[A-List] The New Nuclear Danger
james.irldaly at ntlworld.com
Mon Mar 14 07:37:34 MDT 2011
The New Nuclear Danger
By Dr. Helen Caldicott
URL of this article: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23663
Global Research, March 12, 2011
The Share Guide
Helen Caldicott will be in Montreal on the 18th of March.
You are cordially invited to attend her Public lecture organized by
Global Research and the Montreal antiwar collective Échec à la Guerre
Centre Saint Pierre 7.00 pm.
For details on the conference click here
An Interview with Helen Caldicott, M.D.
Author of The New Nuclear Danger
By Dennis Hughes, Share Guide Publisher
The Share Guide: Tell us how you first became aware of the nuclear
weapons problem and nuclear power?
Dr. Helen Caldicott: I first became aware of the threat of nuclear war
when I read Neville Shute's book On The Beach when I was 15 years old
and living in Melbourne, where the book was set. The book was about an
accidental nuclear war that triggers the end of human life. This
scenario branded my soul. When I grew up, I led the movement in
Australia against the French atmospheric tests in the Pacific and
Australian uranium mining. Later I came to the United States as a
member of the faculty of the Harvard Medical School specializing in
Cystic Fibrosis in the mid 1970s, and founded Physicians for Social
Responsibility--which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 for
educating the public about the medical effects of nuclear war. I have
written several books on the subject.
The Share Guide: Can you give a brief overview of your most recent
book, The New Nuclear Danger, and why you wrote it at this time?
Dr. Caldicott: This book describes the internal, corporate related
dynamics of the Bush administration, and the reason it is totally
focused upon war, is violating all the international nuclear arms
control treaties, and is now prepared in a cavalier way to use nuclear
weapons on any non-nuclear nation it so chooses. This is antithetical
to the nuclear policies of any previous U.S. administration. The
nuclear weapons labs are also engaged in a new Manhattan project: a
huge nuclear buildup, which includes designing, testing and building
new nuclear weapons. In addition, the Bush administration is engaged
in a massive, five-layered Star Wars project which will never work,
and which will trigger a new nuclear arms race with Russia and China.
This is costing four times as much money as the U.S. is currently
spending on the State Department, and could trigger a nuclear war. The
danger is new because the hydrogen bombs of Russia and America are
still on hair trigger alert as they were in the 1980s, but everybody
thinks the nuclear threat of global annihalition has been resolved
because the cold war ended. In fact, because of the public's
ignorance, the nuclear threat is much greater than before.
The Share Guide: In a recent talk you gave, you mentioned the Heritage
Foundation. Please explain what they have to do with the energy
policies of President Bush and his administration.
Dr. Caldicott: The Heritage Foundation and other Washington, DC based
so called "think tanks" are omnipresent right-wing advertising
agencies for corporations such as Lockheed Martin and other military
corporations and oil companies. The Heritage Foundation has either
peopled the Bush administration with employees of corporations or with
their own specially trained fellows. They are determining the policies
of this administration, much as they determined those of the Reagan
years. The Cheney energy policy was determined after consultation with
oil and energy companies--with absolutely no input from knowledgeable
academics or environmental groups who are deeply concerned about the
rapid progress of global warming and its devastating ecological and
The Share Guide: What specifically are the negative effects of nuclear
power, and aren't there adequate renewable sources of energy that we
could use instead?
Dr. Caldicott: Nuclear power, apart from nuclear war, is the greatest
medical threat posed to life on this planet. In fact, 95% of the total
nuclear waste in the United States has been generated by nuclear power
plants. Nuclear waste will last for 500,000 years, and there is no
safe means to prevent these radioactive elements from entering and
concentrating in the food chain. These elements, which are tasteless,
odorless and invisible, are highly carcinogenic and mutagenic. Over
time, they will induce epidemics of cancer and leukemia. This is
particularly true for children, who are 10 to 20 times more
radiosensitive than adults, and are therefore much more susceptible to
cancer. The nuclear waste will also induce epidemics of genetic
diseases and congenital abnormalities in humans (as well as in animals
and plants) for the rest of time. This is rather like a process of
random compulsory genetic engineering. Because of the quantity of
fossil fuel used to mine, separate and enrich uranium, and to build
the massive reactor, a nuclear power plant has to operate for 18 years
before one net calorie of energy is realized! And the CO2 produced
from the fossil fuel adds significantly to global warming. Uranium
enrichment also produces 88% of the CFC gases emitted from the U.S., a
potent global warming gas and a significant ozone depleter in the
upper atmosphere. The production and release of CFCs has been
internationally banned in the Montreal Protocol, but the U.S. nuclear
industry openly flouts this international treaty. So nuclear power
causes global warming, ozone depletion, epidemics of malignancy and
the destruction of the delicate process of evolution. Of course there
are alternatives. Solar power is ubiquitous but almost untapped
because of the political power of the oil companies. There is also
enough wind west of the Missisippi to provide the whole of the U.S.
with energy. It's worth noting that Europeans use half as much energy
as Americans, but have the same standard of living because they
practice pragmatic conservation.
The Share Guide: Most people are psychically numbed by the nuclear
problem. How can we deal with our feelings of fear, complacency,
anger, depression, etc, and take constructive action?
Dr. Caldicott: The only effective way I have found to deal with
peoples' fears is through a process of responsible education. That is
why I wrote The New Nuclear Danger, and that is why I travel the world
talking to large numbers of people about these facts. As a physician,
I am obliged to practice global preventive medicine, and my experience
has validated the admonition of Thomas Jefferson when he said "An
informed democracy will behave in a responsible fashion."
The Share Guide: I have heard the environmental effects of nuclear war
referred to as "collateral damage," but nuclear winter could in fact
end life on earth as we know it. What actions can we as responsible
citizens take in the face of the new nuclear danger? What can we say
to people who are in denial of the problem?
Dr. Caldicott: This is the ultimate spiritual and religious issue ever
to face the human race. For what is our responsibility to God to
preserve the creation and evolution? We are the curators of possibly
the only life in the universe and our responsiblity is enormous. We
must therefore dedicate every waking and sleeping moment to the
preservation of creation. But first, action must be preceeded by
education. We are all physicians to a planet that is in the intensive
care unit. The New Nuclear Danger is now the Grays Anatomy for a new
breed of global physicians. Learn it and you will become ultimately
powerful and equipped with the necessary knowledge that will drive our
new crusade for global preservation.
The Share Guide: You have said "We are the rudder that can steer the
whole ship." But our tax dollars are being stolen by the corporate
robber barons, currently at the level of 400 billion dollars annually.
What can we do to change this?
Dr. Caldicott: 400 billion dollars is almost half a trillion dollars,
and if one spent $1,000 a minute since Jesus was born, one would have
just spent one trillion dollars. Therefore, the amount of money being
stolen from the American people by this corporate administration for
death, mayhem and destruction is enough to solve ALL the problems in
U.S. society--plus feed, clothe, educate and house all the children of
the planet, reverse global warming, save all the threatened species,
save the tropical rain forests and save the Earth. So the money is
there, but the will is not. We must remove the men in charge of the
world! For the health of the planet and all of us, we must replace
them with wise prophetic men and women who will implement life-giving
and life-preserving policies. Millions of people in the United States
were involved in the anti-nuclear movement of the 1980s. They watched
The Day After with dread. Now the people need to be reawakened to the
impending threat of nuclear war, and like the tiny trim tab rudder
built into the large rudder of a ship, as it turns and they move, the
whole ship of state will turn towards life and not death.
The Share Guide: What is your opinion of the Yucca Mountain Nuclear
Waste Repository? And what do you think we should do with nuclear
Dr. Caldicott: Yucca Mountain stands on 30 earthquake faults. It is a
very unstable area and will not prevent the disbursement of lethal
radioactive elements to the environment. Nuclear waste should be
retained in the cooling pools of the nuclear reactors, meaning that
all nuclear power plants would then have to close because their
cooling pools are full. This also means that there would be no more
electricity generated from nuclear power. As the spent fuel rods cool,
they can then be stored in above ground casks until the brilliant
American scientists who are currently so hard at work designing new
nuclear weapons are redeployed, inventing ingenious and currently
unthought of ways to store their radioactive garbage safely for the
next 500,000 years.
The Share Guide: Discuss the attitude in Japan and other nations
toward nuclear weapons and nuclear power, as compared to the attitude
here in America.
Dr. Caldicott: The Japanese politicians and corporations are pretty
keen about nuclear power, even though Japan is the only country ever
to have experienced the horrors of a nuclear holocaust. The Japanese
are forbidden in their constitution from developing their own nuclear
weapons. However, because they maintain huge stockpiles of reprocessed
plutonium, they could within several weeks if they so decided build
their own nuclear weapons. The Japanese people, on the other hand, are
very allergic to anything nuclear, particularly after they experienced
several very dangerous nuclear accidents in the last several years in
their own nuclear facilities.
The Share Guide: You mentioned earlier that you founded Physicians for
Social Responsibility. What are the goals of this organization?
Dr. Caldicott: Physicians for Social Responsibility was founded in
1978, to teach the American people about the medical effects of
nuclear power and nuclear war. I, along with my colleagues, recruited
23,000 physicians during the 1980s to join this massive educational
campaign. We were very successful in these efforts, and the
organization still continues to this day.
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