without a proper environment, no Life

L'homme qui a refusé l'offre d'Areva pour préserver les terres de son clan!

Jeffrey Lee (né en 1971) est le seul membre du clan Djok et le principal dépositaire du gisement d'uranium de Koongarra en Australie. Les terres appartenant au clan sont entourées par le parc national de Kakadu. Jeffrey est devenu célèbre car il a refusé de vendre ses champs de grande valeur à la société française Areva, un géant du marché de l'énergie, qui voulait en extraire environ 14 000 tonnes d'uranium pour une valeur de plus de 5 milliards de dollars (selon wikipedia).

Voici un résumé de ce qu'il dit sur la question:
Si cela avait été mon père ou grand-père, ils auraient pu vendre ces terres car, sans être informés au sujet de la toxicité de l'uranium, ils n'y auraient probablement vu qu'une offre alléchante et l'opportunité d'accéder à plus de confort financier. Je ne suis pas intéressé par l'argent. J'ai un travail pour acheter des vivres. Je peux aller à la pêche et la chasse. Cela est suffisant. Nous ne possédons pas nos champs, mais nous avons une responsabilité envers nos enfants de les préserver et de leur transmettre.

Après ses trois décennies de longues luttes, Jeffrey s'est vu récompensé car le Koongarra a été inscrit au titre de zone classée au patrimoine mondial de Kakadu, le 27 Juin 2011. Cet homme a fait preuve d'une grande sagesse en ne confondant jamais le moyen (l'argent au travers de l'uranium) et la fin (le bien-être)!

Dommage pour vous, Areva!

Kakadu National Park site:

Which is a more rational decision? To be safe with a nuclear weapon or to be safe without it?

YouTube shows an artwork "A Time-Lapse Map of Every Nuclear Explosion since 1945" by Japanese artist, Isao Hashimoto. With the flashing lights and sounds, he shows 2053 nuclear explosions which took place between 1945 and 1998.


If your nuclear explosion contaminates the soil, water, air, and food in my country, those radioactive materials spread across long distances through air and water, go back to your country, may enter the food chain and heavily contaminate the food you, your children, and grandchildren will be eating.

So, is it more rational to have a nuclear weapon to be safe, or not to have it to be safe?


The guy who declined Areva's offers to preserve the fields of his clan!

Jeffrey Lee (born 1971) is the sole member of the Djok clan and the senior custodian of the Koongarra uranium deposit in Australia. The land owned by the clan is surrounded by Kakadu National Park. He has become famous since he did not want to sell the high-valued fields to the French energy giant Areva who wanted to extract 14,000 tonnes of uranium worth more than $5 billion (wikipedia).

Here a summary of what he said about the issue:
If it had been my father or grandfather, they may have sold the land since they had been offered many goods and nobody told them about the toxicity of uranium. I am not interested in money. I have a job to buy food. I can go fishing and hunting. That is sufficient. We do not own our fields, but we have a responsibility to our offspring to preserve and pass them on.

After his three-decade-long struggle, Koongarra was inscribed into the Kakadu World Heritage area on 27 June 2011. This wise guy never gets confused a means (money and uranium) with an end (wellbeing)!

Sayonara, Areva!

Kakadu National Park site:





France Info: Comment on Fukushima by Jean-Michel Jacquemin-Raffestin (April 17, 2011)

This is an English summary of Jean-Michel Jacquemin Raffestin´s comment on Fukushima in an interview France Info, major French public news radio station. Its title was “Nouvelle hause de la radioactivité au large de Fukushima”. Mr. Jean-Michel Jacquemin-Raffestin is a French journalist best known for his work on Chernobyl.

A poverty of information on Fukushima

Many Japanese have felt frustrated that they lack comprehensive and useful information about the ongoing nuclear emergency at Fukushima nuclear power plant.

I have listed some websites that may have some useful information (in Japanese).


Especially, for the acquisition and dissemination of reliable scientific information, I find the website on Hiroaki Koide very useful. Hiroaki Koide at Kyoto University belongs to the Nuclear Safety Research Group at the Research Reactor Institute. Kansai people now turn to him for information as he is trusted for his professional ethics, sincerity, and willingness to share his knowledge with the public. The clear and straightforward explanations given by him do not lull us into a false sense of security, but somehow yield a sense of calm assurance.

Koide´s talk (1h 46mins) covers some of the issues discussed in the Forum hosted by the University of Tokyo (http://forum.iss.u-tokyo.ac.jp) and Japan´s nuclear energy-related laws (e.g., Menseki, or an electric power company may claim exemption from compensation for nuclear accident caused by huge natural disasters; Kaso areas have been chosen as "suitable" locations for building nuclear power plants.) Please share the information with your (Japanese) colleagues, students, and friends as widely as possible. Thank you in advance.








「これ是非読んでください。今日本で展開されている原発の現状なんて氷山の一角です」 シカゴに住む圭子さんが、送ってくださったメッセージです。




The voice of experience: From an insider of a Japanese nuclear power plant

Mr. Norio Hirai was a former piping engineer and a supervisor who worked at a nuclear power plant for twenty years. He died of cancer in 1997. Before he passed away, he wrote a (Japanese) article titled “I want you to know what the nuclear power is really like.” In the article, he writes about Japan´s regulatory framework for the safety and security of nuclear power (exisiting on paper, not on the ground), radiation exposure and the effects on human health, radioactive waste, the dumping radioactive water into the sea, the stigma attached to those who work at a nuclear power plant and those who live near the plant, and so on.

If you would like to read an English version, please visit at (someone is trying to translate the original Japanese article into English): http://gyomusys.blogspot.com/2011/03/blog-post.html

Japanese: http://www.iam-t.jp/HIRAI/pageall.html







広瀬隆さんインタビュー 1/3

Catastrophe, Accident and Environment

Iodide and go Down Under

About 5 years ago, my family was given by our local Chemist a free box of iodide (iodure de potassium) as part of the French government preventative measure in case of a nuclear plant accident. I thought this was an overreaction to the situation, so I put the iodide box in the cupboard for reserved medicines and bits and pieces. I have since moved this box to our kitchen drawer together with the emergency/health kit because the iodure de potassium has to be taken immediately once you have received the contamination alert because its effectiveness reduces as time passes by.

The advice is 2 tablets for adults, 1 tablet for 36 months – 12 years old, half for under 36 months old, and less for newborn infants. We live 10km from the ‘Centrale Nucléaire de Cattenom’ operated by Electricité de France (EDF). In 2001, there was an accident in this plant which resulted in the evacuation of more than a hundred people. Fortunately, according to the ASN, the organization in charge of nuclear safety, there was no radioactive emission and no one was contaminated.

Fair trade movement and no-stinky merino-wool T-shirts

Last weekend my partner and I went to A.S. Adventure in Luxembourg to buy some items on sale. I like that store where we can find nice outdoor products and I also enjoy meeting our sales-guy. Despite his wild punk appearance, he speaks gently and can always give us some excellent advice (in different languages, depending on the customer). He is a real pro! You know, business is about attractiveness and his main attraction is his competence. Last time he gave us a free lecture for about 30 minutes on merino wool shirts made by Icebreaker. He said he adores New Zealand, nature, and merino sheep. Although we did not receive any funding from Icebreaker for this blog, I am “keen to share it with you” (as they put it.)

Life, nature and poetry

Gési Homme des Bois

In our societies, oppositeness clothes itself in many various ways! Opinions and messages often come through the TV, the Internet, and the newspapers, but they are also - too often - expressed not in ink or words but with violence and blood: bombs, hostages, and so on.

I prefer poetry, music and pictorial art at large... even graffiti hastily dropped on a wall in the suburb or in the subway invite me to think or to dream.

However, the tags are not what I'd like to share with you, but rather the work expressions of a friend of mine; he is a painter and poète and today celebrates his 70 year-old birthday - GéSi d'Ardenne.

What I like in this drawing?  Well, the text shows the reaction of an old man who feels left out of our society, but much in harmony with the Forest. This society comes and impose itself through "a materialist" (man) who we could imagine shows all the "necessary" features of such a human condition - the car, the suit, mobile GSM and/or PDA and/or laptop - normal "drugs" prescribed by stunning (and excessively well-prepared) marketing campaigns.

It does not seem that this old man is afraid of time... he lives at his own pace as he feels... and just like the Forest - his good friend, he says - we could even imagine that he is made of wood - from the tenderest to the strongest essence (like the old oaks we have in our forests of Ardennes)!

Another piece of his work: "un Château qui réfléchit" (French expression "qui réfléchit" means both "mirroring" and "thinking")

Feel free to click the pictures to see a larger version).

Bon amusement!

Vie, nature et poésie

Gési Homme des Bois

Les antagonismes de notre société peuvent s'exprimer de bien des façons! certains veulent faire passer un "message", ou faire valoir une opinion à force de bombes, de prises d'otages, etc

Moi, je préfère la poésie, la musique et l'art graphique au sens large... même un graffiti laissé à la va-vite sur un mur de banlieue ou dans un couloir de métro peut m'interpeller et m'inviter à réfléchir.

Néanmoins, ce ne sont pas des tags que je veux partager avec vous par ce billet mais plutôt le travail d'un ami peintre et poète qui fête aujourd'hui ses 70 ans - GéSi d'Ardenne.

J'aime dans le texte ci-contre, la réaction du vieil homme qui se sent plus "adopté par" / "adapté à" la Forêt qu'à la société qui vient s'imposer à lui au travers d'un homme dit "matérialiste", que l'on peut imaginer avec les accessoires "indispensables" de notre société - voiture, costume, GSM et/ou PDA et/ou laptop - qui sont très souvent comme autant de "drogues" imposées à nous par des campagnes de marketing assommantes mais très savamment orchestrées..

Ce vieil homme ne semble pas avoir peur du temps... il vit au rythme de ce qu'il sent et ressent... et comme la Forêt - sa bonne amie - on peut l'imaginer fait de bois - du plus tendre au plus coriace!

Un autre de ses travaux: "un Château qui réfléchit"

N'hésitez pas à cliquer sur les images pour les voir en taille plus grande).


Vél’oh! in Luxembourg, Vélib’ in Paris, Bicing in Barcelona!

Vél'oh! sign Vélib’ is a self-service rent-a-bike system available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in Paris. There are so many similar initiatives in other cities in Europe.

For this blog post, I tried to take a few photos of Vélib’ on Boulevard Saint-Michel near the Sorbonne. Vélib bikers were in a rush in the morning, fearlessly riding downhill at top speed to reach their destinations. I felt a bit overwhelmed in Paris since I live in a calm provincial city, so I failed to take the photos!

But, here are some photos of Vél’oh!

Shrinking Sado by Peter Matanle

This presentation titled "Shrinking Sado: Education, Employment and the Decline of Japan’s Regions" was presented by Dr. Peter Matanle of the University of Sheffield at the British Association for Japanese Studies Annual Conference that took place on 11-12 April 2008 in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Sado was once famous for the biggest gold and silver mine in Japan.

Booming times are long gone. A rural prefecture, Shimane, also used to have the thriving Japanese silver mining industry in Iwami-Ginzan. Today these rural areas depended on natural resource extraction have failed to attract people and businesses and have succumbed to depopulation and demographic aging.

Click here to see Peter's presentation.

Shrinking_Sado : Education, Employment and the Decline of Japan’s Regions presented at the British Association for Japanese Studies Annual Conference, at Manchester, UK, on the 11-12 April 2008 by Dr Peter Matanle, University of Sheffield

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