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The rapid alerting of all humankind to nuclear realities is supremely urgent. If we are wiped out by nuclear destruction in the next few years, how important are the things we are doing today?
This book is dedicate to the Dinosaurs, who mutely warn us that a species which cannot adapt to changing conditions will become extinct.
I appreciate your
share the drama of
our megaton madness
This book does not deal with petty matters.
It tells us how to operate our lives - and our world.
It tells us how to stay alive!
The mess we've brought upon ourselves is a most perilous and challenging one.
The broad picture pieced together here will show you the immensity of nuclear dangers, the futility of any defense or protection, the power of the new awareness and your role in the unfolding drama.
There is a legend I'd like to tell you about.
In its message may lie our only hope of a future for our species!
Here is the story of the Hundredth Monkey:
The Japanese monkey, Macaca fuscata, had been observed in the wild for a period of over 30 years.
In 1952, on the island of Koshima, scientists were providing monkeys with sweet potatoes dropped in the sand. The monkeys liked the taste of the raw sweet potatoes, but they found the dirt unpleasant.
An 18-month-old female named Imo found she could solve the problem by washing the potatoes in a nearby stream. She taught this trick to her mother. Her playmates also learned this new way and they taught their mothers too.
This cultural innovation was gradually picked up by various monkeys before the eyes of the scientists.
Between 1952 and 1958 all the young monkeys learned to wash the sandy sweet potatoes to make them more palatable.
Only the adults who imitated their children learned this social improvement. Other adults kept eating the dirty sweet potatoes.
Then something startling took place. In the autumn of 1958, a certain number of Koshima monkeys were washing sweet potatoes -- the exact number is not known.
Let us suppose that when the sun rose one morning there were 99 monkeys on Koshima Island who had learned to wash their sweet potatoes.
Let's further suppose that later that morning, the hundredth monkey learned to wash potatoes.
THEN IT HAPPENED!
By that evening almost everyone in the tribe was washing sweet potatoes before eating them.
The added energy of this hundredth monkey somehow created an ideological breakthrough!
A most surprising thing observed by these scientists was that the habit of washing sweet potatoes then jumped over the sea --
Colonies of monkeys on other islands and the mainland troop of monkeys at Takasakiyama began washing their sweet potatoes!
Thus, when a certain critical number achieves an awareness, this new awareness may be communicated from mind to mind.
Although the exact number may vary, this Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon means that when only a limited number of people know of a new way, it may remain the conscious property of these people.
But there is a point at which if only one more person tunes-in to a new awareness, a field is strengthened so that this awareness is picked up by almost everyone!
Your awareness is needed in saving the world from nuclear war.
You may not be the "Hundredth Monkey"....
You may furnish the added consciousness energy to create the shared awareness of the urgent necessity to rapidly achieve a nuclear-free world.
"If I knew now, I never would have helped to develop the bomb," spoke George Kistiakowsky, an advisor to President Eisenhower who worked on the Manhattan Project.
Let's look at the almost incredible nuclear monster we have created in the last forty years on planet Earth....
Herbert Scoville, Jr., former deputy director for research of the Central Intelligence Agency warns,
The unfortunate situation is that today we are moving - sliding downhill - toward the probability or the likelihood that a nuclear conflict will actually break out - and that somebody will use one of these nuclear weapons in a conflict or perhaps even by accident.
The only result of a substantial nuclear exchange would be a hollow victory in which the "winners" would be no better off that the losers.
An all-out nuclear war could make our planet uninhabitable for a million years!
"Nuclear war is bad for your life"
A nuclear war can end the way we live.
It cannot be won - it can only be lost.
Winning equals losing.
The word "war" is too mild to apply to this nuclear craziness.
Carl Sagan at the Conference on the Long-Term Biological Consequences of Nuclear war stated:
We have an excellent chance that if Nation A attacks Nation B with an effective first strike, counter-force only, then Nation A has thereby committed suicide, even if Nation B has not lifted a finger to retaliate.
Suppose you and your family are rafting down an unexplored river.
Most of your attention is on steering the raft away from the rocks and keeping it off the banks so that it will not get damaged or stranded.
Several miles downstream unknown to you lies a huge waterfall that will fling you and your family on the rocks below.
It is easy to miss the significance of certain signals that are coming to you.
You have noticed a distant, rumbling background sound. But what does it mean? You can see a mist in the air ahead of you. There's nothing alarming that seems to call for your immediate attention.
And, besides, you are too busy guiding the raft and keeping it off the rocks that you don't want to think of anything else right now.
Maybe the rumbling will go away...
But the distant rumbling is getting louder.
We can ignore it - or we can use our intelligent minds to inform us of the dangers we must avoid.
What are the signs and the scientific data that are so easy for us to ignore - but which are giving us a clear warning of a certain catastrophe that lies ahead if we remain on our present course?
In 1970, a pediatrician in Grand Junction, Colorado, noticed an increase in cleft palate, cleft lip and other birth defects.
The homes of these people has been built with waste rock and sand from a uranium refining operation!
The University of Colorado Medical Center obtained federal funds to investigate this.
But these funds were cut off a year later.
Navajo Indians who went down into uranium mines in Arizona have died - and are right now dying - of lung cancer, previously rare among Navajos.
In a recent study, Dr. Gerald Buker pointed out that the risk factor of lung cancer among Navajo uranium miners increases by at least 85%!
Robert Minogue and Karl Goller of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission jointly wrote on September 11, 1978:
The evidence mounts that, within the range of exposure levels encountered by radiation workers, there is no threshold, i.e., a level which can be assumed as safe in the absolute sense....any amount of radiation has a finite probability of inducing a health effect, e.g., cancer.
All exposure, however small, has a cumulative effect on your body.
It all stacks up over your entire lifetime.
Nuclear submarine workers at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, are developing cancer at a rate that is double the expected incidence.
Dr. Helen Caldicott, author of Nuclear Madness, was invited to speak to a meeting of these workers, but only four men appeared.
They told her that the Navy had threatened them with their jobs if they came to hear her talk.
Are jobs more important than life itself?
In November, 1980, a group of physicians and scientists held a symposium at the University of Califonia in Berkeley. At this symposium Dr. Kosta Tsipis, Professor of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, stated,
...our earth is surrounded by a thin layer of ozone. Ozone is a particular isotope of oxygen that has the lovely property of absorbing much of the ultraviolet rays of the sun. The ultraviolet rays of the sun are the ones that cause skin burns. When you go to the beach and get sunburned, that's what does it. In addition, the ultraviolet rays of the sun blind the eyes that are exposed to them for any period of time. The very fact that we can exist on this earth - that there is fauna, animals with eyes on this earth - is based on the existence of the ozone layer that filters out most of the ultraviolet rays of the sun and therefore allows us to survive.
What happens when a nuclear weapon explodes is that a very large number of nitrogen oxides are generated by the radiation that flies out from the explosion. As a matter of fact, a one-megaton weapon will generate 1032 molecules of nitrogen oxides. These molecules are lifted up together with the fireball, and reach (for a one-megaton weapon) the altitude of say 50, 60, 70 thousand feet, where the ozone is. At that point, these molecules will start eating up the ozone - literally - taking it away from circulation...for long periods of time. It is a very complex photochemical process, but we know that it occurs....The National Academy of Sciences felt quite sure to state that if you have exploded...in a very short period of time 50% of the weapons that will be available in the arsenals of the Soviet Union and the United States by 1985, this simultaneous explosion will create enough nitrogen oxides to take out 50 to 70% of the ozone layer above the northern hemisphere and 30 to 40% of the ozone layer in the southern hemisphere, because we assume that all of these explosions will take place in the northern hemisphere....
The latest word out of the scientific laboratories is that a 20% depletion of the ozone layer will allow enough ultraviolet light to come to earth that it will blind all unprotected eyes. Now, we can all wear glasses, but the animal and the birds will not wear glasses, and they will all be blinded and they will all eventually die. And this is the largest-scale ecological catastrophe that one can imagine - that all the fauna on earth will be blinded and eventually die.
I can think of nothing else that is a more massive ecological dislocation - to use a mild word. The entire ecosystem will collapse. Because if we don't have insects, for example to pollinate the flowers, we won't have fruit....The whole thing collapses, that is what will happen, most probably, if only 50% of the weapons in the arsenals of the two superpowers in 1985 were to be exploded within a few days in a nuclear war.
If you're within a few miles of a nuclear detonation, you'll be incinerated on the spot!
And if you survive the blast, what the future promise?
The silent but deadly radiation, either directly or from the fallout, in a dose of 400rems could kill you within two weeks.
Your hair would fall out, your skin would be covered with large ulcers, you would vomit and experience diaarrhea and you would die of infection or massive bleeding as your white blood cells and platelets stopped working.
If you have less exposure to this deadly radioactivity, you may develop leukemia in five years.
Hiroshima survivors were thirty times more likely to have this fatal disease than the exposed population!*
*Between 1945 and 1963 several hundred
thousand soldiers were marched through areas where the Nevada atomic weapons
tests were conducted. The rate of leukemia among these men has been 400 times
the national average! Shut Down, p. 165, The Book Publishing Co.,
A battery operated geiger counter that will alert you to nuclear radiation is available from S.E. International, P.O. Box 39, Summertown, TN 38483, (615)964-3561. Bear in mind that a geiger counter only measures the radiation from external sources such as nuclear power plant ventings, highway spills, or industrial and military exposure. The greatest danger comes from the radioactive cesium, strontium and plutonium atoms that you eat or breathe. These agents of death in your own body internally emit radiation that constantly bombard the genes of the nearby cells. This subtle (but perhaps more deadly radiation) from inside your body is not measured by a geiger counter unless you have breathed or eaten a substantial amount of radioactive material.
A smaller amont of exposure sets you up for cancer in twelve or more years.
Even a tiny invisible particle of plutonium is so radioactive that it can cause cancer or alter your genes so that your children may be deformed at birth!
Plutonium has been called "thalidomide forever."
*Dr. John Gofman is the codiscoverer of uranium-233 and a leading medical researcher. In his 908-page book Radiation and Human Health (Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, 1981) he tells exactly how radiation produces cancer, leukemia, and birth defects. This book enables you to estimate diminished life-expectancy from various radiation exposures. It evaluates the genetic consequences to future generations of our current radiation exposures. This comprehensive book can be ordered from the Committee for Nuclear Responsibility, Box 11207, San Francisco, CA 94101 for $29.95 prepaid (includes shipping).
Uranium, mined from the earth, is converted by a processing facility or a nuclear power plant into plutonium, strontium-90 and many other radioactive poisons.
Plutonium is used in making high-yield nuclear bombs. It has a half-life of 24,400 years and is poisonous for at least a half-million years.
Dr. Helen Caldicott writes:
As a physician, I contend that nuclear technology threatens life on our planet with extinction. If present trends continue, the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink will soon be contaminated with enough radioactive pollutants to pose a potential health hazard far greater than any plague humanity has ever experienced. Unknowingly exposed to these radioactive poisons, some of us may be developing cancer right now. Others may be passing damaged genes, the basic chemical units which transmit hereditary characteristics, to future generations. And more of us will inevitably be affected unless we bring about a drastic reversal of our government's pronuclear policies.*
*Nuclear Madness by Dr. Helen Caldicott, p. 1, Bantam Books, 1980. Copyright 1978, 1980 by Helen M. Caldicott. We are about to drown in nuclear sewage. We now have about one hundred million gallons of dangerous radioactive effluents that no one knows what to do with. And it's globally increasing at a catastrophic rate.
There is no way to safely dispose of this extremely dangerous, corrosive, radioactive garbage in leakproof containers that will be continuously protected by competent guards free from war, earthquakes, floods and tornadoes for hundreds of thousands of years!
What right have we to burden future generations with this ever-increasing threat to their well-being?
We conducted over 70 nuclear bomb tests around the Marshall Islands between 1946 and 1963.
Each mushroom cloud scaterd trillions of plutonium atoms throughout the world!*
*By 1970 natives of the Marshall Islands were suffering from increasing incidence of cancer, retarded growth and miscarriages.
Let's suppose just one partical of plutonium landded in a forest near you.
It oculd rest on a limb of a tree, be stirred up in the air and inhaled by a bird.
This single plutonium particle could create a radiation-induced disease in the bird, who would die prematurely.
Suppose the dead bird decomposes in a field and when driving by, you breathe dust that contains this invisible bit of plutonium.
This particle of human-made plutonium could ruin the genetic regulating mechanism in one of your cells that prevents wild cancerous growths.
Your body could then begin producing cancer cells....
It's a matter of probablility and risk - not certainty.
And this same deadly plutonium atom could escape from your remains and be recycled with bad news consequences for the next half-million years!
"All of us, particularly the inhabitants of the northern hemisphere, carry some plutonium in our lungs and other organs," according to Dr. John T. Edsell, Professor of Biochemistry at Harvard.*
*Dr. John Gofman estimates that, because of the damage to part of their clearance mechanism, the lungs of cigarette smokers "might be a hundred times more sensitive to the effects of plutonium."
The Savannah River nuclear plant, according to Dr. Carl Johnson, of the Medical School of the University of Colorado, may have already polluted 1,000 square miles of Georgia and South Carolina with pollution.*
*And as late as 1979, radioiodine was measured in vegetation in nearby Columbia, Georgia, at a concentration that corresponds to a human thyroid dose of 24,000 millirems per year - 320 times the amount permitted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). High levels of tritium, which the plant releases routinely; have also been detected in the Savannah River and in local milk and vegetation....Dr Karl Z. Morgan, former director of the Health Physics laboratry at Oak Ridge National Laboratories in Tennessee, notes that in 1969 the flesh of a deer taken from the plant site was discovered to have the equivalent of 2,250 millirems per yea of cesium, or 90 times the EPA limit for human." "Nuclear County" by Zachary Sklar, Geo, Vol. 3, p. 32, August 1981.
A 1975 study found that more than 10,000 pounds of this deadly chemical are thinly dispersed in the earth's atmosphere.
Your precious body is probably already carrying this hidden handmaiden of generic ruin and death.*
Let's make sure that we don't get additional doses!*!#!
*Radioactive atoms are already in our food chain. The United States Departent of Agriculture in Food, The Yearbook of Agriculture 1959, p. 118, reported that strontium-90 from United States and Russian atomic bomb tests had scattered radioactive strontium-90 over the entire earth. It was frist detected in animal bones, dairy products and soil in 1953. It is now in the bodies of all human beings regardless of their age or where they live. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol. XVII, No. 3, p. 44, march 1962, stated that children growing up in the United States have about 6 to 8 times more strontium-90 in their bones than their parents.