Waves break on a jetty holding wind turbines in the Channel port of Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, a major fishing center. (Philippe Huguen,AFP/Getty Images)
THE PHILLIPINES, JAPAN, NUCLEAR MELTDOWN AND THE PROMISE OF WIND
Taking in reports of widespread devastation resulting from the record-breaking typhoon in the Phillipines, we can at least be grateful that no nuclear power reactors were present in the storm zone. It’s been just under two years since another powerful storm brought us nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, Japan, and we are still paying a dear price as they struggle to grasp the full effects of the disaster and work desperately to clean it up. What little progress they’ve made falls far short of anything close to even partial success.
The picture above, distributed by AFP/Getty Images and published in the Los Angeles Times on Monday, November 4 (as well as in many other publications worldwide) reminded me of the power of storms, and the safety of clean green power sources such as wind in comparison to dirty power sources such as oil and nuclear. The worst damage these or more powerful waves could do is knock these windmills down. There would be some sort of salvage or repair effort needed, but no threat to life in the aftermath and no longterm effects. In comparison, an oil tanker or platform can wreak havoc on the environment when pushed to the breaking point by raging storms. And Fukushima taught us all too well that no nuclear facility is immune to the wrath of mother nature.
Japanese government and industry leaders inaugurated the country’s first floating wind turbine and substation Monday, about 13 miles offshore from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex. Officials hope to expand renewable resources and reduce or phase out nuclear power generation. (Yoshikazu Tsuno/ AFP/Getty Images / October 4, 2013)
Having learned this lesson in a most difficult way, Japan has embarked on a new push to harness wind energy, beginning operation yesterday of a huge offshore wind turbine floating atop the sea just 13 miles away from the toxic Fukushima Daiichi site. Anchored to the seabed 400 feet below, the project is the first of its kind in Japan, and will generate enough electricity to power around 600 households.
It’s a small beginning, but a big step in the right direction.
To read more about this story in the Los Angeles Times click here http://www.latimes.com/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-japan-wind-energy-nuclear-fukushima-20131111,0,6561451.story#axzz2kTVcbtoO
STARTING OVER 30 YEARS LATER
From the LA Times: Kash Delano Register gives off an air of forgiveness and peace. “Me being angry is only going to stagnate me moving forward,” he said. (Christina House, For The Times / November 10, 2013)
Los Angeles resident Kash Delano Register has a great name but lousy luck that wound him up in jail at age 19 for a crime he did not commit. After spending 34 years in prison for the 1979 murder, he finally had his sentence overturned by a judge last Friday. Register was represented by attorneys from Loyola Law School’s Project for the Innocent, who pressed his case with evidence that a key witness had lied at trial and prosecutors deliberately suppressed evidence to ensure a conviction. Now, at 53, he is at last a free man.
“There’s a lot of devastating things that happened to me, but there’s nothing I could do about it, so I had to accept it as it was,” Register told the L.A. Times in an article published Monday, crediting his faith as one of the things that helped him reach a state of acceptance. Careful not to harbor any bitterness or anger about his years of incarceration for a crime he didn’t commit, Register said, “Me being angry is only going to stagnate me moving forward.”
Although Register came before the parole board several times, his refusal to admit guilt kept him from being awarded early release.
Apparently, if you didn’t commit the crime you’ve been convicted of, the only way you’re going to be paroled is if you lie and say that, “Yes, I did that thing you accuse me of.”
Register’s ordeal is not completely over until Los Angeles County prosecutors decide whether or not to appeal the judge’s ruling to overturn Register’s conviction, retry him, or just drop the case. They’ve said they need a month to decide. Perhaps they just need a month to scrape the egg off their face.
Meanwhile Register is reunited with his daughter (born a few months after his incarceration began) and his mother, who stood by him “…from Day One.” It was his mother who picked him up downtown and drove him back to her West L.A. home, the same place he was living when this nightmare began.
It’s a tale of a man’s second chance, who shouldn’t ever have had his first one stolen from him.
To read the Los Angeles Times article click here http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-kash-register-2-20131111,0,7938885.story#axzz2kTVcbtoO
To find out more about Loyola Marymount Law School’s Project for the Innocent click here http://www.lls.edu/academics/centersprograms/alarconadvocacycenter/projectfortheinnocent/