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The U.N. Would Never Lie to George Monbiot

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George Monbiot vs. Dr. Helen Caldicott by DemocracyNow!


The U.N. Would Never Lie to George Monbiot

Joe Giambrone


Quite the nauseating display on DemocracyNow the other day.  Renowned doctor and scientist Dr. Helen Caldicott, with more than 3 decades intense study on this issue to her credit, attempted to school the British journalist on the gross ignorance and misinformation that guides his rationale.  So, now Dr. Caldicott is a conspiracy theorist, fair game for snide rebukes and silly faces.

If Monbiot isn't a shill for the nuclear industry, then I could certainly get him set up there in about five seconds.  Monbiot reveals his anti-intellectual agenda by repeatedly resorting to a false dichotomy:

"But I'm very worried that the global response to what's happening in Fukushima will be to shut down nuclear power stations around the world and to cancel future nuclear power stations, and that what will happen is that they will be replaced by coal."
(Monbiot)

Thus begins a discussion of coal, which nobody suggested in the first place -- except Monbiot.  This false choice, which I have heard time and again recently (like a PR script), is that our only decision is between nuclear and coal.  Utter nonsense on its face.  Monbiot leads with nonsense.

But it gets much worse, as you'll see.

Monbiot and his cult of technofascism either fail to understand the difference between radiation that is outside the body vs. radiation that is trapped internal to the body, or else they know full well and just don't give a damn.

Dr. Caldicott:

"You don't understand internal emitters. I was commissioned to write an article for the New England Journal of Medicine about the dangers of nuclear power. I spent a year researching it. You've bought the propaganda from the nuclear industry. They say it's low-level radiation. That's absolute rubbish. If you inhale a millionth of a gram of plutonium, the surrounding cells receive a very, very high dose. Most die within that area, because it's an alpha emitter. The cells on the periphery remain viable. They mutate, and the regulatory genes are damaged. Years later, that person develops cancer. Now, that's true for radioactive iodine, that goes to the thyroid; cesium-137, that goes to the brain and muscles; strontium-90 goes to bone, causing bone cancer and leukemia."

Bitchslapped, but does Monbiot accept basic medical facts from a specialist in the field?  Of course not.  It's time to obfuscate by appealing to a clearly unreliable United Nations study of Chernobyl (notably published by the IAEA).  This study, blessed by the U.N., is greatly disputed by the doctors and scientists who actually live in the contaminated regions and have dealt directly with this catastrophe since 1986 (not tourists).

When directed to the New York Academy of Sciences compendium of 5,000 of these translated studies on Chernobyl, George Monbiot simply dismisses these numerous studies as "cherry picking."

"Well, we have to use the best available science, not cherry-pick our sources..."

He uses this buzzword at least three times, as he also uses the "climate change deniers" smear again and again.  This is Monbiot's style of so-called "debate."

That U.N./IAEA report however relied on a specific 350 studies and used criteria to ignore increases in the cancer rate statistics post 1986.  Their approach uses a minimum threshold of radiation exposure as an apriori condition to exclude everyone that -- in their opinion -- didn't receive enough of a radiation dose to be made sick (whether they actually were made sick or not).  This U.N./IAEA "study" set the parameters such that they would only look at a specific demographic and exclude the rest of the population despite its ongoing exposure to lower levels of radiation and free floating radionucleide particles in the dust, crops and water.

In their own words:


"Because many organs and tissues were exposed as a result of the Chernobyl accident, it has been very common to use an additional concept, that of effective dose, which characterizes the overall health risk due to any combination of radiation. (emphasis in original)"
(U.N./IAEA, 2006, p.12)

This statement reveals an unscientific bias, straight off the bat.  Why should the U.N., while finding out how many people actually died from Chernobyl, need to rely on a fictional concept called "effective dose?"  And further, this assumption that they can characterize someone's "overall health risk due to any combination of radiation" is a second fiction.  They were supposed to be looking at just the facts on the ground, no (or below it)?  

The U.N./IAEA does concede (unlike George Monbiot) that their numbers are not definitive, and that the true death toll cannot be known very accurately, particularly with the methodology they chose to employ:

"It is impossible to assess reliably, with any precision, numbers of fatal cancers caused by radiation exposure due to Chernobyl accident." 
(IAEA, p.7)

George Monbiot instead tells the world that this study produced the "official death toll from Chernobyl in 25 years."

The actual study also left room for the tally to grow, without directly admitting that it was surely much higher:

"The international expert group predicts that among the 600 000 persons receiving more significant exposures... the possible increase in cancer mortality due to this radiation exposure might be up to a few per cent."
(IAEA, p.15)

The "few per cent" are not included in what George Monbiot calls the "official death toll."  Neither were the tens of thousands of stillbirths.  And there is yet much dispute over spikes in nearly every type of cancer in those regions after 1986.

"Some radiation-induced increases in fatal leukaemia, solid cancers and circulatory system diseases have been reported in Russian emergency and recovery operation workers."
(IAEA, p.16)

Again, not reflected in Mr. Monbiot's magical "official" toll of "43."

The IAEA exercise was a rigged study.  It violated the scientific method.  First you collect the data, and then you make sense of the findings.  In the UN study, they first went to lengths to make sure data was restricted to only people whom they said had received certain exposure levels.  That is the standard practice there.

Who's doing the "cherry picking" in this equation? 

If George Monbiot's real concern is the "cherry picking" of studies and the corruption of science, he would be all over this situation and in agreement with Dr. Caldicott.

But, that's not the case.

Again Calidicott tries to educate Monbiot on the basic Nuclear 101 freshman introduction, to no avail:

"Nuclear power, George, creates massive quantities of radioactive waste. There is no way to put it on earth that's safe. As it leaks into the water over time, it will bioconcentrate in the food chains, in the breast milk, in the fetuses, that are thousands of times more radiosensitive than adults. One x-ray to the pregnant abdomen doubles the incidence of leukemia in the child. And over time, nuclear waste will induce epidemics of cancer, leukemia and genetic disease, and random compulsory genetic engineering. And we're not the only species with genes, of course. It's plants and animals. So, this is an absolute catastrophe, the likes of which the world has never seen before."

Monbiot's moronic conclusion to all this:

"Now, on these questions that Helen raises, I mean, if she's honestly saying that the World Health Organization is now part of the conspiracy and the cover-up, as well, then the mind boggles. ... If them and the U.N. Scientific Committee and the IAEA and--I mean, who else is involved in this conspiracy?  We need to know."

Of course Monbiot should know about the agreement between the WHO and the IAEA, May 28, 1959 at the 12th World Health Assembly, clause No. 12.40: 

"whenever either organization proposes to initiate a programme or activity on a subject in which the other organization has or may have a substantial interest, the first party shall consult the other with a view to adjusting the matter by mutual agreement..."

The IAEA's purpose is:

 "to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world."

So yes George, pure science takes a back seat to other interests as you should well know. 

So whose "consensus" are we talking about?

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http://politicalfilm.wordpress.com/

Political Film Blog Author of HELL OF A DEAL: A Supernatural Satire, a tale of Hollywood's accommodation with torture and militarism.

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Link:http://counterpunch.org/giambrone04012011.htm... by Joe Giambrone on Saturday, Apr 2, 2011 at 8:56:56 AM