Dana Durnford’s Post-Fukushima Odyssey: Documenting Ecocide on Canada’s West Coast
By Robert Snefjella
21 April, 2015
Homer’s Odyssey is a fable 3000 years old, first recited when civilization was of middling age, that is, well - or not so well - underway, neither young nor terminal. As Homer put it, via W.H. D. Rouse’s translation, “This is the story of a man, one who was never at a loss.” And “he endured many troubles and hardships in his struggle to save his own life and to bring his men back safe to their homes. He did his best, but he could not save his companions. For they perished by their own madness….”
Resourceful was much challenged Odysseus, on his long journey, told in Homer’s plain language.
In the 20th century, Thor Heyerdahl sailed the oceans in archaic sea craft, some of which were so ancient in design as to predate Homer by many years. Heyerdahl’s adventurous voyages were, among other things, attempts to reveal aspects of the will o’ the wisp of the time when civilization was young. Indeed Heyerdahl gave the subtitle ‘In Search Of Our Beginnings’ to his book The Tigris Expedition.
Resourceful was Heyerdahl. Heyerdahl built vessels based on thousands-years-old drawings of Sumerian and Egyptian reed/papyrus ships. He found them - despite his own inexperience and with inexperienced crews - quite capable of extended ocean voyages. Pertinent to Dana’s route and adventures, Heyerdahl declared the shores with their rocks and currents and tides and buffeting winds more challenging than the wide open ocean.
He tells of his adventures in plain language in several popular books. The Tigris Expedition ends after sailing over 6000 kilometers around the Indian Ocean with 11 companions from various countries. Heyerdahl ends up burning at sea his beautiful, still sea-worthy Sumerian-design rope-and-woven-reed ship near Yemen “to protest against the inhuman elements in the world of 1978….We must wake up to the insane reality of our time….Our planet is bigger than the reed bundles that have carried us across the seas and yet small enough to run the same risks unless those of us still alive open our eyes and minds to the desperate need for intelligent collaboration to save ourselves and our common civilization from what we are about to convert into a sinking ship.”
Dana Durnford’s odyssey, in 2014 and 2015, not a fable, has been to document what has happened and is happening since Fukushima to wild life, plant and animal, in the waters and tidal zone and pools on the West Coast of Canada. His boat is a little Zodiac water craft, almost impossible to sink, but no comfort inn. He has sailed it largely alone, with his intrepid old dog Zoey, for months and for many hundreds of kilometers along the shores of British Columbia and its islands and out to the Queen Charlotte Islands.
Resourceful and brave and determined is Dana, as he struggles and endures many troubles and hardships. For an able bodied person to undertake what Dana has done would be heroic. Dana is physically handicapped from an accident and relies on a wheelchair and crutches.
Dana has taken many thousands of photographs, and has been interviewed weekly many times by Jeff Rense on his radio show at Rense.com. These are archived at Rense.com
Dana also reports via his website nuclearproctologist.org.
Dana is plain spoken and usually low key, sometimes nearly inaudibly so, as he brings us news of the Pacific Ocean’s palliative condition. Even Dana’s angry comments seem muted by his grief and disbelief, as he describes his voyage and his observations and shares his thoughts. His web site already has much photographic and other information, and his current journey will add many thousands more.
Dana’s observations underline that we have reached the end, a dead end, at least for civilization on its contemporary terminally dysfunctional basis, and announces a time of grievous troubles for much of life as we have known it.
From his website:
Fukushima will kill the entire Pacific Ocean
October 9, 2014
Day 18 on the beaches we hit Pine Island off the north east of Vancouver Island and several other islands in a 75 km 7 hour trip. We stayed out till dark it took about 80 minutes to ride back with a full moon behind the heavy rain clouds. We still only found just a small handful of kelp and algae out of 600 known species. We have to hunt to find any species to take a picture of. The chances of finding the same species anywhere else is tiny we still have not seen any sea cucumbers or sea squirts or sea fans or large snails or rocks full of snails and limpets etc etc or life in tidal pools. Underwater life is clinging for the time being but we are not even trying to stop fukushima….
Out of 70 species of sea anemones we have found 5 species collectively throughout the coast lines but only two species on these islands today and they are very few and very random.
We see all along Vancouver Island coast line only 5 species of star fish out of 64 known local species that were everywhere pre Fukushima. Did you know Fukushima really happened and the Jet Streams are real, yea go figure. Did you know that three reactors are bleeding and hemorrhaging into the pacific ocean 24/7 – 365 days a year and that the media and nuclear crazy apologist use numbers from a single release from a single reactor and have never included the ongoing massive plumes pouring into the sea every freaking day and into the jet stream from three 100% melt downs and melt outs all day every day unrelenting.
In BC life accumulates [that is, used to, until Fukushima: RS] in every millimeter of its 26,000 km shore line, after all it was the nursery of the ocean. The B.C. entire coast line’s biodiversity is well known because all universities have [been] categorizing and counting the species around BC coast line for decades, many times over.
I only wonder … what point of extinction will it take before the world cares….[?]
Part transcript of March 9th, 2015 Rense radio interview:
Jeff Rense: “Okay, and we’re going to go up this half hour, somewhere along the wilds of the coast of British Columbia to talk to another remarkable man who has put his life on the line over and over again to try to bring the truth about what’s happening to our west coast whether you be Canadian or American, and that the government will not tell us…. “
Dana: [describing the coastline of Canada] “… less than a hundred species, total, throughout the entire coastline, out of …”
Jeff: “Out of 6500 that ought to be there.”
Dana: “The visible ones and another 5500 or so of invertebrates….
….the divers a couple of days ago found starfish legs and there was two of them [divers] and they were horrified, because, and rightly so, but I mean the whole sea floor was covered in, in ah, star fish legs, a lot of leather starfish, in particular, and just the legs, didn’t find the bodies, just the legs everywhere, and they’re pretty convinced that it’s radiation ….
.... no snails to be found anywhere whatsoever, I couldn’t even find one….
…. normally you would find millions and millions and millions [of snails] on each beech and on the rocks and all the mussels were missing and the algae [is missing and] a lot of them look’s like they’re petrified, but they all look really, really bad, they look really unhealthy, and once again the rocks are bare everywhere else.
…. folks don’t understand, in that entire day of hunting at the low tide zone I could put everything I found in the back of a pickup truck, and that, you should be able to do that on any beach, let alone the entire, you know mile after mile after mile, ah we’re coming to an anniversary of the fourth year, I guess you could call it that.
…. and there was around 50 eagles, that’s the most eagles I’ve seen at any given time since August … to see 50 eagles was really impressive. That was a spectacular event. I stopped and got pictures of it. And it looked like they were feeding and this is something we haven’t seen along the entire coastline. We should see that every mile. And I covered, a few weeks back, I covered over 700 nautical miles and never seen a single flock and there should have been 700 flocks or more if not five times that, because that’s how this coastline used to be, always, no matter where you went, so all of that is missing, there’s just a handful of any species out of 160 odd migratory and 148 residential, there’s only a handful throughout the entire coastline and you’re only finding them in tiny groups so we’re in a lot of trouble….
[Dana’s effort is …]…. so stressful at night time, just trying to come to a stop and have a meal and get some sleep and not drag anchor all night wrong, and have the waves pound you all day and all night, relentless, but … my brain will not let me stop it until we complete it, because it has to get done and nobody else is going to do it. And if we don’t get the job done [recording the situation on the British Columbia coastline] we’ll regret that for ever.
…. but they [Canadian Coast Guard] came all the way into the beach just to yell out and ask me what I was up to. So I told him …. I said I’m checking for damage from the radiation fallout from Japan and he said you finding any? I said “Everything is missing!” I said “Are you blind?!” I named out the species to him and I think I scared the daylights out of him cause they went away but … I was pretty angry…. I was heartbroken, I was on this beach after beach after beach and this little group of islands this morning, it’s blowing really hard, and I’m got up tight to an island, and I went to the island and got up on the beach cause you couldn’t do anything else, and it’s stunning that I couldn’t find anything in the microscopic world or the small world ….”
From March 16th, 2015 interview on Rense radio.
Jeff: “…. Mr. Dana Durnford is there, our special guest, who god knows where he is, where are you?”
Dana: “Hi Jeff, yes, I’m back in Queen Charlotte City.
Been a rough ride. Today was a very rough one, so both of the boat motors went down on me today, in rough water….
…. an interesting thing is yesterday I went out at high tide and that high tide strip is really visible. The ocean comes right up to the rain forest here on the coastline and so it’s only like a foot, two foot, at the really highest tide, with a full moon, there will be like a 2 foot gap there. Now yesterday there was probably a four foot gap there and you still couldn’t see any kind of life whatsoever at that high tide line, and that ought to be the best part of it. That’s very telling, because that should be full of the fauna, the flora, the sea anemones and all kinds of little critters that live in that particular zone. That’s a very unique strip along British Columbia that is actually missing. And that was the big thing about getting out here to see, to really say, okay, look, it’s actually missing here too. Cause people won’t believe it until you actually show it to them. You actually basically have to go look and get pictures of it and actually show the people before they’ll ultimately believe you, I know that in my soul, and so that’s why I do the things I do because I know that if we don’t get that data you can’t have a lucid conversation with anybody, but if you got the data they ain’t got no wiggle room, and they’re gonna have to pay attention and they got no way of just disregarding what you say.”
From February 23rd, 2015 interview on Rense radio:
Dana: “….it’s just impossible to imagine that a couple of years ago you could break your neck trying to go ashore at the low tide line and anywhere in British Columbia, this is what I specialize in, these low tide zones, and now you can go ashore anywhere in British Columbia, there’s nothing to worry about, ….[whereas previously, due to all the kelp and algae] you would slip and slide, dangerous, extremely dangerous, very slippery, unimaginable, nobody could make it up the high tide line, at low tide, without really hurting their elbows, or knees, or twisting an ankle, or really being an acrobat, and now anybody can walk ashore. It’s inconceivable! It’s just devastating to the entire eco-system. It’s the nursery of the ocean. It’s all missing!: The very nursery of the ocean itself. And the biggest carbon sequesterer of the ocean is the phytoplankton. And that’s missing. And that was also the biggest oxygen producer obviously. And the basis of the food chain. But it was also the biggest carbon sequesterer on the planet. And so to blame everything on carbon, but there’s nothing there to sequester, like it’s normally been doing throughout whoever knows how long this process has been going on. And so that is all missing. And all I’m trying to, when I say things like they can’t hide it much longer, I truly mean they can’t hide it much longer. I can’t see how they can. They can lie about it all they want for a short period of time, but it’s going to be impossible to ignore a dead ocean…Like I can’t ignore what I’m seeing out there. It’s enough to make you cry. I kid you not.
This is being completed on April 16th, 2015. Over the last couple of weeks, which is far beyond late - after the most despicable dishonesty about, and censorship of, information about Fukushima, a bit more of the disturbing light of reality regarding Fukushima is escaping into view via more or less ‘official’ Japanese spokesmen. The problems at Fukushima are declared “insurmountable”, the technology to fix the situation is declared not to exist. And as Jeff Rense has pointed out, talk of “decommissioning” the Fukushima reactors is propaganda nonsense. Decommissioning is the daunting challenge which can be attempted pertaining to, typically, aged reactors that exist in something of their original form: Much of the plutonium etc of Fukushima has evacuated the scene of the crime, to join the global environment, and extremely radioactive cauldrons of unknown location, and quantity, and makeup, remains. (1)
The official response, globally, has been to tell lies and to censor.
The massive damage to life within and adjoining the Pacific Ocean – on the West Coast of North America, an ecocide - has been demoted to an egregiously distorted footnote. Fukushima is an extreme assault on the blueprint for life of much of the planet.
This is screaming proof of the pathology, and the terminal dysfunction, of our current culture, and especially of our basic institutions of government, and mass communications. We are being fatally misled.
Now, very, very late, Fukushima remains a salvage-what-we-can-operation of the most extreme urgency, and requires our utmost honest and intelligent fullness of attention and discourse. WAKE UP!
Note: (1) For research connections and pertinent comments on plutonium in the Pacific see http://majiasblog.blogspot.ca/
For a recent (April 11th, 2015 missive from Dana Durnford see
Robert Snefjella is a retired organic farmer living in Ontario, Canada. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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