Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
HAVE YOUR DONATION DOUBLED!

If you are able to donate $100 or more for our Annual Fund Drive, your donation will be matched by another generous CounterPuncher! These are tough times. Regardless of the political rhetoric bantered about the airwaves, the recession hasn’t ended for most of us. We know that money is tight for many of you. But we also know that tens of thousands of daily readers of CounterPunch depend on us to slice through the smokescreen and tell it like is. Please, donate if you can!

FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Deadly Silence Over Fukushima

by KARL GROSSMAN

Amid the cover-up of the Fukushima nuclear power disaster, the title of Kimberly Roberson’s book rings so unfortunately true: Silence Deafening, Fukushima Fallout…A Mother’s Response.

It’s relatively brief at 69 pages but gets to the heart of the catastrophe: the meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant complex in 2011, the months and months of discharges of radioactivity—and the silence of media and public officials.

“The silence after the earthquake, nuclear meltdowns and tsunamis AF [After Fukushima] was truly deafening and unlike anything I had experienced before. Surreal ‘Twilight Zone’ comparisons were hard to avoid,” she writes. “Knowing what I knew, and then seeing those facts to be so thoroughly disregarded by the media and elected officials has begun to take on a sort of nightmare quality.”

“It may take decades for the true magnitude of Fukushima Daiichi to be comprehended, just as the effects of the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown of 1986 are still being realized,” she continues. “This is the story of my attempt to learn the truth, and then to do something about it in my own small way.”

The book, published by VisionTalk, is very personal and written from a mother’s perspective. Roberson is also well-educated about the horrors of nuclear technology.

She relates how, working for Greenpeace in Washington, D.C. in 1986, she opened a “letter from the farmer near the Chernobyl nuclear disaster who had mailed us pictures of grossly deformed farm animals. Those images would later appear in magazines like Time and Newsweek and helped to open the world’s eyes to the largest nuclear disaster to date.”

She writes about a main consequence of pollution from radioactivity and other sources—cancer—and how “it’s reached epidemic proportions.”

As to the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster, she tells of the English version of the landmark book, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, published by the New York Academy of Sciences 25 years after the accident—with the horrible consequences manifest. The book, written by a team of European scientists led by Dr. Alexey Yablokov of Russia, concludes that based on available medical data, nearly one million people around the world died as a result of fall-out from Chernobyl.

“At Chernobyl,” Roberson writes, “there was one reactor affected” while “at Fukushima there are four, and workers are still struggling to contain radiation there as of this writing nearly one year after the disaster began March 11.”

The book is studded with breaks for quotes such as that from Gandhi: “First they laugh at you, then they ignore you, then they fight you, then you win.” Winning over nuclear power is still far off, however. Roberson writes how in Spring 2011, “Apart from the occasional Internet bombshell…the deafening media silence around Fukushima raged on.”

She, however, has been taking action—which she writes about.  There is a petition campaign and, with the findings of radioactivity in her home state of Calilfornia, the creation of the Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network.

“While young children, the elderly and immune deficient are at particular risk, the Fukushima Daiichi will affect us all globally for generations to come just as at Chernobyl,” Roberson writes. “One thing we do know is that we are at a crossroads with nuclear power.”

Roberson’s book helps in choosing a direction: away from this lethal technology.

Karl Grossman, professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College of New York, is the author of the book, The Wrong Stuff: The Space’s Program’s Nuclear Threat to Our Planet. Grossman is an associate of the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion.

COMING IN SEPTEMBER

A Special Memorial Issue of CounterPunch

Featuring recollections of Alexander Cockburn from Jeffrey St. Clair, Peter Linebaugh, Paul Craig Roberts, Noam Chomsky, Mike Whitney, Doug Peacock, Perry Anderson, Becky Grant, Dennis Kucinich, Michael Neumann, Susannah Hecht, P. Sainath, Ben Tripp, Alison Weir, James Ridgeway, JoAnn Wypijewski, John Strausbaugh, Pierre Sprey, Carolyn Cooke, Conn Hallinan, James Wolcott, Laura Flanders, Ken Silverstein, Tariq Ali and many others …

Subscribe to CounterPunch Today to Reserve Your Copy

More articles by:

Karl Grossman, professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College of New York, is the author of the book, The Wrong Stuff: The Space’s Program’s Nuclear Threat to Our Planet. Grossman is an associate of the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion.

October 18, 2017
Patrick Cockburn
Seizing Kirkuk
John Wight
Weinstein as Symptom: Notes From Hollywood
Matthew Hoh
Bowe Bergdahl: Traitor to American Exceptionalism and White Supremacy
Chris Ernesto
Funding for War vs. Natural Disasters
Aidan O'Brien
Where’s Duterte From and Where’s He Going To?
Jon Bailes
Mental Health and Neoliberalism: an Interview with William Davies
Ramzy Baroud
The Real Reason Behind Trump’s Angry Diplomacy in North Korea
Paul Craig Roberts
Washington, Not China, is the Biggest Threat to American Power
Mike Davis
El Diablo in Wine Country
Binoy Kampmark
Trump’s Iran Deal
Lara Merling
Remember Puerto Rico Needs Fair Medicaid Funding Too
Phil Rockstroh
2 or 3 Things I Know About Capitalism
Eoghan O’Suilleabhain
Rambo Wept: Our Commandos Good, Your Terrorists Bad
Dimitris Bellantis
On Catalonia: Debates in the Greek Left
Robert Koehler
The Calm Before the Storm
Mike Hastie
Napalm Sticks to Kids
October 17, 2017
Suzanne Gordon – Ian Hoffmann
Trumpcare for Veterans? VA Outsourcing Will Create Healthcare Industry Bonanza
Patrick Cockburn
The Real Destabilizer in the Middle East is Not Iran But Trump
Jonathan Cook
The Real Reasons Trump is Quitting UNESCO
Murtaza Shibli
My Friend From ISIS in Raqqa
Kathy Kelly
Wrongful Rhetoric and Trump’s Strategy on Iran
David Bonner
Beyond Taking a Knee: Duane Thomas, Where are You When We Need You?
Tom Gill
Austerity, Macron-Style
Liaquat Ali Khan
Pakistan Faces a Life-Threatening Military Coup
Jeff Mackler
Is Trump a ‘Moron?’
Amena Elashkar
If You Work for Justice in Palestine, Why Won’t You Let Palestinians Speak?
John Feffer
Trump’s Unprecedented Right-Turn on Foreign Policy
Ariel Dorfman
Trump’s War on the Mind
Dean Baker
The Republican Tax Plan to Slow Growth
Gerry Brown
The Return of One-Man Rule in China?
Binoy Kampmark
Climate Change Insurgent: Tony Abbott’s Crusade
Kent Paterson
Assassination in Guerrero: the Murder of Ranferi Hernandez Acevedo
Rob Okun
Men and Sexual Assault in the Age of Trump
October 16, 2017
Vijay Prashad
A Tale of Two Islands
Ben Dangl
Profiting from America’s Longest War: Trump Seeks to Exploit Mineral Wealth of Afghanistan
Jan Oberg
Trump is Moving Toward War With Iran
Thomas S. Harrington
The Baseless Myth of the Poor, Propagandized Catalans
Steve Brown
When a Radio Host Interviews a War Criminal, Is It Churlish to Ask About His War Crimes?
Howard Lisnoff
Capturing the Flag
Patrick Cockburn
ISIS is Facing Near Total Defeat, But It Has Been Beaten and Come Back Before
Julian Vigo
The Fall of Harvey Weinstein and the Sexual Blindspot of Misogyny
James Munson
The Rich Can’t Achieve Plurality, But the Poor Can
Amitai Ben-Abba
The NIMPE Critique of Antifa
Robert Fisk
We Will Soon See What the Word “Unity” Means for the Palestinian People
Alice Donovan
Civil War in Venezuela: a US Joint Operation with Colombia?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail