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The UN Would Never Lie to George Monbiot

Atomic Moronbiot

By JOE GIAMBRONE | CounterPunch | April 1, 2011

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 pro-nuclear 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.”

Bitch slapped, 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?

In Monbiot’s own newspaper, The Guardian from March 25th of 2006 (yes he worked there then):

“UN accused of ignoring 500,000 Chernobyl deaths

United Nations nuclear and health watchdogs have ignored evidence of deaths, cancers, mutations and other conditions after the Chernobyl accident, leading scientists and doctors have claimed in the run-up to the nuclear disaster’s 20th anniversary next month.”
(John Vidal)

“Leading scientists and researchers,” George? In 2006? In your own newspaper?

George, did you follow up with these “leading scientists and researchers?” No, you could not have since you pretended to be so surprised by what Dr. Caldicott told you during your “debate.”

The Guardian (2006) continues:

“An IAEA spokesman said he was confident the UN figures were correct. ‘We have a wide scientific consensus of 100 leading scientists.'”

Wait a minute! An “IAEA spokesman” is handling this supposed “consensus” of just 100 “leading scientists?”

I thought it was a health issue, not a promotion of nuclear energy worldwide issue.

The IAEA flack tells The Guardian:

“If they have data that they think are excluded then they should send it.”

Data that “they think” are excluded. That’s cute.

“‘At least 500,000 people – perhaps more – have already died out of the 2 million people who were officially classed as victims of Chernobyl in Ukraine,’ said Nikolai Omelyanets, deputy head of the National Commission for Radiation Protection in Ukraine. … ‘We have found that infant mortality increased 20% to 30% because of chronic exposure to radiation after the accident. All this information has been ignored by the IAEA and WHO. We sent it to them in March last year and again in June. They’ve not said why they haven’t accepted it.'”
(Vidal)

So who are the true “leading” scientists, and who’s got the real “consensus?”

Dr. Janette Sherman who edited the translated 5,000 European studies said:

“On the 20th Anniversary of Chernobyl WHO and the IAEA published the Chernobyl Forum Report, mentioning only 350 sources, mainly from the English literature while in reality there are more than 30,000 publications and up to 170,000 sources that address the consequences of Chernobyl.”
(Sherman, 2011)

Just how does the United Nations IAEA manage to ignore half a million to a million dead Eurasians?

It just so happens I’ve been going through some of the aforementioned excluded studies, and I found some interesting commentary pertaining to just that question.

“These findings indicate that the spectrum of developmental defects generated by incorporated radioactivity in humans may be much greater than derived by international radiation committees from the follow-up of Japanese A-bomb survivors. The findings are compatible with a particularly high radiosensitivity of the fetus… In contrast to this, the International Commission on Radiological Protection ICRP has postulated a threshold dose as high as 100 mSv in Publication 90 of 2003 for effects after prenatal exposure. They and other committees exclude radiation effects by Chernobyl fallout referring to the very low doses which were derived for the population.”
(Wolfgang Hoffmann, Inge Schmitz-Feuerhake: Malformations, Perinatal Deaths and Childhood Morbidity after In Utero Exposure by Chernobyl Fallout. Observations in Europe and Turkey, Institut für Community Medicine, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt Universität, Greifswald and Universität Bremen, Fachbereich Physik und Elektrotechnik (i.R.), 2006)

The “threshold dose” concept is used as the determinant of who is counted and who is not. That’s how the IAEA/WHO manipulates the data on Chernobyl and in-effect lies to the world on the horrors of radiation poisoning.

Multiple official sources confirm that there is no safe dose of radiation, at all:

Environmental Protection Agency: “… any exposure to radiation poses some risk, i.e. there is no level below which we can say an exposure poses no risk.”

Department of Energy: “… the major effect is a very slight increase in cancer risk.”

Nuclear Regulatory Commission: “any amount of radiation may pose some risk for causing cancer … any increase in dose, no matter how small, results in an incremental increase in risk.”

National Academy of Sciences: “… it is unlikely that a threshold exists for the induction of cancers ….”
(John LaForge: Dangerous Disinformation About Radiation, 2011)

It’s not surprising that the UN is in favor of promoting nuclear power and glossing over its faults. All the powerful nations are pro-nuclear. It is these nations’ governments who provide the “leading scientists” to write up the manipulated faux “consensus.”

By the way, George Monbiot, cherry picking 100 experts (why not 99? Or 101?) is not the definition of a “consensus.” I’m afraid I’m going to have to call that one out as a lie. You don’t get to redefine the language.

The real consensus comes out of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and thereabouts:

“These results challenge the assumption of thresholds for genetic effects of low level ionizing radiation as well as the assumption of relatively high doubling doses for genetic effects as propagated by pertinent international commissions.”
(Hagen Scherb: Statistical Analysis of Genetic Effects after the Chernobyl Disaster, GSF-National Research Center for Environment and Health, Institute of Biomathe-matics and Biometry, Neuherberg/Munich, 2006)

“They showed that the existence of the effect at the low foetal doses which had been received defined an error in the current ICRP risk model for this kind of exposure of upwards of 100-fold. … The finding effectively falsifies the current radioprotection system for these kinds of internal exposures to fission products and suggests urgent reappraisal of the nuclear site child leukaemia clusters…”
(Chris Busby: Infant Leukemia in Europe after Chernobyl and its Significance for Radiation Protection. A meta-analysis of three countries including new data from the United Kingdom, University of Liverpool, Dept of Human Anatomy and Cell Biology, And Green Audit, Aberystwyth, UK, 2006)

“Deteriorated radiation situation in Ukraine has adversely affected the brain tumor incidence in infants thereby leading to over 2.3 times growth of total patient population and 6.2 times growth in the number of patients under 1 year. ”
(Yuri Orlov, Andrey Shaversky, V. Mykhalyuk: Intracranial Neoplasms in Infants of Ukraine. An Epidemiological Study, Institute of Neurosurgery named after acad. A.P.Romodanov, AMSU, Kiev, 2006)

“It should be noted that earlier made prognosis for thyroid cancer failed, and real picture has surpassed all expectations.”
(A. E. Okeanov 1 , E. A. Sosnovskaya: Incidence of Malignant Tumors Among Different Groups of Belarusian Population Affected to the Chernobyl Accident, International State Environmental University, Minsk, Republic of Belarus and Republican Research-Practical Center of Radiation Medicine and Human Ecology, Gomel, Republic of Belarus, 2006)

“Thus, it was shown that small doses of radiation are statistically significant risk factors of malignant development.”
(Emilia A. Diomina: Radiation Epidemiological Studies in a Group of Liquidators of the Chernobyl Accident Consequences, R.E. Kavetsky Institute of Experimental Pathology, Oncology and Radiobiology of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kiev, 2006)

We hear a lot of chatter from pundits like Monbiot how we are surrounded by background radiation. Have you once seen them distinguish between the radiation source outside the body vs. one emitting inside your body and jammed up against your cells and DNA?

You don’t hear them concede that pregnant women aren’t allowed to receive x-rays either. Their arguments tend to fall apart under scrutiny.

These findings were quite sobering:

“The wrong general assumption of a constant linear radiation effect from high to zero (half a dose, half the effect) is unfortunately even today still the base of the radiation protection laws, although supralinear effects in vivo (Petkau effect) are today confirmed on all levels of live including man.”
(Ralph Graeub, Langnau, Schweiz: The Petkau Effect, Chernobyl – 20 Years Later – Experiences and Lessons for the Future, 2006)

“Chernobyl’s radioactive contamination at levels in excess of 1 Ci/km2 (as of 1986 1987) is responsible for 3.8 4.4% of the overall mortality in areas of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. In several other European countries with contamination levels around 0.5 Ci/km2 (as of 1986 1987), the mortality is about 0.3 0.7% (see Chapter II.7). Reasonable extrapolation for additional mortality in the heavily contaminated territories of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus brings the estimated death toll to about 900,000, and that is only for the first 15 years after the Chernobyl catastrophe. ”
(Alexey Yablokov, Vassily Nesterenko, Alexey Nesterenko: Chernobyl Consequences f the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, New York Academy of Sciences, VOLUME 1181, 2009)

And then we finish up with DemocracyNow, March 30 2011, live…

“GEORGE MONBIOT:—that so far the death toll from Chernobyl amongst both workers and local people is 43. Am I—sorry, are you saying you didn’t know that they had examined this—

HELEN CALDICOTT: That’s a lie, George. That’s a lie.”

In sum: If you believe that less than fifty people died after the greatest nuclear meltdown in history, then I’ve got a fantastic house to sell you, mansion, pool, hot tub, everything. It’s a steal… just outside Fukushima, Japan. Ocean view, stunning. Email me (George).

~

Joe Giambrone is a filmmaker, troublemaker, and author of Hell of a Deal: A Supernatural Satire. He edits the Political Film Blog. polfilmblog at gmail.

April 1, 2011 Posted by | Deception, Nuclear Power, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | 2 Comments

Ali Abunimah & David Cronin at King’s College London

sternchenproductions | March 24, 2011

David Cronin:

Ali Abunimah & David Cronin at King’s College London on 24 March 2011, sponsored by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and King’s College Action for Palestine.

April 1, 2011 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular, Video | Comments Off on Ali Abunimah & David Cronin at King’s College London

Palestinian child run over by settler

Ma’an – April 1, 2011

HEBRON — An Israeli settler ran over a three-year-old girl and fled the scene in central Hebron on Thursday, locals said.

Lana Al-Ja’bari was transferred to hospital with moderate injuries, her relatives said

She was run over near the Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in the presence of Israeli soldiers, witnesses said.

On Monday, an Israeli settler ran down a Palestinian girl on her way to school south of Hebron. He remained in the area until police arrived.

However, in two other incidents in March, Israeli settlers driving in the West Bank struck Palestinians and drove away.

April 1, 2011 Posted by | Aletho News | Comments Off on Palestinian child run over by settler

Egyptians Rally in Cairo to ’Save Revolution’

Al-Manar – April 1, 2011

Tens of thousands of Egyptians gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square Friday, issuing calls to “save the revolution” that ousted president Hosni Mubarak and to rid of the country of the old regime.

The Youth Coalition Movement, an umbrella grouping those who launched the uprising against Mubarak, called this week for a new demonstration to demand judgment of the corrupt and those who fired live rounds on protesters. The young pro-democracy activists also want the country’s institutions purged of members of the former ruling National Democratic Party as well as the restitution of “the millions stolen from the people”.

Protesters chanted “The people want to purify the country” and “Marshal, Marshal, legitimacy stems from Tahrir.” They were referring to Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces who is de facto head of state since 18 days of popular protests forced Mubarak to resigned on February 11.

Friday’s weekly Muslim prayers in Tahrir Square were attended by 15,000 people, according to state news agency MENA, but in the afternoon twice as many protesters thronged the central Cairo plaza.

Egyptian courts have forbidden several former ministers, politicians and businessmen from leaving the country, as well as freezing their assets pending the findings of an enquiry into corruption and embezzlement.

Mubarak and his family were bound by the same restrictions in February. Nevertheless, pro-democracy activists say they fear a return to the past and the “confiscation” of the revolution.

April 1, 2011 Posted by | Corruption, Solidarity and Activism | Comments Off on Egyptians Rally in Cairo to ’Save Revolution’

50 Bahraini activists arrested overnight, female medics harrassed

Press TV – April 1, 2011

Bahraini opposition groups say the Manama regime has arrested 50 activists overnight, just before the massive Friday anti-government protests in the country.

The arrest took place on Thursday, a night before what Bahraini protesters have referred to as the “Day of Rage.” The protests are scheduled to take place after Friday Prayers.

The Bahraini protesters continue to demand the ouster of the 200-year-old-plus monarchy as well as constitutional reforms.

At least 25 people have been killed and about 1,000 others injured during the government-sanctioned crackdowns on peaceful demonstrators.

Joined recently by police units and troops from Saudi and the United Arab Emirates, the Bahraini government forces have launched a deadly crackdown on the popular revolution that began to sweep the Persian Gulf island on February 14.

The Saudi-backed forces have recently been sighted while destroying religious and historical monuments of the Muslim Persian Gulf state.

On Wednesday, the Human Rights Watch accused Bahraini forces of using violence against people that had already received injuries during earlier attacks.

The rights body said it had documented several cases in which the forces had “severely harassed or beaten” patients under medical care in the country’s Salmaniya hospital in Manama.

Also reported on Friday:

The President of Bahrain’s Center for Human Rights Nabeel Rajab says the Manama regime has harassed many of the female medics of Salmaniya hospital.

“A lot of female doctors have been harassed sexually or on sectarian basis by masked forces,” Rajab told Press TV on Friday.

He described the humanitarian situation in Bahrain as critical, saying those who have been injured during the protests have to be treated at homes, because the hospitals are under tight security control.

Even the patients who have normal diseases cannot be easily taken to hospitals, Rajab added.

April 1, 2011 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | Comments Off on 50 Bahraini activists arrested overnight, female medics harrassed

Troops Kidnap Four Palestinians, Including a Hamas Legislator In The West Bank

By Ahmad N. – IMEMC & agencies – March 31, 2011

Israeli troops kidnapped four civilians including a legislator of the Hamas Change and Reform parliamentary Bloc, and took them to an unknown destinations on Thursday morning.

Soldiers stormed the city of Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, and kidnapped legislator Mohammed Maher Bader after breaking into his home in downtown Hebron.

Soldiers also kidnapped three civilians form Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, after breaking into their houses and searching them.

The three were identified Nidal Hosni Hussein Zakeeq, 19, Mohammad Hosni Zakeeq, 16, and Shihdeh Yusef Adel, 18.

Mohammad Awad, media spokesman of the National Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, reported that the soldiers have been sealing the entrances of Beit Ummar since more than nine days depriving the residents their right to freedom of movement.

Also on Thursday:

Army Kidnaps A Hamas Leader In Ramallah

By Saed Bannoura – IMEMC & Agencies – April 01, 2011

Israeli soldiers kidnapped Mohammad Ahmad Rayyan, a political leader of the Hamas movement in the central West Bank city of Ramallah on Thursday evening.

Rayyan’s arrest comes a few days after he was release from a detention facility run by the Palestinian Security Forces loyal to President, Mahmoud Abbas, in the West Bank.

Before his release, Rayyan was ordered to pay a 2,000 Jordanian Dinars bail, and was ordered not to leave the country.

His release came after he spent two months in Palestinian detention facilities and was sent to court several times without any convictions.

April 1, 2011 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | Comments Off on Troops Kidnap Four Palestinians, Including a Hamas Legislator In The West Bank

BDS victory against Ahava in UK

By Anna Stevens | International Solidarity Movement | March 31, 2011

Protesters outside Ahava, London

In a victory for the BDS movement, the UK flagship store of Ahava has been forced to relocate after years of protests and direct action. Ahava, an Israeli company which sells cosmetic products produced in the illegal settlement of Mitzpe Shalem has been a target for protesters in the UK who have sought to drive it out of London and challenge the legality of the company’s practices. In the past two and a half years protesters have blockaded the shop a number of times, preventing the store from trading. Ahava have so far been unsuccessful in securing any convictions for these actions in court. Under UK law, the crime of aggravated trespass is committed if one disrupts or obstructs a lawful activity on someone else’s property. However activists have argued that Ahava’s business is not lawful as it operates out of an illegal settlement. Ahava has also been under scrutiny for labelling its products as ‘made in Israel’ misleading customers and violating domestic consumer law. They have also been accused of evading tax by mislabelling their products.

Every fortnight the UK flagship store in Covent Garden, London is the site of a protest which regularly draws in large numbers of BDS and Palestine supporters. According to The Jewish Chronicle online these protests have resulted in complaints being made against the company by the neighbouring businesses which have led to a decision not to renew their lease when it expires. The protests have also seemingly effected Ahava UK’s profits, with their accounts up until the end of 2009 showing a total loss of more than £250,000, despite receiving more than £300,000 from its Israeli parent company, with no repayment plan.

April 1, 2011 Posted by | Aletho News | Comments Off on BDS victory against Ahava in UK