This paper is dedicated to all the children of the world and their right to a safe future.

This paper is also dedicated to our beautiful planet Earth and our right as individuals to have a voice in approving or disallowing scientific endeavours which may threaten our planet and all who live on it.

 

 

 

The LHC (Large Hadron Collider) experiments : Where might equals right.

 

By Marguerite Thoresen (B. Journ)

 

Abstract: This paper discusses why the LHC experiments at CERN are unsafe and a danger to life on Earth. Discussions using the precautionary principle, safety aspects, ecofeminism and risk analysis enable an understanding of the issue. The Large Hadron Collider took 20 years to design and build. New and revised scientific theories indicate the LHC experiments recently commenced at CERN may lead to destruction of planet Earth. Obtaining a legal injunction to stop the LHC experiments while safety issues are discussed is difficult and several attempts have failed. Meanwhile, the LHC machine continues to operate at ever increasing rates of power while CERN avoids open and honest discussion of safety issues. This authoritarian approach  by CERN and its scientists marginalizes, disempowers and devoices world citizens and concerned scientists. In the past, authoritarian approaches of those in power pursuing deemed justifiable but abhorrent courses of action, resulted in the development and use of the atomic bomb used to kill at least 70,000 people in Hiroshima alone. Authoritarian approaches in Nazi Germany resulted in the holocaust, killing over 6 million people. In both these cases the average person could do little to stop these atrocities.

 

The issues: The Large Hadron Collider experiments at CERN have outcomes which CERN scientists themselves cannot fully predict. In a 2007 interview with the “New Yorker” magazine”, Jos Engelen , CERN’s Chief Scientific Officer, was quoted as saying that “CERN officials are now instructed with respect to the LHC world-destroying potential ‘not to say the probability is very small but that the probability is zero.’”[1]

 

Professor Otto E. Roessler is one of many scientists who say the LHC experiments are a danger to our planet. Professor Roessler is a Professor of Theoretical BioChemistry and a Chaos theorist at the University of Tubingen, Germany. He has a medical degree,  has published Physics papers, taught theoretical physics and has over 300 scientific papers published. Professor Roessler says that LHC experiments could lead to the destruction of Earth and other planets. One of the main problems discussed by Professor Roessler is that the LHC experiments could create micro black holes, some of which would be drawn to the centre of the Earth by the Earth’s gravitational pull to eventually grow and cause the destruction of our planet. CERN admits to the fact that the LHC may create unknown numbers of micro black holes but CERN scientists rely on a theory by theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking who says micro black holes will evaporate. The rate of production of micro black holes produced by the LHC is estimated by German Astrophysicist Dr Rainer Plaga in his paper “On the potential catastrophic risk from metastable quantum-black holes produced at particle colliders”. Dr Plaga says “A production rate of  up to about one BH per second could then occur at the nominal LHC luminosity  i.e, the LHC would be a “black hole factory”. He says “The possibility that a collider-produced black hole (BH) - or another exotic object -might catastrophically grow by accretion and thus injure or kill humans deserves careful attention”.  [2]

 

In explaining the outcome of LHC experiments at CERN, Professor Otto Roessler says one outcome might be that a positive or negative outcome from the experiment “is indistinguishable as the mini black hole leaves no decipherable sign of their existence – at first”. Professor Roessler says “This difference to its predecessors makes the current experiment a guaranteed success: at causing an unprecedented amount of human suffering. For there will be no way to explain to anyone that he or she is safe or to apologise for the suffering to expect. The rational fear unavoidably caused can only be made go away by convening a post-facto scientific world conference that proclaims absolute safety. Unfortunately, every scientist who would not agree with this preassigned verdict would act irresponsibly. Since this will be obvious, no one would ever again believe a single word from a scientist. Anti-scientific fundamentalism would have won –even if the experiment proves innocuous in hindsight” [3].

 

Risk Assessment

 

In a paper “The Black Hole Case: The injunction against the end of the world”, Eric. E Johnson, Assistant Professor of Law at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, gives a detailed summation of most of the issues that different scientists are raising as potential threats from the LHC experiments. Johnson says “critics, of course, fear that particle-physics experiments will annihilate humanity. At the same time, particle physicists fear that humanity will annihilate their experiments. The angst felt by the physics community is not trivial. One top CERN physicist said that most of CERN’s member-nation governments are “desperately waiting for the right opportunity to shut down the place. There is nobody fighting for this to survive, to continue” he said. “We have to fight ourselves – the physicists”” [4]. Johnson outlines at least five threats from the LHC experiments including black holes, strangelets, magnetic monopoles, a bosenova, and a vacuum transition which could destroy not only Earth, but the universe. These threats are credible scientific theories and all have merit.

 

In allowing a dangerous project to proceed in a community or on this planet, risk assessment (in this case the threat to our planet from these experiments) should be explained in an environmental impact statement or a safety report. In 2008 a court case against CERN stated “CERN has failed to provide an environmental-impact statement as required under the National Environmental Policy Act” [5]. Safety reports issued from CERN will of course be biased since they have a vested interest in keeping the experiments going.

 

In her article “Green Justice: A holistic approach to environmental injustice”, American lawyer Nicole C Kibert writes “When a potentially hazardous project  is  being  proposed,  if  it  is  a well-organized  and  economically well-off community, the community members will be able to come up with their own risk analysis numbers showing an unacceptable risk resulting  in permit denial.  However, if the negative impact is going to  fall mainly  on people who are not able to fight back, then the project  will most  likely  go  ahead  with  a  risk  analysis  showing  an acceptable  risk  by  the  permitting  agency” [7].

 

Industrial Risk Assessment when applied to projects such as the LHC is extremely difficult to quantify and even if you can prove that enough risk of danger exists to warrant stopping the project, jurisdiction and lack of rules and regulations that normally deal with keeping such things in check in any one country are lacking in this case. Therefore without a huge global outcry and the majority of physicists speaking against the project, it is unlikely those in charge of the LHC will consider stopping the experiments when so much time and money has been invested.

 

In the case of the LHC which cost over $6 billion dollars to build, it is unlikely that proponents of the project will accept requests to stop the experiments, even if it would alleviate concerns and enable some open and honest discussion of the risks of the LHC. If such a  Risk Assessment was undertaken, there could be a consideration of cost benefit analysis. In the paper by Eric E. Johnson, The Black Hole Case: The injunction against the end of the world, human life was given a value by Judge Richard A. Posner in calculating the value of all human life. He valued the extinction of all human life at 600 trillion dollars. Posner says “valuing human lives is not… quite so arbitrary a procedure as it may seen. It sounds like an ethical or metaphysical undertaking, but what actually is involved is determining the value that people place on avoiding small risks of death” [4]. In this paper, Posner arrived at this figure by valuing each human life at $50,000 and multiplying that number by the world population of 6 billion to arrive at 300 trillion dollars and he then doubles this to adjust for future lives that haven’t been accounted for.

 

Which ever way you consider these equations, the sum of money put on a human life is arbitrary and if the world ended there would be no-one left to pay the claim and no recipients either. What value should we give the life of the 16 year old girl who committed suicide because she could not bear to see the destruction of all that was dear to her (by the LHC experiments) and therefore thought it was better to end her life. Isn’t her life worth more than all of the LHC? Isn’t one life worth more than the LHC?

 

The LHC has no real focus except to look for answers to questions about matter and antimatter and how the universe was formed. If there was no LHC, life would go on as normal tomorrow. In examining how people might feel who have spent so much time and effort on a project that might explain unexplained matters of physics but which also may result in the end of the world, a quote by author C. S. Lewis who wrote about the Lord of the Rings by J R Tolkien seems relevant. He implied that the weapon mentioned in Lord of the Rings was based on the atomic bomb (also a threat to humanity). “Here is a book published when everyone was preoccupied by that sinister invention [the atomic bomb]; here in the centre of the book is a weapon which it seems madness to throw away yet fatal to use” [8].

 

Cost benefit analysis is difficult to apply to the LHC since you cannot really quantify human life and the benefits are largely unknown. Death is simply not a redressable injury under law.

 

Eco Feminism and human rights

 

An eco-feminist view of the LHC experiments and the unknown outcomes of these experiments is that Earth’s citizens, including all women and children, are essentially being marginalized, disempowered and devoiced. The LHC experiment outcomes may include annihilation of people, animals, and the Earth, (either in the immediate future or in years to come when a black hole causes destruction of the Earth). With the potential threat to humankind, and all life as we know it from the LHC experiments, women should be speaking out against the LHC experiments on the basis that this experiment threatens ourselves, our families and future and our collective hopes and dreams as well as the future of all other species on Earth and our beloved planet.

 

The nature of the protest against the LHC is the same as applies to protests against the use of the atomic bombs and environmental damage. It was observed in the case of women protesting against atomic bombs and ecological destruction that “Wherever women acted against ecological destruction, or/and the threat of atomic annihilation, they immediately became aware of the connection between patriarchal violence against women, other people and nature, and that: In defying this patriarchy we are loyal to future generations and to life and to this planet itself. We have a deep and particular understanding of this, both through our natures and our experience as women” [9]. (Ecofeminism by Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva,1992)

 

In her paper Green Justice:A holistic approach to environmental injustice, Nicole C. Kibert writes “The  origins  of  environmental  injustice  are  intertwined with  the degradation of the earth and other oppressive regimes.  They can be linked to the dominant force of global economic development over all else,  including  the  health  of  the  earth  and  its  inhabitants. Ecofeminists connect environmental injustice to a patriarchal-based society.  Remedies for environmental injustice will have legal elements, but to really attempt to solve the problem, a culturally based remedy of education, empowerment, and a new ethic of care for each other and the earth will be necessary” [7]. Professor Roessler also speaks of this new ethic of care in his idea that suggested all scientists should take the Hippocratic oath that doctors are supposed to take.

 

In the “Declaration of a Global Ethic” (an interfaith declaration made in 1993 after consultation between religious and spiritual leaders from around the world), the recommended Global ethic condemned abuses of the world’s ecosystems as well as recommending a respect for life. “All people have a right to life, safety, and the free development of personality insofar as they do not injure the rights of others” [10]. The overall finding of the global ethic was compassion, respect and kindness to each other and to aim at ending the world’s problems in a cooperative way.

 

The Universal Declaration of Human rights could also be sited here in saying that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” (Article 1) and “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” (Article 3) [11]. Therefore no-one has the right to threaten another person’s survival or to presume they can take risks with another person’s life against their wishes.

 

Ecofeminism embraces the care of people, flora and fauna and our whole planet and it takes into account people’s safety, rights, happiness and wellbeing. It is an ecological and holistic, caring approach to life and our planet. Ecofeminists will be concerned about how people will cope with day to day living when living under a constant threat of annihilation that may arise from the LHC experiments. Living under such fear and threat will obviously have detrimental effects on the health of some people. Professor Roessler points out, people will be affected by the knowledge that the LHC experiments may have some unknown cataclysmic effect on our planet, either in the immediate future or in five years or more and he says this will have an effect on people’s psychological wellbeing.

 

The effect of knowing that such experiments could annihilate our planet while pursuing a normal life would cause psychological occurrences in people similar to those discussed in “Psychological dimensions of nuclear policies and proliferation” by Diane Perlman PhD. In this article, Perlman refers to psychiatrist Robert J. Lifton. Lifton states that nuclear weapons are beyond psychology. “They alter our relationship to life and death, impair “our capacity to confront the bomb” and “our ability to confront issues vital to our survival”. Lifton also states “The presence of these mass-killing devices in the world, creates staggering new problems for us and at the same time distorts our thinking and blunts our feeling about precisely these problems” [12].

 

Perlman says “We have a limited capacity to imagine the real. We are challenged to be exquisitely conscious and courageous in facing difficult realities.” Perlman discusses “psychic numbing”. She says “Lifton coined the term “psychic numbing”, “"a form of desensitization, an incapacity to feel or confront certain kinds of experience, due to the blocking or absence of inner forms or imagery that can connect with such experience." If one is in a horrific inescapable situation, psychic numbing is a protective survival mechanism. But in a situation that one can change, psychic numbing is maladaptive and threatens survival.”. Perlman also discusses denial “disavowal of the truth, an attempt to disavow the existence of unpleasant reality”. Perlman says “People feel overwhelmed and helpless in the face of massive threats. Denial is an attempt to avoid despair, while increasing the basis for despair. Denial is an attempt to avoid knowledge and its implied responsibility. Our state of massive denial, ignorance, and psychic numbing, allows danger to escalate. As in the beginning of the Holocaust, which could have been prevented, attempts to raise awareness and intervene were denied, ignored and dismissed.” [12].

Knowing that every day could be the last day is a very stressful way for people to live in any place or country. Some people will be dismissive of the fear of threat, some will live in denial and some will be unable to cope. Sadly, in September 2008, a sixteen year old girl committed suicide by drinking insecticide because she was worried that the LHC was going to cause the end of the world. In the BBC article, “Girl suicide over ‘Big Bang fear’”,  Virendra Singh Yadav, the policeman who took her statement, told the BBC she said she had watched programmes suggesting the Big Bang experiment might cause a great earthquake and great holes. "She said she could not bear to see the destruction of all that was dear to her and therefore thought it was better to end her life," he said. In this article, clinical psychologist Nadia Masand said some of the television coverage had been "irresponsible". She said “"Now prophesising that the Big Bang would bring doomsday! Such programmes can have a disastrous effect on an emotionally weak person” [13].

Yet anybody reading the science journals and arguments between scientists online and theories which present various deadly outcomes from the LHC experiments could not be blamed for feeling depressed or disempowered. The fact that an organization has the power to ignore legitimate concerns based on scientific theories gives valid reason for concern. In the article “I want to be disproved” (Interview with Professor Otto E. Roessler about the dangers at the CERN LHC), Roessler himself responded to a question /statement by the interviewer “I understand you and we would sleep better if the LHC was not turned on as it is”, to which Professor Roessler replied “I cannot live with the idea that they will do it. I cannot think being able to live beyond that day. I do not want to commit suicide of course. But I know it is impossible. It is not possible that the world is so stupid” [14]. Roessler himself admits here that he does not know how he will cope with living daily under the threat of everything being destroyed.

In relation to fear and how people live with fear, Professor Roessler also says “If any child on the planet sees this interview- the child will know. He will know my parents will not allow this to happen”. In response to the interviewer mentioning he had heard public comments implying the LHC was causing earthquakes and other comments saying some force from the future will not let us destroy the world, Professor Roessler said “This is again pseudo scientific statements which carry a deeper truth”. He said “There is this Swiss psychoanalyst C.G. Jung, who claimed that there is something like a public sensitivity which goes deeper than the surface shows and I would see this also in the same context. That the public and these scientists try to say something which they are not quite successful at expressing. And it shows the deep fears of people. And science should not make children feel fear” [14].

A safety conference was suggested by Professor Roessler where there could be honest discussion of all evidence and issues about the LHC which would allow input from concerned parties including non-scientists. He also suggested that all scientists should take the Hippocratic oath. He was concerned that CERN was rushing to get experiments done because “They are so much in the defense, they are trying to create - it is called in French 'Un fait accompli'. To accomplish some thing which is no longer reversible, which cannot be turned back again. Of course once the criticism turns out to be right, it's no longer possible to avoid what they want to do” (If they do not act now, they might be hindered)[14].

Ecofeminism recognizes a concern for all people and it champions the rights to a voice for those groups such as women, children and others who are marginalized and devoiced or disempowered in an authoritarian patriarchal world. Ecofeminism encourages women and children to speak on issues which directly affect them and the environment and our world. A continuation of the experiments at CERN, represent a threatening and undemocratic abuse of power by an organization marginalizing and acting dismissively towards anyone questioning safety issues. By not allowing open and honest scientific discussion between all concerned parties including input by members of the public, CERN is causing disharmony and fear among many people. Scientists debate the issue of our collective lives and death and our very future on internet message boards and in the news and in many publications. Our whole life view becomes changed knowing that there may be no tomorrow. How do we explain this to the children?

 

The Precautionary Principle

 

“When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause – and – effect relationships are not fully established scientifically”(From the January 1998 Wingspread statement on the Precautionary Principle) [15].  The precautionary principle states that “if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus, that the action or policy is harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those who advocate taking the action” [16].

 

In the court case to obtain an injunction against the LHC where the applicants were Luis Sancho and Walter L. Wagner (nuclear safety expert), it was stated that  “ Neither CERN nor the government defendants have engaged in any form of hearings or other meetings in which the plaintiffs or members of the  public  would  have  been  allowed  to  attend  so  as  to  comply  with requirements  for Environmental Assessment  [EA]  findings, Findings of No Significant  Impact  [FNSI],  or  Environmental  Impact  Statements  [EIS],  or any  other  NEPA  requirements  or  European  Commission  requirements pertaining to the Precautionary Principle” [6]. Therefore it can be seen that there was little consultation with experts and the public to have any say in whether the LHC machine should be used. This application to the court in Hawaii also stated that the LSAG (safety report) is biased towards defendant CERN in that it was prepared by a committee consisting entirely of CERN employees or former employees.

 

In the document titled “Communication under the optional protocol to the international covenant on civil and political rights” addressed to the Human Rights Committee at the UN, it is stated “The European Union has formally accepted the precautionary principle. However, in the case of CERN, we could not find an official willing to take responsibility for enforcement of that principle”. This document also quotes the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University, U.K, as saying “While the arguments for the safety of the LHC are commendable for their thoroughness, they are not infallible. Although the report considered several possible physical theories, it is eminently possible that these are all inadequate representations of the underlying physical reality. It is also possible that the models of processors in the LHC or the astronomical processes appealed to in the cosmic ray argument are flawed in an important way. Finally, it is possible that there is a calculation error in the report…However, our analysis implies that the current safety report should not be the final word in the safety assessment of the LHC. Such work would require expertise beyond theoretical physics, and an interdisciplinary group would be essential” [1].

 

CERN’s answer to any criticisms is to say that the LHC is safe to use. CERN documents say “If the LHC can produce microscopic black holes, cosmic rays of much higher energies would already have produced many more. Since the Earth is still here, there is no reason to believe that collisions inside the LHC are harmful” [18]. Many scientists have commented on this statement with rebuttals which include the fact that the experiment being undertaken at CERN is extremely different to what happens in space because, firstly, particles in space are moving freely and are not set up to clash in such a focused way and in the conditions that exist in the CERN LHC experiments.  

 

In 2007, CERN’s chief scientific officer Jos Engelen was quoted as saying that “CERN officials are now instructed with respect to the LHC’s world-destroying potential ‘not to say that the probability is very small but that the probability is zero’”. The zero-risk policy was questioned by collider supporter Kapusta who said “The odds [1 in 5 million] are tiny but not zero. A physicist never says never. Is this tiny probability acceptable… given the potentially devastating consequences?” [1].

 

It is obvious that the precautionary principle has not been observed by CERN and that no committees have been allowed to form made of experts from different fields and members of the public and that CERN has disregarded and ignored the voices of those who have spoken out and asked for a safety conference. Experts have said that there are risks including risks we can theorise about and risks that we may not even comprehend.

Clues to the unknowns of the CERN experiments can be found in much of their documentation. For instance, in corrected update 3 [CERN, 30th March 2010], CERN research director Sergio Bertolucci says “This is a step into the unknown. We are doing something that no-one has done before. We hope we find things that are really new. There are known unknowns out there, like dark matter and new dimensions about which we hope to learn. But it is possible that we will find some unknown unknowns which could be hugely important for mankind. With the LHC, we have the tool that we need” [19].

 

Probable risks are being taken that rival and eclipse those known risks of terrible events such as exploding huge atomic bombs. The people who publicly discuss these issues have no other recourse to date other than interviews and open publications and discourse since CERN is unlikely to agree to stopping the experiments while debate is allowed. People are asked to accept CERN’s word that everything will be all right based on unproven theories and PR releases that make dubious comparisons between the LHC experiments and what happens in space. The fear caused by CERN has contributed to the death of one young girl and it has contributed to the sadness felt by many other people who feel that CERN has disregarded their civil and human rights by conducting these experiments knowing full well safety concerns are not addressed and all life risks being destroyed.

 

The Precautionary Principle includes a consideration of social justice issues compatible with Ecofeminist principles because feminist environmentalists and health activists contributed to the original conception of the Principle and the ensuing Wingspread statement on the precautionary principle (1998) The precautionary principle embraces the idea of “forecare” and “caring for” which are distinctly feminine concepts that women have articulated for years [17]. These principles have not been addressed or discussed by CERN, nor has CERN shown any formal attempt to satisfy the Precautionary Principal.

 

 

Safety issues

 

In a document submitted to the Human Rights Committee at the UN by people from “conCERNed international” (www.concerned-international.com), it was stated that “composition of the panels that conducted the LHC safety reviews in 2003 and 2008 failed to address issues of conflict of interest, diversity of specialization, and consultation of the public” [1]. ”The first panel was composed only of collider physicists. This led to complaints about conflict of interest. This lack of a fully disinterested arms-length safety assessment was also the model for the safety assessment of a previous U.S collider, the RHIC at Brookhaven which was started up in 2000” [1].

 

In a book “Catastrophe: Risk and response”, Professor Richard Posner observed the lack of arms-length assessment and called for strict regulation of colliders. Posner wrote many scientists have an “attitude gap created by the different goals, and resulting different mindsets of science on the one hand and public policy on the other. The scientist qua scientist wants to increase scientific knowledge, not make the world safer – especially from science” [20].

 

Other safety concerns raised in the document to the Human Rights Committee at the UN quote an expert’s report on the LHC Risk management practices: review of the risk assessment process used for the 2008 LHC safety study” (Leggett 2009). Leggett’s paper reported that the 2008 LHC study “shows that the LSAG report has less than a quarter (in fact, only 18%) of the elements that would be present if current recommendations for best-practice safety assessments were followed as shown in the survey” [1].

 

The report to the Human Rights Committee states all direct and non-direct contributors to the 2008 safety review were particle physicists. All the contributors to the 2008 safety review (including the SPC report) are presently listed in the CERN directory (at the time of the publication of the report). Therefore none were “experts beyond the scientific community… for example, lawyers, ethicists” et cetera despite that being recommended by the European Commission. The document quoted one of the rules of natural justice or procedural fairness: the rule against bias – no one to be a judge in their own cause [1]. This paper also said the question (about safety to be considered) should have been “Can there in fact be a way that a catastrophe could occur from collision from the available physics? Not ‘how can it be argued that there is safety?’” [1].

 

Calls for a safety conference where all the perceived threats from the LHC experiments could be discussed have so far been ignored by CERN. In a recent interview with Professor Otto E. Roessler, he said that “I want to be disproved. It would be wonderful if one could disprove this main danger that black holes would not evaporate, would be therefore eternal essentially, so they would eventually eat the Earth. Whether I’m right that it’s only 5 years or it takes longer is less important in comparison. But this is the basic question on the table and the public should be allowed to participate in a discussion about this question. I call it a security or safety conference and this conference doesn’t cost much. It doesn’t take more than a week to arrange. It can be done. And CERN can wait for this week. And if enough people on the planet say, why not go the safe way, then everything is fine” (Professor Dr Otto E. Roessler) [14].

 

In discussions of the safety of our planet and LHC experiments, Russian academic Evgeni Dovgel says “The energy of particle collisions which can be achieved in this collider is millions of times higher than the energy of the synthesis of helium atoms out of hydrogen atoms in a hydrogen bomb explosion, the frequency of collisions to be achieved is a million times per second, while the temperature at the point of particle collisions is to be 100 thousand times as high as the one at the center of the sun. They say, this will help scientists reproduce in the collider (on the inhabited planet!) those conditions which existed in the universe for the first fractions of a second after the big bang, which supposedly created the universe (but the cause of which is unknown to them), as well as helped them clarify their assumptions concerning physical laws” [21]. Dovgel points out that the safety report produced by CERN scientists is flawed and he also says that the report conclusions are erroneous. He also says that many scientists seriously criticize this report but it is being ignored by CERN. Dovgel is another example of another voice speaking out against the dangers of the LHC being ignored by CERN.

 

Attempts to stop the experiments have been tried using legal means including a law suit pursued in a Federal court in Hawaii by Walter L. Wagner (nuclear safety expert) and Luis Sancho. This case failed. They sought to require an environmental impact statement from the U.S government in its role of funding and participating in the LHC project. The case was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds, but Judge Helen Gillmor wrote “It is clear that Plaintiffs’ action reflects disagreement among scientists about the possible ramifications of the operation of the Large Hadron Collider. This extremely complex debate is of concern to more than just the physicists”. Other court cases including a case in the Swiss courts in 2008 and a law suit in Germany in 2009 to prevent full-power operation of the LHC at CERN also failed. And Eric Johnson says “Suing to stop the LHC is a unique litigation endeavor. Problems abound. The only thing that seems straightforward is the prayer for relief (a remedy in civil law) but what is the claim? In what court do you file it? And how do you get personal jurisdiction over CERN?” [4].

 

 

Conclusion

 

Situations such as CERN would not arise if we had a world that respected an Ethic of Care which is discussed by people involved in the environmental movement as well as being implied by scientists such as Roessler who advocated that all scientists take a Hippocratic Oath. In “Green Justice: A holistic approach to environmental injustice” by Nicole C Kibert,  Kibert says “Ecofeminists  have  stated  that  to  begin working towards breaking  down  the  oppression  systems  that  perpetuate the degradation of both the earth and disenfranchised people, we must shift to an ethic “that makes a central place for values of care, love, friendship, trust, and appropriate reciprocity-values that presuppose  that  our  relationships to others are central to our understanding of who we are [22].” Kibert says “This ideal is something that can also be included in environmental education programs, but to really work  it has to be  implemented on a much larger scale, on the level of a paradigm shift [7].”

 

Unfortunately the universal adoption of an Ethic of Care is yet to happen and it may be an ideological dream opposed by groups who want to dominate and control others. In the case of the LHC experiments, the human race now looks on at discussions, theoretical postulating and arguments more suited to an unreal world of science fiction stories than real life. The reality of the sunrise on any given day being the last sunrise for everyone on the planet is no longer a nightmare but reality.

 

In past scenarios of huge loss of life, such as the atomic bomb or tsunamis or the Nazi Germany holocaust, there was some knowledge that the human race as a whole would still survive. People had some certainty, other that a meteor hitting the Earth or death by accident, murder, war or sickness of at least having the chance to plan for old age. There was a knowledge that when an individual died, the rest of humanity would keep going; that the birds would still sing and the forests would still grow and those remaining on this beautiful planet would keep looking for solutions to the problems of the world.

 

Has science in the pursuit of science chosen to ignore safety and risk assessment thus gambling with all human and animal and plant life and our planet?  Who gave science that authority? Did we? In our everyday lives there are rules and regulations and laws that reflect society’s norms and safeguard all of us. Cars that go too fast are stopped by police and police will apprehend a man with a gun threatening the innocent (hopefully but not always before he has killed people). Wars are still fought disempowering some and empowering others but these are usually localized. In the global scheme of things, where are the laws and regulations that hold CERN to account and what is to stop other scientific establishments also taking great risks with people’s collective lives? Until international laws are changed and/or until a predominantly Ecofeminist nurturing, non-violent, sustainable, precautionary and environmentally friendly approach becomes reality in our world, we will be faced with situations such as CERN and the LHC experiments where “might equals right” and where those who dispute such an organization are told to shut up or are personally attacked, marginalized or rebutted with answers that are neither sound or satisfactory.

 

Dedications and thanks

Much thanks and kudos to all the scientists who have voiced their concerns openly about the dangers to our planet Earth from the LHC experiments. These scientists have shown courage, integrity and bravery in speaking out against those who would impose potentially deadly experiments on a planet inhabited by over 6 billion people. Our planet also contains an incredible array of flora and fauna over which we humans have stewardship. Scientists such as Dr Otto Roessler, Dr Walter Wagner and others such as law Professor Eric E. Johnson and Russian academic Evgeni Dovgel all deserve Nobel peace prizes in my opinion much more than the perpetrators of potentially life threatening experiments at LHC that could exterminate our planet and all who live on it.

 

Notable quote

 

Evgeni Dovgel quoted Oppenheimer (father of the atomic bomb) as saying it wouldn't matter if the atomic bomb had blown the world up because there would be no-one left to judge him (Oppenheimer) or the other scientists involved. In his paper (see link below) Evgeni Dovgel wonders will we be so lucky with the LHC experiments that we survive the dangers they may bring? In our world, recent risk versus benefit failures include the space shuttle Challenger that blew up, killing the crew on board, and the recent disaster from the BP oil rig leaking an unstoppable flow of oil into the ocean. These are examples of humans miscalculating risk.

 

Dovgel says "The connection between madness and genius has been proved many times. After the explosion of the first atomic bomb, its “father” R. Oppenheimer was “joking” that, of course, they hesitated, too, but decided, if everything ended well, no one would condemn them. And if not, then there would be no one to judge them... They took the risk and became famous: they were the first who exploded the atomic bomb. Today’s nuclear physicists are also ready to take the risk to become famous for ‘such discoveries, which are not yet even conceived,’ in the course of ‘experiments, whose results may not be predictable in principle’."

-Evgeni Dovgel

 

The fate of the planet is in the hands of nuclear physicists: shall we be lucky this time?
http://dovgel.com/engl/kve.htm
 

 

 

Reference List

 

[1]Communication under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Available: http://www.concerned-international.com/?q=complaint#comment-27

 

[2]Plaga, R. 2009, On the potential catastrophic risk from metastable quantum-black holes produced at particle colliders, Available: http://arxiv.org/pdf/0808.1415v3

 

[3]Rössler, O. 2008, A Rational and Moral and Spiritual Dilemma

Available: http://www.wissensnavigator.com/documents/spiritualottoeroessler.pdf

 

[4]Johnson, E. 2009, The Black Hole Case: The Injunction Against the End of the World,Available: http://arxiv.org/abs/0912.5480

 

[5] Overbye, D. 2008, Asking a Judge to Save the World, and Maybe a Whole Lot More. The New York Times, March 29, 2008.  Available:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/29/science/29collider.html

 

[6]Luis Sancho, et al., Plaintiffs, vs. US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, et al., Defendants, 2008. Available:

http://www.lhcdefense.org/pdf/Sancho%20v%20Doe%20-%20P&A%20in%20Support%20of%20Default%20Injunction%20against%20CERN.pdf

 

[7] Kibert, N. 2001, Green Justice:  A Holistic Approach To Environmental Injustice. Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law [Volume 17]. Available: http://www.law.fsu.edu/journals/landuse/vol17_1/kibert.pdf

 

[8]Lewis, C.S. 1959, 'Modern Theology and Biblical Criticism' (Republished in “Fern-seed and Elephants”), Available: http://orthodox-web.tripod.com/papers/fern_seed.html

 

[9] Mies, M. and Shiva, V. 1993. What is ecofeminism?. Available: http://www.wloe.org/WLOE-en/background/ecofeminism.html#mies-shiva

 

[10] Declaration Toward a Global Ethic, Global Ethic Foundation.

Available: http://www.weltethos.org/dat-english/03-declaration.htm

 

[11]The Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations. Available: http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

 

[12]Perlman, D. Psychological Dimensions of Nuclear Policies and Proliferation, NuclearFiles.Org. Available:

http://nuclearfiles.org/menu/keyissues/ethics/basics/perlman_psychological-dimensions.htm

 

[13] Girl suicide 'over Big Bang fear', BBC News website, 11th September 2008 .

Available: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7609631.stm

 

[14] 'I want to be disproved': Interview with Professor Otto E. Roessler about the Dangers at the CERN LHC, Notepad Publishing.

Available: http://www.notepad.ch/blogs/index.php/2010/03/18/interview-with-professor-otto-e-roessler

 

[15] Tickner, J. and Raffensperger, C. and Myers, N.  The Precautionary Principle in Action: A Handbook.

Available: http://www.sehn.org/rtfdocs/handbook-rtf.rtf

 

[16]The Precautionary Principle: Precaution Round-up -February 2010, Science and Environmental Health Network.

Available: http://www.sehn.org/rpr191.html

 

[17] Seager, J. Rachel Carson Died of Breast Cancer: The Coming of Age of Feminist Environmentalism, Signs, Vol. 28, No. 3, Gender and Science: New Issues (Spring, 2003), pp. 945-972

 

[18] Are LHC collisions safe?, CERN website.

Available:

http://public-old.web.cern.ch/public-old/Content/Chapters/AboutCERN/CERNFuture/LHCSafe/LHCSafe-en.html

 

[19] Cern takes step to unlocking secrets of universe, Mar 30, 2010, Swissinfo.ch: Swiss News.  Available: http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/science_technology/Cern_takes_step_to_unlocking_secrets_of_universe_.html?cid=8586904

 

[20]Posner, R. 2004, Catastrophe: Risk and response, Oxford University Press, New York. p.252.

 

[21] Dovgel, E. The fate of the planet is in the hands of nuclear physicists: shall we be lucky this time?

Available: http://dovgel.com/engl/kve.htm

 

      [22] Curtin, D. 1996, Toward an Ecological Ethic of Care, Ecological Feminist

      Philosophy, Karen J. Warren ed.

 

 

This paper is self published on Rabbit Information Service website as of 13 June 2010.This paper, The LHC (Large Hadron Collider) experiments : Where might equals right by Marguerite Thoresen is Copyright with All Rights Reserved. Please contact the author, Marguerite Thoresen at rabbit@iinet.net.au for permission to use this paper.

 Click here to return to Rabbit Information Service main page