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Re: Radiation.

hito wrote:
I do think you need to look at your stance on this issue. Although you are expecting honesty of HC and putting her under the spotlight, you have to consider the effect of doing this to her. What is the message that nuclear supporters get when you attack HC. I think you are being pretty tough on her and other nuclear opponents whilst being very optimistic about nuclear potential. Editing by omission is certainly one of HC's crimes but it could also be one of your own. Many people say they are just scrutinising a person which, whilst true, also means they don't scrutinise others.

Let me be clear--I didn't seek out an opportunity to attack Caldicott, nor do I hope that I have in any way suggested that in questioning the reliability of some of her claims I am positioning myself in the "opposing" camp. I listened to CP's posted link and a few things didn't jive with what I had read in my own (limited) research into the matter, so I dug a bit deeper and happened upon the dialogue between Monbiot and Caldicott.

There was no intentional editing by omission here, though there clearly was inherently a lot of omission of details which could be quite important when discussing these topics, due primarily to a relatively shallow level of knowledge on my part when compared to the true specialists whose lives are devoted to this subject. If I chose not to attack Monbiot's own biases with the same vigor, it is because I truly believe that his role in this debate is primarily that of the journalist looking to challenge not-entirely-factual claims being passed off as fact by a relatively prominent champion of this cause. The more I have read, the more it appears that Monbiot may indeed be guilty of cutting more corners in terms of mastering the subject than he would have his readers believe. But I still think it would be more appropriate to hold up the UN/WHO/etc. studies which Monbiot relies upon as the counterpoint to Caldicott's (and those specialists who would defend her) side than a journalist, even one as vocal as Monbiot.

You are absolutely right that we all tend to challenge the opposing viewpoint more than the one which supports our preconceived opinion, but I think I'm being pretty honest with myself when I say that I'm really not sure where I stand on the nuclear issue (now more than ever), so my loyalties don't firmly lie on one side or the other. They do, however, rather firmly lie with those who would defend honest debate and the triumph of the scientific method over faux-science, and I hope that I would generally be capable of applying these principles fairly in regards to either side of any polarizing issue. My own biases will undeniably enter into it, of course, but a little introspection can go a long way in helping one overcome such prejudicial limitations.

Apr 26, 2011, 17:42


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