation