Atomic Radiation and Mental Health

The average level of radiation to which inhabitants of the beautiful city of Denver  are exposed is .9 rem (zero point nine). The level of radiation in the hots spots around the damaged Fukushima nuclear reactor was .1 rem (zero point one).  Yes, it’s nine times lower near Fukushima than in Denver.

Denver residents concerned about the effects exposure to radiation have on their health should evidently have moved to the Japanese hot spots for greater safety, it seems to me. I hear the price of real estate plummeted in that area.

The first paragraph is drawn from ” The Panic Over Fukushima” in the Review section of the Wall Street Journal of August 18 – 19 2012. The article is by Richard Muller, PhD,  a Professor of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley. (But what does he know?)

The cynical deduction in the second paragraph is mine, of course. Here are more.

Shouldn’t alarmists employ their high capacity for panic in connection with large and certain killers of people such as road accidents and the myriads of illnesses that unwashed hands cause?

How difficult is it to understand that nuclear energy is the cheapest and the safest alternative to poisonous coal emissions and to “blood for oil”? Yes, it’s that simple.

What happened at Fukushima was exceptionally bad: A reactor was assailed by  a big earthquake followed by a tsunami. It was not built to withstand either. In other words, the worst happened. What does one do with the deeply fallacious “precautionary principle” when the worst happens and no catastrophe ensues? Is the precautionary principle immune to empirical testing? Is it theology by chance?

Suppose half of pregnant women in America started drinking a lot and the state their children’s health was undistinguishable from that of the offspring of the non-drinking half. Should the health warning on alcohol containers be maintained, then?

I suspect, only suspect, that there  are many among us who would say “yes.” That would not be their first response however. The first would be forceful evasiveness. Then, threatened with a big fine, for example, they would answer the question above in the affirmative.

I often think a large fraction of our population is insane. This is seldom discussed because there is safety in numbers, even safety from critical description.

About jacquesdelacroix

I am a sociologist, a short-story writer, and a blogger (Facts Matter and Notes On Liberty) in Santa Cruz, California.
This entry was posted in Bitching, Socio-Political Essays. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Atomic Radiation and Mental Health

  1. Terry Amburgey says:

    http://money.cnn.com/2012/08/09/news/economy/nuclear-plants-waste/index.htm

    It boggles my mind that environmental groups would prefer coal to fission.

  2. Frosty says:

    humans need to stop using such old methods of energy and adapt, or accept the dire consequences.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Frosty: The worst happened in Japan and there were no dire consequences. Humans adapt all the time. That’s how nuclear energy and digging for petroleum and now, more and more, for natural gas came about. Facts matter. But sweet dreams are better than nightmares if your life is going to be guided by dreams.

  3. Pingback: Atomic Radiation and Mental Health « Notes On Liberty

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