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  1. Wade Allison has done much to combat the misinformation surrounding radiation and health/safety. Like Cohen, he uses the power of informed analysis to sort fact from fiction.

  2. @Rod
    Perhaps a little off topic but i have stumbled across some of Doug Brugge’s work re: nuclear energy. He seems to be using 1950s standards uranium mining and the chernobyl accident as a basis for getting rid of this technology as well as standard arguments re proliferation. What are your thoughts?

  3. Thanks, Rod. That is indeed an excellent paper. I loved his imagining the ancient debate about domesticating fire. The good “doctor” at Depleted Cranium had a graphic that captures the probable conversation: http://depletedcranium.com/ancient-man-used-fire/ .

    I work peripherally in RP and agree that there is much effort expended on ALARA for no benefit– by definition waste. Ken Chaplin’s anecdotes, the unnecessary deaths in Chernobyl and Fukushima, the waste not put to better use, irrational fear of radiation and therefore nuclear energy, all make me question the morality of being in the RP business.

    But I rationalize it because I’m nearly vested in a pension:

    1. I’m just helping my employer comply with (ill) regulations. (Bleh, that sounds like “just following orders.”)
    2. Anyway, it’s the Navy’s fault. They thought it wise to make me an ELT thirty years ago at the young impressionable age of 19.
    3. In the future I will be a better, more proactive advocate for nuclear energy.

    So steeped in truth is Mr. Allison’s essay that this from the penultimate paragraph did not annoy me:

    “In all probability climate change is upon us and the chances that civilisation will survive it are falling.”

    At first I thought he pulled a Suzi Hobbes and, “Well, he just lost half his readers.” Then I realized the simple genious of that– he didn’t specify CAGW due to CO2, just that “climate change is upon us.” My one quibble in the way he said it was qualifying with “in all probability.” No, climate change is definitely happening. It always has. What would be surprising is if it wasn’t. Also, he specifies “civilisation” (as we know it I presume) and not “humanity.” Humanity has survived all sorts of climate changes.

    1. @Reese

      It is civilization, specifically our enormous installed base of buildings, farms, ports, roads and other forms of infrastructure, that concerns me. Why keep pursuing a huge experiment in hopes that the scientists who study this stuff have – perhaps – been guilty of a bit of overstatement?