Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Unhealthy Progress


As far as the majority of our global populous is concerned, ‘progress’ is to be appreciated wholesale, that is uncritically. From the perspective of principled analysis, however, progress has always been ‘ill defined.’ Without a doubt, it is and has always been a double edged sword that has not been handled carefully. Since the advent of the industrial revolution collective humanity, willy-nilly, abandoned all rounded criticality in favor of some of its attractive offspring; such as machine think and machine do! The mindset of the time that gave free reign to the ascendance of such thinking and doing was very understandable, after all, it is through ‘progress’ humanity eliminated its major adversaries; pestilence like tuberculosis, syphilis, polio, smallpox, etc and grinding toil that taxed the muscle and more (by utilizing electricity, etc.) For over two centuries, the comfort that was brought about by man’s tinkering (half thinking and half doing) was worshipped wholesomely but uncritically. We are now entering an era in which the former sacrosanct status of ‘progress’ is becoming increasingly difficult to rationally justify. As we move into the 21st century, the consequences of accumulated ‘progress’ is proving a menace to all life, humanity not excepted!
To start with, our complex world (material and social) must be appreciated for what it is and not for what we want it to be. In light of recent development our usual simple minded approach to progress must be thoroughly revised. For example the global economy produces thousands of new chemical compounds every year, for all sorts of reasons. To expect the existing regulatory bodies (such as FDA, et al) to examine each and every one of these chemicals for health/life compliance is a bit unrealistic. Even worse, to expect the agencies to know the ultimate consequences of the various combination/permutations of these thousand of chemicals is absolutely ludicrous! Unfortunately the general populous is systematically encouraged to believe the gross fallacy; ‘the agencies are on top of things.’ We say baloney!
For example we can state, point blank and scientifically that almost all processed food without exception, are less fit for human consumption than wholesome natural ones. Hygienically cleaning food should not be confused with polluting it with all sorts of chemical compounds, like preservatives, etc. When we continuously feed cows, (herbivores) crushed bones/meat like carnivores and expect them not to get MAD, is itself maddening.  MAD cow disease kills people. Watching the stupid box (TV) across the globe, even for few minutes, can sufficiently dis/misinform the gullible beast (the human mass) about the actual nature of processed food. As usual, the captured states serve as accomplices in the various manipulative schemes of entrenched interests, at the expense of the well being of their own populace. See Ellen’s article next column.
In the 1960s the first scientist ever to isolate significant quantity of plutonium (1.2 milligram in the 1940s) John Gofman, came up with a startling finding: ‘that ionizing radiation was a much greater contributor to mutagenesis and cancer than previously assumed and recommended at least a tenfold reduction in the legally permissible dose to the public from nuclear pollutants. Gofman-Tamplin further expressed concern about and opposition to using underground nuclear explosives to liberate natural gas, and by 1971, urged a five-year moratorium on licensing additional nuclear power plants to allow time for realistic consideration of the requirement, based on health considerations, for nearly perfect containment of radioactive by-products at every stage of the nuclear fuel cycle.’ Gofman, who did his dissertation (PhD in nuclear chemistry and also an MD) under Glenn Seaborg, the discoverer of plutonium and later commissioner of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) fell out of favor with the whole establishment cabal (Congress, Livermore, AEC, etc) because of his insistence on the grave danger of ionizing/nuclear radiation.
All the radionuclide, including plutonium that permeated our earth at the time of its formation gradually dissipated, clearing the way for life forms to emerge. Today all the plutonium we flirt with are exclusively created by man in nuclear reactors and this particularly dangerous element takes thousands of years to dissipate completely. (Plutonium-239 has a half life of 24,100 years.) A kilogram of plutonium is more than enough to wipe out a billion people, if administered individually. In other words, done properly, seven kilograms of plutonium is enough to do away with the whole of the human race. See the article on page 50.
So far and luckily, the handling of plutonium has been very difficult at a scale so eagerly desired by the ‘killing industry’ (military-industrial complex.) Therefore this weapon of silent mass destruction has not been very effective for very small targets, at least so far. Nevertheless, the recent Russian spy saga (London, 2006) that effectively utilized the weapon of radioactive nuclide to get rid of unwanted personnel is a harbinger of things to come!
We hope Gofman’s findings and his recommendations that are systematically ignored by the global nuclear establishment, (including IAEA type outfits) will see the light of day in a more enlightened future. Recently and encouragingly the most prestigious scientific body in the world, the ‘American Academy of Science’ came very close to endorsing Gofman’s findings. In layman’s term what Gofman declared was: “there is no safe level of exposure to ionizing/nuclear radiation, including the humble X-ray!” Naturally this statement cannot be accepted by the callous nuclear lobby that always want to play yo-yo with its phony and arbitrary ‘safe and legal level of radiation.’ Remember the ever changing ‘safe radiation level’ at Fukushima? When it is the regulatory bodies of the states that declare ‘safe level of exposure’ to radiation, we can only say baloney! We believe playing with nuclear fire (truly God’s fire) is way out of the league of human progress; in fact it is one of the ‘unhealthy progresses.’ In the mean time the global beast can take solace in knowing next to nothing about the purposely concealed intricacies of the phenomenally dangerous nuclear phenomenon by hiding behind: “Ignorance is a bliss” Good Day!