[ RadSafe ] Anti-nuclear lobby has misled us all
hise at sbcglobal.net
Wed Apr 6 14:27:08 CDT 2011
It's a shame Monbiot hasn't looked into the global warm scam as deeply as he
has the low level radiation scam. He would find the same adherence to the
politically correct, scientifically bogus line being touted by many of the
same people and organizations in both cases.
Controls & Power
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Thompson, Dewey L
Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2011 11:26 AM
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Anti-nuclear lobby has misled us all
This is a good one boys and girls......By George Monbiot from the UK
Link or raw text after my siggy line. Anyone know the email address of the
EIC at Newsweek?
E DThompson3 at ameren.com
Over the last fortnight I've made a deeply troubling discovery. The
anti-nuclear movement to which I once belonged has misled the world about
the impacts of radiation on human health. The claims we have made are
ungrounded in science, unsupportable when challenged, and wildly wrong. We
have done other people, and ourselves, a terrible disservice.
I began to see the extent of the problem after a debate last week with Helen
Caldicott. Dr Caldicott is the world's foremost anti-nuclear campaigner. She
has received 21 honorary degrees and scores of awards, and was nominated for
a Nobel peace prize. Like other greens, I was in awe of her. In the debate
she made some striking statements about the dangers of radiation. So I did
what anyone faced with questionable scientific claims should do: I asked for
the sources. Caldicott's response has profoundly shaken me.
First she sent me nine documents: newspaper articles, press releases and an
advertisement. None were scientific publications; none contained sources for
the claims she had made. But one of the press releases referred to a report
by the US National Academy of Sciences, which she urged me to read. I have
now done so - all 423 pages. It supports none of the statements I
questioned; in fact it strongly contradicts her claims about the health
effects of radiation.
I pressed her further and she gave me a series of answers that made my heart
sink - in most cases they referred to publications which had little or no
scientific standing, which did not support her claims or which contradicted
them. (I have posted our correspondence, and my sources, on my website.) I
have just read her book Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer. The scarcity of
references to scientific papers and the abundance of unsourced claims it
contains amaze me.
For the last 25 years anti-nuclear campaigners have been racking up the
figures for deaths and diseases caused by the Chernobyl disaster, and
parading deformed babies like a medieval circus. They now claim 985,000
people have been killed by Chernobyl, and that it will continue to slaughter
people for generations to come. These claims are false.
The UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (Unscear) is
the equivalent of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Like the
IPCC, it calls on the world's leading scientists to assess thousands of
papers and produce an overview. Here is what it says about the impacts of
Of the workers who tried to contain the emergency at Chernobyl, 134 suffered
acute radiation syndrome; 28 died soon afterwards. Nineteen others died
later, but generally not from diseases associated with radiation. The
remaining 87 have suffered other complications, including four cases of
solid cancer and two of leukaemia.
In the rest of the population there have been 6,848 cases of thyroid cancer
among young children - arising "almost entirely" from the Soviet Union's
failure to prevent people from drinking milk contaminated with iodine 131.
Otherwise "there has been no persuasive evidence of any other health effect
in the general population that can be attributed to radiation exposure".
People living in the countries affected today "need not live in fear of
serious health consequences from the Chernobyl accident".
Caldicott told me that Unscear's work on Chernobyl is "a total cover-up".
Though I have pressed her to explain, she has yet to produce a shred of
evidence for this contention.
In a column last week, the Guardian's environment editor, John Vidal,
angrily denounced my position on nuclear power. On a visit to Ukraine in
2006, he saw "deformed and genetically mutated babies in the wards ...
adolescents with stunted growth and dwarf torsos; foetuses without thighs or
fingers". What he did not see was evidence that these were linked to the
Professor Gerry Thomas, who worked on the health effects of Chernobyl for
Unscear, tells me there is "absolutely no evidence" for an increase in birth
defects. The National Academy paper Dr Caldicott urged me to read came to
similar conclusions. It found that radiation-induced mutation in sperm and
eggs is such a small risk "that it has not been detected in humans, even in
thoroughly studied irradiated populations such as those of Hiroshima and
Like Vidal and many others, Caldicott pointed me to a book which claims that
985,000 people have died as a result of the disaster. Translated from
Russian and published by the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences,
this is the only document that looks scientific and appears to support the
wild claims made by greens about Chernobyl.
A devastating review in the journal Radiation Protection Dosimetry points
out that the book achieves this figure by the remarkable method of assuming
that all increased deaths from a wide range of diseases - including many
which have no known association with radiation - were caused by the
Chernobyl accident. There is no basis for this assumption, not least because
screening in many countries improved dramatically after the disaster and,
since 1986, there have been massive changes in the former eastern bloc. The
study makes no attempt to correlate exposure to radiation with the incidence
Its publication seems to have arisen from a confusion about whether Annals
was a book publisher or a scientific journal. The academy has given me this
statement: "In no sense did Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences or
the New York Academy of Sciences commission this work; nor by its
publication do we intend to independently validate the claims made in the
translation or in the original publications cited in the work. The
translated volume has not been peer reviewed by the New York Academy of
Sciences, or by anyone else."
Failing to provide sources, refuting data with anecdote, cherry-picking
studies, scorning the scientific consensus, invoking a cover-up to explain
it: all this is horribly familiar. These are the habits of climate-change
deniers, against which the green movement has struggled valiantly, calling
science to its aid. It is distressing to discover that when the facts don't
suit them, members of this movement resort to the follies they have
We have a duty to base our judgments on the best available information. This
is not only because we owe it to other people to represent the issues
fairly, but also because we owe it to ourselves not to squander our lives on
fairytales. A great wrong has been done by this movement. We must put it
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