An E-Mail Interview with Helen Caldicott
by Frank Anthony, Ph.D.
 
Anthony: When was your first remembrance of having an interest 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 about it 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 an educator you
treasure?

Caldicott: My mother was a very astute political thinker.

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

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

Anthony: Phillip Berrigan, of whom I recently did an interview from 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 more reason.

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 medicine to 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 there are many,
combined with conservation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caldicott: Teach through the media, and I am establishing a Nuclear Policy
Research Institute in California specifically to place well-informed people
on the major media as we did in the eighties to educate the American people
about the true medical and ecological dangers of the nuclear age. Thus I
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, for our 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 of us to ensure
that they do.

Thank you.

First published in Sandstar Publications

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