A Ray of Hope

Less than two weeks ago one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded hit Japan’s East Coast. Right on the heels of that natural disaster an enormous tidal wave added to the devastation. The survivors of that double-barreled calamity are now struggling to salvage what they can of their properties and their lives.

But that was last week’s news. All the stories now are about threatened “meltdowns” of the nuclear power facilities that were crushed during those natural calamities. Forget about earthquakes and tsunamis. It’s the dangers of nuclear power that we need to worry about. People could get hurt, you know, if those “nu-cu-lar” plants “melt down”. And then there’s all that radiation that could spread around the world. We could all be killed.

Right. The sky is falling.

People have been dumbed down. Rather than open a book and get to the truth, it’s always so much easier just to watch and listen to those talking heads on the major TV news channels. But this is the generation where so many students found it a lot easier just to copy the other guy’s homework ten minutes before class started. Remember?

It isn’t likely that very many of our present-day scholars even heard of Dixie Lee Ray. No, she wasn’t a rock star, she was someone with class. She was properly addressed as “Dr. Dixie Lee Ray”. She was the first woman on the Atomic Energy Commission, and when Chairman of the Commission she championed nuclear power plant construction. She was quite a lady. Among her many awards and honors, she was the recipient of the United Nation’s Peace Prize, she was voted Woman of the Year by the Ladies’ Home Journal, and she was named by Harper’s as one of the ten most influential women in the country in 1977.

It goes without saying that she (R.I.P.) knew a lot more about “nu-cu-lar” radiation than the fear-mongering talking-heads that have been pontificating these past few days, but those nerds don’t get anything right, anyway.

Dr. Ray published “Trashing the Planet”, seen by some as a breath of fresh air in the current ravings dominated by the rhetorical extremists. As Dr. Ray reminded her readers in Chapter 8 of that publication, “For all those who do not like radioactivity, the earth is no place to live. The simple fact is we inhabit a radioactive world, always have, and always will. Our bodies receive the impact of about 15,000 radioactive particles per second – that’s 500 billion per year and 40 trillion in a lifetime. We don’t feel them or suffer any apparent ill effect from this constant bombardment.

“We have no human sense to detect radioactivity. No sight, sound, or smell reveals it. Radiation has been something like magnetism or gravity or molecules – unknown or at least not understood until instruments were developed that measure the phenomenon with incredible accuracy.

“Indeed, one of the difficult aspects of the radiation phobia is that our ability to measure radioactivity has become so accurate and precise that it is now possible to detect the scintillation of a single atom. Unbelievably small amounts are measurable; for example, one part per billion is easily counted.

“How much, or rather how little, is that? How can we visualize one part per billion? One way is by analogy: One part per billion (called a nanocurie) is equivalent to one part of vermouth in five carloads of gin. Now that is a very dry martini.

“Or, look at it another way: There are now about five billion people living on this planet. Therefore, one family of five persons represents one part per billion of the entire human population.

“What about radioactivity at the level of one part per trillion? This unit is referred to as a picocurie (pCi) and is one thousand times less than a nanocurie (nCi). It would be analogous to one drop of vermouth in 5,000 carloads of gin!

“When clouds containing radioactivity from the Chernobyl accident in the U.S.S.R. in April 1986 reached the West Coast of the United States, the popular press was full of dire warnings about possible fallout, even reporting how many picocuries had been measured in the clouds. But nowhere did reporters explain that a pCi is one part in a trillion. A person would have to drink 63,000 gallons of rainwater, all at once, to receive as much radioactive iodine from the fallout as a patient receives in a diagnostic test for thyroid problems. A formidable task.

“There is radioactivity everywhere, in the ground, in sand and stone and clay. In the words of Walter Marshall (Lord Marshall of Goring), who served for years as head of Great Britain’s Atomic Energy Council and is now director of the Central Electricity Generating Board:

“‘In my own country, the United Kingdom, I like to point out that the average Englishman’s garden occupies one tenth of an acre. By digging down one meter, we can extract six kilograms of thorium, two kilograms of uranium, and 7,000 kilograms of potassium, all of them radioactive. In a sense, all of that is radioactive waste, not man-made, but the residue left over when God created the planet.'”-

We’ve heard from Dr. Dixie Lee Ray and from Lord Marshall Goring, now listen to what Dr. Edward Teller had to say. “Nuclear power,” he maintained, “is the safest instrument yet invented by man … there is more to the antinukes and antitechnologsts, however, than horror stories and elitism. They have a deeper motive: the desire for power. For them, power to sway people is sweet; and the exercise of such power becomes easy if one is not constrained by knowledge of facts and the responsibility to stick to those facts.”

For example, how many are aware that the greatest “catastrophe” in the history of U.S. nuclear power plants – the Three Mile Island failure – resulted in zero dead, zero injured, and zero diseased? No one died at TMI, and no one even came close. And how many are aware that electric power generated by fossil fuels kills some 20,000 Americans every year? And our last question: Will human intelligence and human decency ever see past the concerted onslaught of the brainwashers in the news media who are handsomely endowed by the international oil cartels? Not likely.