Author: “Almost everyone I spoke to, even the most mild-mannered, said they no longer trusted the gov’t, and they said it bluntly, or angrily, or with a deep sense of betrayal”

Published: June 13th, 2012 at 2:57 pm ET


Diary: In Fukushima
Rebecca Solnit
London Review of Books, Vol. 34 No. 9, pages 35-37
May 10, 2012


One of the casualties of the [Fukushima] disaster was the relationship between the people and the government. Almost everyone I spoke to, even the most mild-mannered, said they no longer trusted the government, and they said it bluntly, or angrily, or with a deep sense of betrayal.


Governments fear their people. They fear we will exercise our power to change them, and they fear we will panic. The first is a realistic if undemocratic fear, since changing them is our right; the second is a self-aggrandising fantasy in which attempts to alter the status quo are seen as madness, hysteria, mob rule. They often assume that we can’t handle the data in a crisis, and so prefer to withhold crucial information, as the Pennsylvania government did in 1979 at the time of the Three Mile Island partial nuclear meltdown, and the Soviet government did during the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986.


See also: [intlink id=”nhk-govt-refused-to-release-fukushima-fallout-forecasts-officials-knew-simulations-was-reliable” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: June 13th, 2012 at 2:57 pm ET


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14 comments to Author: “Almost everyone I spoke to, even the most mild-mannered, said they no longer trusted the gov’t, and they said it bluntly, or angrily, or with a deep sense of betrayal”

  • In the stock trade industry they call it a "blow off top" let's hope that vernacular doesn't apply to our Home Planet

    15 'Near-Misses' at U.S. Nuclear Plants in 2011
    Many of these 15 "near misses" occurred because reactor owners either tolerated known safety problems or took inadequate measures to correct them.

  • dosdos dosdos

    The Oi reactors sit on a fault line, yet the government has drummed up professional liars to assure the public that it's safe to restart them. Even a person with very low IQ knows that you don't risk running a nuclear reactor that sits on a fault line. Hence, the government is insulting the intelligence of every Japanese citizen by insisting that it's safe. If there was ever a display of a death wish, the Japanese government is displaying it now. They just can't fall fast enough.

  • arclight arclight

    my favourite bit here
    "..The Bush administration lied about the toxicity of the air near Ground Zero in New York after 9/11, putting hundreds of thousands of people at risk for the sake of a good PR front and a brisk return to business as usual. Disasters often crack open fissures between government and civil society.

    Around the time of the anniversary it emerged that, early on, the prime minister had looked at the possibility of evacuating Tokyo. But you cannot evacuate a city of 35 million densely packed people. Where would they go? It would have been a crisis on the scale of the Second World War for Japan and a huge blow to the international economy. …"

    nice article admin.. err and remind me not to annoy dear sweet rebecca 🙂

  • this is the first bit of good news to appear here. Now the next step is to kill the hacs. Once the trust is broken en masse the collective conscience may bring about the change needed. The power could change if the people only had a leader who will step in now and reveal the lies. Gov't knows this is a dangerous inflection point, hence all the lies. They are desperate and afraid. As well they should be, poisoning for profit will bring the worst elements out of the darkest corners of society.

    • aSpadeisaSpade aSpadeisaSpade

      Sorry for my ignorance, but I have no idea what "hacs" are.

      • a professional who renounces or surrenders individual independence, integrity, belief, etc., in return for money or other reward in the performance of a task normally thought of as involving a strong personal commitment: a political hack. …OR as my gf uses it to describe her x : Huge Ass Cavern

  • alasanon

    yeah, wise up, already, folks! 🙁 I don't understand that culture.

  • Reminds me of this:

    The lies of Hiroshima are the lies of today
    6 August 2008

    "In the immediate aftermath of the bomb, the allied occupation authorities banned all mention of radiation poisoning and insisted that people had been killed or injured only by the bomb's blast.

    It was the first big lie. "No radioactivity in Hiroshima ruin" said the front page of the New York Times, a classic of disinformation and journalistic abdication, which the Australian reporter Wilfred Burchett put right with his scoop of the century.

    "I write this as a warning to the world," reported Burchett in the Daily Express, having reached Hiroshima after a perilous journey, the first correspondent to dare.

    He described hospital wards filled with people with no visible injuries but who were dying from what he called "an atomic plague". For telling this truth, his press accreditation was withdrawn, he was pilloried and smeared – and vindicated."

    To be folowed by:

    A Handmaid's Tale (1990) (German subtitles)

    • Yes, be careful what you're told, or what you refuse to believe:

      "John Wayne passed away from lung cancer. When he was filming "The Conqueror" in Utah where the U.S. government had tested nuclear weapons and even several of the cast and crew got cancer and some died such as actress Susan Hayward his co-star, John Wayne was so patriotic he refused to believe the government could have mislead the producers into believing it was safe to film this movie in the area of the nuclear testing grounds.

      John Wayne blamed his smoking for causing his lung cancer. Even after his death other surviving cast and crew members blamed the fact of where they were filming on radiation and it was Dick Powell (Actor/Director) that went to the main producer and John Wayne pleading with them to move the production of the movie elsewhere after Dick Powell found out how dangerous the radiation readings were.

      He was told by both the Producer and John Wayne to keep quiet or get out!"

      Read more:

      • Jebus Jebus

        It was not just lung cancer that he died from. He also had stomach cancer…

        From Wiki:


        Although he enrolled in a cancer vaccine study in an attempt to ward off the disease,[45] John Wayne died of stomach cancer on June 11, 1979, at the UCLA Medical Center, and was interred in the Pacific View Memorial Park cemetery in Corona del Mar. According to his son Patrick and his grandson Matthew Muñoz, a priest in the California Diocese of Orange, he converted to Roman Catholicism shortly before his death.[57][58] He requested his tombstone read "Feo, Fuerte y Formal", a Spanish epitaph Wayne described as meaning "ugly, strong and dignified".[59] However, the grave, unmarked for twenty years, is now marked with a quotation from his controversial 1971 Playboy interview: "Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday."[60][61][62]


        • Jebus Jebus

          Among the 220 or so cast and crew who filmed the 1956 film, The Conqueror, on location near St. George, Utah, 91 at various times developed some form of cancer (41%), including stars Wayne, Susan Hayward, and Agnes Moorehead, and director Dick Powell. The film was shot in southwestern Utah, east of and generally downwind from the site of recent U.S. Government nuclear weapons tests in southeastern Nevada. Although the 41% incidence of cancer in the cast and crew is very close to that of the general population,[63] many contend radioactive fallout from these tests contaminated the film location and poisoned the film crew working there.[64][65] Despite the suggestion that Wayne's 1964 lung cancer and his 1979 stomach cancer resulted from nuclear contamination, he himself believed his lung cancer to have been a result of his six-pack-a-day cigarette habit.[66]

      • Bobby1

        The tests had another group of unwitting human guinea pigs in 1953: the cast and crew of the big-budget disaster, The Conqueror.

        This ill-fated production starred John Wayne in the role of Genghis Khan – one of the worst casting mishaps in history – and was filmed over thirteen grueling weeks near St. George, Utah, just downwind from the test site. After the filming in Utah concluded, producer Howard Hughes compounded the problem by bringing sixty tons of irradiated soil back to Hollywood to dress up the sets during retakes.

        Everyone on the production knew about the atomic tests, but had been reassured by the government that the bombs were safe.

  • all visitors to ENE … The only way our goverments will respond is if People wake up and DEMAND action is taken. Nuke ops be damned

    US government officials


    Jet streams, debris tracking and other rad monitoring links,24.0.html

    Fukushima radioactive fallout forecasts and other rad updates

    Aloha to everyone doing your part!