On March 8th, legendary activist Helen Caldicott spoke at The Great Minds Series in Santa Monica. Every bit of her vivacious Aussie humor and personality was used for one thing: Getting her message across, as she has done for forty years. And this message is more vital today than ever—the continuous proliferation of nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons. Even after she met with Reagan, Mitterand, and had the support of Phil Donahue, Paul Newman and others, she is still out there with the message of her book, NUCLEAR POWER IS NOT THE ANSWER.
As a medical doctor, she tries to get across to the sleeping public that with global warming and nuclear contamination, our planet is literally in the intensive care unit. We who suffer from ‘psychic numbing’ do not realize how vulnerable is the future of life on earth, thanks to the hair trigger weapons that could go off any moment. Obama is accompanied at all times by an agent carrying ‘the football’—a suitcase containing the easy push button that could trigger a barrage of nuclear weapons. Or it might be teenage hackers who could replicate the scenario seen in the film, “War Games.” New York is targeted with 15 hydrogen bombs, along with every other major city, AND every nuclear reactor site—the worst scenario of all for the whole planet. After the hair loss, nausea and diarrhea, all white blood cells are killed and we bleed to death…
Caldicott was accompanied last night by Mrs. Karen (Stanley) Kramer, who spoke about the 50th anniversary of her husband’s 35 films and 87 Oscar nominations. Every film had a message along with the great art. From “High Noon” to “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” he effected change in our lives. It was his landmark film, “On the Beach” that set Helen Caldicott on her life mission—the story of the end of the world as we know it after a nuclear war. A must see film.
Helen spoke of the many fallacies and senseless ways the media determines the fate of the Earth, more every year. She spoke of how in Australia, citizens are fined $50 if they don’t vote, and the candidates’ campaigns are covered by the government. She feels that Hollywood could determine the fate of the planet since we are so attuned to our celebrities. She has reached out to many, spoken at the Playboy Mansion, and wants to get to them by listing what nuclear contamination has done to children living near reactors in Germany and France where there are dramatic rises in childhood leukemia.
We live with a socialized killing machine—with our tax dollars supporting illegitimate wars—and a capitalist health system, equally designed to make a profit just as the war machine does.
In her book, Loving This Planet, she cited the words of Dr. Romanoff, an expert in global warming who states: “It IS too late.” Already in Australia and Tasmania, the miles of leaping bush fires and exploding Eucalyptus trees are contrasted with unparalleled flooding.
She spoke of Fukushima and the shameful coverage of the full range of contamination by the media here and in Japan. Although 50 million have been evacuated in Japan, several million Japanese were misled and as a result, fled right into the path of the worst radiation. One hundred tons of radioactive water is still vulnerable to collapse in a fourth reactor still (barely) standing. Yet still, our nuclear industry refuses to abide by the post-Fukushima guidelines, because our nuclear regulator department is owned by the nuclear industry. If no one falls over dead immediately, they claim “No health hazard,” choosing to ignore the latent period of carcinogenesis before full-blown cancer occurs, and ignore all the mutant birds and radioactive fish that Hillary still imported from Japan.
Helen feels she had more response back in the seventies and eighties. In 1978, she brought 2,300 doctors together to talk about nuclear effects. There was a pastoral letter from a bishop. Her meeting with Reagan led him to state “Nuclear war cannot be won,” and helped bring about his meeting with Gorbachev to end nuclear proliferation. When Stanley Kramer chose to raise his family in Seattle instead of Hollywood, they landed just in time for Mt.Saint Helen’s eruption that left ash in every country of the planet. Just a small example of how injury to one organ affects the planetary organism as a whole.
Now we CAN act by participating in the fight to keep San Onofre CLOSED. It has become decrepit, in spite of millions spent to revitalize it, due to its obsolete construction. Whereas Fukushima is 300 miles from a fault line, San Onofre is 3 miles from the San Andreas fault. There is no evacuation plan in place, no insurance to cover the devastation. We now have 23 G.E. built reactors identical to the one G.E. built in Fukushima. There is no financial incentive, except for G,E., to continue the use of nuclear power when solar and wind are now finally becoming profitable, as seen in Germany and France. So let us do our part and engage the younger generation to care about their future, and the planet’s.