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Survival tips for the urbanite: Part 1 – Nuclear Radiation

July 30th, 2012

By Rady Ananda
Activist Post

Though many survivalists like to prepare for TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it), joblessness and homelessness have led me to the end of the world as I know it. With coffee in hand, I opened the warehouse door of my temporary digs to greet the dawn. Only, it’s noon, there’s a downpour, and the smell of rubber from a pile of decomposing tires greets me. This marks Month 4 in New Orleans and two years since I was laid off.

In this vein, I finally started reading Mat Stein’s two survival books, When Technology Fails (2008) and When Disaster Strikes (2011). I also headed over to Jim Rawles’ Survival Blog and Mat’s website, whentechfails.com.

Instead of a lone-wolf, Mad Max world which plays well on film, Stein reasonably argues that individual survival relies on a community of like-minded folks. So plan your survival migration or shelter with room for your core group. The essential wisdom from both books and most survival websites is to plan a strategically sound survival budget, taking into account the climate of where you expect to be after you hit the road.

Few experts would call the US a failed or fragile state given to eco-migration, but most Americans already live in toxic zones, with our land, air and water being systematically poisoned by industry. New Orleans is only one of many areas suffering from hyper-industrialization and weather destruction. Locals call the corridor from here to Baton Rouge, “Cancer Alley.”

Thanks to Corexit and the Macondo Blowout (among hundreds of other oil “spills”), Gulf seafood is unfit for human consumption, and anglers and beachcombers are suffering from a host of health issues including respiratory failure. Birds, turtles, dolphins, and other sea life are dying in mass numbers or are showing up deformed, while federal agencies insist all is well.

I met a man who helped with the cleanup. The toxic brew severely damaged circulation in both his legs, leaving him wheelchair-bound. Grandmothers of the Gulf organizer, Laura Regan, insists her and her husband’s respiratory problems are from swimming in the Gulf after authorities promised the water was safe. She, along with most coastal residents, believe they are still spraying Corexit today. That may explain why the Louisiana Senate buried SB 97 in committee last year, which would have banned Corexit and any other oil dispersant not categorized as “Practically Non-Toxic.”

My romantic notion of sticking my toes in the famous Mississippi after I got here was sullied by the strong industrial odor wafting from the river. It sickened both of us who walked the levy that day.

All over the planet, giant multinational corporations are singly and jointly destroying the landbase for huge swaths of people, and New Orleans is no exception. Three major wars settled this area so that tens of thousands of oil wells could be built, right along with all the chemical and oil refineries, labs, agrochemical dumps, and the 25-year-old Waterford nuclear plant, 20 miles outside the city.

Because Fukushima radiated the Northern Hemisphere, because fracking releases rock-bound uranium that contaminates our local water table, and because I’m in Cancer Alley just miles from Waterford, this first essay focuses on nuclear survival.

Some nuclear survival tips are obvious. Dr John W. Gofman, a distinguished medical and nuclear scientist who worked on the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb estimated in 2001 that 75% of US women who develop breast cancer get it from medical radiation. Simply refuse such tests, including airport body scanners.

When the US Supreme Court thwarted public will and handed Bush Florida, and thereby the presidency, we were led into 9/11 and nuclear war on the Middle East and Africa. Bob Koehler writes:

“Iraq Syndrome must include awareness of our toxic legacy, in particular the radioactive fallout resulting from exploding several thousand tons of depleted uranium munitions. Last year, the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health published a study of the devastated city of Fallujah, pointing out that, among much else, it is experiencing higher rates of cancer, leukemia and infant mortality than Hiroshima and Nagasaki did in 1945. And birth defects abound: ‘Young women in Fallujah are terrified of having children,’ a group of British and Iraqi doctors reported.”

Industrial civilization’s war on the environment is no less radioactive. The US hosts 25% of the world’s nuclear power plants, and even without incidents or accidents, they leak radiation into the local environment, as evidenced by the cancer clusters around nuke plants. Being in New Orleans, I’m exposed daily to whatever is dumped in the Mississippi, including leaking radioactive particles from the several nuke plants that dot its length.

Lest anyone believe health officials and nuclear energy proponents that the harm from Fukushima is minimal (and no longer poses a threat), all they need do is look at the Chernobyl casualties, where only one reactor was involved. Last year, researchers published their review of over 5,000 scientific articles and studies and concluded that a million people have succumbed to Chernobyl radiation. According to one source, the authors explain:

“Emissions from this one reactor exceeded a hundred-fold the radioactive contamination of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. No citizen of any country can be assured that he or she can be protected from radioactive contamination. One nuclear reactor can pollute half the globe. Chernobyl fallout covers the entire Northern Hemisphere.”

Fukushima lost four reactors, with three in complete meltdown, but pro-nuke officials from the World Health Organization on down promise thru lying teeth this poses little to no threat to our health or the environment. As Chernobyl showed, in 30 years, we can expect many Northern Hemisphere survivors to sport tumors and other cancers resulting from radiation-damaged DNA. We can only pray for the unborn, from those healthy enough to reproduce.

Expectedly, US officials also lied about the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster, while cancer rates jumped for those nearby. Richard Wilcox wrote an excellent article on all this that is well worth the read:

“Independent testing in Japan has revealed that fallout from the accident and ongoing accumulation has contaminated food supplies in the Northeast and Tokyo.”

From plutonium-laden fish, “the most toxic substance known in the universe,” to radioactive cesium in California tuna, Wilcox itemizes the destruction of our food supply. Radioactive fallout, of course, contaminates grazelands, meaning our milk and dairy products are also contaminated.

All of us have cause, right now, to ensure our water and food is clean and radiation-free. All of us have sound reason to become survivalists. Here are some tips to protect you and yours...

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