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.

3 thoughts on “Atomic Radiation and Mental Health

  1. I wouldn’t go so far as to label those people you discuss as alarmist, but I would buy that most of them are illiterate on the focal subject matter and most likely get their information from soundbites, or from experts on the order of Al Gore, or from chatting up friends who are like minded.because studying a field on their own is just too difficult. After all, they spent 12 years being fed propaganda and pushed up the latter simply for showing up for the required number of classes required to graduate high school. Under the circumstances it would be insane of us to expect the majority of them to open a book and pursue a topic on their own with intellectual integrity.

    Great, pithy article on alarmism and its catapulting extremism into the mainstream culture and thinking or what little thinking occurs anymore. It’s easier to point fingers or voice superstition or ignorance to excuse failure and much more pleasant to patiently stand in the “everyone gets a trophy line”. I’m a believer of the old adage that most people suck, which is most likely what angered Jefferson, Adams and Washington and Co. and drove them to shooting Brits. 🙂

  2. When the norm is insanity the sane are the ones labeled as insane by the insane. You’re only now starting to realize the vast majority of people are insane? Most people have no understanding of reason or rationale much less the ability to think and see reality, instead favouring their beliefs and the world inside their heads.

Please keep it civil

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