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Re: [cdn-nucl-l] Caldicott's latest.....
FYI, the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize was won by the International Physicians for
the Prevention of Nuclear War:
The Physicians for Social Responsibility (www.psr.org) is apparently their US
affiliate. Their focus is clearly not being an anti-nuclear energy lobby
group as the article appears to imply...
Quoting Jaro <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
> 'We should not be exporting uranium because you are exporting cancer'
> July 2, 2006
> Not recognised among Australia's 100 most influential people, anti-nuclear
> campaigner Dr Helen Caldicott still stands tall on the world stage, Erin
> O'Dwyer writes. 'We've gone backwards decades under Bush and Howard'
> LIKE all our best intellectuals, Helen Caldicott is better known in the
> United States than at home.
> In 1982, she silenced a crowd of 1 million people who gathered in New
> Central Park to hear her speak on nuclear disarmament.
> But in 1998, when she addressed 1000 people in Engadine protesting against
> Sydney's Lucas Heights reactor, Caldicott was shouted down by hecklers.
> It was a similar story last week when The Bulletin magazine listed 100 of
> the most influential Australians. Cookery writer Margaret Fulton and pop
> star Kylie Minogue made the cut. Helen Caldicott, the world's leading
> anti-nuclear voice, did not. [ I'm shocked! ....here, she would have been
> awarded the Order of Canada, at the very least!]
> Yet she has been named as one of the 100 most influential women of the 20th
> century by the Smithsonian Institution, and she was nominated in 1985 for
> the Nobel peace prize.
> Perhaps it's tall poppy syndrome. Perhaps it is sexism. Or perhaps
> is unsung here simply because we have stopped listening to her message.
> "In the '70s and '80s, Australia was very anti-nuclear," she says. "And I
> used to be very well listened to in Australia in the '70s and '80s. But
> we've gone backwards decades under the Bush Administration and under the
> Howard administration and it's been quite devastating." [yes, yes, we're
> This month Caldicott publishes her sixth book - Nuclear Power Is Not The
> Answer To Global Warming Or Anything Else (Melbourne University Press). It
> comes as the nuclear energy debate heats up amid increased awareness that
> Australia has about 40 per cent of the world's recoverable uranium
> Caldicott hopes the book will penetrate the political untruth that nuclear
> energy is a safe, green alternative.
> "[People] think that it is the answer to global warming," she says, "but in
> truth it adds to global warming. It does not fix it."
> Caldicott's message has always been simple. Nuclear energy leaves a toxic
> legacy to future generations because it produces not only global warming
> gases but also massive amounts of toxic carcinogenic radioactive waste. It
> is also far more expensive than other forms of electricity generation and
> can trigger proliferation of nuclear weapons.
> Even worse, radioactive elements in nuclear-powered countries are already
> leaking - into the ground, into rivers and oceans, and into the food chain
> [whoa! ...I just had a beer containing radioactive Carbon-14.... and then I
> took a leak... ohmygawd!!! ].
> Already 40 per cent of Europe's landmass is radioactive after Chernobyl
> [Wow - no radioactivity whatsoever in the other 60% of Europe's landmass!
> ...that's quite a clean-up job!], and increasingly so are its food
> Alarmingly that includes human breast milk.
> Caldicott warns that as more people are exposed, cancers such as leukemia
> will become more common. So will genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis.
> "We should not be exporting uranium because by exporting uranium, you are
> exporting cancer," she says.
> A pediatrician who specialised in cystic fibrosis, Caldicott first grabbed
> headlines protesting against French nuclear testing in the 1970s. She used
> her profile to mobilise trade unions and elicited an ACTU resolution to ban
> uranium mining.
> After migrating to the US in the late '70s with her then husband Bill
> Caldicott, she became a faculty member of the Harvard Medical School.[...so
> much for any illusions I might have had of that place!] There she mobilised
> doctors and established Physicians for Social Responsibility with 23,000
> influential members. It became one of the US's most powerful anti-nuclear
> lobby groups and won the Nobel peace prize in 1985.
> Caldicott had resigned from the leadership group amid political power play
> and did not attend the ceremony. Yet she refused to let that devastating
> experience stop her. She went on to teach at leading universities and was
> honoured with countless awards and honorary degrees.
> Three years ago, she established the Nuclear Policy Research Institute in
> Washington, known for its high-powered scientific symposiums. She has just
> been named as the inaugural winner of the Australian Peace Prize.
> The journey hasn't always been easy. On the eve of her 50th birthday,
> Caldicott's marriage ended. All her anti-nuclear work was "ashes in my
> She includes the break-up when asked about her personal milestones. She
> includes the births of her six grandchildren. This is because, as a
> pediatrician, Caldicott's motivation has always been her children, her
> children's children and children everywhere. "It's one of the reasons I do
> the work I do," she says. "I practise global preventative medicine."
> This year Caldicott will turn 68. She is slowing down, spending less time
> the world stage and more time with family at her Central Coast hideaway.
> she refuses to go quietly, and has mastered the art of working smarter not
> Now, instead of rallying unionists and doctors, she maintains a contact
> of the world's top opinion leaders and journalists. Three times during our
> interview she quotes Thomas Jefferson about a functioning democracy
> requiring an informed citizenry.
> "In the old days it was grass roots and this time it's tree tops," she
> "I'm getting older and it's more efficient to educate the media because
> through them you get to millions of people."
> Caldicott's motivation might always have been her family, but these days
> is careful to spend more time with them.
> The best example is the night Madonna called to chat about the medical
> dangers of nuclear power.
> Caldicott was preparing a lamb roast for her family and said: "Madonna, I
> can't take your call right now. I'll have to talk to you later."
> "My family has never forgiven me," she says with a laugh.
> "But my children were resentful that I wasn't around much and I do think
> about that. I wish I had been.
> "On the other hand, I was wanting to make sure that they had a future.
> Nothing you do comes without consequences."
> See http://www.nuclearpolicy.org and http://www.helencaldicott.com
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