Monday, March 14, 2011

Cheerleader In Chief

Don't worry about radiation, President Obama tells us. “Hawaii, Alaska, the U.S. Territories and the U.S. West Coast are not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity,” the White House says, citing estimates by the Nuclear Regulatory Agency.

If you have noticed, reporters have asked representatives of The Nuclear Regulatory Agency for their comments at every step of the way as the disaster in Japan has unfolded. In each instance they have assured us that things wouldn't get any worse, and in each instance they have. Which is not surprising, since the job of the NRA is to protect the financial interests of the radiation industry.

And President Obama, the biggest cheerleader for big business in the land, who has led cheers for expanding our exposure to radiation by opening up new power plants and creating more nuclear waste we have no place to store, aware that his rich patrons, whose opinion of him means far more to him that our health and safety, stand to lose millions, is now scurrying to prop up stock prices for companies that make money off nuclear radiation, like that biggest purveyor of nuclear radiation since the US military, General Electric, which, by the way, besides being involved in every aspect of the radioactivity business, designed the plants in Japan that are spewing radiation to the four winds, plants that we were assured were earthquake proof.

The authorities, whenever they conceal the truth in disasters like this, always use the excuse that they don't want to cause panic. Keep going to work, keep dropping your kids off at school, keep absorbing radiation. When you develop a tumor, when your kid comes down with cancer, and you don't have any insurance, another tax break for the rich should take care of it.

“It’s way past Three Mile Island already,” said Frank von Hippel, a physicist and professor at Princeton. “The biggest risk now is that the core really melts down and you have a steam explosion.”

As Helen Caldicott warned us way back in 1978:

"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."

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