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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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