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Radiation is everywhere! (And we’re all gonna die.)

Published by marco on

Updated by marco on

A story of Fukushima radiation is making the rounds, reported variously as Navy sailors have radiation sickness after Japan rescue by Laura Italiano and Kerry Murtha (NY Post) and 70+ USS Ronald Reagan Crew Members, Half Suffering From Cancer, to Sue TEPCO For Fukushima Radiation Poisoning by Brandon Baker (EcoWatch) (with a re-post at AlterNet). Other source cited in the articles are the Washington Times and FOX News, paragons of journalistic integrity.

The user comments on the article are uniformly horrible and make you despair for mankind. They are a cornucopia of stupidity. Helen Caldecott is cited heavily in the comments and historically her statements have ranged from hyperbolic to outright false.

All of the articles include a quote from a sailor that “[m]y thyroid is so out of whack that I can lose 60 to 70 pounds in one month and then gain it back the next.” I am not a doctor but I don’t think that can be true. It sets off warning bells, at the very least.

That the mainstream media isn’t reporting this story doesn’t at all mean that it’s not true. There are plenty of places that usually report stories that are deliberately ignored—and they’re not reporting this either. That makes me more than a bit suspicious. Instead, personal and heavily one-sided activist sites and blogs are cited as sources. If you bother to check those sources, you find that they all reference each other, all citing the same statistics, which seem to have no verifiable or reliable source.

Buried at the end of one of the articles cited above is this nugget, though,

“San Diego Judge Janis L. Sammartino dismissed the initial suit in late November, but Garner and a group of attorneys plan to refile on Jan. 6.”

No detail is given as to why the case was dismissed. It’s a safe assumption that the case was thrown out for lack of evidence or validity, rather than because of a worldwide conspiracy. The case was thrown out of court in November and news that it will be appealed in January is reported without a hint of restraint. I’m not passing any judgment on other stories about Fukushima but I’m not buying this particular one.


#1 - Snopes has information on the cha...c Ocean that's also making the rounds

marco (updated by marco)

The article Fukushima Emergency debunks the fancy we-re-all-gonna-die chart that’s also been making the rounds (shown below).

 Purported chart of Fukushima radiation (it's not)

“However, that chart did not actually track or measure radioactive discharge emanating from Fukushima in 2013, or any other aspect of the Fukushima disaster. It was a plot created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) immediately after the Tohoku earthquake in March 2011 showing the wave height of the tsunami that followed. It had (and has) nothing to do with the flow or spread of radioactive seepage from Fukushima.”

Nice. Take a chart from 2011 about a completely different topic and use it to “prove” that people are being duped by Tepco about the radiation in Fukushima. I think Californians can breathe easy, at least as far as dying from Fukushima radiation is concerned.

““The Pacific Ocean is an enormous place,” said Norman, who found radiation from the Fukushima nuclear power in California rainwater, milk and plants soon after the earthquake and tsunami. “There’s a lot of material between us and Japan. No matter what happens in Fukushima, it’s not going to be a problem over here.””