The Scient-Autist at Work: in the Slaughterhouse

Sir John Beddington, Britain’s Chief Scientist, went on record this week with a statement intended to dispel mounting fears about the nuclear disaster unfolding in Japan.  According to this expert, because explosions at nuclear plants only endanger people living nearby they are of no concern to those living “elsewhere”.

Child of science: born with severe radiation damage in Chernobyl area, abandoned by parents, currently in Belarussian orphanage.  Radiation has affected the soil and water in Belarus – one of the poorest countries in the world – to such an extent that for many it is impossible to avoid it

It is hard to comprehend the emotional detachment enabling a supposedly sane man – let alone someone speaking publicly on behalf of an entire country – to say such things at a time when thousands of people are fleeing for their lives, and Japanese workers are volunteering to commit suicide trying to avert a nuclear disaster.

Does it ever occur to scientists such as Beddington that human beings living here might not WANT people living “elsewhere” to be killed, contaminated, or panicked into abandoning their homes?  Is it not obvious that deaths, contamination, birth defects and all the sum total of human misery from such disasters might be an issue of vital importance to those “living elsewhere” or living “safely outside the exclusion zone” ?  Does Sir Beddington see from his highly focused studies of roentgens and sieverts that a problem for one group of people becomes a problem for us all, that is, if we care?

Sir John Beddington: safely away from all the radiation damage – which in northern Ukraine and Belarus, is actually getting worse, 25 years after a nuclear disaster.  Unlike the mutated children, Beddington looks normal – but this is where the problem starts

These things often do not figure in a scientist’s calculations, due to a faulty habit of reducing a situation to its smallest components, and ignoring the completed picture which details are supposed to create.  The normal mind is not fascinated by details the way the autistic personality is, because it can synthesise them into an overall impression, enabling complicated judgements which the autistic mind can never grasp.

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2 September 2014 – Breaking news for Britain’s Chief Scientist Sir John Beddington:

The Pacific Ocean seems to have died completely!  98% of seafloor covered with dead marine life compared to 1% before Fukushima.  “Do we have a problem? No, it’s not serious for elsewhere.”  Whew, thanks, Sir John!

http://www.naturalnews.com/043380_fukushima_radiation_ocean_life.html

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The autistic personality lavishes their attention on what a normal mind considers mere trivia, compared to the larger reality.  The autistic fondness for the repetitive nature of detail fails to see what is staring them in the face, and high functioning types such as Sir John will be much offended to think their finely honed observations missed anything important.  In reality, situations are much more than just the sum of their parts, and this difference is easily perceptible to a normal consciousness.

“It’s not serious for elsewhere”.. radiation testing for residents near nuclear plant, Fukushima Prefecture; parents understand all too well what radiation damage implies for small children.

Sir John Beddington, regarding Japan:

“In this reasonable worst case you get an explosion. You get some radioactive material going up to about 500 metres up into the air.  Now, that’s really serious, but it’s serious again for the local area.  It’s not serious for elsewhere … do we have a problem?

The answer is unequivocally no. Absolutely no issue. The problems are within 30 km of the reactor.  And to give you a flavour for that, when Chernobyl had a massive fire at the graphite core, material was going up not just 500 metres but to 30,000 feet.  ..But even in the case of Chernobyl, the exclusion zone that they had was about 30 kilometres.

And in that exclusion zone, outside that, there is no evidence whatsoever to indicate people had problems from the radiation. The problems with Chernobyl were people continuing to drink the water, continuing to eat vegetables and so on and that was where the problems came from. That’s not going to be the case here. So what I would really re-emphasise is that this is very problematic for the area.. beyond that 20 or 30 kilometres, it’s really not an issue.. “

First conjoined whales ever found in the Pacific

First conjoined whales ever found in the Pacific. “It’s really not an issue,” says Sir John.

I wonder if Sir John could visit the Ukrainian and Belarussian orphanages, to explain that there is no evidence of problems outside the exclusion zone?  The Russian approach, also,  also to deny that radiation caused any ill effects, and that is still their official line.  You will not find the nuclear industry willing to discuss Chernobyl except in vague let’s-move-on terms, like a drunk explaining last night’s bender – and the hit and run murder he still hopes to get away with.

http://thechildrenofchernobyl.blogspot.com/2008/03/children-of-chernobyl.html

This is why Beddington doesn’t mention the ongoing birth defects in the region, and the radiation detected as far away as the UK, where grass was found to have radiation levels too high for cattle grazing on it to enter the food chain.  He waves away the estimated 4,000 cases of thyroid cancer, mainly among children in Belarus, the country worst hit by Chernobyl, and hides the fact that scientists themselves estimate as many as five million people were exposed to health hazards as a direct result of Chernobyl (http://cdnedge.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1615299.stm) simply because it doesn’t help his argument.  Yet this is the contribution of Britain’s Chief Scientist.

Only in the world of science can emotional detachment from the suffering of others be considered a virtue.  When given authority in the real world, such a person can pose a serious danger to people – the one unit of measurement more important than all the rest.

A scientist and a human being: Yuri Bandazhevsky wrote a report critical of the Belarussian government’s bogus research to cover up the extent of the radiation damage. Two months later, he was arrested and sentenced to 8 years hard labour.

Governments are happy if their scientific sales reps act detached.  Truth s a serious danger to government.  Belarussian nuclear scientist Yuri Bandazhevsky was alarmed to see his government making more effort to cover up the extent of the damage than to try and put things right.  Within weeks he was arrested on charges of corruption and sentenced to 8 years hard labour in a Gulag.  The outcry from the western nations?  Nothing.  Protesting would have brought to the public eye the horrors resulting from the shoddy management of nuclear power.

You will not find a word of protest from the Chief Scientists of other countries – for one thing, they are not interested in the fate of others, and for another thing, they can’t afford to rock the lucrative energy boat.  As far as they are concerned, they are all outside the danger zone and doing quite nicely, thank you.

Chernobyl child: not a problem for Sir John Beddington.

The nuclear industry, in a state of panic, has created a large number of fake IDs to log positive comments in the national press.  The recurring grammatical idiosyncracies among the comments – all saying much the same thing – give the game away.  A recent survey of 10,000 people in a number of countries showed only 29% in favour of nuclear power.  Realistically the Japanese disaster at Fukushima would have reduced their number considerably, even if only temporarily.  But in response to a recent article quoting Beddington, an astounding 90% of contributors called the writer “a man of sound good sense” and even “a genius” and despite evidence that the plant itself had overloaded storage areas and falsified safety reports to get away with it, claimed the entire event was a vindication of the nuclear industry.  General Electric must be alittle nervous right now.  They were the ones who insisted on building the plant below sea level – to save money.  How’d that work out, anyway?

I have never seen anything like this.  Sane people could never write such letters.  And at the same time, in the same paper, reports detailed how tens of thousands of people were fleeing the area, workers were accepting that their job now meant certain death, the reactor cores were melting, one of the containment vessels erupted like a volcano, and the Japanese PM admitted the situation was completely out of control.  Normally, the online ratings process is quite slow.  But after I wrote a brief comment critical of the article, within an hour 179 disapproval ratings appeared against my post, as if by magic.

http://www.newint.org/features/2005/09/01/chernobyl/

The nuclear industry is no different than the arms and the oil industry in one regard: they are there to make a profit no matter the risk, which is why they must be interwoven with politics to have clout enough to survive.  To give you some idea of this Siamese arrangement, in Dauphin County, where the Three Mile Island diaster occurred in 1979, the death rate that year among infants under one year old increased 28% over that of 1978, and the death rate of infants under one month, by 54 percent.  This is because the radiation, mostly affecting the quickly growing cells in the body, destroyed the children whose bodies were being formed most rapidly.  But in their final 1981 report, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, under pressure from the nuclear industry, said that the Three Mile Island accident did not cause local deaths of infants or fetuses.

Public outcry soon demanded a genuine investigation instead of a fairy story, and this was entrusted to experts at Columbia University.  But before they were granted access to records, Columbia was forced to obey a court order “prohibiting them from publishing any worst-case estimates on public health unless they would lead to a mathematical projection of less than 0.01 health effects”.  No research has been published on infant mortality rates because of the widespread fury this would cause and the huge legal damages which would follow under the American legal system from class action suits.  To have left such an obvious trail of criminal activity, I can only assume the nuclear industry is hopelessly suicidal.

Fukushima reactor building, March 2012

Update: March 28th 2012

A lethal level of radiation has been detected inside one of the reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, throwing fresh doubts over the operator’s claims that the disabled complex is under control.

Engineers for Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) say readings of airborne radiation inside the containment vessel of Reactor 2 showed nearly 73 sieverts per hour this week, the highest since the crisis began following the earthquake and tsunami on 11 March last year. Exposure to radiation at that level is deadly within minutes, according to Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK.

In addition, an industrial endoscope inserted into the reactor’s containment vessel on Monday found only 60cm of water inside, far below the three to six metres expected. Tepco – which has poured thousands of gallons of water on to the crippled reactors in an effort to keep the fuel cool – insists that, despite the low level, the melted fuel is underwater “judging by the temperature of 48.5C to 50C”.

Tepco’s disgraced executives also face a 5.5-trillion-yen (£42bn) lawsuit by shareholders. “The company repeatedly ignored tsunami and earthquake research showing that the plant would be overwhelmed,” said lead lawyer Hiroyuki Kawai this week. “The plant was run haphazardly and carelessly.” 

(..David McNeil, Independent.co.uk)

Update: February 24 2014

The first Gray Whale conjoined calf was found off the West coast of America in January, while the sea floor off California was found to be 98% covered with the remains of dead and dying sea life.

“We’ve got some sea stars that look like they’re melting on the bottom,” Seattle Aquarium biologists Jeff Christiansen said.. the number of melting starfish increases drastically with each passing day.

“There are a lot of melting sea stars out there, more than even a couple days ago.”  According to Veterinarian Lesanna Lahner, the starfish specie’s condition is rapidly deteriorating, with more than half displaying the same disturbing symptoms.

“It’s concerning to hear in a short time period we’re seeing 60% of this species diseased in this area,” Lahner said.  Strangely, the symptoms have only been seen in certain areas of Washington’s Puget Sound and Canadian waters. While the verdict is still unknown, many are pointing fingers to Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, which has continued to leak over 300 tons of highly radioactive water into the ocean every day.

As reported by investigative journalist Michael Snyder, massive evidence of Fukushima’s effect on the West Coast continues to be evident despite the silence from most western media.

Earlier this month, Canadian authorities found massively high radiation levels in sea bass, with one fish showing 1,000 becquerels per kilogram of cesium.  Plankton tested from Hawaii to the West Coast have been found to have high levels of cesium-137, with scientists in California finding the same isotopes present in 15 out of 15 Bluefin Tuna tested.

Even in light of one Canadian study that found cesium-137 present in 100 percent of carp, seaweed, shark and monkfish sold to the Canadian public, western governments have continued to import Japanese sea food.

As radiation levels rise, it is likely the EPA will continue to raise ‘acceptable levels’ of radiation in the food supply. With experts predicting a grim outlook, the best options now available are informing others while protecting one’s thyroid health from increased radiation exposure.

http://www.storyleak.com/melting-starfish-along-west-coast-prompts-fukushima-fears/

I notice we’re not hearing much from Sir John Beddington these days.

Exclusion zone near Fukushima. An individual illegally tries to assist animals and pets abandoned when owners were forced by authorities to leave their homes and farms immediately

A simple way to judge the effects of nuclear radiation is to visit the Chernobyl region: for years, the orphanages in Ukraine and Belarus have been caring for a generation of children mutilated by the nuclear industry.  This is not a problem for Sir John Beddington, as he is outside the exclusion zone.  But it will be a problem for anyone with an ounce of humanity.  A recent online question appeared, asking where they could find photos of birth defects caused by radiation.  To my shock, a reply appeared from “a nuclear engineer” saying “you will not find such photos on the web because such birth defects do not exist.”  I find this kind of mentality very hard to stomach.  Yes, the industry is dangerous and yes, it has caused human misery.  Nevertheless, the overall concern is not so much the technical challenges, which surely can be dealt with, but the dreadful mentality of the people responsible for the industry.  They are, without a doubt, insane.

Science’s unwanted children: an Irish nurse who volunteered for the Chernobyl Children’s Charity said she had never seen anything like it. “They had never learned how to play..  I cried every day I was there.  It leaves an emotional impact on you that stays for a long time.”

The Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline charity reports that 25 years on, the situation around Chernobyl and Belarus is getting worse.  Only 5% of the children from the Chernobyl area are considered healthy.  Babies are still being born, espeically in Belarus, missing limbs or eyes, or with strange and inoperable tumours and cancers. Belarus took 70% of the radiation from Chernobyl: the water and earth will be contaminated for thousands of years to come, but people still drink radioactive water and eat raduioactive food, because they have no other choice.

Sir John Beddington needs to realise that this is the reason people are terrified of nuclear energy.  An explosion in a coal mine is serious enough; a huge oil slick more serious still.  But a slowly lingering death which seeps into your genetics and ruins all future generations of your family must be the most sinister of all dangers.  The worst thing is that the nuclear industry doesn’t care as long as they are free to make money.  The governments don’t care – they even pretend the dangers do not exist.  It is appalling that men such as Beddington fly the flag for these captains of industry, riding on a sea of human misery.

“Do we have a problem? Absolutely no issue.” .. Beddingon.  The town of Pripiat, which housed staff from the Chernobyl site, was evacuated on April 27, 1986. In an abandoned hospital, the remains of a dog, petrified by radiation, were discovered several months after the catastrophe.

The industry requires these emotional cripples to back them up whenever the brown stuff has hit the fan.  A white lab jacket and a clipboard should do the trick.  What is needed is expertise which can either be easily bought off, or, in Beddington’s case, remain completely blind to troublesome problems of morality.

What other kind of mind than a scient-autist, detached from humanity, could calmly sit down on a fine Spring morning with sunshine pouring through his office window, and work out the most effective formula for improving the capacity of a nuclear bomb?  These machines, straight from Hell, are specifically designed to instantly roast hundreds of thousands of people alive – men, women, children and infants – just because they were born in another country.  If you think it is a quick death, ask the Habuki – survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – who still live as mutilated outcasts from their own society, still protesting the race to build bigger machines to roast the living inhabitants of Earth – that’s you and me.

Sixty years on from Hiroshima, this could be your family:  this is what we who survive will look like, after science’s Hellish machines have been put to use deliberately trying to roast us alive.  Yes, they are still manufacturing and designing them – with OUR money.  “Human development has passed all the uncertain periods.. Intellectuals have revealed as much as man requires to build his ongoing journey into his future”.. John Brinster.  Modern thinkers preening their feathers seem to have no idea about what science continues to produce.  Just the threat of their use is enough to warp normal minds.  What good is this intellectual knowledge, without a moral compass?

Atheists often point, quite accurately, to the horrors of the medieval church.  But a single atomic device in a modern city would create a million burnings at the stake from a cowardly Inquisition, and leave countless survivors homeless, flayed alive by a boiling wind, to wander in agony until the end, praying for death, and cursing the intelligent ghouls who calmly set about to created Hell on Earth.

Richard Dawkins: “I am thrilled to be alive at time when humanity is pushing against the limits of understanding. Even better, we may eventually discover that there are no limits.”  It’s a good thing he isn’t a slave in a Chinese factory making iphones, a Palestinian cradling the latest victim of our weapons, a helpless citizen crushed by Big Oil interests, an orphan in Romania, Belarus or Brazil, or a forgotten one in Sierra Leone, the Congo, Rwanda, Indonesia, Palestine, Zimbabwe, Colombia, Haiti, Tajikistan, Somalia, Tibet, Kazhakistan, Georgia, Vietnam (500,000 deformities from America’s Agent Orange), Brazil, the Niger Delta, Saudi Arabia, Burma, the Sudan, Cambodia, Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Bahrain.. well, you get the idea!  Just like Beddington says, everything is rosy – as long as you are elsewhere when the brown stuff hits the fan

At the moment there are thousands of these infernal machines, lovingly maintained by scientists and technicians for use at a moment’s notice, and triggered from a safe distance to turn bustling cities into shrieking, bloody slaughterhouses, by the most grotesquely distorted minds of all time. These minds are not aware of their own twisted state, as mental distortions can never be detected by the outward-looking intellects they support.

We have much to be thankful to science for.  But it bears sole responsibility for designing, prolonging, and finally carrying out the most atrocious massacres in all of human history, in the employ of brutal governments that care not one whit for the welfare of the human race.  As Nixon said to an aide who voiced concern at the press reports of screaming children covered in napalm: “Your problem is that you care about civilians.  I don’t give a damn about them.” Thanks to the Hellish weapons scientists gleefully created for such monsters, sections of the population may one day have to spend part of their lives underground, or will curse the day they were born.

Ask an ordinary, sane person with a proper concept not just of atoms but of humanity – a teacher, a doctor, a builder, a parent, or anyone whose life is intertwined with the welfare of others – to help refine such a machine, and they would recoil in horror.

“Do we have a problem? Absolutely not.”..Beddington doesn’t have a problem with this.  But human beings do.   Sasha is one of the Chernobyl children at the Vesnova orphanage. More than five million children are living in the affected areas of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.

About iain carstairs

I have a great interest in both scientific advances and the beauty of religion, and created www.scienceandreligion.com about 15 years ago with the aim of finding common ground between the scientist and the believer, and to encourage debate between the two sides.
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48 Responses to The Scient-Autist at Work: in the Slaughterhouse

  1. Satan says:

    As the future of the man-who-takes-over-the-world, money is going in to support less materialistic values in a Catholic church. Catholicism isn’t evil, and Catholics won’t go to hell, it’s not logical to think it’s evil, since worshipping idols and the invention of the Pope is for the people 1. It’s a religion. 2. It’s weird and that’s why you think it’s evil, and 3. the church is good for the people: no pleasure doesn’t mean it sucks, I happen to only listen to classical music, and pop music isn’t appropriate for a soulful person. Any questions?

    • Human says:

      This post is about nuclear radiation
      don’t get involved Satan, you’ve made enough mess already

  2. It’s disgusting what we humans do to each other!

    • Josh says:

      It’s disgusting what they did to us…

      • Yes, the American government forbade the photographs of the survivors and the charred corpses to be published for, I think, 12 years after 1945 for fear world opinion would turn against them. They showed the mushroom cloud, and the flattened cities, but that was about all.

        I would presume there will be another nuclear exchange, but this time it will be different: wherever they strike, can you imagine the fury sweeping over the planet when images from mobile phones are beamed around the world on the Internet, showing the corpses, and those who have had their faces melted but survived? The public would not have stood for it in 1945 – the problem being that nobody was able to picture the horrific suffering.

        It will be surprising if those in charge of the governments responsible do not get torn limb from limb afterwards. It will take that to knock sense into mankind, because it cannot survive if countries keep making preparations to incinerate each other.

  3. Richard Siegrist says:

    Dose anyone know who that asian mans name is?

    • Hi, I presume you mean the Japanese survivor – sorry, I don’t know; if I can find out I will email you

      • Hi, I found his name in the photo in the above, 桜井哲夫( Tetsuo Sakurai). i tried to find out stories about him. some internet site says he’s not a survivor of nuclear bomb but Hansen’s disease. but I’m not sure those are reliable sources or not 😦

      • Hi, many thanks for that effort! I’m fairly sure this isn’t Hansen’s disease (leprosy) because leprosy causes lumps and bumps, and can be treated with drugs. Also Tetsuo’s age, which indicates he was quite young in 1945; it seems more like this man has been blasted some time ago with a huge amount of heat, and has since attempted to live a normal life.

        The plight of these victims is never publicised, even though they have been around for more than sixty years – which is a damning indictment. If you want to see photos of Marilyn Monroe, who died forty+ years ago, you can find millions of them. But when someone wages war on the human race itself, the photographic evidence is buried out of sight. The proof is the shock people have registered on seeing these photos.

        In 1945 the US forbade anyone printing photos of their victims for at least 12 years, and a great effort is still made to keep these stories out of the media, because now, as in 1945, the fear is that world opinion will turn against nuclear weapons, and the weapons business needs those sales.

  4. Student says:

    Don’t like science? Don’t use a computer to spout your inflammatory nonsense. Scientists and many other professionals practice emotional detachment to determine truth because they understand that emotional attachment means illogical bias.

    If there’s anyone that’s fit to govern a society, it would be a cold, calculating intellectual rather than a sycophantic, impulsive politician. You’re likely the type of person who would call on America to donate all its hard earned money to save those radiation victims while its jobless citizens starve on the streets.

    There’s always a balance to strike, and emotionally attached people simply aren’t capable of seeing both sides of the equation. You may be right about the danger of nuclear power, but stop the babbling diatribe against the thinking individuals of the world.

    • I can hardly be accused of not liking science, since so much of what I write is about fascinating scientific discoveries. It’s a little like seeing stabbed, bleeding bodies lying in the street and as a result, pointing out the dangers of letting aggressive people carry sharp knives, and then getting the stern advice: “don’t like knives? Then don’t use them to cut your food! Stop the reactionary, inflammatory nonsense!”

      I like science. I like it plenty – but I don’t like sociopathic individuals whose lack of compassion for others has an effect which is grotesquely magnified by technology – people who are quite willing to sacrifice tens of thousands of innocent people by roasting them alive, rather than approach social problems in a sensible way. How anyone can look at these photos and say I “may be right” about the dangers of nuclear power is quite beyond me. Put yourself in their shoes – and ask yourself if perhaps “it may be right” to talk about nuclear dangers? Mankind does not stand a chance when a freakish sociopath passes for a normal human and is given the keys to this massively powerful technology to make huge amounts of money.

      Emotional detachment is all very well when you are working with machines, but try to remember: the human race has feelings, and these are the larger part of its experience on Earth. Chaotic mental states result, and even the immune system shuts down when the emotional environment becomes too oppressive: as I pointed out in The Killing of bin Laden, the mental health of modern nations is collapsing at an exponential rate. And why? Because their society has been constructed by the emotional robots you admire: cold, calculating individuals who are not fit to run a vegetable stand.

      No normal parent would want a cold, calculating individual to babysit their own children for a single evening. And yet, by your reasoning, these are the people to whom the whole planet can safely be entrusted. Your letter shows the kind of warped thinking which arises from dealing with life in an intellectual way and dismissing normal feelings as inflammatory nonsense.

      Without meaning to offend you – and my impression isn’t helped by the faceless and nameless profile – your philosophy sounds rather like that of the Daleks, which is a troubling thought. To normal humans, the most dangerous Daleks would indeed be those who looked and sounded like a human being.

      • Student says:

        No worries. I take no offense from silly arguments. You think I would wish such cruel fates on anyone, even as a scientist? I value my family and friends as much as any other functioning member of society. Your responses are exactly what emotional detachment is designed to combat. Taken out of context, some notable scientists may appear to have made some semantically miscalculated statements. Nitpick the wording all you want, but you failed to establish any causal link between scientific objectivity, and the collapse of the “mental health of modern nations.”

        When tackling social issues, fairness, not compassion, takes top priority. It’s easy to point at the comatose, cancer patient on a respirator, and say, “Hey guys, let’s spend *insert exorbitant amount of cash we could use to fix social issues like education and unemployment* to save this poor bloke.” It’s an entirely different matter to take the effort to determine how to best serve the people as a whole. The detractors of systematic analysis are the real dangers to society, given their inability to comprehend the overwhelming burden of leadership and the true meaning of sacrifice. While I don’t question your good intentions, you’ve got the moral compass of a beauty pageant contestant.

        You seem to imply that nuclear power was expressly designed to f*** s*** up. This is your passion grotesquely simplifying the issue of alternative energy. Unlike you, whose righteous indignation leads you on a witch hunt for society’s intellectuals, scientists like this anonymous student acknowledge that nuclear power, oil, and any other energy source has both pros and cons. But don’t ask me. I’m no expert. Ask the fishermen ruined by the BP oil spill or the baby seals choking on its remnants (emphasis on “baby” for added poignancy), and somehow I get the impression that they wouldn’t mind some more of that good ol’ fashioned uranium-235. How do we make everyone happy? We can’t. Reality is more than just a handful of Chernobyl kids and baby seals.

      • I think the problem is not nearly as complicated as you imagine. The difficulty is not with nuclear power at all: the difficulty is that the individuals responsible for it are unbalanced individuals whose main trait is greed. Sellafield’s safety records were falsified to save money; Fukushima’s waste storage was done as cheaply as possible, which meant exceeding the regulations both in the amount stored in one place and the proximity to the reactor. Their safety records were also falsified. Three Mile Island turned into such an ecological disaster, and the nuclear industry had such clout, that university researchers were actually forbidden by a judge from coming to any conclusions which indicated more than a tiny statistical difference to people’s health. This is all a matter of record.

        Chernobyl hardly needs mentioning in this context – the design was poor and safety was more or less overlooked, and the technicians were left to shoulder the blame. In Russia, those with money make the laws – the problem with Chernobyl is that the fallout drifted over all of Northern Europe. People in Belarus are still falling ill, and the ecological problem there is getting worse, not better. You talk about a “handful of Chernobyl kids.” In fact there are more than 400,000 children living in the contanimated area. That’s a big handful, Mr Nuclear Supporter! As for Beddington, nothing he said was taken out of context: it was all said in the heat of a nuclear disaster. It was later revealed that all the letters praising his lunatic stance were paid supporters of the oil business posting absurdly sycophantic letters in the press. Again, greed took precedence over simple truth.

        It is one thing to falsify safety records in a market vegetable stand, and another thing altogether to be taking cheap shortcuts with a system able to lay waste to a radius of tens of kilometers in which people are already living, but will soon have to flee for their lives. If you cannot see the difference in these two situations, you might want to take a visit to Fukushima. I’m sure I can find you the money for a ticket.

        As far as your comments about oil are concerned – the same problem exists because the same minds are at work. The BP disaster was caused by Halliburton using cheap slurry, and then destroying evidence indicating its weakness. Transocean seems to have produced a faulty well cap as well, but BP were in such haste to get to the oil they overlooked all the warnings from staff on the platform who could see the writing on the wall in rushing procedures in such a deep well. When the explosion occurred, killing nine workers, the site manager at BP was on the phone to the executives, with the flames in the background, shouting “Are you happy now? Are you happy now?!” The whole disaster was caused by greed. You should se what Shell Oil has done to the Niger Delta. It is quite telling that you do not mention this: 14 times more oil was spilled there than with the Deepwater spill: compensation – none. Cleanup – zero. Apologies? Forget about it. Protestors hanged – nine.

        If you think that kind of thinking should be in charge of nucelar power, when the results of their carelessness can cause such disasters as you see in Chernobyl, Three mile Island and Fukushima, you are really beyond reasoning.

        The last point I want to make is that your ability to casually write off “a handful of Chernobyl kids” is the kind of sociopathic approach the power industry has. Of course, you care about your family and your friends. Even hardened criminals, and even the leaders of the Third Reich felt the same. One may as well claim to be compassionate on the basis that one cares about one’s own skin: in fact, this is exactly the argument sociopaths tend to use. The problem is not the danger they pose to their family and friends – the problem is they form a genuine danger to others. How obvious does this need to be? How would you evaluate an individual who was prepared to write off the lives of you and your family as “a few people who didn’t matter” ?

        The more evolved a person is, the more they feel a kinship with all members of the human race. This trend is growing worldwide, because of the evolution of the brain; people no longer wish to stand for conditions dangerous to other people when a few decades ago such conditions would have passed almost without comment. By highlighting the words of individuals such as Beddington I have illustrated that such empathy – a trait absolutely necessary in world leaders if we are to avoid world wars – is lacking in leading members of the race.

        The world has reached the point where mannkind has harnessed forces that can affect the whole planet: this technology requires the kind of minds who will try to consider the implications of what they do – not greedily cut corners to make money for themselves and their families and friends, then write off their victims as “a few chernobyl kids – tough luck.”

      • Of relevance to the casual dismissal of the victims of the nuclear industry’s carelessness as “a few Chernobyl kids” is this report from the Chernobyl Children’s Project from 2005, explaining that the World Health Organisation is limited to reporting only that information which the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) deem favourable. This quote centres on a report given by the IAEA in 2005 which tries to put a thin layer of bruight shiny paint over the steadily deteriorating conditions caused by the Nuclear industry’s greed.

        This report has further adding unwitting support for the governments of the affected region’s policy declaring the Chernobyl disaster officially over. The IAEA report adds legitimacy to the government’s policies of repopulation of evacuated areas and lands within radioactive zones. The IAEA report on the consequences of the disaster will be used to support the building of a nuclear power station 25 miles from the exploded reactor on the territory of Belarus.

        The IAEA report should also be greeted with suspicion when you consider an agreement, signed in 1959, between the WHO and the IAEA, which hinders the WHO is its freedom to produce material regarding the consequences of Chernobyl without the agreement of the IAEA. The primary objective of the IAEA is to the promotion of nuclear power plants in the world. Article III of the agreements states: “The IAEA and the WHO recognize that they may find it necessary to apply limitations for the safeguarding of confidential information furnished to them.”

        Personally having spent much of October and November of 2005 in Ukraine and Belarus there is conclusive observable evidence within communities, old and young, of increases in cancer and genetic related illnesses since the Chernobyl disaster.

        Nobdy has a problem with nuclear power per se – the problem is that corporations and agencies are set up to benefit certain factions at the expense of others. These organisations do not have feelings or memories, and the people behind them change frequently. They only represent a principle, which new employees have to serve. In the IAEA’s case, the principle is to increase nuclear power, at the expense, if need be, of the truth about previous victims. The same way of thinking characterises eugenics, in which victims are casually thrown to one side as expendable in the interests of larger aims. War, arms manufacture, and rogue terrorist states such as Israel and America, all take the same warped stance. As Bush’s foreign policy advisor said of Kuwait, after the Iraqi invasion: “if they grew carrots, we wouldn’t care.”

        This sort of thinking can never result in permanent progress, and its supporters will be forced to change their tune when more globally-aware individuals gradually rise to power.

    • Katebowden says:

      oh for goodness sake there is a balance in between. You need both logic, and compassion

      • Absolutely agree; I try to show what happens when huge resource is served only by logic. In my experience, people with both qualities are hard to find, in places of power. They know how to act, but it’s not the same thing – at the Holocaust Museum Obama yesterday announced a committee to prevent atrocities. It sounds good. It inspires hope. But his own military atrocities are the worst of all! So people get spoonfed this dribble and “hope and pray” for the best in their dreamworld, while the same old lunatics get back to work hacking down the human race. I’m sick and tired of the pretence

  5. mdackert says:

    just a note, Tetsuo Sakurai, born in 1924, suffers from Leprosy according to the below link.

    http://nippon.zaidan.info/seikabutsu/2004/00003/contents/0004.htm

    saludos.

    • As I’ve had so many queries on this photo, it is as well to replace it. But I have replaced it with some photos of Hiroshima survivors taken shortly after the bomb was dropped. They will show you what it actually looks like when someone decides to roast humans alive using nuclear bombs.

      The difference is that the scientists have laboured long and hard to design these incineration ovens many hundreds of times more powerful than the ones used to roast the people of Japan. The inner radius containing people melted into paste will be much larger, as will be the outer area of partially melted survivors.

      It is time to end these atrocious devices once and for all; their very existence is an afront to sanity, an insult to the planet, and to every man, woman and child who ever walked this Earth.

  6. Drake says:

    From my understanding what he meant was that the affects of radiation are not a concern to people outside of the affected areas. o.O You seem to have seriously misunderstood his statement…or I did *shrugs* either way.

    As in the radiation will only f*** you up if you lived in the infected areas.

    • I hardly think he needed to explain that radiation affects those people it hits. What he tried to do was wave the whole story away as a minor event. Wave of the scientific hand – whoosh! All gone, nothing to see!

      Trying to bury the body of the disaster in a shallow grave, he gave a statement to the MPs at Westminster saying the crisis was minimal, fully under control, and damage would be minor, temporary, and local. Instead of what it actually was – the disaster was completely out of control, highly dangerous, the damager would be permanent, and it would be widespread. Within 24 hours his fairytale was blown away by a gentle breeze and the truth emerged: Fukushima was classed as serious as Chernobyl when a reactor exploded. The MPs were furious, having already spread his dreamland message of calm, and now they looked like imbeciles. Beddington seemed to think that no matter what happened, the crisis would have no importance to anyone far away. The man is a lunatic.

      People all around the planet were deeply affected seeing the suffering endured by tens of thousands of Japanese. It is still a cause for concern – with a vast area uninhabitable and residents forbidden to return.

      It was later revealed that the tycoons running the nuclear plant recklessly overloaded waste disposal areas, and had long been made aware of the risks, but had done nothing about it (to save money). Beddington did not represent science, or popular opinion; he represented the nuclear industry, who were eager to sell a whole country into Hell to make better profits. They were the ones flooding the media with letters after his little fairy story prance-about in the public eye. Beddington should really have been wearing a tutu and holding a magic wand; the illusion might have been more complete.

      If you ever want to find an abuse of science, you can’t do better than this. It was scandalous, absolutely blatant. A classic science con job all the way from the top; hardly different than the scientists who delayed research into lung cancer and stood up to protect the cigarette industry – condemning millions to slow death by suffocation, and allowing tens of thousands of teenagers to be hooked, in the absence of consistent advice against smoking. Or the scientists paid recently by the NFL to deny that repeatedly smashing the head creates brain disorders, condemning kids and professionals alike to keep on abusing their brains, as no consistent advice is available.

      These are like the scumbags at Wycliffe Hospital in New York State – skimming tens of thousands of dollars a month to peddle high priced drugs and perform shabby operations, milking the taxpayer left and right while they splash out on Bentleys and Mercedes. Scientists are viewed with a sneaking suspicion that they are not really part of the human race, but they only have themselves to blame.

      These people sell doubt: they manufacture it, put a white coat on it, spread it far and wide, and charge big bucks frm the tycoons for it. All doubt and confusion is useful to stop the spread of truth. People instinctively understand what is going on but they are conditioned to trust people in white coats: this is what science has become – a bunch of whores ready to sell out their fellow man for a few measly dollars.

      I try to point out – and most readers are able to understand this – that the number of people who can’t shrug off the misery of others, simply because they live in another country, is growing. Along with this empathy, there is an increasing awareness that whoever is able to wave such tragedies away as “no big deal” or “a price worth paying” are the ones responsible for these problems, and those creating an atmosphere of tolerance in which abuses can be perpetuated. This emotional autism is a sociopathic condition, and enables horrors to proceed without a murmur of protest, as long as it is more than a few houses away.

      Beddington has support only from these weird, stunted minds, whose reaction can be summed up as: *shrugs* ..like, whatever.

  7. Todd says:

    Im in shock, i will need some time to think of what i’ve seen and read.

  8. PhillyChief says:

    You do realize that religious leaders hundreds and even thousands of years ago would not have hesitated to use nuclear weapons if they had them, right? Instead they used the best means they had, so not only is it a flawed argument to compare their death tolls to the potential death tolls from the horrible weapons of science, but it’s ridiculously flawed because you’re comparing actual atrocities to potential atrocities.

    [science] bears sole responsibility for designing, prolonging, and finally carrying out the most atrocious massacres in all of human history…

    That’s pure nonsense. The blame lies with the user, not the tool(s). Furthermore, the citing of atheists and the use of Dawkins’ likeness is a pathetic attempt to imply a connection where there is none. I’ll remind you that the only nation so far foolhardy and immoral enough to use an atomic weapon was the VERY religious United States of 1945. The Soviets and China, the infamous atheist regimes always cited in online squabbles involving morality, never used such weapons.

    • Let me get this straight – you’re a follower of Dawkins and you think the reported 40,000,000 who lost their lives in Stalin’s purges is something easily ignored, and likewise Chairman Mao’s reign of terror in which tens of millions perished, and where familes were set against each other, and children routinely instructed by their teachers to take turns beating an unfortunate classmate in order to punish their non-ideological parents – well, I believe I have made my point. Having visited the former Soviet Union I was given some idea of Stalin’s impact: hardly a single family was unaffected.

      I’ve pointed out elsewhere in this blog that the religious instinct flowered immediately after the fall of the USSR, even after 4 generations of enforced absence, which shows how false is the idea that religion is solely the product of parental and societal indoctrination: because for 80 years, there wasn’t any. It’s a natural instinct for most people, which is why you cannot dislodge it by insisting people believe in random molecules instead.

      I’m sure your stance is not representative of typical atheist reasoning; but this point that atheist reasoning immediately dispels conflict is raised time and again, and I would like to properly research a post on atheist attempts to organise scoieties, starting with the eugenics movement launched by Darwin’s cousin.

      • PhillyChief says:

        No, I’m not a follower of Dawkins.
        No, I don’t think ANY atrocity should be ignored.
        If you ever feel like engaging a real person rather than a straw man, and doing so intelligently without further shenanigans then let me know, otherwise the only point you’ve just made is one concerning you’re own character.

      • New atheists as far as I understand from their comments I quoted in “Elevatorgate”, pride themselves on having more reasoning power than anyone else.

        It is this overgrown faculty which they point to when insisting other people accept their reasoning. It’s as if they can’t accept that other people have their own ways of reasoning, and their reasoning is based on their personality and experience. I experienced a poltergeist once, so I believe in them. I know nothing about them other than what I saw with my own eyes. It was not explainable in any other way. Of course, people would laugh if you just state that fact baldly. But being in a room where everything is crashing to the floor, and feeling the huge change in atmosphere before and after, I was led to that conclusion, as was the person with me at the time.

        But to an atheist using logic if you believe in such things you’re accused of believing in fairies and therefore being a simpleminded buffoon, and so on. The acceptance of the new improved logical view seems to come with a price tag, i.e., admitting to being simpleminded or stupid. But not all problems in life can be dealt with by logic alone. If emotions played no part in life or beliefs, people would never fall in love, get married, lend money, have children, create art, and so on. And there would never be a need to mourn or celebrate, both being unsupportable by logic.

        Surely nurturing these emotions, or nurturing one’s faith in one’s own emotions, is an important function of any group. Without such faith one becomes dependent on another person to decide their own state of mind!

        The phrase is usually, “anyone who believes [xxx] is either an idiot or a dupe. Which one are you?” Or the final flounce-out – “I refuse to debate with you. You are disingenuous at best, egregious at worst.” And so on, as if all thought were a judo match of intellect wrestling. Straw man argument! One point to me! Slippery slope opening gambit! One point to you!

        You should travel to Ukraine, which lost 2m people to a Stalin-enforced famine, which the Western journalists flatly refused to admit the reality of, even when bodies lay in the streets. You should talk to people who lost relatives to the secret police, or to Siberia. Because of human nature, atheist societies have done immense harm to very large numbers of people, simply because they believed what they were saying was right and everyone else was wrong, and the notable thing about these experiments is that they have been so thoroughly rejected by their own people in such a short period of time and are now viewed with shame. Atheists can boast of many things, but they are still subject to human nature.

        As the modern atheist movement seems to be becoming more radicalised, the more militant of its proponents make less and less sense. Nobody can argue with the validity of atheism as a belief because the proof is within the perceptions of one’s own mind. I once asked an atheist what proof they wanted that God existed – and was told it was not up to them to decide on proof but for theists to furnish it! Oh well, if that’s the case – here’s a pineapple.

        As its most basic dogma, turned to again and again by Dawkins, that all biological change is random, comes under attack from respected scientists such as Sheldrake and Shapiro, the logical support for atheism as a prosletysable cause gets weaker, and as the neurological and cortical justfication for spiritual practices are revealed, and quite sensibly even incorporated into atheism itself, the campaign against spiritual principles is fatally undermined. Bearing in mind all of this, statements to the effect that Mao and Stalin were a benign non-religious influence, seem more and more absurd.

      • PhillyChief says:

        Hello. I’m an actual atheist with whom you have the opportunity to speak with rather than pontificating to yourself or your followers about your characterization of atheists. Why go on and on with straw men when you have an actual one righty here? It makes one wonder…

      • Actually I just felt like writing, after reading the comment you made about Mao and Stalin! No harm in that.. read it, or not.. whatever you like.

        But in passing, have you read some of these new books which have changed the whole nature of the debate, that I keep referring to? The Science Delusion (or Science Set Free, in the USA) by Rupert Sheldrake, or Robert Shapiro’s Evolution: A View from the 21st Century, or The Machinery of Life, by David Goodsell, or Religion for Atheists, by Alain de Botton? If so, we could easily discuss them.

      • PhillyChief says:

        I never mentioned Mao or Stalin.

        I find it amusing that you pontificate about how atheists will refuse to talk to you claiming you’re disingenuous as if it’s some tactic of theirs in a “judo match of intellect wrestling”. It’s amusing because saying that while actually engaging in such behavior is itself a tactic to try and make those who leave after being treated to your shenanigans look like the villains. I suppose you pontificate after they leave along the lines of, “I told you they’re all like that.” I think you’re the one keeping a score.

        So here I am in a pickle. It doesn’t appear you actually intend to have a decent, two-way conversation yet if I leave because of that, you’ll use that for your nefarious ends. Quite the pickle indeed! Gosh, you must score lots of points.

  9. PhillyChief says:

    Sorry, I was responding to your original comment before you greatly edited and added to it with book titles. I don’t know why you’re choosing to discuss them when I was responding to your post. Do you not wish to discuss your post, nor my comments regarding it? That’s curious. Anyway, please just make a new comment rather than editing your pre-existing ones. That makes it difficult for anyone to respond properly.

    • You gave your opinion and I gave mine. What’s there to score points over? I asked if you want to discuss these books, which are a lot more interesting than whatever I have written. They seem, to me, to render the basis on which modern atheism rests, completely outdated. It’s an interesting development to see modern writers taking stances (even as atheists, in the case of de Botton) which require such a rethink.

      Shapiro is a dedicated scientist, and he’s more critical of the atheist speakers like Dawkins than I am. Sheldrake prepared a long list of statistical and research results for Dawkins to debate for a TV documentary, and Dawkins confessed he didn’t even bother to read them. These are interesting situations, and they show the way the wider world is moving; I consider them much more interesting than my opinions, but, I have to write something, after all!

      • PhillyChief says:

        I gave opinions, and you made unrelated pontifications. I’ll assume then, for whatever reasons, you don’t wish to respond to my initial comment. Very well. Moving forward, I’ll respond to some of your most recent comments. First, atheism is merely a response to a claim. It’s not a philosophy, therefore labels such as “modern atheism” have no meaning. If someone wants to cook up a philosophy for themselves (or others) and call it atheism, so be it bit that’s kind of silly.

        Alain de Botton is someone pessimistically dissatisfied with secular society and who blindly thinks taking on the rituals and trappings of religion will somehow fix whatever he sees wrong with it. It’s a silly premise. If he bemoans the lack of community, I don’t think having a secular church is the answer. Perhaps all he needs is more friends on Facebook.

        Shapiro mocks abiogenesis by invoking a probability analogy followed by an appeal to join him in incredulity. Surprisingly unscientific from such an esteemed scientist.

        Sheldrake is a pseudo-scientist whose “evidence” is anecdotal and probably why Dawkins, like any rational person, ignored it. Nothing testable, no proposed mechanisms, and nothing to quantify his data. Just tons of meaningless, context-free numbers. Scientific American on “morphic resonance”.

        I don’t know what issues you have with Dawkins but frankly I don’t care about them or him necessarily so I don’t see why you must continue to invoke his name. I’ve only read one of his books and I can’t even remember which one it was.

        So I tried to read some of your other postings but they just induce headaches. Could you possibly just provide me with what your general idea or modus operandi is? Thanks.

      • Hmm, I see we disagree on just about everything; Sheldrake is not a pseudo scientist, he’s a scientist. Shapiro is one of the world’s experts on molecular biology: I’ve read his book twice and detect a very brilliant and guarded mind behind it: guarded because he took the time to include more than a thousand references so the nay-sayers can’t wish away his observations. De Botton’s book, I found very moving, after struggling through the first page.

        What I notice most about all these books is that they represent genuine impressions from intelligent minds. They are honest works, and one feels a sense of progress from start to finish. Shapiro is not unscientific; he explains the actual experiments and the results which lead him to the conclusions he puts forward in the book. Once these are explained in detail, the conclusions assemble themselves. To me it seems thinkers like this are the way forward. They radiate confidence and a refreshing optimism, away from the all-knowing arguist debaters, but that confidence is backed up by highly perceptive intellects, and in both Sheldrake and Shapiro’s case, cited experiments.

        Whether you care about Dawkins or not, his voice represents the public face of atheism and his media appearances stoke the public’s perception of atheism. Suppose he were to be strident or impatient, misogynistic or not in control of his emotions, the public, rightly or wrongly, fairly assume he represents the character of the atheist movement because as SkepChick says, the common thread she finds at Big Tent Atheism is “religion sucks – Dawkins rules!” It is hardly any use, for example, for an American to protest that Barack Obama does not represent most Americans, since all his public appearances are made in the name of America, since he acts as if he speaks for America, since he wears the American flag as a badge, and since apparently more Americans voted for him than for anyone else. Whether they like it or not, everything he says and does carries the country with it. Likewise, if Dawkins happens to go on an emotional bender, he drags the movement with him. So important is his image that Faircloth felt the need to label him the “Affable Atheist” along with a jolly photo, but one look at his twitter feed is all anyone needs to dispel this wispy illusion.

        You and I are clearly very different people, which is why our outlooks differ, and also our perceptions of those books. From your immediate dismissals I don’t expect you’ve read them; I could be wrong. That’s my perception. Life is, after all about perceptions, without which we may as well be machines – and if my work gives you a headache, it might be better not to read it: the web is a big place and I’m only in one small corner.

        Many thanks for your comments. And now back to my holiday!

      • PhillyChief says:

        Simply asserting that Sheldrake is a scientist doesn’t make it so. As I stated before, his “experiments” are flawed and his “evidence” nearly all anecdotal.

        You’ve completely ignored what my criticism of Shapiro was and instead moved directly to an argument from authority and/or celebrity (essentially, he’s a great scientist therefore everything he says is scientifically sound).

        Whether de Botton is “moving” or not has no relevance.

        You’re REALLY caught up with this authority thing. It seems to be endemic of the religious. Dawkins is not the leader of all atheists. An attack on him is not an attack on every atheist nor atheism. Invoking another popular atheist like Skepchick also does no good. The good or bad that any one atheist says or does, regardless of their celebrity, has no bearing on those whose atheism is predicated on the lack of supporting evidence for claims of existence of deities. You need to come to terms with that. Oh, and the Obama analogy fails because no one elected Dawkins and if you pay any attention to the US you’ll know there are many who make it quite clear that he does not speak for all Americans. Fail and fail.

        Life is, after all about perceptions, without which we may as well be machines…

        That’s not a license to ignore facts and logic when the mood hits you. That would be like using the health benefits of drinking wine to excuse driving under the influence.

        I find it amusing you can’t or won’t summarize your thinking or the theme of this blog for me. What I can gather is an unhealthy fascination with Dawkins, repeated appeals to emotion employing fallacies such as slippery slopes, straw men, confirmation bias, appeals to authority/celebrity, arguments from ignorance and personal incredulity and of course graphic imagery (which I see you’ve had to correct their sources after the fact on occasion, yet haven’t removed). I say this not as point scoring attempts in a “judo match of intellect wrestling”. These are statements backed by observation.

      • Simply asserting Shedrake is a scientist doesn’t make it so – although simply asserting he isn’t, does!

        Anyway, no problem – as I say, many thanks for posting. It’s always good to hear from the other side of the fence!

  10. pithom says:

    Belarus isn’t “one of the poorest countries in the world”. According to Wiki’s “List of countries by Human Development Index”, Belarus is slightly better off than Russia (just as I’ve expected; I’ve been to both countries). It is a second-world country, and is certainly better off than any country in continental Africa.

    • My friend comes from Belarus, and from her representations it does seem like one of the poorest countries in the world. This is taken from a report published last year in which, where number 1 would be the very poorest (Zimbabwe), Belarus comes 10th – it sounds not so bad until you realise the Gaza strip is 18th:

      Belarus Hits Top 10 World’s Poorest Countries

      Business Insider has published its annual “Index of the world poverty – 2012,” in which Belarus ranks 10th. The experts of the publication evaluated the poverty level depending on the level of unemployment and inflation. Only Turkmenistan hit the rating among the post-Soviet countries apart from Belarus. Business Insider estimates the growth in consumer prices in Belarus at 52.4%, while the unemployment rate at 1% and overall index of Belarus’s poverty – 53.4%. Such African countries as Zimbabwe, Liberia and Burkina Faso take top lines of the ranking. Turkmenistan is located on the fourth position with the poverty index of 75% (15% inflation and 60% unemployment rate).

      Not that happiness is related to money of course but the Happiness Index, which is partly based on money and partly on a sustainable lifestyle, lists Belarus as 163 out of 178, 1 being the happiest and 178 being Zimbabwe, once again at the bottom of the list.

      It’s hard to get impartial reports of course, but another separate report says 55% of Belarussians live on the poverty line (http://charter97.org/en/news/2012/10/18/60128/). But another report says it’s number 63 in the world’s wealthiest countries by GDP. All I can tell you is, from my friend’s experience, and from my knowledge about the corruption running right through their society, it’s one in which large numbers of young people are trying desperately to escape, and there has to be a good reason for that.

      • pithom says:

        This is almost certainly relative poverty, not absolute poverty.

      • Well, maybe we can agree it’s a poor and unhappy place.. made worse by Russia letting a reactor melt down and blow radiation straight over the whole country. I know they have had a big rise in thyroid conditions and leukemias but it’s hardly surprising given the massive radiation which blanketed the area

      • pithom says:

        The place isn’t particularly poor; a large number of the people are. As long as one has enough money (preferably in dollars or Russian rubles) to sustain a middle-class life in the U.S., life in Belarus is better than in Moscow (where prices of basic goods are higher and air pollution is worse).

  11. The place isn’t poor but a large number of the people are? It’s this kind of thinking which this post is all about: a mind which finds certain little pieces interesting, while unable to assess the overall picture.

    I visited Ukraine, which is better off than Belarus, and was shocked on a visit to a church to see a beggar outside without arms or legs. I was also dismayed by the large number of crumbling tower blocks in which people eked out an existence. I was more shocked to be told this is common and I shouldn’t worry myself about it. I can’t imagine anyone homeless would live through their winters.

    A teacher told me that her school was so impoverished that the toilets didn’t have seats or doors or running water. Another friend worked for a corner shop, from 8 in the morning until 8 in the evening, 6 days a week, in Dnepropetrovsk and to cope with this, had to have her 16 year old son live with her mother. She had gone three months without pay. The boss, who drove a Mercedes, told her she’d have to wait one more month. When she was at the point of starving, she quit, and he hired another girl and did the same thing to her. My friend knew it was pointless to pursue him through the courts: the judges were in the same club as he. This is what happens in poor countries, to poor people. The rich prey on them like vultures.

    In another instance, I saw a young street musician being dragged behind a club and beaten by heavies belonging to the local police. Only my intervention as a tourist stopped this grotesque justice. Another friend advised me that those who failed to pay back loans to banks could expect violence, because criminals bought those kind of loans from their pals at the bank. Everyone I met was desperate to escape the country solely for reasons of poverty. The sister of another friend married a club owner, only to find later he was part of the criminal and politican underworld. When their mafia wanted to make an example of someone, they’d amputate their legs and sit them in the street begging, not for money, but to put fear into others who might think of betraying them. When they separated, she was thrown in the street. She phoned to the police, and on hearing who her husband was, they laughed and put the phone down.

    You may remember the tower blocks in Moscow which were brought down by explosions, killing hundreds. This justified a war on Chechnya. A friend from Moscow explained this was standard government policy over there to launch attacks. When I expressed surprise, she laughed. “You’re so naiive! Life is cheap over there.”

    In Ukraine I saw lines of people waiting for a bus to go home from work. The line was, I’m not kidding, a hundred yards long, and this was in the city centre. Every small, rusting bus was crammed, absolutely crammed with people. The streets in the outlying areas had all the manhole covers stolen, and people had propped up a wigwam of sticks in the gaping holes so drivers could see the danger before they came over the rise in the road. The streets were a nightmare; daily fatalities, but $150 bought off any criminal charges. Ukraine is like a prison, as is Belrus: the poor cannot escape. They have no automatic right to travel to other countries, and getting visas is laborious, and bribes are needed. You see, this is what it means to be poor, in a poor country!

    I saw children swimming in the river at Zaparozhye, which was known to be polluted from the nearby factories. The water looked and smelled foul. All the kids had lung problems, coughs, infections. It was part of life. The factories belched gas and oily flames into the air all day and night, for there was no shortage of labourers willing to work there, and the smell in the whole place was noxious, like a caustic. Everyone knew about it; nothing was done about it. When the air was still, you felt you were in a gas chamber. This is what happens in a poor country. The rich are out of sight. You won’t see them getting involved in these troubles. They’re shopping for a new car or holidaying in Greece.

    I met many of the kids at that school, as I hosted a trip for them to the UK. They could not believe their eyes when they saw the Natural History Museum. “Was it once a palace?” one boy asked. These people were dirt poor. Not the kind of poor some in the West might be familiar with – only having one car or one TV. These people had one shirt.

    Now, you can find rich people there – there are sociopaths everywhere – but Ukraine is poor, and I say that from experience. Belarus is even poorer. And I don’t mean the buildings or the grass is poor, or the flag is too small, or that there are no millionaires. It is a poor country because an overwhelming number of those people are poor. The poverty is caused by the yawning gap between the wretched poor and the types who were clever enough to make money, and keep it to themselves. These people exist in every society, like maggots.

  12. Talia says:

    Your article here is truly disgusting. If you’ve ever heard Sir Beddingfield speak, or if youd ever had a conversation with him, you would understand he’s not on any high-horse, preaching about things he doesnt understand… thats you ian carnstairs…

    Its easy for you to copy a speech of google and then take it out of context, go to one of Sir Beddingfield’s talks, he encourages feedback and questions. If you were anything more than a blind-sighted blogger, you would have researched your article thoroughly before retching it out into the the nether regions of the internet.

    However is one concept you breached which i think your article and your responses addressed quite aptly, “It’s this kind of thinking which this post is all about: a mind which finds certain little pieces interesting, while unable to assess the overall picture.”

    Ironically this fits your description apty… your mind seems to find certain little pieces interesting, while unable to assess the overall picture. In your eyes then, using your logic… you must be autistic. See how that works? It just sounds silly… just like you.

    When Beddingfield quoted ” The answer is unequivocally no. Absolutely no issue.”
    – He was not dismissing sufferers of radation and war, nor reffering to their pains as insignificant
    – he was not suggesting that Chernobyl was free from side effects outside the exclusion zone

    Yes there were significant issues with Chernobyl and past nuclear accidents… but that is NOT AT ALL WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT. I would truely appreciate it if you returned to some kind of formal education and remediate your reading comprehension skills.

    For further clarifications of his speech, instead of making it up, please seek assistance in interpreting.

    Im truely sorry that i dont have anything in my comment to truely respond to. I was instantly horrified at the way you glorify uneducated arguments and are completely blind-sighted by intelligent responses full of references and insightful point of views.

    The way you write invoked multiple negative emotions… the primary one being loathing. Its people like you who make religion look bad.Go back to selling bibles and jesus and stop trying to shit all over science. You’ve completely missed it and now you’re just getting yourself messy.

    • Well, thank you for taking the time to write. But it was Beddington who told MPs the Fukushima situation was entirely under control, giving the impression it was a trifling matter with little impact. It was the MPs who were furious when, after duly parroting this message from Britain’s chief scientist, less than 24 hours later the situation became out of controland it dawned on some that Fukushima might be worse than Chernobyl, which it has now proved to be, with no end in sight. Perhaps the MPs all misinterpreted his strident warnings of alarm as calm reassurances, but just because the media studiously avoids bringin Fukushima to people’s attenion, doesn’t mean the problem has gone away.

      Apparently at the moment Fukushima is pouring over 710 billion becquerels of radioactive materials into atmosphere, all as a result of nuclear industry profit, fraud and carelessness – and you can read MP Michael Meacher’s own reaction to Beddington’s blithe assurances here:

      http://www.michaelmeacher.info/weblog/2011/03/caveat-nuclear-2/

      As for who stands behind Beddington, there is little doubt the culprits themselves put him up to it, which shows an even more appalling lack of perception on his part. As I think I mentioned, when I happened to write a letter critical of him in the online press, it received hundreds of “down” votes within a very short space of time, and I soon saw a wave of letters appearing in many different online papers parroting the idea that Beddington was “a man of sound good sense”. Media firms employ teams of sock puppets whose job is to echo a party line all over the place, and someone was certainly working them overtime then. Who pays for this counterproductive and confusing effort?

      As things turned out, he clearly wasn’t showing sound good sense: although he might be interested in helping with a new scientific venture – the tracking of schools of fish from Japan, something made easier by the fact they all carry radioactive cesium. High levels were detected locally by Japanese scientists, but fish don’t tend to stay in the same place. They swim great distances and end up on people’s plates.. and cesium with its half life of 30 years could perhaps even end up on yours, down in Australia!

      From all of this, and knowing that parts of NE England are still too contaminated by Chernobyl for sheep to graze on, I think (as regards one entity soiling another) it would be more accurate to say science – or more precisely, prostitute science, as offered by Beddington – has soiled an entire planet; that’s pretty hard to beat.

      Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Friday it detected a record 740,000 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium in a fish caught in waters near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, equivalent to 7,400 times the state-set limit deemed safe for human consumption.

      http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/03/16/national/record-cesium-level-detected-in-fish-caught-near-fukushima-nuclear-plant/#.UYDzJEqft8E

      PS I’m not a Christian, and I don’t sell Bibles.. truly! Or even truely.

  13. Liam says:

    Good Work, Iain Carstairs! Impressive argument, good evidence, superb engagement with both merely confused & outright trollish comments. Thanks & congrats, from an agnostic science grad, for being another point of light in this mad dark world.

  14. Laurie says:

    I could not agree more with what you have written in this article. It is a human disease to rationalize its own atrocities. As the speed with which unedited information and images now reach the global population when these catastrophes occur, the Beddingtons of the world will glow nicely in a spotlight reserved just for morally bankrupt dinosaurs. Time is far too short, I am sad to say. The damage is done. Science might be able to save us, but only when divorced from greed and merged with empathy.

    • It’s true, and I’m not knocking science itself, as I owe my life to it. Science is completely neutral, like money or muscle, but has vast potential; scientific inventions can actually wipe out all life on the planet. So it’s much more important to know the kind of minds at work with it, and far more so than in other fields. Since so few people outside the field understand what is being developed or can imagine the risks – which are often downplayed to the public anyway – it’s not possible to for the layman to judge the risks involved.

      Are nuclear reactors safe? Well, one has contaminated most of the Northern hemisphere and another has contaminated the Pacific ocean, so I would say, no, they are not safe, they are extremely dangerous. This information should have been public from the start. Instead, it’s all hidden or wished away because the people driving development – the corporate types – are only concerned with profit. As the only ones who could really understood the risks were those developing the technology, why did we never hear warnings from scientists, refusing to participate in schemes that they could see were either underfunded or technically weak to save money?

      Who thought it would be a good idea to turn corn into pesticide, and feed it to the world? Who gladly developed the technology without making sure long-term studies were done? After 60 years of chemotherapy, and the horrible suffering it inflicts on already weak patients, why are scientists not standing up and saying this attack on the immune system should be illegal? Which doctors at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital sewed stomach tubes into orphans, at the request of the Incarnation Children’s Centre in New York, which was raking in money from drugs companies testing the toxic effects of drugs like Thalidomide? Why was it left to a humble nurse at the ICC to eventually blow the whistle, and not these high powered surgeons?

      The absence of morality is shocking. Scientist Ken Caldeira – still unable to tell a 50 mile plume of chemical spray twisting on its own axis and hanging around all day in the blazing heat of summer apart from a small vanishing spray of ice-cold condensation – mused in public about whether it was better to kill 6 to save 60, or kill 60 to save 600. – So wrapped up is he in the mathematics of his delightful little eugenics plan, like a child playing with plastic soldiers, that he forgets what happens when you kill a group of people to benefit others. This action is also called war, and the planet surely has had enough of it by now.

      Sir John Beddington is just the tip of one big rotten iceberg!

  15. muhammad ali says:

    The sad thing is such disaster are taking place today, only the media is too corrupt to show the truth. They use clever forms of propaganda to create hatred and divisions between people and then when wars are waged illegally by the money men and politicians who run our nations the horrors that are committed will never be shown, lest people should unite and challenge those in power. The media has failed to arm the people with the correct information and the truth by which we can challenge the fools and evil people who are creating a hell on this earth. We should not get wrapped up in this idea of nationalism, as it leads to hatred division and racism. We should unite in humanity and together as a people and a united Society regardless of who we are we can make a difference. But the sad reality is majority of peoples thinking is if it aint affecting us why should we care.

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