The Continuing Relevance of "On the Beach"

“It frightened the hell out of me. I’m still frightened.”

These words mark the reaction of a young Australian named Helen Caldicott to a story of the aftermath of mistaken nuclear war, in which those who never even took sides were faced with the slow advance of deadly nuclear radiation on their shores. On the Beach, first a best-selling novel and then a major Hollywood film, confronts the viewer with a number of questions: How would you behave if—in the aftermath of a nuclear apocalypse—you knew you only have a few weeks or months left to live?

Would you carouse riotously, knowing the end is near? Deny that the entire thing is happening? Hope against all logic for a miraculous reprieve? Try to maintain a core of... read more

Anti-Nuclear Movement Founder Backs Cancer Crisis Clean-Up at US Base in Azores

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The cancer epidemic sweeping Terceira Island in the Azores, home to the US Air Base at Lajes, is a health crisis that requires an immediate environmental cleanup, Dr. Helen Caldicott, founder of a Nobel Peace Prize anti-nuclear movement told Sputnik.

“The situation is a severe public health problem and all necessary facilities should be immediately devoted to helping these poor people,” Caldicott, founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, the organization that was the co-winner of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize, said.

Many inhabitants of Portugal’s Terceira Island on which Lajes is located are suffering from deadly diseases, especially cancer, at rates far higher than the rest of the Azores islands in the eastern Atlantic, the Russia-based Ruptly video agency reported.

Caldicott said the report was consistent with a pattern of environmental... read more

Doomsday Clock ticking but prediction remains difficult

By Tom Switzer, Sydney Morning Herald, 30 January 2018

For seven decades, the Chicago-based Bulletin of Atomic Scientists group has kept a symbolic device called the Doomsday Clock. Its purpose is to warn humankind about the prospects of apocalypse.

At the onset of the Cold War, in 1947, the clock was set at seven minutes to midnight. Midnight, of course, means the moment we’re all annihilated. Ever since, the minute hand has yo-yoed between two and 17 minutes before catastrophe. It wavers in accordance with the judgment of prominent scientists and strategists about the state of global order. For instance, the clock’s hand was pushed forward to two minutes to midnight in 1953 when the US and the Soviet Union conducted atomic tests; it was pushed... read more

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg on Trump, press freedom and nuclear secrets on RN Breakfast

Daniel Ellsberg, the man described as the most famous whistleblower of the 20th century talks about Spielberg’s new film The Post, press freedom, Donald Trump, and why he didn’t leak thousands of top-secret nuclear war documents.

Listen to the interview with Radio National’s Fran Kelly at http://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/pgjGBPMbPV?play=true.


... read more

SA’s medical marvel who cheated death, defiant to the end

WHEN Vilma Taylor’s seven-month-old baby Brad was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis in 1964, the specialist assured her he’d be dead before long.

“They said when he was born that five years of age would be his limit,” Vilma, now 86, says. “The specialist said it was a waste of time treating these children, they all die.”

But Brad Taylor, helped by three strong women and an Australian-first heart-lung transplant, defied that prognosis to become South Australia’s most prominent advocate to find a cure for the killer genetic disease that clogs the lungs and digestive system with mucus.

He died on January 5, at 53, which sounds too young but was really a great victory. Even today, life... read more

A Hiroshima Native’s View: ‘More Missiles Will Not Save Us’

By , Honolulu Civil Beat, January 16, 2018

At 8:07 on Saturday morning, Hawaii residents woke up to an emergency alert on their cellphones:


Until a second message called it a false alarm 38 minutes later, the people of Hawaii contemplated the end — the end of their lives, of their families, of essentially everything they know and love.

I am originally from Hiroshima. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Park was within walking distance from my grandfather’s house.

As a family physician, I cared for Marshall Islander survivors of nuclear testing. Disaster medicine is one of my academic interests.

The war... read more

Analyst: Lowballing Anti-Daesh Civilian Death Toll Likely to Fuel Hatred for US

Last week the Defense Department claimed that only 89 civilians had been accidentally killed in US air strikes against the Daesh terrorist group. However, the New York Times reported on Friday that the US air strikes against Daesh had killed 31 times as many civilians as the US military claimed.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US military’s underreporting of civilians killed by counterterrorism strikes will only fuel hatred for America worldwide, global peace activist Helen Caldicott told Sputnik.

“The US military does not count civilian deaths, those that they murdered, only US deaths,” she said. “It is Long Distance Murder and people wonder why young men are turned into so-called terrorists. What would you do if you saw your mother disintegrated before your eyes as death hurtles from the sky?”

Caldicott, founder of Physicians... read more

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