Tuesday, August 28, 2012

" I Read the News Today, Oh Boy ..."

Today I was dismayed to read
In a French news magazine
The story of a precarious cooling pool
Perched perilously high above the ground
And its precious store of tons and tons of spent nuclear fuel
In the badly damaged building of reactor number four
In a place called Fukushima
And of the radioactive nightmare it could unleash
Should the water in it happen to leak out
In the event of another minor earthquake
And in the same story learned
That ever growing numbers of outraged Japanese
Are protesting every week now against nuclear energy
They are calling it the Hydrangea (or Hortensia) Revolution
For they have adopted as a symbol the hydrangea flowers
Which bloom in abundance in the summer in Japan
Hydrangeas also abound in Brittany
Where I photographed a few at close range not long ago
Before I learned about the revolution in progress in Japan
So I offer these images for whatever they are worth
To the revolution, to the people of Japan, to the people of Planet Earth
While hoping it is not too late to avert the catastrophe
Which hangs suspended, fragile yet dreadful to contemplate
Over our heads.
This evening at the dinner table
I tried to explain to my fifteen year old daughter
What the potential scale of the consequences could be
Were the water to leak and the stored fuel catch fire
But was unable to find adequate words
The human race perhaps really is
Too smart for its own good
The sorcerer's apprentices may soon have their day
How can such stupidity exist
In a world where delicate hydrangea petals still bloom ?


Owen said...

PS, a little more information can be found here :


EG CameraGirl said...

I can understand why many Japanese citizens would be concerned. Big companies rarely tell their customers the whole truth about the dangers of their products.

French Girl in Seattle said...

I would be terrified if I lived anywhere near that plant, or in Japan for that matter. I am glad people are starting to rebel and demand answers. The hydrangea is the perfect symbol for their movement! You could not answer your daughter because it is just impossible to put our heads around what has already happened, and even worse, what this could turn into. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Oakland Daily Photo said...

Scientists have already found mutant butterflies in Fukushima. I don't know what the half-life is of the nuclear materials used in the plant but surely the soil, ground water, and fisheries off the coast have already been contaminated. Lovely photos of a gorgeous flower. Won't look at one again without thinking of the Japanese petal protest. Good luck to their cause.

Steve said...

Alas, we have the knowledge but not the wisdom to use it. Or not to use it.

Laurie said...

A sobering thought, Owen, but well said!

Jane Aston said...

Dear Owen, I have pinned one of your images,from the boat sequence. I have linked it back to your blog. If you aren't happy I will gladly remove it. Thanks.

Plum' said...

Un magnifique texte Owen et de superbes images. Très poignant.

clo said...

Howdy Owen...
Je ne voudrai pas ternir cette visite par un commentaire relativement sombre..
Alors je vais juste me contenter d'admirer la beauté rayonnante de ces fleurs que j'adore..Je ne vais pas manquer non plus , de te feliciter pour tes photos qui soulignent merveilleusement bien cette delicate beauté.
Je vais te souhaiter une bonne rentrée ,pour toi ,pour les tiens..
Je vais fermer les yeux et esperer tres fort que ce monde change...
Je vais bien sur t'embrasser et t'envoyer mes plus sinceres amitiés...:)
a bientot cher Owen ..

ps:Bises a k'line aussi ,on s'est presque croisées...:)

Dianne said...

And I guess the world goes about it's business not knowing or not caring ... scary stuff!! and something of wich I was totally unaware.
Thanks for the post Owen.

Stickup Artist said...

There is so much to love and so much not to love in this world. Hopefully it all evens out and we don't become either too pessimistic or too complacent. I do love your flowers though. The colors are so beautiful and I like the edge to edge framing.

Regarding comment/questions about Polaroid:

Polaroid is really popular and going strong making cameras, lenses, and accessories. Models old and new have zoom lenses and Polaroid makes an underwater/waterproof housing. Photoshop does NOT have a “Polaroid Function.” I don’t know of any Polaroid software besides a freebie called Poladroid which is random and not editable. I created my own custom, editable set of Actions and Layers from scratch to get my results.

Hope that clears up your questions!


Roxana said...

oh that last question, indeed.

and the first of these photos has just destroyed me, sooo beautiful
(i remember visiting a hydrangea temple in japan, it was breathtaking)


"the principal and indeed the only thing that is wrong with the world is man" (jung)
(i had just stumbled across these words while researching for my writing, but now they seem more that adequate :-(

PeterParis said...

Why do you worry? Authorities guarantee that everything linked to nueclear is safe! Don't you believe them? :-)

'Tsuki said...

Soupir de géranium, qui nait rose et pleure sa vie bleue sous nos toitures d'ardoise qui les teigne malgré eux...

Le blues du géranium, c'est mélancolique, décidément.

Pat Tillett said...

Wow! That first photo is beautiful!

My wife is Japanese and almost all of her relatives are still living there. You are correct, they are not very happy about what they were told. Right now, we live exactly 14.8 miles from the San Onofre nuclear plant in Southern California. I'm VERY happy to say that is CLOSED and may never start up again. The thought of what could happen is crazy scary...

Pat Tillett said...

Oops! I forgot. The poem was REALLY good!

Nathalie said...

Merveilleuses photos de ces hortensias qui sont en effet pour moi un symbole de la Bretagne. Quant au nucléaire, j'ai eu un étudiant japonais cet été qui se sentait en effet très proche des anti-nucléaires de son pays. Espérons que tout tienne encore un peu, le temps qu'on trouve une solution et des protections...