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14 Comments

  1. I thought that some revisionist had reinterpreted the data on household radon and concluded that it was only an increased risk factor when associated with smoking. Is that the current consensus?

      1. ‘There is no reason to “diss” his work by calling it revisionist.’

        Just kidding. I’ll have a look at it, thanks. Can’t remember which branch of communism turned ‘Revisionist’ into ‘ Heretic!’

  2. The media bias that gets me is how come pro-nukers are never called up for one-on-one interviews like that??

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

    1. “Pro-nukers” are boring; fear, uncertainty and doubt get viewers… there is a lot of profit in fear, fear is sensational and doesn’t require understanding.

  3. Went to the G4 website to see if there was a way to contact the host about how radiation challenged the “reporter” was and why this type of media exposure does little to raise the education level but does a lot to increase the fear level.

    However I discovered there was no need for me to chime in since the host of the show, Kevin Pereira , was lambasted by his regular viewers for allowing Micheal Collins on the show. And the comments section of the G4 website did not break out into the normal pro-nuclear vs. anti-nuclear lines. The comments reflected the fact that Michael Collins did not know what he was doing when using the rad monitor and was only trying to ramp up the fear.

    So maybe there is a little ray of hope that individuals like Micheal Collins are reaching the end of their 15 minutes of fame relative to Fukushima.

    Also the major error that Mr. Collins makes is that the EPA Radnet is still functioning and providing near real time data. However due to the incredibly low rad levels recorded on the West Coast weeks after Fukushima, the EPA went back to routine monitoring in June 2011.

    http://www.epa.gov/japan011/

    http://www.epa.gov/radnet/

    But then why let a few facts to get in the way when selling fear of nuclear power is the goal.

  4. Apocalyptic Extremism not based in any science? I think the apocalyptic realties of Climate Change and Acidification for some species and habitats are bad enough. But I know what you mean.

    I think the approach has worked very well for the anti nuclear movement.

    In response nuclear financial interests have been somewhat disconnected to nuclear environmental interests (nuclear financial interests are involved in high carbon fossil fuels as well sometimes) and the nuclear environmental interests are basically unfunded, and dependent on a informed minority.

    Laying the correct groundwork however may pay off in the long run. By not distancing itself from the anti nuclear movement the climate change environmentalists are being undermined. Carbon emission is increasing where nuclear power is shuttered and/or ALL renewable efforts are being negated. Worldwide emissions are skyrocketing.

    Then of course there is the extreme penalty for not laying that groundwork for reasonable discourse that will come back to bite you in the end:

    Wind farm action groups throw down gauntlet to candidates ( http://www.thesouthernreporter.co.uk/news/local-headlines/wind-farm-action-groups-throw-down-gauntlet-to-candidates-1-2255109 )

    Canadians protest wind power subsidies over environmental concerns ( http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/04/03/canadians-protest-wind-power-subsidies-over-environmental-concerns/ )

    the most ridiculous (Ive noticed some names from the anti-nuclear community in there):

    Stop Smart Meters! ( http://stopsmartmeters.org/ )

  5. I think an effective graphic to combat the Unusable Land claim would be a picture of either/or evacuation (no go) zones from Fukishima and Chernoyble and compare it to the land used by renewable sources.

    Show how much land was destroyed (and how many people were displaced) by the 3 Gorges Dam in China.

    How much space it would take to get 1000 MW of Solar or wind.

    How much land was made unusable by 3 Mile Island.

    This comparison of how much land is Temporarily made unusable by a worst case disaster vs how much land is made unusable by Regular Operation of renewable sources

  6. Apocalyptic portrayal?

    I can think of no better word to describe James Hansen’s latest op-ed in the New York Times. The title says it all:

    Game Over for the Climate.

    Interesting thing about this op-ed, there’s lots of talk about “we need to start reducing emissions significantly,” but do you notice what is missing? How about the word nuclear?

    I’ve observed that Rod has railed against Pat Michaels in the past because he failed to mention nuclear power as the technology to replace fossil fuels today (e.g., the Atomic Insights blog post dated 9/8/2010). Will he be consistent and now chastise Dr. Hansen for similar omissions? 🙂

    1. @Brian Mays – Though James Hansen has often made it clear that he supports the use of nuclear energy as a powerful tool in the battle against climate change, I have to agree with you about this op-ed. It is unreasonably apocalyptic. I do not have any fear of Canadian tar sands development – it is about 17% more carbon intensive than other unconventional oil plays, but the total production rate is only 2 million barrels of oil per day. That is just slightly more than 2% of the world total oil production and insignificant when you compare it to the CO2 from daily coal production.

      Even with a doubling of the already massive investment in extraction infrastructure, Alberta tar sands will only produce 4-5 million barrels of oil per day. While that would “move the needle” in terms of monetary income to our north American neighbors, it would not move the needle of global CO2 emissions.

      The people who are most threatened by tar sands development are all of the competitive oil producers that have to compete in a market that is more fully supplied, and thus reaches a lower equilibrium price with Canadian oil included than with it excluded (kept in the ground as some ardent activists have prescribed.)

      Slowly using hydrocarbons is not nearly as dangerous as an ever increasing rate of consumption. The earth does have systems that can mitigate a certain amount; unfortunately, we moved past that level and have no hope of returning without widespread replacement of fossil fuel combustion with atomic fission.

      1. Well, personally, if the Canadian tar sands are going to be developed, I’d prefer to see the energy used for that development to come from SMR’s rather than from something like natural gas.

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