An Interesting Comment on Elizabeth Goudge
They're too polite to say "dumb"

Time to Turn Down the Nuclear Hysteria

I have been trying to follow what's going on at the crippled Japanese nuclear plant, but it's very difficult because the press is being so hysterical. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to look at the Drudge Report again (yes, I still have the habit of checking it several times a day--I mean, it is a useful headline summary under normal circumstances). Here, via someone on Facebook, is sci-fi/sci writer Jerry Pournelle with a common-sense worst-case summary.

This thing is bad, but it is not a planet-threatening event. It's not even a health-threatening event right now to anyone who isn't pretty near the reactor(s), and even if the worst does happen, it will only be a serious health threat to people near enough to get a big dose of radiation before it gets diffused and distributed enough to make it pretty harmless.

There's something a little crazed about the way the press is focused on this when Japan's problems are so much greater. They talk as if "radiation" were a single thing, like a rattlesnake--you either get bitten or you don't, and if you do get bitten, you die. 


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This is really helpful, Maclin. I don't know anything about nuclear power plants, so it's impossible to be informed properly if the media are so hysterical.

And yes, Japan's problems are far greater.

I saw a Facebook post yesterday claiming in all seriousness that there is A Cover-Up going on at the Highest Levels of Government (here and in Japan), and that anyone on the west coast of the U.S. should start heading east immediately. Sure am glad I'm not on the west coast where I could get bitten by that radiation snake and die.

I guess there's something comforting in a conspiracy theory--at least it makes sense of things.

People in Finland are stocking up on iodine. If the expected easterly movement takes place, the snake will have to cross the Pacific, north America, and the Atlantic to get to Finland. I expect he'll be pretty tired. Even if he goes the other way, he's got to cross most of the Eurasian continent.

It really is very irritating. All we're hearing about Japan is the number of dead and the nuclear stuff.

Now, with so many dead, there will be a lot of Japanese who are badly affected by this earthquake's destruction, but there are also vital questions of current conditions for those still living and the clean up involved etc. I'm not hearing much about that. I don't listen much to the media anyway, but when I do, it's really only the nuclear stuff.

I think some of the more serious print-oriented media are covering it, but the headlines on the web are all nuclear panic. Don't know about TV, as I rarely watch TV news.

Oh, my gosh. All these homeschooling Facebook friends I have are spazzing about getting their iodine, and how the pharmacies are sold out -- I guess they're all in California. Here in Lincoln County, NC, I'm not sure there's quite such a run on iodine tablets. But I get the idea, somehow -- and without wanting to impugn all these really very excellent people -- that maybe worrying about whether or not they have wheat allergies and gluten intolerance has gotten old, and a pending nuclear meltdown somewhere in the global neighborhood was sort of . . . exciting . . . But then I've been feeling like a creep for even thinking that.

But -- Finland? Seriously? I read On the Beach, and I was always almost positive that all radiation ultimately ended up in Australia.

Well, the wind bloweth where it listeth, but: there's just not much to be blown about here. I suppose these young people nowadays don't know that for 10 or 15 years (20?) nuclear weapons were tested in the open air, and they produced much more radiation than the worse case for Fukushima could do. As I understand it, there is in fact no nuclear fission reaction still in progress there, that shut down as it was designed to do--what they're dealing with is the heat produced by the still-radioactive fuel rods. A serious problem, but not apocalyptic.

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