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We have long wondered how “Tree Hugger” is an insult.  We wonder how those people who think that Tree Hugger an insult came to be tree haters.  A friend used to talk about how the forest was a symbol of the dark, unknown, and untamed, and that is why many have longed to destroy it.  Of course, one must know how to move through the forest safely.  But, so much of the earth is now a desert, quasi desert, or undergoing desertification, that  it is good that some people hate trees, but then those people need to move to the desert and not cut down earth’s few remaining trees. 
Biogradska suma
Biogradska Forest in Montenegro, Photo by Snežana Trifunović via wikipedia

The Little Red Riding Hood tale “makes the clearest contrast between the safe world of the village and the dangers of the forest, conventional antitheses that are essentially medieval, though no written versions are as old as that.  Specifically, the tale parallels how an innocent victim can be taken in and controlled by a criminal mentality, therefore, facilitating further subjection of a crime or harm against a vulnerable victim through mischievous criminal intent by removing the victim from a familiar or ‘safe’ public location — facilitating the crime in an effort to isolate the victim by drawing her to another location ‘away from the public eye’ where the criminal entity has complete control over the victim.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Red_Riding_Hood

Little Red Riding Hood - J. W. Smith
Little Red Riding Hood by Jessie Willcox Smith (1863-1935)

While someday we need to write about the impact of deforestation on the weather itself, there is another thing which happens with mining and deforestation – wolves (metaphorical or real) and other “monsters” get let loose “the better to eat you, my dear”, as the fairy tale warns.  Cancer, often an outcome of mining and deforestation is named for the crab, as the veins feeding cancer tumors appear the legs of a crab.  The cancer clings to the victim, high-jacking or destroying the healthy cells.  Furthermore, when trees are cut surviving life must go someplace.  Hence there are more and more close encounters between humans and sometimes dangerous wildlife. Dangerous super-germs are believed to be lurking in tropical forests and with deforestation and fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) mining can quickly jump onto the next airplane:  

The Next Super-germ Plague Lies Peacefully in the Forest;  Deforestation associated with Mining Will Set it Loose:
Werewolf by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1512

From “Forests and emerging infectious diseases of humans” By B.A. Wilcox and B. Ellis:
With the interweaving of forests, pathogens and the development of human civilization, deforestation and other land use changes have an important part in the emergence of disease…The first plague-causing pathogens such as smallpox are believed to have originated in tropical Asia early in the history of animal husbandry and large-scale forest clearing for permanent cropland and human settlements (McNeil, 1976). Crowding and the mixing of people, domestic animals and wildlife, along with a warm humid climate, were as ideal for pathogen evolution, survival and transmission several millennia ago as they are now…An increasing number of studies on EIDs point to changes in land cover and land use, including forest cover change (particularly deforestation and forest fragmentation) along with urbanization and agricultural intensification, as major factors contributing to the surge in infectious diseases. Indeed the current increase coincides with accelerating rates of tropical deforestation in the past several decades. Today, both deforestation and emerging infectious diseases remain largely associated with tropical regions but have impacts that extend globally. Both are similarly intertwined with issues of economic development, land use and governance, requiring cross-sectoral solutions.” http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/a0789e/a0789e03.htm

Matthias Stomer (Umkreis) Das Linsengericht
Matthias Stom (1615-1649):  Esau [right] selling his birthright to Jacob or The Lentil Stew

For those who have forgotten:  
In Genesis, Esau returns to his twin brother Jacob, famished from the fields.  He begs Jacob to give him some “red pottage” …. Jacob offers Esau a bowl of stew in exchange for Esau’s birthright (the right to be recognized as firstborn with authority over the family), and Esau agrees. Thus Jacob bought/exchanged Esau’s birthright. This is believed to be the origin of the English phrase ‘for a mess of pottage“. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esau

Unfortunately, environmentalism and hunger often do not go hand in hand together.  As in the story of Jacob and Esau in the book of Genesis, starving people offered a bowl of soup by a mining company (or nuclear power plant) often do not care about the future impacts because for them it is a life and death matter already.  As people continue to reproduce at exponential rates with no care for the future, this problem will but exacerbate.  Even those who see clearly the problem and who do care seem often unable to stop the onslaught of the monster of deforestation, mining, and other environmental devastation.  

Who knows what may be in them there woods?  What will come out of the forests, homeless, as we continue to destroy trees?  
Grizzly Bear (Endangered) Photo by Bobisbob

British scientist ‘solves’ mystery of Himalayan yetis
17 October 2013 “Professor Bryan Sykes: ‘Yeti hairs genetically identical to polar bear” “Research by a British scientist has concluded that the legendary Himalayan yeti may in fact be a sub-species of brown bear.  DNA tests on hair samples carried out by Oxford University genetics professor Bryan Sykes found that they matched those from an ancient polar bear.”  See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-24564487 In the video Professor Sykes says that he was actually looking for other forms of human life, which might be in some forests. NB: Closest kin to Grizzly Bears are Polar Bears and European Cave Bears http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grizzly_bear

Yellowcake Yellow Monster

As in the story of Jacob and Esau, Yellowcake may sound good to eat but, as the Navajos know and the Japanese should have known after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it is really a Yellow Monster:  

(Yellow Monster Trailer: Uranium Mining among the Navajo)
Yellow Monster: Leetzo from beginning to end

According to the Navajos, a monster is something that gets in the way of a successful life. These monsters were born when an evil act was committed, when people transgressed. In ancient times, Navajos were destroyed by monsters which roamed their traditional lands. The Hero Twins gained the wisdom and skills to slay these monsters.

The first monster the Twins destroyed was Yeetso (“Big Monster”), who roamed the sacred mountain Tsoodzil (Mount Taylor) in New Mexico. One of the best ways to overcome or weaken a monster is to name it. The Navajo name for uranium is leetso, meaning “yellow brown” or “yellow dirt,” after the color of the uranium-bearing ore. Tsoodzil is where the world’s largest underground uranium mine would be built. Leetso, the yellow monster, was let loose in Dinè’tah, in Navajoland.” http://cpluhna.nau.edu/Change/uranium.htm (bold added)

Uranium is so big, so bad, so dangerous; it has always been so subject to cost overruns; no one knows where to store the wastes; Is there any surprise that the Japanese Yakuza Mafia are alleged to be and to have been involved in TEPCO-Fukushima?  

After the disaster Yakuza are alleged to have been the most efficient first responders:
Reconstructing 3/11: Sometimes The Yakuza Live Up To Their Ideals By Jake Adelstein, March 10, 2013: “A former Sumiyoshi-kai executive explained the efforts simply: ‘For a brief time, the usual societal divisions were meaningless. There weren’t yakuza and civilians or foreigners and Japanese. We were all just survivors. Just people. Now there is money to be made. Back then it was about saving lives and helping each other out. Ninety-five percent of all yakuza are human garbage. Maybe five percent uphold the rules. For a short time, we were the yakuza of legend. It’s one of the few times we can be better than we normally are…’ Even a senior police officer agrees, speaking under condition of anonymity. ‘I have to hand it to the yakuza. They have been on the ground from day one providing aid where others didn’t or couldn’t do it….”  Read the story here: http://www.japansubculture.com/reconstructing-311-sometimes-the-yakuza-live-up-to-their-ideals%E3%80%80/

But, there has been a much darker side:  
Special Report: Help wanted in Fukushima: Low pay, high risks and gangsters Posted:Fri, 25 Oct 2013 17:45:55 GMT IWAKI, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Tetsuya Hayashi went to Fukushima to take a job at ground zero of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. He lasted less than two weeks.” Article here: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/MostRead/~3/JvhF8AhCUBM/story01.htm

The above article observes:
Raising wages could draw more workers but that has not happened, the data shows. Tepco is under pressure to post a profit in the year to March 2014 under a turnaround plan Japan’s top banks recently financed with $5.9 billion in new loans and refinancing. In 2011, in the wake of the disaster, Tepco cut pay for its own workers by 20 percent.  With wages flat and workers scarce, labor brokers have stepped into the gap, recruiting people whose lives have reached a dead end or who have trouble finding a job outside the disaster zone.” (bold added)

The article discusses a man who thought that he was applying for a low risk evaluation job and ended up being forced to do a much more dangerous job.  Who in their right mind would work in Fukushima?  Haven’t you been wondering?  Although not specifically mentioned by this or other articles it appears clear that there must be human trafficking involved.  Below a saying is mentioned that “When a man has to survive doing something, it’s the nuclear industry; for a woman, it’s the sex industry“.  In other words, now there is Fuk-u-shima for men and the sex industry for women.  Although individuals may be starving and have starving children and hence be willing to engage in either of these dangerous activities in order to survive, many would still prefer hunger to either of these.  If there are kidnappings, and people being tricked into thinking that a job is something other than what it is, in order to get “sex workers”, how much more must this be the case to get people to work at Fuk-u-shima?  Why don’t they use robots?  Is it because they cost more than a kidnapped or desperate person?   

This involvement of the Yakuza “mafia” is not new.  However, until people understand it will have to be repeated and presented as new: 

On December 30, 2011, Jake Adelstein reported: “The Yakuza and the Nuclear Mafia: Nationalization Looms for TEPCO” From the article:  “…Engineers who worked for the firm noted the practice dated of employing yakuza members at nuclear plants dates back to the 1990s. Police sources also recognize that yakuza having been supplying labor to the area for decades. In the Japanese underworld, the nuclear industry is the last refuge for those who have nowhere to go. One yakuza explains it as folk wisdom,…’When a man is has to survive doing something, it’s the nuclear industry; for a woman, it’s the sex industry.” Read the article here: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2011/12/yakuza-and-nuclear-mafia-nationalization-looms-tepco/46803

It appears that there were many problems at the TEPCO plants which predated the earthquake and tsunami, along with Yakuza involvement: “TEPCO: Will Someone Turn Off the Lights?” By Jake Adelstein and Stephanie Nakajima, June 28, 2011 informed us that in “…2002,… an investigation revealed that for over 2 decades, the utility had been consistently falsifying data at its nuclear power plants: specifically, 29 instances of altered data pertaining to cracks in devices in the core structure of at least 13 nuclear reactors…. A former yakuza boss notes, ‘we’ve always been involved in recruiting laborers for TEPCO. It’s dirty, dangerous work and the only people who will do it are homeless, yakuza, banished yakuza, or people so badly in debt that they see no other way to pay it off.” (bold added) Read the article here: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2011/06/tepco-will-someone-turn-lights/39364/

According to wikipedia:  
On August 29, 2002, the government of Japan revealed that TEPCO was guilty of false reporting in routine governmental inspection of its nuclear plants and systematic concealment of plant safety incidents. All seventeen of its boiling-water reactors were shut down for inspection as a result. TEPCO’s chairman Hiroshi Araki, President Nobuya Minami, Vice-President Toshiaki Enomoto, as well as the advisers Shō Nasu and Gaishi Hiraiwa stepped-down by September 30, 2002.[22] The utility ‘eventually admitted to two hundred occasions over more than two decades between 1977 and 2002, involving the submission of false technical data to authorities‘.[23] Upon taking over leadership responsibilities, TEPCO’s new president issued a public commitment that the company would take all the countermeasures necessary to prevent fraud and restore the nation’s confidence. By the end of 2005, generation at suspended plants had been restarted, with government approval. In 2007, however, the company announced to the public that an internal investigation had revealed a large number of unreported incidents. These included an unexpected unit criticality in 1978 and additional systematic false reporting, which had not been uncovered during the 2002 inquiry. Along with scandals at other Japanese electric companies, this failure to ensure corporate compliance resulted in strong public criticism of Japan’s electric power industry and the nation’s nuclear energy policy. Again, the company made no effort to identify those responsible.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo_Electric_Power_Company#Safety_inspections (references at link)

In another very illuminating article, Jake Adelstein makes some interesting conclusions:  
TEPCO, Nuclear Disaster & Spaghetti-Os: Bad Deeds Get Rewarded” By Jake Adelstein, September 2, 2013 
TEPCO is doing the worst possible job possible because every yen spent cleaning up the site cuts into their profits and the more they show themselves to be incapable, the greater the chance that the government (which already is their de facto owner) will take up the slack. It’s a brilliant plan.http://www.japansubculture.com/tepco-nukes-and-spaghetti-os-why-corporate-nuclear-clean-up-is-meant-to-fail/

Mafia Have Been Long Involved in Nuclear Waste Dumping

20 October 1997, Subject: Illegal transport and dumping of nuclear waste. Greenpeace has alleged that the transport and storage of nuclear and other toxic waste is now partly controlled by illegal organisations. The Italian authorities have already begun investigations into illegal dumping in the Mediterranean. The file published by Greenpeace refers to the multinational company, Oceanic Disposal Management (ODM), based in Lugano, a subsidiary of an organisation called ‘The Network’ which is involved in the illegal transport of the above waste and has offices in Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Russia, the UK and Switzerland.http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:1998:158:0065:0065:EN:PDF

In Italy, a scenario has played out which illustrates what could happen elsewhere, and most assuredly has.  This concerns the Pasquasia Mine, which was an important mine in Sicily.  It was closed in 1992, supposedly due to high costs.  In 1995, a Sicilian politician, Joseph Scozzari, attended a conference in Washington on the treatment and storage of spent nuclear fuel.  The speakers cited about half a dozen sites operating in Western Europe, within which were deposited “low and medium level” nuclear waste.  Among those mentioned was the Pasquasia mine, even though it is located in an area prone to earthquakes.  Mr. Scozzari became interested and introduced a parliamentary question to find out more, but never received a response.  He tried to gain access to the site but could not.  The Italian and International institutions are said to have refused him access.  Far more serious, they did so even though – or perhaps because – they knew that those who ran the mine could count contacts with Cosa Nostra [Mafia].  It appears clear that Cosa Nostra was involved.  [Does this surprise anyone?]  The first to speak of radioactive waste hidden in the Pasquasia mine was Leonardo Messina, one of the more prominent bosses of the Sicilian Mafia and foreman at the site, turned government informant.  He alleged to Magistrate Paolo Borsellino that atomic waste from Eastern Europe was hidden in the mine.  He alleged that this kind of illegal activity had started in 1984, while the mine was still in operation.  He further alleged that the SISDE (Italian Internal Intelligence Service) contacted some administrators to warn that the site would serve for other activities, covered by military secret, and that they needed to be able to bury ill-defined substances.  These statements convinced the judges to initiate several inquiries, with no apparent results.  However, in the manual of general guidelines and practices for the management of radioactive waste, prepared in 1990, ENEA spoke clearly of the construction, in collaboration with the mine owner (Italkali of Palermo), of an experimental underground laboratory, in the still-active Pasquasia salt mine. [From 1982 to 1999 ENEA was the Italian National Agency for Atomic Energy.] Just after the closure of the site, the Regional Mining Body interrupted its maintenance and supervision of the mine.  These tasks were assigned to private security firms.  In 1997 a check revealed the presence of cesium 137, in concentrations higher than normal, supported by the increase in cases of leukemia and cancer in the territory.  In the same year, the prosecutor in Caltanissetta ordered an inspection inside the mine, where some monitoring stations provided by ENEA were found, but no one could explain their purpose.  This series of mysteries made another parliamentarian, Ugo Maria Grimaldi, suspicious, as it had Mr. Scozzari. Grimaldi was, at the time, the head of the Department of Land and the Environment for the Sicily Region.  He tried to obtain authorization to access the inside of the galleries of Pasquasia.  Authorization was achieved only after overcoming many obstacles.  Once inside, according to a 2001 interview, he found himself in front of shafts that had been filled, before his arrival, with material, to hide what was originally buried there.  His complaints were useless and silence returned to reign on site in Sicily. [omerta?]  A few more hints were provided in 2003, when in a meeting, coordinated by then Prime Minister Berlusconi and the Ministers Matteoli, Marzano, Giovanardi, Pisanu and Letta, it was indicated that Pasquasia was one of the twenty national sites considered suitable for storage of radioactive material.  In 2011 another three parliamentary questions fell upon deaf ears.  Additionally, the lawyer, Enzo Fragalà of Palermo died, subsequent to a 2010 attack.  For the criminal lawyer, Pasquasia mine was of real concern, an interest which may have led to his death – the culprits are still unknown. http://www.articolotre.com/2013/05/miniera-di-pasquasia-tra-segreti-di-stato-cosa-nostra-e-scorie-nucleari/166284 In 2012 the investigations into the murder of Attorney Enzo Fragalà started to focus around the Pasquasia Mine.  In 2002, when he was parliamentary criminal lawyer, he  had presented a query on the company that operates the mine (Italkali). http://www.palermotoday.it/cronaca/omicidio-fragala-indagini-miniera-pasquasia.html [NB:  If you do a search for Miniera Pasquasia you will see that this is a rather complex story.  It appears still possible that the radiation and illnesses could be from radioactive and other byproducts of the mine.  See for instance: http://www.avvenire.it/Cronaca/Pagine/miniere-e-scorie-segreti-di-stato.aspx There is also a documentary, in Italian, “Miniere di Stati”, on the youtube RAI channel.] More examples of mafia dumping of nuclear waste here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxic_waste_dumping_by_the_’Ndrangheta All of this is most certainly just the tip of the iceberg, or rather the mafia waste dump.  

For other toxic mafia dumping see as one example:  
Big profits from illegal dumping; now we’re paying
Friday, August 7, 2009, by Alex Nussbaum and Tom Troncone http://www.northjersey.com/news/environment/specialreports/The_mob_cleaned_up_Big_profits_from_illegal_dumping_now_were_paying.html?page=all

This Weekend’s Edition 25-27 Oct, 2013 of Counterpunch discusses the global repercussions of the radiation leaking from Fukushima: “A Global Response is Needed The Global Threat of Fukushima“, by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. They note that:  “The problems at Fukushima are unprecedented in human experience and involve a high risk of radiation events larger than any that the global community has ever experienced“. See article here: http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/10/25/the-global-threat-of-fukushima/

In Closing:  

The pollution will eventually bite-back even those spear-heading the deforestation, mining, petroleum, and nuclear pollution, except perhaps and unfortunately the old ones, like the Koch brothers. They do not yet understand that you can’t take it with you when you die.  At 78 and 80 years old they may still live long enough to die of a slow painful death from cancer, however.  It seems doubtful that they will change their ways even as they soon will be peering off of the precipice of death.  Regardless, their future in the afterlife is clear.  They appear as evidence that evil incarnates and is destroying all life and the earth itself.  Will we continue to let it?  

For they have sown the wind, and shall reap the whirlwind” (Hosea 8:7).
Lest We Forget.