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Radiation.
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cyberpainter
cyberpainter
5915 posts

Re: Radiation.

All very interesting Wracket, but I still feel that Monbriot should be looked at with equal skepticism. Even if Caldicott isn't 100% accurate in her insistence and "facts", even if only say 40% or even 20% of what she says could be considered proven or scientifically accurate, it still leaves a smaller body of evidence that nuclear power is unsafe and other alternatives should be used when possible. It's that "when possible" that I know is also very debatable, and perhaps unsolvable with our thirst for energy and "things".

I mean what would you do if your community was contaminated by radioactive fallout? People who could afford to, would move away, and why not? I certainly would if I could. People who couldn't, would stay and become future guinea pigs.

They talk about the anti-nuke people from the 60's and 70's as though they were sort of ignorant of the current problems of the world, and the urgency of global warming. But I think most of the current situation is the same old issues of cost, convenience, lack of better technology etc. They may not have known the extent of global warming, but keeping the earth cleaner and healthier is and was then the solution that should be strived for. Much talk back then I think was about decentralizing energy, which doesn't necessarily have to translate into dirtier energy.

I'm just as concerned about how we're slowly poisoning ourselves with chemicals, as I am with the nuclear problem. Almost every object in our lives revolves around plastic and other chemicals in some way. We are so happy with all our objects and technology, me included. But they're finding that we all have some of those chemicals in our bodies now. All of us. I mean wow.

The conservatives in my country I think are pretty much head in the sand. They want go with whatever is cheapest, and don't want to think about global warming, the pros and cons of nuclear energy, or whether oil is dirtying up our lives. It always has and will be about cost and convenience for them. As long as the dirty solutions are not in their backyard. They will be happy to look to Mondriot if it means a liberal like Caldicott can be seen as a fool, then they can translate that to something quite unrelated or in their economic interest. Or paint all liberals with a broad brush based on her supposed flaws.

Apr 24, 2011, 19:53


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cyberpainter
cyberpainter
5915 posts

Re: Radiation.

vega wrote:
Radiation - The Facts :)



That's a good one you did vega. It's pretty unsettling to have the groop's pictures mixed in there...

Apr 24, 2011, 20:13


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wracket
wracket
1425 posts

Re: Radiation.

cyberpainter wrote:
They will be happy to look to Mondriot if it means a liberal like Caldicott can be seen as a fool, then they can translate that to something quite unrelated or in their economic interest. Or paint all liberals with a broad brush based on her supposed flaws.

We should be careful not to equate Monbiot's (unless you meant the minimalist painter Mondrian! ;^P ) role in calling out Caldicott's lack of support for her arguments with his being somehow the other side of the coin. Monbiot is, as you have pointed out, not a scientist but a journalist. His source material, most of which ultimately originates from studies performed by the UN, WHO*, etc., is the other side of the coin from Caldicott. Monbiot himself is not championing nuclear power as much as performing his journalistic role of uncovering inconsistencies and distortions of how "consensus scientific opinion" is presented. (Not that I'm suggesting he is somehow a neutral observer. But his recent change of heart on nuclear power originates from his discovery of the exact faux-science he is questioning on this very topic.)

As for the conservatives' ability to pick up on this and use it to discredit Caldicott (and, perhaps, a large portion of the Green movement)--sadly, you are right. But does this mean that we should let it slide because her heart's in the right place? (And I'm fully convinced that it is--I find it ridiculous that some people would suggest that she intentionally misrepresents the truth in order to increase her own notoriety, book sales, etc.) If we are going to build a case to fight the tragic abuse of the planet which, left unchecked, would ultimately spell our doom, it would be in our best interest to do so in a way which is logical and more difficult to undercut, even by the staunchest of global warming deniers. Whether or not the case involves the use of nuclear energy is a crucial question and one that should neither be reduced to a cost-based risk analysis nor dismissed out of hand due to fear-mongering propaganda.



*Caldicott has made several allusions to a global conspiracy in which the UN, the World Health Organization and others are complicit to cover up the effects of Chernobyl and the general dangers of nuclear anything (power, weapons, etc.) If this is indeed the case I'm afraid we're all pretty well stuffed either way, as it would imply that the scientists whom we have held up as the stars of their field are willing to turn their backs on science in order to go along with (and contribute to, as they were the authors of these reports) this global conspiracy.

Apr 24, 2011, 20:17


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wracket
wracket
1425 posts

Re: Radiation.

cyberpainter wrote:
I mean what would you do if your community was contaminated by radioactive fallout?

I'd get the fuck out of Dodge. As I would if people told me that a big ass hurricane was coming. Or that global sea levels were going to rise and inundate my beachfront property.

You're right in that the poor/immobile would be in a bad way. In some extreme cases, everyone in the area would be in a bad way. But I guess, when it comes to nuclear power plants, you have to hope that the Gen 4 reactors (FYI, Chernobyl was Gen 1 [no containment] and Fukushima is Gen 2 [hot water reactor]) are built to standards which would make such an event extremely unlikely. Maybe it would be naive to believe as much--this should all be part of the debate as to if, where and how to build nuclear power generators, of course.

Apr 24, 2011, 20:22


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cyberpainter
cyberpainter
5915 posts

Re: Radiation.

wracket wrote:

We should be careful not to equate Monbiot's (unless you meant the minimalist painter Mondrian! ;^P ) role in calling out Caldicott's lack of support for her arguments with his being somehow the other side of the coin. Monbiot is, as you have pointed out, not a scientist but a journalist. His source material, most of which ultimately originates from studies performed by the UN, WHO*, etc., is the other side of the coin from Caldicott. Monbiot himself is not championing nuclear power as much as performing his journalistic role of uncovering inconsistencies and distortions of how "consensus scientific opinion" is presented. (Not that I'm suggesting he is somehow a neutral observer. But his recent change of heart on nuclear power originates from his discovery of the exact faux-science he is questioning on this very topic.)


He is being used by the other side, and certainly does not appear to be a neutral observer. He, like Caldicott is a strong public voice in the debate. She's a doctor, not really a scientist, you're right, and he's a journalist. But they both are the media that we are reading and listening to.

Apr 24, 2011, 20:30


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cyberpainter
cyberpainter
5915 posts

Re: Radiation.

Hehe, and I should at least attempt to get his name right!

Apr 24, 2011, 20:33


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cyberpainter
cyberpainter
5915 posts

Re: Radiation.

wracket wrote:
Whether or not the case involves the use of nuclear energy is a crucial question and one that should neither be reduced to a cost-based risk analysis nor dismissed out of hand due to fear-mongering propaganda.


I agree, however it doesn't take fear-mongering propaganda for a layman to see the dangers and their potential end result played out right now in Japan. And doesn't take an expert to see that the spent fuel rods STILL have no where to go. And that the burning fuel rods are posing a huge risk right now for the Japanese people. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to assume that the radioactivity will perhaps make it's way in the air and water toward California. :( Whether it increases our cancer risk is not known. It doesn't take someone with scientific expertise to know that future and present "safer" nuclear technologies could still have room for human error, as we know this has always been part of humanity from the get go.

Maybe we should all just accept all our dirty ways and just say, oh well, we have more risk of cancer now, from the moment we are born, and just say it's a price of living, that we may die before our times. I mean really, previous centuries had a much shorter lifespan. Nah, I'm not quite there yet, not really willing to accept it from Caldicott or anyone else.

Apr 24, 2011, 20:46


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wracket
wracket
1425 posts

Re: Radiation.

cyberpainter wrote:
And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to assume that the radioactivity will perhaps make it's way in the air and water toward California.

Actually, it does take a scientist (though probably not one specializing in rockets) to assume that. Especially since Chernobyl, even by the most generous of estimations, didn't lead to radioactivity traveling even a third of the radius which that would suggest.

But I'm not trying to change your mind about nuclear energy because even my own mind isn't totally made up on the matter. I just feel that in this and all questions we should promote rational debate backed by science more so than play on the basest of human instincts (a tactic used on us by the powers that be since time immemorial).

Apr 24, 2011, 20:58


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cyberpainter
cyberpainter
5915 posts

Re: Radiation.

Here's an interesting article by an environmentalist (don't know his credentials), refuting Monbiot. I think it's a pretty intelligent, interesting read. Just something to add.

http://www.green-blog.org/2011/04/18/the-nuclear-meltdown-of-george-monbiot/

Apr 24, 2011, 21:18


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wracket
wracket
1425 posts

Re: Radiation.

There are some interesting points (and some petty and childish attacks) in that article. Of particular interest was the link to this article which suggests that the WHO is unable to independently publish its findings on radiation:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/may/28/who-nuclear-power-chernobyl

Severely undermining the credibility of the author of your link, however, are things like this:

"New York Academy of Sciences = 985,000 deaths as a result of the radioactivity released."

As I mentioned before, this was not the NY Academy of Sciences claim (the Annals of NY Academy of Sciences was simply the physical publisher of the papers). It was not even peer-reviewed. To falsely attribute this to a reputable organization paints the author out to be guilty of the same kind of lazy and/or intentionally misleading journalism that he accuses Monbiot of employing.

Some interesting food for thought, but served with a healthy dose of sour grapes.

Apr 24, 2011, 22:04

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