From Albacore to Albuquerque: Phony Nuclear Science, Frauds, Fools and Radioactive Fallout

Richard Wilcox, PhD

I have four quick items to discuss before I head off for my Golden Week holiday with my family. A two-day trip to the hotsprings to take in the healing mineral salts and radioactive substances.

True Believer

This week I got into a friendly debate with a writer from the Japan Times who is a True Believer in the AGW theory (Anthropogenic Global Warming) (“A journalist,” 2014). My quibble with the author was that although he completely accepts the orthodox view on global warming as being caused by human activities, he has nothing to say about geoengineering/chemtrails and its effects on weather. When I pointed this out to him he shot back that I should email the editors of the Japan Times with my wacky conspiracy theory on chemtrails. In addition, although 31,000 US scientists signed a petition that the official Al Gore view of global warming is bunk, he nevertheless ignored this and insisted that all of the important UN/Woods Hole scientists agree in AGW. I guess it comes down to “it’s my religion versus your religion.” I am willing to accept that AGW may be partial reality, but for the AGW crowd to fanatically insist on their view without taking into consideration something so devastatingly obvious as chemtrails betrays cowardice and dishonesty.

Phony Science In the Service Of Big Money

Recently a big “news” story hit the net proclaiming that “you would have to consume more than 700,000 pounds of” Pacific tuna fish to match annual natural background radiation levels, according to Oregon State University researchers (“Oregon State,” 2014). In other words, this was another misdirection piece from the mainstream media/science industry to shift worry and attention away from the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe and its effects on the Pacific Ocean and its fish and wildlife.

But as Nancy of the “Simply Info” website asserted in the comment section of the article posted at ExSKF blogger:

The study is useless and is being used for political purposes in the US. Higley is a well known nuclear industry shill, hardly an unbiased researcher. She coordinated the study. Only 19 samples are post Fukushima but the study doesn’t tell most of the story. 19 is way too small to make any conclusions. Albacore have a very limited migration pattern where only a subset of fish of a certain age actually migrate in a given year, the rest don’t. They also have a diet that is mainly things like octopus and squid. These have been found to have almost no cesium uptake even the ones tested at Daiichi. Fukushima octopus has been back on the market since 2012 due to this inability to absorb cesium. So they studied a tiny group of fish that don’t eat anything likely to be contaminated and only an even smaller number might have migrated through the contaminated waters. Yet from this pathetic bit of statistics the authors are trying to claim all Pacific fish are okey dokey. Um. No. If you actually read the entire study they have a section in the conclusions that is word for word nuclear industry PR excuses they use to try to explain away radiation risk.

Nancy’s comments are not the deranged musings of a dope-smoking, Luddite tree-hugger, antinuclear crackpot, but one of the most astute and knowledgeable researchers studying nuclear issues and following the Fukushima crisis working on the Internet today. That is my considered opinion after having read hundreds of the articles posted at their website over the last few years.

While critical readers will not have easily accepted the pablum dished out by the OSU “researchers,” the vast majority of the public will have read the headline and concluded that “oh, I can eat fish, it’s safe, no big deal.” Given that mainstream media reaches millions of readers and viewers and Simply Info or Activist Post reach important audiences yet vastly lesser numbers, the intended goal of the nuclear industry hacks to deceive the public will have been largely achieved.

I have read that a previous director of the CIA, William Casey, once said that (paraphrasing) “once the American public believes everything we tell them – which are all lies – as to be the truth – our mission will be accomplished.” Mission Accomplished. Whether or not the quotation is real, the gist of the sentiment reflects the CIA’s history of media manipulation and lies.

Paid Shills Swarm To The Comments Section

Speaking of nonsense on the Internet, most of it is not coming from sincere citizen writers and journalists but from paid shills whose obviously idiotic comments can be spied in the Japan Times comments sections when any nuclear topic appears. You can quickly notice the industry paid shills by the powerfully dangerous odor that emanates from the content and tone of their discourse.

One such item that aroused the considerable ire of the paid shills is when Taiwanese protesters dared to have their government scrap plans for construction of another nuclear power plant (“Taiwan halts,” 2014). “How dare they!” screamed the shills, after all, nuclear power is safe, clean and too cheap to meter. Never mind that Taiwan, like Japan, is a seismically active country. Apparently the thousands of irate Taiwanese citizens who fought the government are too stupid to understand that nuclear power and earthquakes go together perfectly.

Which reminds me of television footage I watched a few years ago of a gigantic crevice that occurred when a large earthquake hit Taiwan, splitting a highway apart with one side of the road jutting upwards several meters. The image was stunning. Can you imagine if that happened underneath a nuclear plant?

Nuclear shills ignore these minor details, but what is very encouraging is that if you read the comment sections at various newspapers, most people do not buy the propaganda and are often wise to the snake oil being dispensed by the paid shills who attempt to derail reasoned discourse.

A Confused And Defeated Population

Which leads us to an important problem, how can Japan shake off the nuclear cartel that controls its political and media systems? What I have witnessed in Japan is the gradual forgetting of the urgency of the situation because as the media ignores it and lies about the danger of radiation in Fukushima, the issue becomes “out of sight and out of mind.”

Personally speaking I have had a number of my students carry out research and discussion projects on the nuclear issue and many are concerned, but had I not put them up to it only a small number would have chosen the nuclear topic on their own.

One group even got the issue backwards, and instead of showing how media has covered up the issue instead promoted the idea that media should cover up the radiation issue in order to help the people in Fukushima (farmers and business) so they don’t suffer from “baseless rumors” about radiation. In other words, they believe the propaganda that talking about the dangers of radiation makes you a “crackpot conspiracy theorist.”

An older adult student I happen to teach told me she buys Fukushima food just to help out the farmers. That is the mentality — a very deeply held belief in the authority of government over the legitimacy of the people. Let’s bail out Tepco so they stay in the black and sacrifice our lives for their sake. It’s all for the greater good.

As for the dwindling anti-nuke movement in Japan, the protest strategy does not work at such a tepid level (would need to drastically up the ante). Perhaps a stealth strategy such as going off the grid and promoting alternative energy as a quiet way to boycott the system as a viable approach.

From Japan With Love

Which leads us to our final thought for the evening, which is that Japan is happy to return the radiation that the USA dropped on it to end World War 2. In the air, water and fish that come from Fukushima. Unfortunately the entire west coast of the US is getting doused and the EPA has turned its head. Watch out for those fried eggs and country ham breakfasts in lonely Albuquerque cafes.

So I’ll stop when I can,
Find some fried eggs
and country ham.
I’ll find somewhere where
they don’t care who I am.
Oh, Albuquerque, Albuquerque.
– Neil Young (Tonight’s the Night)

Richard Wilcox is a Tokyo-based teacher and writer who holds a Ph.D. in environmental studies and is a regular contributor to the world’s leading website exposing the Fukushima nuclear disaster, He is also a contributor to Activist Post. His radio interviews and articles are archived at and he can be reached by email at


100th anti-nuclear protest held in Tokyo, but with far fewer people (2014, May 4). The Asahi Shimbun. Retrieved from:

A journalist who gets climate change right. (2014, April 26). The Japan Times. Retrieved from:

Hunger Striker Ends Fast, but Not Fight, Against Nuclear Power in Taiwan. (2014, May 1). The New York Times. Retrieved from: php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=2&

Oregon State University Researchers on Albacore Tuna off Oregon (2014, May 1). ExSKF. Retrieved from:

Taiwan halts construction of fourth nuclear plant after protests (2014, April 28). The Japan Times. Retrieved from:

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