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(p. C11) . . . Andrew Blackwell, a journalist and self-described “sensitive, eco-friendly liberal,” deserves praise for producing an environmentalist book that avoids the usual hyperventilation, upending stubborn myths with prosaic facts.
. . .
His Geiger counter convulses on a visit to the abandoned areas around Chernobyl, but Mr. Blackwell reacts soberly. While the initial disaster provoked a justifiable public panic, it also inspired scare-mongering from groups like Greenpeace, which claimed that the fallout would cause 270,000 cancer cases. He points to a study commissioned by the United Nations concluding that, after an initial spike in thyroid cancer, “no measurable increase has yet been demonstrated in the region’s cancer rates.” The author is also sure to irritate certain readers with the claim that “paradoxically, perversely, the accident may have actually been good” for the local environment, since the evacuation created an accidentally verdant nature reserve.
For the full review, see:
MICHAEL C. MOYNIHAN. “A Guided Tour of Catastrophe” The Wall Street Journal (Sat., May 26, 2012): C11.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the review has the date May 25, 2012.)
The book being reviewed, is:
Blackwell, Andrew. Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures in the World’s Most Polluted Places. New York: Rodale Books, 2012.