A colleague in Kick Nuclear has made an observation that rings true ……
“I fear that this article which appeared yesterday in the increasingly questionable Guardian, is pure propaganda, exploiting the public’s respect for and trust in ‘science’ to downplay the consequences of the radioactive contamination of a land and the living things which live on it. An increase in animal tracks in snow tell you nothing about the health of the animals, or their lifespans. Nor do I think it tells you wether the animals were born in the contaminated area or migrated there.
Yet another other article re the ‘thriving wildlife of Chernobyl’ was published an hour later in the Guardian yesterday:
Towards the end of this second article Dr Timothy Mousseau is quoted – “THIS STUDY DOES NOT ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF WHETHER RADIATION HAS EFFECTS ON REPRODUCTION, SURVIVAL, LONGEVITY, OR GENERAL HEALTH OF THE ANIMALS SURVEYED” (caps are my emphasis). Although this statement challenges the article’s headline, I fear that many people will read just the headline and perhaps the first paragraph, then move on to another article without question …
I wonder if the SMC (Science Media Centre) helped to write these articles? I believe that the SMC is keen on nuclear power and therefore keen to ‘help’ journalists to reassure the public about nuclear power plants and radiation:
I also recall that ‘Public Acceptance’, was one of key topics of the 2014 World Nuclear Association’s symposium in London.
Fostering ‘public acceptance’ in the UK is no doubt quite urgent now as despite the plummeting costs and soaring viability of renewable energy production, 8 x new controversial and expensive nuclear reactors are being planned: at Hinkley in Somerset; Bradwell in Essex; Moorside at Sellafield in Cumbria, Oldbury in Gloucester and Wylfa in Anglesey, Wales”.
The observation above is backed up by the fact that all the scientific reports on Chernobyl (and there have been very few considering the scale of the accident) which show damage to wildlife and ecosystems are either derided or just plain ignored by the mainstream media. When a report by some of the same scientists was published in March 2014 about radiation impacting the microbes and fungi to such an extent that forests around Chernobyl are not decaying properly, about birds having smaller brains, about fewer spiders and insects, then the mainstream media and The Guardian remained schtum. The Smithsonian Institute was just about the only mainstream outlet to report that :
“According to a new study published in Oecologia, decomposers—organisms such as microbes, fungi and some types of insects that drive the process of decay—have also suffered from the contamination. These creatures are responsible for an essential component of any ecosystem: recycling organic matter back into the soil. Issues with such a basic-level process, the authors of the study think, could have compounding effects for the entire ecosystem”.
Without fully functioning soil, life itself is on a null and void downward spiral. Perhaps the Guardians own George Monbiot’s two loves; rewilding and nuclear new build will finally come together in a future dystopia here in Cumbria where the reintroduced lynx can roam free in an environment emptied of people and, as that other nuclear lover, James Lovelock has said: “The lifespans of the wild things might be shortened a bit, but the animals wouldn’t know, or care. Natural selection would take care of the mutations.”