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hcinterview | Poem

An E-Mail Interview with Helen Caldicott
by Frank Anthony, Ph.D.
 
Anthony: When was your first remembrance of having aninterest in the
dangers of nuclear radiation and what did you try to do about it?

Caldicott: I read On the Beach as a teenager. I did nothing aboutit until
the French began above-ground testing in the Pacific in the late 60s,early
70s, and I led the Australian movement against the French tests.

Anthony: Was there a particular person, whose influence as aneducator you
treasure?

Caldicott: My mother was a very astute political thinker.

Anthony: Your first significant conflict with government, wasit a defeat?

Caldicott: Australia and New Zealand stopped the French aboveground tests
in the Pacific, a significant victory.

Anthony: Phillip Berrigan, of whom I recently did an interviewfrom prison,
feels that his total commitment to peace is of religious conviction.Do you
have a conviction?

Caldicott: Yes, I do, although I am a Pantheist. All the morereason.

Anthony: How has being a doctor aided or hindered your passion,your drive
to get rid of nuclear proliferation?

Caldicott: Helped, but I have severely regretted giving up medicineto do
this work.

Anthony: If nuclear energy proliferation is not a necessary commodity,what
can countries, like Japan, use to run their economies? How?

Caldicott: All the alternative energy sources of which thereare many,
combined with conservation.

Anthony: Do you consider nuclear energy the major and most dangerousweapon
of mass destruction?  Who is in danger?
 
Caldicott: A nuclear war would cause nuclear winter and theend of most
life on earth.

Anthony: How has the quality of life changed? It has just beenreported
that fertility, in America, has been significantly lowered. Why doyou
think so?

Caldicott: I don't know. Possibly some of the 80,000 or so chemicalsto
which we are all exposed in our daily lives.

Anthony: Who makes the most money on the sale of nuclear fuel?Whatis the
source? How long will it last?

Caldicott: The nuclear industry. It will last until the peoplesay no and
close down the reactors.

Anthony: What would the world have to do to get rid of the nuclearenergy
binge? What can one do to reeducate public thinking?

Caldicott: Teach through the media, and I am establishing a NuclearPolicy
Research Institute in California specifically to place well-informedpeople
on the major media as we did in the eighties to educate the Americanpeople
about the true medical and ecological dangers of the nuclear age. ThusI
believe we can end the nuclear age within the next five years.

 Anthony: Margaret Mead told me, in our last interview,we live in a runaway world
with nobody in charge. Would the super rich rather be sick than poor?

Caldicott: I suppose so. I can't speak for their immorality.

Anthony: For my interviews, in the archives at Dartmouth, forour great
grandchildren of 2020, what do we have to say about their futures?

Caldicott: I hope they have one and it depends on each one ofus to ensure
that they do.

Thank you.

Firstpublished in Sandstar Publications

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