2006 is the 20th anniversary year of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Powerful pro-nuclear forces are committed to spinning out positive “news releases” and “reports” to lessen the negative impact. Below is a pull-quote from news release on one such official report from the Chernobyl Forum that took place in Vienna in Septemer 2005:
“The number of people killed by radiation as a result of the Chernobyl disaster, the world’s worst nuclear accident, is so far 56… the U.N. said on Monday.”
Not long ago, officials were about to admit to 4,000 Chernobyl dead, but with record-high oil prices the demands for more “cheap atomic energy” is so huge they had to put a much smaller figure.
Now, we see the desperation and cunning of pro-nuclear officials. They raised the death toll from 31 to 56 souls. They can now brag to critics that new report almost doubles the official Chernobyl death toll, but such trickery is insulting to all of us.
Every attempt to set a death toll for Chernobyl accident is pure speculation, no one knows what it was, or will be in the end – not even approximately.
My neighbour who worked in Chernobyl died of cancer at age 56, how in the hell we know if he got this cancer in Chernie and if we shall include him in this list of victims.. However, there are people who absolutely should be included such as cleanup workers, firemen, helicopter pilots, soldiers.. what about them? Why does no official death toll recognize them as casualties of Chernobyl disaster?
Here are two additional official quotes which are as far from the truth as the official death toll:
“Many evacuated areas were now safe, and the area of zones classified as contaminated was too large. Apart from the still closed, highly contaminated 30 km (19 miles) area surrounding the reactor and some closed lakes and restricted forests, radiation levels had mostly returned to acceptable levels”
It’s impossible for us to count victims, but we can travel and count the hundreds of miles of nuclear wasteland that roll past. They only talk about area that is 30 km (19 mile) around reactor, but it is only 1/8 of the total area that was poisoned with radiation. I have a map on my site, it shows the total area that in size of european state. There is no information about Belorussian, nothing known about Russian part of Chernobyl. Those areas are closed for visitors.
As for levels which returned to acceptable standarts, levels has fallen because in 1986 radiation was on surface, in summer 1989, 3 years after the accident, 90% of radiation was in 2cms of soil, now it went in soil on 20 cms, which makes farther decontaminating process impossible. Now soil breathing with radiation from deep inside and sometimes the following element in decay cycle is no less safe then previous, like in case with Americium
The UN report sound like people about to begin to populate those part of the land where according to UN radiation levels had mostly returned to acceptable levels. Let me assure, nothing of this kind is really happens. Each year I travel I see more and more desolated villages and towns. The whole area is dying away. One of the reason why people do not want to settle in areas close to Chernobyl is because the hastily constructed sarcophagus is in danger of collapse.
Almost 20 years have passed since the accident and they even didn’t start building us a decent sarcophagus. How come that the richest industry can not find money to build a new sarcophagus? They have enough means to build new reactors, to bribe news media and politicians all around the world, they rich enough for keeping a death toll so low for so many years, but they have no means, neither political will to protect people of Europe from nuclear meltdown.
Farther, the UN report states:
“Benefits offered to ‘victims’ were expanded to 7 million people now eligible for pensions, special allowances and health benefits. These needed to be scaled down or target only high-risk groups, though it would be unpopular, it said”
Pensions not really worth to mention them, we all know how “generous” are post-soviet officials with pensions, special allowances and health benefits… these benefits hardly worth a trolley ticket to go and pick them up. Victims of Chernobyl would do much better if they had received money that governments spend on organizing all those fake seminars and forums. In any way, I just wanted everyone to know, where we stand with the truth about Chernie on eve of its 20th anniversary. Chernobyl is not just the piece of our past. What government officials are hiding may be the future of our planet, because some day, we’ll have to pay for all lies, hypocrisis and greed of our system.
The Deafening Silence
I grew up in a the Soviet Union and even when I was very young, I clearly remember the inescapable oppression of a totalitarian society. It is like owning a finely tuned piano, and trying to play with an orchestra that is deliberately out of tune because the state has determined that there are just too many notes in the musical scale, so some of them are outlawed.
Five years after the accident, the economy of Soviet Union collapsed. This was a good thing, it seemed for a moment that world harmony might be on the horizon, but that hope now spins out of sight and everything around us is again going out of tune as wars and atomic madness reverberate in overtones of discord and the ticking metronome of our inevitable ruin grows louder each day.
That makes it more important than ever that we immerse ourselves in the solemn task of calmly tuning our souls to perfect pitch and strain to hear the whispers of harmony from others like us – arching over the wall of noise, before we are all surrounded by nothing but the deafening silence of a last vanished opportunity.
In the first few years after the Chernobyl disaster, a very high rate of suicide was reported. The thought of suicide comes creeping when terrors of life come to outweigh the terrors of death. Who could doubt that Chernobyl has provided all mankind with mega-terrors lurking up a blind alley?
Now, the official blame has been laid on those officials who took their own lives, such as Valery Legasov or the first secretary of Communist party in Ukraine, Sherbitsky. I really belive those poor souls who committed suicide following Chernobyl were not complete bastards. Why? Because true bastards are known to have homicidal – not suicidal – tendencies.
About UN policy
(Extract from interview to Bikernet online magazine)
Question Do they really think that people all over the world will believe their reports? Do they assume the average person is just plain dumb? What can people reading this do; to make sure that the Chernobyl disaster is not swept under the carpet and forgotten?
Answer Yes, everyone I know was shocked with UN report in September 2005. Even though we know, they treat us like a fools, no one could expect their lie would be so obvious and offensive, but then, look at what happened in Iraq, this war is fair result of all UN policy and their treating of Arab world like one big, dumb gas station, with their food for oil reports and one fake report about Iraq owning chemical weapons. Now, Iraqis who didn’t have any weapon of mass destruction will try to get it as soon as international troops will leave Iraq. They had nothing to do with Al Kaida, now Al Kaida is in Iraq. In Iran they desperately want to obtain Plutonium for nuclear weapon. What worse is that now Osama became a hero for millions. Bin Laden is not a boss of a gang of thugs and killers as he was a few years ago, he is leader of a large political faction of the Arab world now. 60% of the Arab world are under the age of 20. That is 840,000,000 teenagers. Many of them want to be just like Osama. He is their “Elvis”, who carry AK-47 instead of guitar. But they do not want to learn to play a guitar and run out of gas at a drive in movie on a prom date. They want fill the car with dynamite and kill everyone who do not recite the words of the Koran verbatim. Now, they hate us bitterly, everyday people dying for no good reason and this is result of all UN reports. Best everyone can do to keep Chernobyl story active is to pass link of my story to their friends…
Ukraine will build new reactors. It was one of a first decisions of a new parlament. They call it fuel and energy sovereignity. We already produce more electricity then we need and we supply neighbouring countries with electricity from our nuclear plants, they just want to sell more. They make money at the expense of the health of own citizens and citizens can do nothing to prevent this. It’s because in my part of the world nuclear power will find a support of parlament, regardless of which parties win the election. There is something I need to explain to make it clear.
If you look at parliament in Ukraine, at the beginning your first impression will be that political life is boiling. More than fifty parties continually falling apart and making new coalitions. Much fussing around, crowding and swarming in all directions. If you keep looking you will notice that, year after year, this mass of deputies do not produce any changes. It is because we have the same people in politics that we had during the Soviet years, but now joined with their relatives and protoges. No matter what forms every new parlament, the same people are always present, like the combinations in a kaleidoscope; at every turn a fresh picture strikes the eye, you may think something has changed; and yet, in reality, you see only new combination of the same bits of glass that you saw before. Thus, our parlament is always the same and those deputies who several years ago were about to relinquish their nuclear ambitions now promote nukes anew.
We failed because we should elect new deputies and not listen promises of same old clods, for when they promise voluntarily give up power and their positions for sake of peace and societal harmony, their reason is always necessity and as soon as they are offered a chance to return to the former positions, they leave behind their much vaunted peace and harmony and seize old things with the same fury that fire seizes oily wood.
Today I went to the book market, because I wanted to see what was available on Chernobyl. I found bookcases filled with all sorts of colorful magazines about crime , sex, rock and roll, and fashion, but not a single book about the wasteland that spreads a few hundred kilometers north of Kiev.
In the autumn of 2005, I returned to “Green Cape” town, where years ago I used to ride my motorbike. But the town is nowhere to be found, and I learned that it had been demolished. After the Chernobyl explosion, being located only 50 kilometers South of the reactor, poor “Green Cape” has become yet another nuclear statistic. Not a single building is left there now, no memorial, nothing that indicates the town was there. It was erased from the face of the earth – in exactly the same manner as the books about Chernobyl have vanished from book stores.
In the spring of 2006 I see that still more towns and villages have been erased – all casualties of Chernobyl. I think in future, the Ukraine authorities will demolish all the remaining villages and towns in the area, and drag the remaining radioactive rubble to a final resting place close to the reactor.
Tourism in Chernobyl has no future, because everything is so overgrown and the buildings are beginning to collapse. The idea of tourism won’t find any support of a state officials, because profits of tourist companies offering Chernobyl tours can not even begin to offset the losses of the nuclear industry, so all of the evidence of the many Chernobyl Ghost Towns will need to be disposed of within this generation. Eventually they will even have to bury Pripyat, the greatest of all Ghost Towns.
Who will be there to say the last words over it, and what will they be? “From ashes to ashes, dust to dust, isotope to isotope… ?”
Mourning of officials
State-sponsored mourning, and most all official ceremonies, are magnificent drama productions, and there should be awards for the most convincing performances. Maybe they could call it the Russian or Ukrainian Academy Awards. Like a Hollywood movie, they are meticulously staged illusions – and Chernobyl requiem each April 26 seems to bring out the very best in their acting skills.
After midnight, a large crowd of somber looking politicians gathers at the Memorial to Victims of Chernobyl in Kiev. They stand in long lines, each of them holding their candle, and all trying to out perform each other in their sad displays of feigned compassion for Chernobyl’s dead and unborn.
With slightly bowed heads they slowly shuffle forward and scroll through their well-rehearsed professions of devout sorrow. This pitiful scene of shamefully hollow hypocrisy stars the very same people who were directly responsible for the Chernobyl tragedy, still hide the truth of it, and still line their own pockets as the power and money brokers for new nuclear plants.
For the final crescendo, this tidy mob of oligarchs and ministers scuttle off to a church full of carefully placed cameras – but not to atone for their sinful deeds, and rather to give their despicable posing an air of solemn dignity. Years ago, they used to send Christians to mental institutions and labor camps, but the new state standards now require them to feign the belief in religion.
So there they stand, candles in hand, looking humble in their temporarily adopted sanctuary. Communists, Marxists and atheists all, they cross themselves from left to right, from right to left, then the church Patriarch, a former KGB spy, appears to give them a final blessing.
“Christians” like them make us all wish Jesus really would come back.
From interview to Dagens Nyheter, the day before my book was published
Why do you devote so much of your life to this catastrophe?
Some day those towns and villages will be demolished and I don’t want their memory to disappear. I want to leave a record in images, videos and short stories of how I saw Chernobyl. I am sure, in the future people will appreciate my efforts.
How would you describe the life in this area, when you were a child?
I have lived all my life in Kiev, which is 130 kms South of Chernobyl. I was not present in the Chernobyl area before the catastrophe. My first visit was to the Belorussian part of Chernobyl in 1992. Later I traveled through the Russian part and was impressed with the immensity of the total territory that had been poisoned by radiation.
How is this issue, the Tjernobyl catastrophe, discussed in your country today?
Unfortunately, the human cost of the Chernobyl catastrophe is not often mentioned anymore. Removing it from memory has been a policy of our government for all these years. It is impossible to buy a book about the history of Chernobyl. Now we only see the movies and documentaries about Chernobyl on April 26. Yet even these show only the cold science of nuclear reactions and flawed engineering
The 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine didn’t bring us any progress. Authorities only raised the official death toll from 31 to 56 people. Ukraine does not want to depend on Russian oil and gas and now will build more reactors. Our president is proud when he says that Ukraine already exports electricity to Moldova and Belorus.
How, do you think, will Tjernobyl affect coming generations? Physically and mentally?
This spring I visited different parts of Chernobyl area. I saw new dead villages located 60-90 kms west from reactor. Deserted places can be seen as far as 250 kms on North from reactor. People are leaving. It appears that places that have been affected with radiation have no chance to survive. Sooner or later people will leave them all. This is the saddest thing, towns with a thousand years of rich history now standing in ruins. This is only what we can see, we can not see what affect Chernobyl is having on human health. All such statistics are very controversial. I am sure Chernobyl affects both physically and mentally those who still live in the contaminated areas. It doesn’t affect people who live in other parts of Ukraine. The decision to build new reactors was taken without any public debates or protests. The residents of the towns where they will build new reactors are more concerned about ring-melodies for mobil phones – apparently being eager to sell out their collective genetic future for a few jobs and fast money. Fools gold, I think. I am not an anti-nuclear activist, I am just someone who thinks that we should learn from past mistakes and therefore not build any more reactors close to population centers.
Can you tell me, in detail, what you were doing that very day, the 26th of April 1986?
On April 26th we didn’t know anything about the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear plant. I was very young and I was playing in the streets with other children. The next day, a Sunday, my parents wanted to visit our country house, but there were no busses to be had. 1200 busses had been sent to evacuate people from Pripyat and several hundred more to evacuate people from other villages close to reactor. That evening first official announcement was made on TV, it lasted only 14 seconds. My dad is a nuclear physicist, so the next day he brought a radiation detecting device home from work. It was big as a suitcase. The next two days radiation readings remained normal. At this time Sweden was already affected, but in Kiev all was still normal. The South wind saved us. Then on May 1st the wind changed direction, and that morning the reading at our home showed 1 milliroentgen per hour, which is 100 times greater than normal… I will never forget my father’s face – he just grabbed me and my sister and put us on the train and sent us all off to my Grandmothers, safely away from the radiation.
If some particular region or civilisation at large is to survive, it must live on the interest, not the capital, of nature. Ecological markers suggest that from the creation of the world and until the 1980s, humans were only using renewable resources; by the early 1980s, we’d crossed the point when we started spending the capital, we reached 100 per cent of using nature’s yearly output; and in 2006 we were at 130 per cent, it would take the Earth 16 months to regenerate what was consumed this year. Such numbers may be imprecise, but they clearly indicate that we are on the way to bankruptcy.
In accordance with new program of industrial developement, in a next 15 years Ukraine will build 15 new reactors, growing appetite suggest that we enter the epoch of Nuclear Renaissance and not only here, but all around the World. Atomic energy is being presented as panacea for all economic problems, as a source of environmentally clear energy that will save us from bankruptcy. Unfortunately, they fail to understand that we just take another loan and now we become victims of worse sort of usury, of Time’s usury. It’s just a matter of time untill we will have to pay a rate of interest more ruinous than any other creditor would require.
More about Time Usury
Let me drive home a few examples of Time Usury. It is not really hard to find them. Like, for instance, the sports figure who takes anabolic steroids. Such a one compels Time to grant him/her a loan to finance physical riches in the present. Yet the interest will be compounded and come due later in life with some tragic weakness or chronic malady. One who turbocharges their motorbike can ride faster, but not for very long. Turbocharged engines don’t last. It is possible, for instance, to make a tree bear fruit within a few days, but this will be the only good crop on that tree. Later it will wither away.
It was even thought possible to postpone the food crisis on the planet by switching to hybrid seed and chemical farming. A half-century of government and corporate meddling with the human food supply has produced only little success for such a great cost to the soil, and loss of genetic diversity. The long term impact to human health is as yet unknown, but obesity has already become an international scourge – a graphic example of the ballooning interest mankind is paying for genetically whipping plants into unnatural growth patterns.
Someone who is going to buy food or medicine or is about to vote for new energy sources will want to estimate their safety. Everyone should take into account a maxim of universal application attributed to the Emperor Napoleon: everything that is unnatural is imperfect. Don’t disregard this old Napoleonic rule, because everything that is unnatural is not only imperfect and harmful to consume, but is also very profitable to produce.
Nowadays the blind belief in progress, with all its seeming miracles, breeds a form of arrogance. With most of these miracles, the violation of natural principles to achieve a short term gain will compound a high debt to be paid in the future.
About debt to Nature and nature of debts
Charles Dickens gave very plain and true remark about indebtedness -“If a man had twenty pounds a year for his income, and spent nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and sixpence, he would be happy, but that if he spent twenty pounds one he would be miserable”.
It is really simple with indebtedness of individuals, with nature it is not, for there is no scale for us to measure where we stand with our debt, it is why humanity living off its “ecological credit card” and nature is constantly being abused. There are symptoms however, such as oil wars, rush to build new Atomic plants- they indicate that we are already at the point when easy energy opportunities have dried up. Those symptoms not catastrophic yet, but their trend is clear – they mark the road to misery.
Throughout the 90s, experts in a range of fields have began to see the same closing window of possibility to make the planetary energy system self-sustaining. Half of the world’s Nobel laurates have warned these are the last few years when civilization still has the wealth and time for making positive changes, to set the economic limits in line with natural ones.
Wise people were unison in opinion that it is better to have a life with reduced living standart and energy consumption than no life at all. They warned that failure to take appropriate measures now will risk disintegration of our civilization, because if we don’t do those things now, while we still live in land of plenty, we will never be able to do them when things out of hand. We can only choose while we prosper, decline in prosperity reduce our options- beggars can not be choosers.
Now, just in past ages, the wise are warning of disasters to come. The UN was set up by presumably wise men, and it should be the instrument for turning around the deteoriating world situation. Instead the UN now selfishly serves the interests of the nuclear monster and its corporate patrons.
Post 20th-Anniversary note
The 20th annivesary of the Chernobyl disaster didn’t bring us any lasting solution to the nuclear monster. There was much noise on tv and other broadcast media, and a lot of thrashing in the press… Most of this was only lip-service, being sponsored by numerous organizations and local nuclear barons with no other aim than to mislead the public.
The only days when subject receive publicity and when people hear about Chernobyl is the days of anniversary and this is exactly the time when fountain gets especially muddy with much stirring up, thus there is no way for public to get to the bottom of things or to drive any conclusion.
Here we are in mid-June 2006, only a couple of months later, and all that’s left to remind us of the thousand year tragedy is a few photobooks and couple of movies. There is a thousand times more attention now being given to the world socker championship than ever there was to the 20th anniversary of Chernobyl.
It is impossible for a government of one State to keep the truth of nuclear accidents hidden from the rest of the World. Even so, the UN report of September 2005 is proof that all member governemnts support and further the lie of safe nuclear energy. The real problem with Chernobyl is that in order to go on living people need this illusion and no one wants to face its reality. Not here in Ukraine, not in Russia, not in America or anywhere in Europe. We have different economic and political systems, but greed in high places is the same everywhere and its legacy controls all of us.
Neither we shall expect any breakthrough for truth in the future. Time is not our ally here because it robs us of our memories. Year after year the memory of Chernobyl fades. The only way to keep it alive for future generations is to infuse music, art, and literature with the Chernobyl thematic; to entwine it into spheres of artistic creativity which can outlive even some of Chernobyl’s malevolent nuclear elements. Unfortunately, the whole of modern art and literature seemingly has no other purpose than to get a few dollars out of public pockets.
How can we preserve the knowledge for future generations if we are not even able to interest our contemporaries in doing so?
Most authors prefer to avoid Chernobyl and its tragic aftermath, for everyone understand Lichtenberg was right when he said, that you can make a good living from soothsaying but not from truthsaying.
Everyone who writes for money must advertise in the big papers, which are all politically correct and greed-controlled. Large news agencies and papers won’t advertise Chernobyl relative works, except for those that serve their selfish interests. Such fare is seldom objective.
Next chance to remind people about Chernobyl will be in 5 years, on 25th anniversary, but there will be even fewer memories of it surviving then. Fewer still that can stand up to ever more demand for cheap nuclear energy and will be another socker cup.
“Black Land” song
The only time our tv shows accurate and interesting programs and films about Chernobyl are near the days of its anniversary, but only at odd times. For example like at its 10th and 20th anniversaries when they showed related programs between 2am and 5am, exactly at the time when our traditional-thinking majority sleeps. Because of this I have to stay awake during the wee morning hours on every anniversary watching for what may be new and honestly presented programs.
On the 20th anniversary I spotted a good program of creative art from people who live in contaminated areas. Stories, poetry, paintings and songs of those who live in close to Chernobyl villages. The program left me with the strong, metallic aftertaste of radioactivity and the bitterness – no wonder it was scheduled for middle of the night. The most remarkable was the haunting song of an autistic girl, about eleven or twelve years old, which she called “Black Land.”
She sang it in the Belorussian language, a dialect which I find hard to understand, but the feeling it left in me was not only because of her words or melody. I’d say it had the aura of a pagan liturgy, full of tellurian mystics, where you can hear the echo of desolated regions, something of the whispered tones and the furtive look of solitude. It was a hymn of desertion; a chant to dispel the curse of dawn in wormwood villages. In its notes vibrated a new and dangerous kind of silence – of burying something in silence. This song was absolutely inhuman and could only be the distillation of a mind that was born and raised amidst ruins of Chernobyl.
Kids are like wine, they absorb flavor of their environment. When a boy or a girl has been sitting alone, with their soul in complete discord, year after year, day after night without any hope of ever seeing the light, their minds begin seeking for a new harmony which is completely different from the foreground noise of life. They start digging passages and labyrinths deep into their self, and eventually their concepts acquire the twilight color of catacombs. It may be a coal mine or gold mine, one can become a cave bear or treasure digger. Similarly a monster or a monster chaser- we never know..
They emit this peculiar odour of a diver who just returned from the depth. They are honest, their opinions are not cop-outs, their words are not a mask and their creative art is not meant to deceive. Our society should give them a chance to express themselves openly, yet most of society is asleep when their work is shown. Thus, during the day and in good conscience, everyone can watch government sponsored programs and films which are directed and paid for by the nuclear industry.
Chernobyl is so easily forgotten because it was only known to ourselves. In a first years after the accident we didn’t want to share our story with the world, now we can not share it, we hardly remember it ourselves. All that remains of the tragic tale is a memory, weak and disfigured by time. In the future, indifference of people will smother the few remaining embers until at last they too are extinguished. After that Chernobyl will always remain inside knowledge of a few eminent individuals and the sole property of nature.
My spring publications
In April, 2006 I planned to present my Chernobyl materials to as many non-Internet readers as possible.. My publications were presented to audience in more than 20 countries through newspapers, magazines, books and TV documentaries. Eventually, I became unsatisfied with this, because in most cases my materials were edited to shreds. My thoughts were excluded from most publications.
Insight is the center of gravity of any work, let it be book or film or internet website, but it appears many only wanted free photos, videos, some info, but not insight. It’s because information is merely a means towards insight and can be easily distorted and altered to serve the interests of political, financial and media groups. Insight, on the other hand is intellects final product, it can not be altered or perverted, only insight serves the truth and insight is not in demand.
Post Totalitarian Consumerism.
In my part of the World, New Energy Program became possible due to the changes that our society has undergone during past two decades.
When the USSR collapsed in 1991, people were flooding into the streets, with both religious and environmental protests. The people were eagerly seeking the truth. Public interest in philosophy and history was revived, freedom was in the air… Still, the People were poor, the wound of Chernobyl was fresh, and prices for non-atomic energy resources were cheap. That era is ended now.
Those tender sprouts of real freedom and democracy have been weeded out. Things have changed tremendously. In a totalitarian state, the government kept the information from the people, now, in a “free state”, the people keep the information from themselves. Today, in “free state” people getting real bread, not hatred which was substitute for bread by communists, so this days everyone seems to be happier outwardly, well fed, better clothed, and sheltered… Any protests are now only political. In the end, everyone is fooled by one party or another.
The real rulers of the country are financial groups that mass-merchandize their issues with the same psychological techniques that business has developed to sell goods. Their chosen political candidates, like hunchbacks, show us only their best sides and push receptor buttons that appeal only to the weaknesses of the masses. It seems, therefore, they seek mostly for the people to remain weak-headed, and do everything possible to achieve this.
They succeed and result of this policy is well seen already: the study of history is in steep decline, and the most popular philosophy is the one that helps us obtain only material wealth. Orwell was prescient, it’s done through the television. Most people now agree to live by bread and TV shows alone… What suits our “leaders” is a society where the decision to build new atomic plants can be made without any debates… Adolph Hitler once exclaimed, “What luck for the rulers that the people do not think!” Today, as well as before people who would rather not think are eagerly welcomed by the rulers whose power relies upon perpetuating public ignorance.
All totalitarian regimes eventually will collapse, because their ideologies rooted in hatred and envy – those are human secondary vices and can be defeated, while consumerism is grounded inward in human nature, it is rooted in avarice, pride and lust, in cardinal (primary) vices, for which there is no escape. It is striking to see to what an extraordinary degree life is the same everywhere: the inability to resist the interests of corporations, whether in Asia, Europe or America. It’s like we’re all in the same room now, the only difference among us being that we entered at different times, through different doorways.
Two type of authors
There are basically two type of authors who write about Chernobyl; and they are separated by their motivations. Some write to keep the memory of Chernobyl alive, but far too many others write in an effort to make a living off of Chernobyl.
One is market by the steady, sober and quiet pace of a permanent record. And the other proceeds at the full gallop of sensationalism, as each author attempts to shout louder then the other, because the level of noise they make corresponds dirrectly to the amount of money they accrue from a national tragedy. But as hoopla they create echoes into the fading distance, they are nowhere to be found, because they have already dashed off to another sensation that they can process into a nice, fat paycheck.
And because their writings are carefully worded to avoid thereatening the system, and stepping on any big toes of nuclear monster, the media eagerly trumpets their works, either they pro or anti nuclear, they are not dangerous, their action is always based on motive, and, therefore, fragmentary and fleeting.
The names of authors involved in the slow and methodical research of Chernobyl- and for non monetary motives- goes unsung. And part of the reason for that is because their detail and permanency poses a danger to the powerful men who caused it. One sterling example of this is the documentary “Suicidal mission to Chernobyl”- a movie that many people have been hunting for since 1991. Where did it vanish to, and why? I also treasure the works of the Chernobyl writer Irene Zabytko, and the photographs of Igor Kostin.
There are probably others, but there is no way to know for sure, because all of the really important works are being concealed from the public. And in their place are only silly popular distractions like “The Da Vincii Code”
PS: I shall probably elaborate on my thoughts on the “Two Type of Authors” to explain why Chernobyl scares off most of these creative folks.Any work on Chernobyl thematic can only be humanitarian work, where author can expect few, if any, rewards. On this subject no achievement will be favorably received and will remain in obscurity untill the time, when third part of the world will become wormwood. Most authors work for one of two reasons: either to get paid or to get recognition (fame). There is an incomparably fine saying of Seneca’s, that fame (recognition) follows merit as surely as the body casts a shadow; sometimes falling in front, and sometimes behind. Most authors will only work if they see good things before them. But Chernobyl presents a case where, no matter how great their literary or investigative achievement, troubles will always loom ahead them while the shadow of fame will always lag behind, a long way behind.
In April 2006, my book “Tjernobyl” was published in Sweden, and I decided to sell about 50-60 books on eBay with the intent of sending the proceeds to orphanage N1, in Kharkov (Ukraine) My charity auction was banned from eBay on the second day. The reason was purely political. And in banning my book from that auction, eBay has deprived those orphans of the oranges, soccer balls and bicycles that the money could have bought.
It is no wonder that so many starving and kids eat from garbage cans, when honest attempt to help them is sabotaged for scummy political reasons.
There is a boom in the exports of nuclear technologies to the countries of third world, and especially the Middle East.. There is fierce competition to build nuclear plants in Iran, Pakistan, India., planning to build nuclear reactors in Turkey, Egypt and many other countries.
However, the countries who export these technologies, and have been dealing in atomic facilities for many years, have gradually gone through an evolution in the process of developing different types of reactors and have developed a skilled school of scientists and professionals who keep the reactors relatively safe. Also, most of the exporting countries have a democratic societal structure, which allows the whole thing to occur above the table, but the countries that these nuclear technologies are being exported to often live on the brink of war.
When progress takes them unawares and raises to a high position without having led them there step by step, it is almost impossible to hold the position securely. Many countries can export technologies, but none of them export experience.
With the road accidents is the same, statistics say that the majority of drivers who got themselves killed inexperienced and drove fast cars and motorbikes. I always say – “If you want to get someone killed, buy him a fast motorcycle, but if you want to see everyone dead, build them an atomic reactor.”
Back to UN report…
Conference itself is nothing new, it was organized by governments of Ukraine, Russia and Belorus, sponsored by IAEA and was conducted in best traditions of all official Soviet reports. All that is new is that now post-totalitarian regimes and western governments speak in a single, canned voice for hiding the truth of the Chernobyl disaster. Now, the representatives of Western democracies must all do exactly as their east european colleagues bid them. They must all parrot the same lies for they don’t want any open confrontation with each other. This days West do not need any more enemies, they already got plenty and everyone understand that if the donor countries of ex Soviet Union were hostile to their western collegues, and if the normal flow of raw materials were deliberately interrupted, the nations of the West would find themselves in a very bad way, indeed. Their industrial system would collapse. Of course, under such conditions the “Powers That Be” can easily find approval among politicians and now they build new reactors in the West too. Their main argument is that peaceful atom will help them to escape a new economic dictatorship, and make them immune against OPEC conspiracy, etc. However, the truth is that they are already being manipulated and thus sing in the choir of liars where once crooned the likes of Stalin and Khrushev.
Whoever says that Western democracies are any more accountable or responsible than their post Soviet counterparts need only look at signatures at the bottom of this UN report. We are all reduced to the same “common denominator” when it comes to matters of nuclear expediency. If we let the UN walk away, unchallenged, with this and other lies, then globalization will only be a process of adopting each other shortcomings, of levelling down, a universal downgrading to the mindset of third world countries.
From the very beginning, and to this very day, the subject of the Chernobyl disaster is off limits to serious scientists and researchers. Journalists are never denied entry to the Chernobyl area, and this easy access causes them to report, mistakenly, that the region is also open to researchers.
The problem with most journalists is that they can not see farther their noses. They usually believe in what they write, even if it is spoon-fed by authorities. They allowed entry to Chernobyl by the same reason why eunuch allowed to visit sultan wives, they are barren and their scribings presents no real danger to the system.
Due to short-sightedness journalists are completely incapable of writing anything substantial. Their articles live like mosquitoes for only one day and everyone understands that breaking news and headlines are the strident chorus to the drama of current events. Every reporter seeks, for the sake of their trade, to be an alarmist and noise maker. Exaggeration in every sense is as essential as it is to the writing of a soap opera. They huff and puff as much as possible into every event and no one really pays much attention to their bellowing. The goal is to shout louder than all their fellows, and readers quickly become deaf to any real alarm that may be sounded.
The reason why the battle for Chernobyl is losing is because journalists and TV reporters are the ones with the best opportunity to tell people the truth about it, while writing for papers and magazines do not have any long term impact, it is like writing in the sand, where every new wave of publications washes away all previous knowledge.
There are still more chances to find good report about Chernobyl in local papers and TV programs of small news agencies. They must compete hard. They spin everything to make as much as possible of every occurance, without the usual limits constraining the mainstream media.
The worlds largest news agencies are more restrained and claim to be professional, but the real reason they seem restrained is that they don’t have to compete. They are State-sponsored and making money is not their objective.
They need few if any advertisements on the prime TV channels and can give their newspapers away almost for free. What they produce need not be profitable, it just a means of feeding the State agenda to their captive audience. It is said that we are what we eat, and therefore we the people are both the target and final product of their tainted buffet.
Millions, maybe billions, of fooled people now believe they are ‘safe’ when any moment they may become cannon fodder for their nearest nuclear facility.
In area of Chernobyl, the people who live and work in one part do not have any idea of what goes on in the other. Officials in Pripyat do not know what goes on in Belorussia, the officials in Belorussia are without any idea of how things stand in Russia and so on. In this way Chernobyl presents itself as a dark and unexplored cave, where only journalists can visit. In the writings of journalists we find at the most only what they want to show us. In contrast, the work of the systematic thinker, who mentally embraces everything, shows as a broad landscape. We see the whole and how everything hangs together. The journalist seeks and finds their needle by the beam of a flashlight which casts a light, and that dimly, only on the place where it happens to be pointed. Whereas the mind of a first rank thinker ignites a thousand lamps that floods the whole cave with light. Chernobyl is closed for serious researchers because no one really wants to see the light in this cave.
“There are minds that shine in the dark like the eyes of the lynx, and are most clear where there is most darkness.” (Balthasar Gracian)
Captains, rats and first class passengers
Nuclear reactor at Chernobyl exploded at 1:23 AM. First escapees were relatives of party bosses and ministers. Their planes were already taking off at 6 AM, just a few hours after explosion. The rest of us first learned of the accident several days later.
There is old saying that rats are the first to leave a sinking ship. Chernobyl illustrates it may not be true, because during that as well as during titanic disaster the first class passengers escaped even sooner.
…and music was played on Titanic to calm down the passengers to make everyone believe the ship won’t sink while first class passengers have been packing up and leaving.
Chernobyl politics is the perfect tool to x-ray our life: it reveals all the hypocrisy of the world, its falsehood, greed, and the general shallowness of human affairs.
Look at the UN conference, where the members seem so brilliant and distinguished. Look at all those learned professors of science and medicine. See how government officials welcome their every new report, and how vigorously they clap their hands… But in reality, each of them is sleeping and begins to applaud only when they see one or two others around them applauding – a chain reaction of flabby minds. It is only these one or two persons who follow the conference, like an alarm clock they are always there to wake up the others and secure the loudest applause for the poorest reporter. Look, during the Chernobyl requiem, a crowd of officials moving up so slowly, candles in hand, how melancholy it looks! What an endless row of expensive cars! But look into their eyes – they are all empty, they are only suits who parade to commemorate their own victims.
What an eloquent picture of hypocrisy and hollowness of our life! One really perfect example of Chernobyl’s legacy is the desolation in people’s souls, the utter devastation of society. Triumph of idiocy.