Where is the NGA — National Geiger Association — when you need them?
Facing an apparent shortfall of new permits to impose on citizens, the New York city council (with Mayor Bloomberg’s reported support) is moving to require that any citizens who want to own devices that detect biological, chemical, and radiological dangers must first register and secure a permit from the city. If Bloomberg wants to run for President, this would not be the way to do it. There is a strong suspicion that the problem with these devices is that they will reveal a much greater level of such dangers and require officials to address countless false — and true — readings.
Thousands of these devices have been purchased since 9-11. The problem is not the idea, but the lack of regulation and enforcement to keep shoddy models off the market. However, Richard Falkenrath, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for counterterrorism, insists that the problem is the private ownership of such devices, so he is calling for a law requiring anyone who wants to own such detectors to get a permit from the police. This would affect journalists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals beyond the risk-adverse citizenry.
Notably, Falkenrath indicated that one of his fears was that people would simply not understand and panic over the level of biological, radioactive, and chemical exposures present in New York City. Solution? Deny them the information to allow them — and the government — to live in the bliss of ignorance.
For many, the law brought back bitter memories of how city and federal officials concealed the dangerous levels of pollutants and hazardous material after the 9-11 attacks. It was private measurements that led to the eventual disclosure that the EPA and other agencies withheld information on the dangers to people working near the site.
Ironically, the Chinese government recently adopted the same approach as New York City in Beijing: withholding test results and preventing public discussion of rising levels of pollution. (Click here)
For the full story from New York, click here