I had heard rumors about some people against nuclear energy in Japan believed that Global Warming was a big hoax. It’s just an excuse to promoto nuclear power to the detriment and possible extinction of us all. I didn’t think many people took it seriously but then I went to Hirose Takashi‘s speech and his response to an ‘ecologists’ comment was that Global Warming is not an issues. 90% of all scientist don’t think people and CO2 are contributing to a green house effect. The rise in temperatures is either untrue or the result of the heat island effect. All of Japan is seeming to warm because of the heat island effect of airconditioners, cars..
Serious, long term grass roots activists organized the pair of speakers. I don’t know if his colleague agreed with him or not but I was surprised. I saw Hirose talk years ago just after the Critical Accident in Ibaraki prefecture’s TokaiMura reprocessing facility. They had untrained guys moving uranium to a tank in buckets. They wanted to finish early or something and dumped a bit too much into the tank causing nuetrinos to jump around kill them and probably harm the health of all the school children in the area. I learned the Japanese for ‘ignoramus’ (MuChi) from that speech. Hirose still uses the word pretty often now at 66 years of age.
He also just put out a book in 2002 about the coming Financial Crisis. At the party afterwards with the grizzled old time Anti-nuke people, with a sprinkling of new (to Miyazaki) younger activists I had a chance to talk with Mr. NoNukes (DatuGenPatsu). I figured I try to talk with him about some Dean Baker article, maybe some Naomi Klein on Chicago School adherents. Hoping to start an intelligent conversation, I started throwing out the names about how Lawrence Summers and Geitner were supposed to be right in there with Greenspan deregulating Finance so we could have the crises. He started talking about Rothschild. I just assumed it was another Chicago School Milton Friedman adherent I hadn’t heard about. Mabye I should give Naomi Klein’s _Disaster Capitalism_ another listen, or comb through Dean Baker’s articles some more.
But then I started looking into the Japanese (language) book (by Michael Ende) everyone refers to. One of the links was to an Anti-Rothschild alliance. It sounds like some kind of wacky conspiracy theory. I went out to a used book store and got a bunch of Hirose, Takashi books, no time to actually read them (I’m doing beaches now) but in _Chikyuu no Yukue_ p. 46-47 there’s a full spread chart about the Christian Zaibatsu (Iluminati?) and Rothschild. Disappointing. Here I thought I had found Japan’s Dean Baker with a anti Nuclear Energy bent.
Less than a week after the Hirose Takashi event (I still recommend going to his speeches though – you get to meet a lot of grass roots activists, most of them seem to just ignore the global warming and conspiracy parts) I went to a new type of event. Younger people do these eco, spiritual healing events. They wear these organic fair trade clothes and practice organic agriculture – talk about GHP (Gross Happiness Product) in Bhutan instead of GNP (Gross National Product.) New century slow life hippies without the drugs would be the fastest way to start to describe them to a fellow Gringo. I was looking forward to participating in a participatory workshop about local currency but work got in the way.
I made it to a night event about Nuclear power plants and they managed to bring out the softer side of the long-time (60 year old) nuclear energy activists. "I opposed nuke plants because I’m a living thing (Ikimono), I worry about my son and his new baby…" It’s hard to just say your ‘Against’ (Hantai) something because it’s stupid and destructive in Japan. It’s offputting or something.
There are a lot of serious, logical initiatives going on. I like the things Tanaka, Yu is doing. He was involved in the Friendly Newspaper initiatite Kougai-Na Gougai as was the Fair Trade and Chernobyl Medical Support network Nakamura, Ryuichi. Get your coffee through Windfarm – "without the bitter taste of exploitaion." And the chocolate from People Tree is good too, along with all that nice organic, fair trade cotton clothing. I’m a jeans guy myself but can see the consistency in going for the granola stuff. If you have to spend money why not try to keep it out of sweat shop corporations.
Once I get the beach pamphlet translation done, I’m hoping to make some time for the local currency, local energy activist’s screed he has a blog, published articles, a message and accomplishments. If we can get him to stop calling everyone stupid his ideas might be farther. You have to start somewhere and I’m going to start with Miyazaki. The birthplace and Japanese myths with great forests and coasts. People that come in here and settle down seem more sensitive to its gifts than a lot of the ‘natives’…. I just started to notice that.
The NewJerseyization of beaches might be a great political issue. A way to keep public money from being wasted on ‘the institutionalization of erosion’ (Eikyuu No Koukyou Jigyou) and foment Rachel Carson’s ‘Sense of Wonder’ at the same time. Orrin Pilkey shows the way in his _How to Read a North Carolina Beach, Bubble Holes, Barking Sands and RIppled Runnels_ in addition to all the articles on the Internet that mention him.
I almost forgot. The big Conspiracy guy is Nakamaru, Kaoru. Apparently he thinks a 70 meter rise in ocean levels due to global warming isn’t a problem because the earth is expanding. There’s a hole in the center of this expanding planet or something too. Oh, and he is the grandson of the Meiji emperor. Listening to some guy talk about him I felt like I was tranported to mystical China of recent Soap operas or something. Of course I’m getting all these impressions second hand and probably should have just listened in stead of passing it all off as the result of aristocratic inbreeding (ShinKinKouHai). The comment got a laugh but might not have been the most constructive reaction.
Even the Japanese translator, activist Kikuchi, Mayumi ( I first heard of Dennis Kucinich from her) is peddling some 9:11 conspiracy material. I have to work on my Japanese rendition of Naomi Klein’s reports about Sri Lankan and New Orleans suspicions of U.S. government involvment in Tsunami’s and Hurricanes. Can’t powerful people’s penchant to utilize disasters provide enough of an explanation to motivate us on participatory, democratic endeavors? Maybe some of this old time Shinto reexamination is like Japan’s version of the Pentecostalism in slums that Mike Davis talks about. But Japan is a industrialized country – but I’m supecting people (some segments of the poplation) are even more atomized here than in the States. Too much TV, Consumerism and Cutness (Kawaii). I have to get moving on lending out the Japanese version of Juliet Schors _Born To Buy_ (Kodomo Wo Nerae).