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Overload: How to Follow Fukushima and Some Weekend Long Reads

The enduring crisis at Fukushima, plus some incredible long-form reads for the weekend, in today's roundup from GOOD Environment HQ.


Every day since these charts were created, I wake up and check out the radiation levels from all around Japan, including just outside the Fukushima reactor (above).

Then I'll load up Jesse Jenkins' "nuclear crisis" Twitter feed for some wide-ranging and deep-diving updates of the situation at Fukushima.


Elsewhere, these are the five U.S. companies most dependent on nuclear power.

Some new artifacts are calling all of human history in the Americas into question.

I couldn't tell you why ABC News is compiling a maps of products that are "Made in America," but I had some fun clicking around it.

Some longer reads for your weekend:

In Discover, David Kirby explains how China is throwing up a toxic cloud that's way more dangerous than the trace radiation floating across the Pacific. And there's no end in site for China's manufacturing and industry-born plume.

George Black has an intense three-part series on energy development—dams and nukes—in the paradise of Patagonia for OnEarth.

Scary: In Scientific American, David Biello says safety concerns at American nuclear reactors are pretty much status quo.

Overload is a daily round-up of what we're reading at GOOD Environment HQ.

Articles
via Alan Levine / Flickr

The World Health Organization is hoping to drive down the cost of insulin by encouraging more generic drug makers to enter the market.

The organization hopes that by increasing competition for insulin, drug manufacturers will be forced to lower their prices.

Currently, only three companies dominate the world insulin market, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. Over the past three decades they've worked to drastically increase the price of the drug, leading to an insulin availability crisis in some places.

In the United States, the price of insulin has increased from $35 a vial to $275 over the past two decades.

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Health

Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

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The Planet

Since the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, whale populations have been steadily recovering. However, whales in the wild still face other dangers. In the summer of 2018, four Russian companies that supply aquariums with marine animals captured almost 100 beluga whales and killer whales (aka orcas). After a public outcry, those whales are swimming free as the last of the captive whales have been released, the first time this many captured whales have been released back into the wild.

In late 2018 and early 2019, a drone captured footage of 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales crammed into holding pens in the Srednyaya Bay. The so-called "whale jail" made headlines, and authorities began to investigate their potentially illegal capture.

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The Planet
via Twitter / Bye,Bye Harley Davidson

The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

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Business
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The 2020 election is a year away, but Donald Trump has some serious ground to cover if he doesn't want it to be a historical blowout.

A Washington Post- ABC News poll released Tuesday shows that Trump loses by double digits to the top Democratic contenders.

Vice President Joe Biden (56%-39%); Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (54%-39%); Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (56%-39%); South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (52%-41%); and Sen. Kamala Harris of California (52%-41%) all have big leads over the president.

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Politics