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Dr Helen Caldicott on the nuclear lessons of the past – time to take note of them

 

HELEN CALDICOTT: Time to learn lessons of the past on nuclear, Independent Australia, 13 Dec 20, By Helen Caldicott | 13 December 2020

“………What rained down on those two Japanese cities seventy-five years ago was destruction on a scale never seen before or since. People exposed within half a mile of the atomic fireball were seared to piles of smoking char in a fraction of a second as their internal organs boiled away. The small black bundles stuck to the streets and bridges and sidewalks of Hiroshima numbered in the thousands.

A little boy was reaching up to catch a red dragonfly with his hand against the blue sky when there was a blinding flash and he disappeared. He turned into gas and left his shadow behind on the pavement, a haunting relic later moved to the Hiroshima Museum. A woman was running while holding her baby; she and the baby were turned into a charcoal statue.

In all, about 120,000 people were killed immediately by the two bombs and tens of thousands more died later due to radiation exposure………..

in medical school I learned about radiation biology — the classic experiments of Hermann J. Muller, who in the 1920s irradiated Drosophila fruit flies inducing genetic mutations and morphological abnormalities. Concurrently, the United States and the Soviet Union were testing nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, bombarding huge populations with radioactive fallout.

In my naiveté, I couldn’t understand what these men thought they were doing because the mutagenic and carcinogenic effects of ionizing radiation were well known in scientific circles. Madame Curie had died of aplastic anaemia secondary to radium, an alpha emitter polluting her bones; her daughter died of leukemia, and many of the early radiologists who exposed themselves randomly to X-rays died from malignancies.

Einstein wrote:‘The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.’

Robert Oppenheimer, watching the world’s first nuclear explosion in Alamogordo, New Mexico, in 1945, muttered to himself: “I am become death, the destroyer of worlds” from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita.

The scientists knew that they had discovered the seeds of human destruction.

So, in full awareness of its newfound ability to destroy the human race, what did the world do next?

The United States and the Soviet Union decided to outdo each other by conducting a nuclear arms race, building tens of thousands of nuclear weapons. Between 1945 and 1998, the United States conducted more than 1,000 nuclear tests, producing cancer in tens of thousands of people. It has built more than 70,000 atomic and hydrogen bombs; the Soviets and later the Russian Federation had tried to keep up, building at least 55,000 of their own.

Arms control agreements over the years have managed to reduce stockpiles to about 14,000 nuclear weapons today, in the possession of nine nations: the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea. The United States and Russia still lead the pack, each with more than 6,000 total weapons, including about 1,600 each that are actively deployed.

A nuclear “exchange” between these two superpowers would take little over one hour to complete. A twenty-megaton bomb (the equivalent of twenty million tons of TNT) would excavate a hole three-quarters of a mile wide and 800 feet deep, converting all buildings and people into radioactive fallout that would be shot up in the mushroom cloud.

Within six miles in all directions, every living thing would be vaporised. Twenty miles from the epicentre, huge fires would erupt, as winds of up to 500 miles per hour would suck people out of buildings and turn them into missiles travelling at 100 miles per hour. The fires would coalesce, incinerating much of the United States and causing most nuclear power plants to melt down, greatly exacerbating radioactive fallout.

Potentially billions of people would die hideously from acute radiation sickness, vomiting and bleeding to death. As thick black radioactive smoke engulfed the stratosphere, the Earth would, over time, be plunged into another ice age — a “nuclear winter,” annihilating almost all living organisms.

Seventy-five years after the dawn of the nuclear age, we are as ready as ever to extinguish ourselves. The human race is clearly an evolutionary aberrant on a suicidal mission. Our planet is in the intensive care unit, approaching several terminal events.

Will we gradually burn and shrivel life on our wondrous Earth by emitting the ancient carbon stored over billions of years to drive our cars and power our industries, or will we end it suddenly by creating a global gas oven?

The International Energy Agency said recently that we only have six months left to avert the effects of global warming before it is too late. Earlier this year, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved its Doomsday Clock to 100 seconds to midnight, the closest it’s ever been.

Australia’s coal and nuclear lobbies have just recruited a new puppet,  Mining Council CEO Tania Constable has been championing nuclear power at a time when we should be discussing renewables.

In truth, the U.S. Department of Defense is a misnomer; it is actually the Department of War, Death and Suicide. Hundreds of billions of dollars of U.S. taxpayer money are spent annually by corporations such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, BAE Systems and Raytheon Technologies Corporation to create and build the most hideous weapons of destruction.

Brilliant people employed by these massive corporations, mostly men, are deploying their brainpower to devise better and more hideous ways of killing.

President Donald Trump is right when he says we need to make friends with the Russians, for it is Russian bombs that might well annihilate the United States. Indeed, we need to foster friendship with all nations and reinvest the trillions of dollars spent on war, killing and death, saving the ecosphere by powering the world with renewable energy including solar, wind, and geothermal and planting trillions of trees.

Such a move would also free up billions of dollars that could be reallocated to such purposes as providing free medical care for all U.S. citizens, along with free education, housing for the homeless and care for those with mental illness.

The United States needs to rise to its full moral and spiritual height and lead the world to sanity and survival. I know this is possible because, in the 1980s, millions of wonderful people rose up, nationally and internationally, in opposition to the arms race and the Cold War.

But what is the present reality in the United States?

There are 450 Minuteman III missiles operational on the Great Plains — in Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming. In each missile silo are two missileers, who control and launch the missiles which contain one or two hydrogen bombs. Planes armed with hydrogen bombs stand ready to take off at any moment, and nuclear submarines silently plough the oceans ready to launch.

Both the United States and Russia have nuclear weapons targeted at military facilities and population centres. Nuclear war could happen at any time, by accident or design. The late Stephen Hawking warned in 2014 that artificial intelligence, now being deployed by the military, could become so autonomous that it could start a nuclear war by itself.

This threat is largely ignored by politicians and the mainstream media, who continue to practice psychic numbing as we stumble blindly toward our demise.

How come the physicists, engineers and military personnel who have laced the world with nuclear weapons ready to launch never factored into their equations the probability that an immature, petulant man-baby could hold the trigger for our destruction in his hands?  https://independentaustralia.net/article-display/helen-caldicott-time-to-learn-lessons-of-the-past-on-nuclear,14614

You can follow Dr Caldicott on Twitter @DrHCaldicott. Click here for Dr Caldicott’s complete curriculum vitae.

December 14, 2020 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war

2 Comments »

  1. Please publish part of this plead is importans

    Ron paul and trump hate Dr helen I heard it before the uneducated libertard fascist fools like radchick. Durnford blanch are mean to Dr helen say they are antinuclear

    Ostrich

    Tell me this is not like nazi Berlin in 1935 https://twitter.com/i/status/1338010497459818496

    We’ll call you when you’re six years old
    And drag you to the factory
    To train your brain for eighteen years
    With promise of security
    But then you’re free
    And forty years you waste to chase the dollar sign
    So you may die in Florida
    At the pleasant age of sixty nine

    The water’s getting hard to drink
    We’ve mangled up the country side
    The air will choke you when you breathe
    We’re all committing suicide
    But it’s alright
    It’s progress folks keep pushin’ till your body rots
    Will strip the earth of all it’s green
    And then divide her into parking lots

    But there’s nothing you and I can do
    You and I are only two
    What’s right and wrong is hard to say
    Forget about it for today
    We’ll stick our heads into the sand
    Just pretend that all is grand
    Then hope that everything turns out ok

    You’re free to speak your mind my friend
    As long as you agree with me
    Don’t criticize the father land
    Or those who shape your destiny
    ‘Cause if you do
    You’ll lose your job your mind and all the friends you knew
    We’ll send out all our boys in blue
    They’ll find a way to silence you

    But there’s nothing you and I can do
    You and I are only two
    What’s right and wrong is hard to say
    Forget about it for today
    We’ll stick our heads into the sand
    Just pretend that all is grand
    Then hope that everything turns out ok

    Trump put assange
    ge in jail . he will not free snowmen.  I met ron Paul in 1990, at a libertardian event. I thought he was ok then. Atheist pro civil lib.

    My rich uncle in Texas knew him . I heard him talking in denver w my uncle. Called BLM cultural marxism. Ron nazi Paul , supported inverted totalitarianism. Now nazi fascism.  U foul evil piece of shit. Pronuclear. Red baiting evil man. Thinks a nuc war is winnable.. Life hating nihilist elitist son of a bitch .
    Inverted totalitarianism was his thing. Gather poor  peoples person info on intwenty and use it against them because they have poor credit. Medical murder and parasitism.  Now Nazism. U KNOW TRUMP WILL PARDEN SNOWDEN. HE KILLED ZEESE, GRAEBEN, COHEN AND ANDRE. Vltchek in September 20000. All relatively young men. Left of center. Trump has been threatening journalists for years.

    Ayn rand was in love with serial killers

    psychpathic demon. Paul  said he was a Christian last year. He implied whites are superior .  Paul wants people, who paid into social security to starve.  Believes in unlimited growth the art of selfishness. private slave prison.s . murica has2 percent world pop and 25 percent of the inmates.Ron Paul is a shriveled up, white supremacist ayn rand fascist, and now a nazi .

    Ostrich

    Tell me this is not like nazi Berlin in 1935 https://twitter.com/i/status/1338010497459818496

    We’ll call you when you’re six years old
    And drag you to the factory
    To train your brain for eighteen years
    With promise of security
    But then you’re free
    And forty years you waste to chase the dollar sign
    So you may die in Florida
    At the pleasant age of sixty nine

    The water’s getting hard to drink
    We’ve mangled up the country side
    The air will choke you when you breathe
    We’re all committing suicide
    But it’s alright
    It’s progress folks keep pushin’ till your body rots
    Will strip the earth of all it’s green
    And then divide her into parking lots

    But there’s nothing you and I can do
    You and I are only two
    What’s right and wrong is hard to say
    Forget about it for today
    We’ll stick our heads into the sand
    Just pretend that all is grand
    Then hope that everything turns out ok

    You’re free to speak your mind my friend
    As long as you agree with me
    Don’t criticize the father land
    Or those who shape your destiny
    ‘Cause if you do
    You’ll lose your job your mind and all the friends you knew
    We’ll send out all our boys in blue
    They’ll find a way to silence you

    But there’s nothing you and I can do
    You and I are only two
    What’s right and wrong is hard to say
    Forget about it for today
    We’ll stick our heads into the sand
    Just pretend that all is grand
    Then hope that everything turns out ok

    Comment by Ken | December 14, 2020 | Reply

  2. Australia could help by running down its uranium extraction sites and remove its responsibility for the destruction of the human race. Australia is a giant solar panel and much energy could be used to desalinate the sea water and create a gigantic oasis for CO2 management. Get the Doherty of Glenveigh involved. God bless Australia.

    Comment by Mi | January 7, 2021 | Reply


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