|Splitting more than hairs|
Christopher Busby is a British nuclear scientist who runs two anti-nuclear groups called "Green Audit" and '"Low Level Radiation Campaign." He is also the scientific secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, a misleadingly named front group of the European Greens, and for a long time was the spokesman on science and technology for the Green Party of England and Wales.
Busby is a tireless promoter of pseudoscience related to the health effects of radiation and nuclear power plants. He is the originator of several anti-nuclear tropes popular in the UK and is often used as a source by other activists. In the aftermath of the Fukushima accident, in addition to going off the deep end with crazy conspiracy theories, he began selling quack medicine in Japan.
Busby's anti-nuclear activities exploit the following ideas and concepts:
- Second event theory, a falsified hypothesis about the mechanism of radiation damage that would predict abnormally high carcinogenicity for nuclides which undergo two decays in rapid succession, such as strontium-90. This theory was invented as a justification for the claim that man-made radioactivity is far more dangerous than natural radioactivity.
- Claims of cancer clusters in Wales downwind from nuclear installations. A report published by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit found that Busby was using incorrect data, committed several basic errors, and dredged the data set for his conclusion.
- After the Fukushima accident, Busby began promoting a conspiracy theory that the Japanese government is deliberately spreading radioactive contamination over the country, so that radiation levels and cancer rates near the destroyed nuclear power plant would compare favorably with levels in the rest of Japan. He also began selling "anti-radiation" pills, which were an outright quackery - the pills were actually ordinary mineral supplements sold at extortionate prices.
- Depleted uranium fear-mongering, including predictions of adverse health effects in Europe caused by DU use in the Middle East.
Busby published two books about Welsh cancer incidence, called Wings of Death and Wolves of Water. He was a co-author on two reports published by the European Committee on Radiation Risk (the aforementioned front group of the European Greens), published a minority report related to his second event theory, and produced a DVD about supposed cover-ups of nuclear accidents.
- ECRR: Background
- Green Party UK: Greens launch radiation activist network
- J.A. Steward, C. White, S. Reynolds, Leukaemia incidence in Welsh children linked with low level radiation—making sense of some erroneous results published in the media, Journal of Radiological Protection 28, 2008, 33-43
- George Monbiot: Christopher Busby's wild claims hurt green movement and Green party
- Guardian: Post-Fukushima 'anti-radiation' pills condemned by scientists
- Green Audit: Publications