Linus Pauling warned us about carbon-14. Carbon is everywhere, in plants, in food, in our bodies. Radioactive carbon-14 comes in the form of gaseous carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. It is routinely emitted by nuclear power plants. Large amounts of it were released in the atmospheric nuclear tests of the 1950’s and ’60s. It has a half-life of 5,730 years.
Trees and green plants provide about half, and plankton provide the other half of our oxygen. Phytoplankton, which are the base of the marine food chain, is declining. Various studies confirm this: plankton in parts of the Antarctic Ocean is declining up to 12 percent. (S. Weiler. Testimony to Senate Commerce Committee, November 15, 1991)
Trees absorb radioactive carbon-14 in place of stable forms of carbon and in this way they are gradually killed. The book, The Petkau Effect, by Ralph Graeub tells how radioactivity has harmed trees and forests: “It is assumed that the decisive physiological damage resulting in current forest death must have begun during the 1950’s. This is depicted in a reduction in density and width of tree rings, and in reduced growth, which is true in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Himalayas….
Neither aging, location, nor climate can be considered as the possible sole cause of damage…. The growth ring of a tree shows exactly what effects the tree has experienced, both in terms of time and seriousness…. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, there must have been a global wave of air pollution which caused the initial damage.”
The author speculates that it could not be just the usual chemicals which are so damaging the trees. And he explains that these trees are mainly within the 30th to 60th parallels of northern latitude. “This zone contains the most nuclear power plants — over 300 — and almost all nuclear reprocessing centers. Also, the vast majority of nuclear weapons tests occurred in this area.”
Carbon-14 is produced when thermal neutrons from a criticality, or from neutron-emitting radionuclides like californium, come into contact with nitrogen. Nitrogen levels have been soaring in the ocean off Japan. The air is 78% nitrogen. Large amounts of nitrogen are found in soil, including the soil beneath the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Tritium has a half-life of 12.3 years. It is also routinely released from nuclear power plants. It is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen and is found in the environment in the form of tritiated water. Significant amounts of tritium have been recently found in the Vancouver BC water supply. (www.enviroreporter.com) It will be found in both rainfall and water vapor in the air.
The following holds true for both tritium and carbon-14.
The green leaves of vegetation are the primary site for incorporation of tritium into organic matter. This is accomplished through the process of photosynthesis, where (C-14) carbon dioxide and (tritiated) water are used to synthesize sugar. The sugar is the building block for the synthesis of all other plant organic matter.
In addition, with tritium exposure one can assume that people will suffer chronic illnesses due to nonfunctional enzymes, hormones and other proteins due to disruption by tritium atoms. Tritium spontaneously disintegrates into a helium atom, with a recoil excitation which disrupts the chemical bonds. These disruptions when reproduced cause chronic diseases such as allergies or hormonal dysfunction.
So the radioactive hydrogen (tritium) in water spontaneously transmutes to helium in the plant sugars produced by photosynthesis. Similarly, carbon-14 atoms in the sugar spontaneously transmute to nitrogen, disrupting chemical bonds, and creating God-knows-what molecules.
Gail has a new post at Wit’s End. She believes the damage to plants is due to ground-level ozone. Oxygen is known to potentiate the effects of radiation on cells. I suspect that this is true for ozone (O3) as well.
I have been going through hundreds of photos from Flickr. The scale of this catastrophe is mind-boggling. It has increased exponentially the past few months. I am trying to figure out a way to organize these photos so that the plant damage can be compared through time and space.