One of the things you always have to remind and ask yourself in business is, “What is your purpose? What is it you’re trying to do?” If you focus on what it is you’re trying to do that will help you avoid the trap of getting caught up in how you’ve done things before. ~ Steve Forbes, Editor-in-chief of Forbes Magazine
Pretty much everyone in America has heard of Forbes Magazine, which gears itself towards “Information for the world’s business leaders.” Their focus is primarily economic news, but occasionally they feel a rush of technical savvy and undeserved confidence in writing about complicated issues like the health effects resulting from massive, un-contained nuclear accidents. Getting only about 5% or so of the information correct doesn’t seem to be a concern for them, either. Unless of course, as we see so often in the mainstream media, there is an ulterior motive for sharing such drivel. Sometimes, the writers affiliations in other branches of said industry…in this case obviously nuclear…can also be a clue to why an article would be so skewed and incorrect (more on that later). One shining example of this kind of bs journalism was Forbes Magazines’ most recent article on the health effects of children living around the Fukushima nightmare, of which I am still fielding questions and emails about almost 2 weeks after its publication.
The article, titled “Scaring the Japanese people with radiation is criminal” by Dr James Conca, flounders like a bipolar drunk between tired pro-nuke arguments and making confusing statements to justify its many contrived points, some of which don’t even make any sense at all. I had to look twice at his education because I couldn’t believe a doctor could be so irresponsible when it comes to the health of children, but turns out he’s just a PhD. In fact, the article was so poorly written, I wasn’t going to even be bothered addressing the many inconsistencies and blatant lies contained within it, because they were so obviously wrong. The whole thing just reeks of desperation. But after watching the nuclear shills throwing this article in everyone’s face over the past few days on twitter, I decided it would be a worthwhile dissection, if nothing more than to hopefully ruin a few nuke-lovers’ long weekends. And when I started digging into the sordid past and unholy alliances of both Steve Forbes and the writer James Conca, the article basically started writing itself. So, here we go.
“I realize many journals and on-line publications need sensational headlines to attract readers. It seems necessary in these times of social media and 24-hour news cycles.”
Oh, you mean like the headline I used for this article? It might actually be funny, if it weren’t true. Of course, Conca is no dummy, or he wouldn’t be writing for a propaganda rag like Forbes. Some of his more recent titles show he employs this technique as well, with headings like “Why on earth is China afraid of Plutonium in Japan?” “EPA hits nuclear power with Kryptonite” or “Hurray for Carbon Rules!” and yes, exclamation point in the title, because he is about 5. Of course, with the top searches on Forbes‘ website being “Highest paid athletes” and “Celebrity 100” – it’s a fairly safe assumption that most Forbes readers probably don’t give a sh*t about radiation anyway, but we’ll trudge on for those who do.
“…it becomes unethical to push bad science without doing at least a little due diligence. A recent textbook case of this malfeasance is the Fukushima-induced thyroid scare in Japanese children. There is no increase in thyroid health problems in Japanese children living in and around the Prefectures of Fukushima and it is unlikely there ever will be (UN Report; Nuclear News; J. of Am. Phys. and Surg.; CBCnews; Hiroshima Syndrome; National Geographic; Asahi Shimbun)”.
WHOA hold on. Right off the bat, we can see how sketchy his support for his article will be. Conca uses sources from the UN (Agenda 21), mainstream news in Canada and Japan (who lied about air results, turned off monitors, or just ignored them all together), Hiroshima Syndrome (which has nothing to do with physical health, but rather describes the fear of all other things nuclear – which is smart, not derogatory), and the vapid documentaries of National Geographic. As nuclear researchers we are used to the absolute garbage from NatGeo about the health effects from Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, perhaps Conca is not. Most likely though he is just cherry-picking data to boost his case, another tactic we see on almost a daily basis to downplay the effects of radiation on health.
“However, many so-called researchers, activists and reporters claim thyroid cancers have exploded in Japan and Japanese children are dying by the thousands (Business Insider; Eco Child’s Play). They intentionally compared the wrong data sets, data sets that were not comparable, that used different methods, looked at different characteristics, even different ages.”
The 2 cited pieces gives readers a warm fuzzy feeling that sources are linked, and that Conca can back up his crap, even though the Eco link actually goes nowhere. The link that does work to Business Insider points to interesting evidence that does support a growing body of data and knowledge that this accident is far worse than anyone has been officially told. The only person who said “Thousands of kids are dying in Japan” is Conca himself, in his own article. Someone like him, being all wrapped up in Agenda 21 and all, should at least be familiar with the term Precautionary Principle and why you use this approach when the health of children are at stake, especially in the absence of hard data, which by the time you get it is unfortunately too late, especially during and after nuclear accidents, which history has shown, repeatedly. It would appear Conca may have an axe to grind with Business Insider, too…perhaps because of that long-standing issue of BI breaking the story on Steve Forbes’ pedo cover-up? Naw, I’m sure that has nothing to do with why Forbes Mag would try to make them look bad… right?
“These news entities are not particularly known for their treatment of scientific issues and might be forgiven for not recognizing bad research, but just a phone call to a real scientist would have gone a long way to preventing this scare.”
To what “real scientist” shall we direct our calls? How about Alexy Yablokov, for starters? Or the Nesterenkos? Or Yuri Bandazkevsky, who was imprisoned for years for connecting (and proving) that radiation affects children’s hearts? Or should we consult with the same government scientists that Conca associates with…the ones that all play for the same ‘team’ as him? Yeah, no thanks.
“However, these we-want-to show-children-dying-so-everyone-will-hate-nuclear-energy types have purposefully compared the total data sets knowing full well that the recent ones would have thousands more small nodules not reported in the older data and, therefore, would make it appear that Fukushima had a huge health effect on children.”
I think the hyphenated sentence is Conca’s weak attempt at being funny, which falls flat like his research. Conca would like people to believe that it is the fault of the equipment used, and not what the equipment is finding. This is just one of the tactics frequently employed when litigation involving large, dirty companies that spill and pollute, and later sicken and kill people in the surrounding communities that they contaminated. If you can create doubt, then the jury will be less confident about what has taken place. Murderers, rapists, and child molesters all use this tactic at trial as well. “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” In fact, Conca/Cochran is so good at these tactics that he was appointed Director of the Center for Laboratory Science at RJ Lee Group, Inc. What RJ Lee does is help dirty, lying, POS companies that are in a precarious legal position win their cases, as it basically states right on their Wikipedia page and website. This kind of legal spin-doctoring also came in super handy for the US Government when RJ Lee Group actively consulted with and supported EPA Region 2 in evaluating air quality in Lower Manhattan following the demolition of the Twin Towers on 9/11. And we know now how well that turned out for first responders, and people who dug through the Trade Center rubble for weeks and months afterward. 1400 people developed cancers, and many of them are already dead.
“Scaring parents might be acceptable on Facebook, but in serious news outlets it’s criminal.”
People who lie about the extent of damage from a nuclear accident that will affect the health and DNA of the exposed for centuries, especially CHILDREN – is actually beyond criminal, and hopefully there is a special place in hell just for them. Conca’s specialty is assuaging fears through Forbes so economic outlooks will be as happy-go-lucky as possible for the nuke industry, just like he used to do for WIPP (more on that shortly). Someone who works closely with the US government would also know this of course all too well (more on that shortly, too).
“There was never enough of an iodine-131 dose to children after the Fukushima accident to cause any problems because the Japanese government, for all their other issues, did the right thing in initially evacuating the region, and then preventing anyone from eating produce and drinking milk from that area until I-131 decayed away in the first two months. The Soviets did not do this after Chernobyl and that is the primary difference in the thyroid doses (Scientific Reports) plus the vastly lower radiation emissions to the Japanese around Fukushima versus the Ukrainians around Chernobyl…Cs-137 and Sr-90 don’t affect the thyroid. They have a different biochemistry.”
Good god, there are so many things wrong with this paragraph besides the run-on sentences that I don’t even know where to start. First off, because Mr Conca wants to be so scientific and all, let’s see a link for his claim “There was never enough of an Iodine-131 dose to cause any problems” because for every link he has, I have 5 more that will say the opposite. The Chernobyl Accident involved a reactor a third of the size of one Fukushima reactor, but of course with Fukushima we had 3 reactors involved (which are still burning underground) and multiple fires in several spent fuel pools. The Chernobyl reactor also didn’t use MOX fuel. In fact, we have never had an accident with MOX fuel. Ever.
Radioactive Iodine comes in many isotopes, such as I-129 which decays with a half-life of 15.7 million years. There are a whole host of short lived, medium lived, actinides, and long lived isotopes that blew out of Fukushima and continue to be emitted to this day, and will for decades – if not centuries. These 2000 different isotopes can affect the heart, brain, endocrine system, circulation, blood system, bone marrow, lymphatic system, sexual organs, skin, and every other system and cell in the body. The energy emitted from radioactive particles shuts down the normal functioning of cells themselves, in addition to mutating DNA. These effects bio-accumulate with every glass of water you drink and every can of tuna you eat, even by the sky-high EPA standards, which are a sick joke. Any one who is a real ‘expert’ in the effect of radiation on health knows this, and will tell you these standards should be significantly lowered, since no radiation is safe, especially when it is coming at you from multiple sources. But people who are clueless, stupid, or just want to mislead you will continue to perpetuate a garbage analysis like Conca has done here, and he continues to do so in the comments section of his article weeks after its publication. Apparently a few other people also took offense to his lies and bs. Some were downright pissed off, and should be. “More importantly, you can’t develop thyroid cancer this fast, it takes more than 4 years, and it’s only been 3 years since the tsunami, and most of this screening was even earlier. So what has been measured so far in this screening is the pre-Fukushima baseline. It is good to do this extensive screening so that we can have a database to compare with the results several years from now when any Fukushima-induced thyroid cancers would actually show up.”
Ugh, this is just nauseating. This misleading statement, which is frequently asserted by the shills to buy themselves time while their industry burns, whiningly say that “It just can’t be from Fukushima, it’s too soon” when basic extrapolation of an accidents releases indicates through plain old logic that the health effects are going to be worse and show up sooner, the worse the accident is and the greater the releases are. Again, the Precautionary Principle should be employed if the goal is to protect people’s health, not draw attention away from it. Are people at Forbes really this bad with math and logic? More likely they just getting creative with it to suit their own interests…which Conca later accuses some world-renowned anti-nuke advocates of doing. Really, these people need some new material, these arguments are just getting annoying and tiresome.
It is well established that exposure to ionizing radiation from external sources can result in the development of thyroid cancer. Considering the other 2000 isotopes that blew out of Fukushima, thyroid cancer is probably the least of their worries. Conca failed to cite that hot particles have been found in Japan hundreds of miles away from the reactors, on the playgrounds of schools, that fuel fragments were found in Norway, or that aerosolized Plutonium was detected in Europe, for just a few examples. Iodine releases have also gone off and on for 3 years, as evidenced by sludge testing in surrounding prefectures, but he would like you to think there was a burp of rads at the start and then it was all over.
“So why are some unethical people declaring children are dying? Because they’re unethical. And they don’t care how many people they hurt as long as their political agenda is met. It’s nasty, cruel and wrong.”
Nasty, cruel and wrong is probably what that kid was thinking when Steve Forbes tried to hide the objectionable, inappropriate, and manipulative relationship forged by his ‘headmaster’, at a school where Forbes was a trustee on the board and conducted his own private investigation (and then didn’t tell anyone about it). But while we are on the subject of political agendas and ethics, and aside from that pesky and scandalous 911-EPA association with RJ Lee Inc., let’s see what other glorious positions Mr Conca has held, since we are being so ethical and all.
Dr. James Conca was named Director of Laboratory Operations at the DOE Hanford Nuclear Waste Sampling and Characterization Facility (WSCF) Note: Hanford is the “most contaminated nuclear site in America” – for those who don’t know.
Dr. Conca is a nuclear waste expert and worked for many years as a regulatory scientist on the Department of Energys Yucca Mountain Project (a failed nuclear waste project), as well as the New Mexicos Waste Isolation Pilot Plant or WIPP (also a failed nuclear waste project).
Dr Conca was Director of the NMSU Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center (who lied and said everyone around WIPP was safe, etc etc) charged with the human health and environmental monitoring in the vicinity of WIPP.
Conca came to NMSU from Los Alamos National Laboratory where he was Project Leader for Radionuclide Geochemistry for the Yucca Mountain Project.
So, in addition to working at a weapons lab where they exhaustively research the best ways to kill people, along with helping the US government pen policies regarding nuclear-everything so it can be shoved down the throats of the public continuously, Conca has been part of the three largest nuclear industry failures in America’s history: Yucca Mountain, Hanford, and the recent and ongoing kitty-litter fiasco at WIPP. That’s quite a record, and one I’m not sure I’d be proud of. He also has a record of being wrong in interviews, and about some pretty important things. In fact, prior to the explosions and radiation releases at WIPP (which are also still going on), he was interviewed about the facility and confidently stated how wonderful and safe it was:
Dr. Conca explained that the facility, which just accepted its 10,000 th shipment of nuclear waste, emits less radiation than you’d get with a dental x-ray. WIPP disposes of Transuranic (TRU) waste in salt caverns one-half mile underground. TRU waste is essentially bomb waste that includes the hats, boots, and tools used during the U.S. government’s weapons program, plus more radioactive waste like cements and sludges left over from reprocessing weapons reactor fuel. Dr. Conca told correspondent Lee that this salt is the best place to store nuclear waste. “The salt is completely unaffected by any nuclear waste you could imagine, period,” said James Conca, a geologist and former director of the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center, a division of New Mexico State University. Dr. Conca explained, These drums will stay here [for 200 million years].
LOL. Except when those containers that are holding the waste start exploding and the ceilings cave in.
Conca’s “exceptional connections” have also granted him the unique privilege of doing an occasional WIPP VIP walk-through (aka photo-op) from time to time, although I doubt he’ll be doing one anytime soon.
As fun as it is to talk about Conca’s record of failures, we should get back to the article. Conca’s pseudo-ethical high ground didn’t prevent him from trashing other people’s reps in his thyroid-kid hit piece. He boldly stated:
“…the same names keep popping up with these stories, like Joseph Mangano, Harvey Wasserman and Helen Caldicott. These articles all say the same thing and reference the same debunked scientific studies that skew data to indicate a non-existent problem.”
This is called PROJECTION, a term used to describe the selfish mental manipulation of others where one projects what they are doing onto other people to make themselves look like the honest, upstanding guy ‘the projector’ wants everyone to think that they are. That also happens to be a major characteristic of narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths.
“Since few in the public read peer-reviewed journals or have the patience to plow through jargon-filled papers, it is the responsibility of scientists to communicate clearly and for journalists to have reputable sources.”
This is where he basically calls everyone stupid, including other journalists and activists that don’t have the intricate connections or immense brainpower that he has to decipher it all and spin it the proper way. He must be very, very proud of himself. Although technically, he still isn’t part of the 1%, and never will be…a joke that seems to escapes his enormous intellect and understanding.
“Ironically, it has repeatedly been shown that the worst health effects from Fukushima have come from the fear of radiation and the forced evacuations, not from any radiation effects…Not one person has, or likely will, die from Fukushima radiation. But many people have died from the forced evacuations, fear and depression resulting from both well-intentioned and politically-motivated ignorance on radiation doses and effects following the accident.”
Just more of the smile and the radiation won’t hurt you rhetoric. These people all take a page out of the same old dirty book.
“Maybe Business Insider needs to follow up on their wanton contribution to this terrorism because, as we all know, radiation fear-mongering is an excellent weapon of terror. Why they would use it against our allies is confounding.”
Ouch, another dig at Business Insider! He’ll probably get 2 gold coins from Steve Forbes for mentioning them twice in one article.
Speaking of Steve Forbes, when interviewed for “Have a drink with Steve Forbes” made this telling statement about his life and work: “Whenever you do a new thing you’re going to have periods of intense anxiety precisely because there is no rulebook. You’re making it up and having to innovate as you go along. The old phrase applies here and that is “You can eat well or sleep well but not both.” Unfortunately the people in Japan aren’t doing much of either, but that doesn’t concern Mr Forbes. The economy of Japan, however does. Some may interpret his statement as having a clear conscience, or a not-so-clear one. Either way a conscience is something both Forbes and Conca have put forth an amazing amount of energy to hide, if they even have one at all.
One can only hope that both men eat a lot of Pacific fish, and have a lot of restless nights over their scandalous and empty lives. This is also where you really, really hope there is such a thing as Karma (See: Jamie Dimon). The boldness and desperation of this nuclear fantasy piece indicates they are facing some serious PR problems in light of the Fukushima Accident and its ‘fallout’ for nuclear energy worldwide, and are doing everything they can to fight for it, even if it means fighting dirty, and throwing a few kids (or ahem, a few thousand) into the fire. If the people in Japan are having sleepless nights, it’s probably because of articles like this one from Forbes, neglect of their welfare by their own government, or the endless ineptness of TEPCO – but not because a few caring activists are trying to save their souls. I’m sure this isn’t the last we have heard from Mr Conca…after all, he has some big people to please by continuing his stellar record of keeping nuclear secrets hidden from the public, and to keep from being shoved off a high-rise like a useless banker. With his partner-in-crime Steve Forbes, another master manipulator only interested in protecting associates, the economy, and his own ass, the two make a great (albeit evil) team. I prefer to play on the other team, the one that actually cares about human beings, and especially our littlest and most vulnerable ones.
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