Thursday, March 17, 2011

Nuclear power and atomic bombs are not the same thing!

Anti-nuclear activists have been amazingly successful in their attempts to conflate nuclear power with nuclear explosions. But of course the two are not mutually inclusive. You just have to take a deep breath and think about it for a moment. Sure, a nuclear meltdown is a terrifying prospect but it's nothing compared to a bloody mushroom cloud!

But thinking calmly is the last thing the activists want people to do. Journalists cooperate with them in achieving this aim because many of them are greenies themselves. Also, constantly beating up the threat of a catastrophic outpouring of radioactive material sells a helluva lot more papers.

That's why there's been such a weird fixation on the potential nuclear threat over the actual quake disaster in Japan. It's also why you see articles like this one, the title of which is very revealing: "Why Japan embraced nuclear power after suffering the atomic bomb".

Short answer: Because they're not the same thing. And doing so made economic sense.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fear of nuclear catastrophe in Japan is like fear of climate change

If you're a half-way rational person, I'll bet you're struck by the strange priorities of most media outlets in their reporting of the quake and tsunami disaster in Japan. The fixation on the nuclear angle is weird as.

Sure, it's scary, with all these explosions occurring as a result of the quake. But as many have pointed out, it's nowhere near as serious as what has already occurred in that nation. Many thousands of people have died horribly in a natural disaster, yet there's a greater media focus on what might happen as a consequence of the nuclear reactors exploding.

This is sooo like climate change. People are more worried about imaginary problems in the future than they are about very real ones now.

I think this just says something about human nature generally. That is, that fear is often deeply irrational. (Well, it's likely it would be -- it's an emotion, after all! Perhaps a better way of putting it would be to say that it often results from irrational perceptions.)

The other element in this weird mix is the crazy idea that nature is always good, and mankind is inevitably bad. This is very clearly demonstrated in this nuke fear, as well as climate change hysteria. In the latter condition carbon dioxide is all fine and dandy if it comes from natural processes, and baaad if it's produced by humans. Hell, it's even given a different, more eeevil-sounding name if that happens: carbon.