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Last of the Time Lords 1
I'm sure glad Obama is PRO NUCLEAR POWER!!!

Posted by Last of the Time Lords on August 31, 2011 at 1:19 PM · Report this
mkyorai 2
What's up with the AP link? It keeps asking me where I want news from.
Posted by mkyorai on August 31, 2011 at 1:32 PM · Report this
MasMadness 3
Goldy, people would give you less shit if you didn't go out of your way to frame almost every issue in terms of how people are treating YOU and YOUR credibility. Ditch the inferiority complex, it distracts people from the point you're trying to make.
Posted by MasMadness on August 31, 2011 at 1:40 PM · Report this
actually, it is still possible to argue, overall, that despite 100K displaced, damage to health, etc., nuclear is still a better (partial) solution to coal and oil. If every argument was viable only based upon the point of view of those most affected - then no argument could be made, about anything.

It is also true that in instances such as Fukushima the damage is focused on a more visible and focused group than say the incremental damage suffered over time and over general populations as caused by fossil fuels - though you could also plausibly contend that if it's true that fossil fuel use has caused climate change that some of the resultant focused harm (storms, droughts) that is a result of climate change should be attributed to fossil fuel use - meaning that both nuclear and fossil fuels have, and will continue to, cause harm to localized populations via discreet events.

Fukushima was bad, badly managed, and caused real harm to people and property - but overall, the power that has been produced by nuclear energy has to date been produced, all things considered, relatively safely, - IMHO
Posted by myr on August 31, 2011 at 1:41 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 5
For those who are pro-nuclear, there's always fusion in 20 years.

Mind you, it's always 20 years in the future, and has been that way since the 1950s ...
Posted by Will in Seattle on August 31, 2011 at 1:54 PM · Report this
And that's the nub of the problem right there: do you prefer power generated by coal, knowing that it will affect every single person living on the face of the planet, most especially those living on the coasts and in the tropics (many of the poorest in the world), or power generated by nuclear which doesn't have the same pollution issues as a matter of course (spent fuel is much more concentrated and easier to handle than CO2 emissions), but which has these more disastrous results, concentrated in a single geographical area, when things go wrong?
Posted by Corydon on August 31, 2011 at 2:00 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 7
@5, let's not forget other things we'll have in "20 years"

All motorized vehicles will be electric
We will all have personal rocket packs
We will eliminate Cancer and HIV
We will live on the moon
We will land on Mars
We will have a balanced budget
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on August 31, 2011 at 2:04 PM · Report this
Packeteer 8
It is impossible to argue for universal healthcare if you are one of the billionaires who stands to lose millions in new taxes. Right? Right?

Don't be an ass and argue that the people who are effected negatively get to have a more important vote in how we plan for GLOBAL climate change.
Posted by Packeteer on August 31, 2011 at 2:14 PM · Report this
venomlash 9
Posted by venomlash on August 31, 2011 at 2:30 PM · Report this
Captain Wiggette 10
@5 & 7:

My favorite thing we will have in twenty years, circa 1986:

The technology to dismantle and clean up Chernobyl.

My favorite thing we will have twenty years from today:

The technology to dismantle and clean up Fukushima.

My favorite legacy of Chernobyl: a temporary sarcophagus built in 1986 designed to last only 20-30 years, during which the technology could be developed to approach and remove the nuclear material at the site.

My favorite development at Fukushima: beginning the construction of a temporary enclosure over the reactors to last a period of time during which presumably the technology can be developed to locate, approach, and remove the core materials and other radioactive wastes.

Cover Assembly at Fukushima:…

The reason people give Goldy sh*t is because they are convinced that nuclear power is safe and/or an appropriate solution to global warming, that Chernobyl was anomalous (the "due to inherently faulty/dangerous reactor design and lack of containment" lie), that Fukushima was due to poor engineering/foresight/design/planning/management/insert-your-choice-here, and that this could never happen in the United States.

Well, the factual history of commercial nuclear reactors shows a 1-in-100 chance of meltdown.

Would you buy a car that had a 1-in-100 chance of exploding?

Would you live in an apartment or home that had a 1-in-100 chance of spontaneously collapsing?

Facts cause cognitive dissonance, and it's far easier to bash Goldy as being alarmist than it is to approach soberly the nature of risk and the factual history of nuclear energy.

The beauty of it is that decidedly pro-nuclear agencies such as the IAEA are forwarded as trusted arbiters of risks and consequences, and the classic causal trap is used to belittle and dismiss any studies of health effects post Chernobyl, just as I'm sure they will do likewise post-Fukushima.
Posted by Captain Wiggette on August 31, 2011 at 2:39 PM · Report this
Captain Wiggette 11
@9: well played, sir. pun intended.
Posted by Captain Wiggette on August 31, 2011 at 2:40 PM · Report this
blip 12
I believe the criticism you’ve been getting is that you lack the knowledge to write about this subject with the objectivity and nuance it deserves. You just happen to err on the side of OMIGOD WERE ALL GONNA DIEEEEEE more often than not. And by that I mean always.
Posted by blip on August 31, 2011 at 2:46 PM · Report this
Zebes 13
pit bulls pit bulls fukushima fukushima
Posted by Zebes on August 31, 2011 at 2:48 PM · Report this
Captain Wiggette 14
@12: Do you have any examples to back that claim?
Posted by Captain Wiggette on August 31, 2011 at 3:17 PM · Report this
Posted by blip on August 31, 2011 at 3:29 PM · Report this
@10 - To make this point painfully explicit: no-one is saying that nuclear power is safe. What people are saying is that nuclear power may be less damaging to humanity than continuing to use fossil fuels, causing global warming, and destabilizing global weather patterns. No doubt people were (and are) displaced and killed by nuclear accidents, but if more people end up being displaced and killed by "natural" droughts and extreme weather events brought on by global climate change, then nuclear might be the way to go.
Posted by history mystery on August 31, 2011 at 3:39 PM · Report this
Captain Wiggette 17
Let us also compare Goldy's numerous, surprisingly prescient posts, with Mr Jonathan Golob The Stranger's 'Dear Science' writer who posted this doozy on the 14th of March:…

Wherein he stated:

For those of us not directly working at the plant bravely sticking to their duties despite all the risk or within a hundred miles or so from the damaged reactors, there is no heath risk or radiation exposure risk. (emphasis original)

That one not only cited, but recommendedthe hilariously ignorant and thoroughly wrong blog post by a supposed MIT scientist-type-guy "Dr. Josef Oehmen" which was a load of garbage:

"Debunking a viral blog post on the nuke threat:
An MIT researcher's claim that there was no threat of radiation in Japan was picked up widely, then it fell apart"…

Mr. Golob's posts have been informed by significantly greater understanding of the plant and principles involved, and have been pretty good actually. Yet despite that, he forwarded the same "don't-panic-everything-will-be-okay" line of crap as the nuclear industry.

On the very same day, Goldy posted the following much more pessimistic post:…

Comparing the two posts, it is obvious that even with his much more rudimentary understanding of what was going on, Goldy was much more correct in what was going on and the potential risks it posed.

Goldy's less-informed alarm probably comes from his healthy skepticism of governments and corporate power, which lead him to be far more prescient about just how bad this would become.

In contrast, I did not see Mr. Golob retract his poor choice of article recommendation in misleading his readers by the ostensible "authority" of "MIT-research scientist" 'Dr. Random Nobody-with-no-experience-at-all.' (though perhaps I missed it.).

And in contrast, Mr. Golob has not posted a single thing about the ongoing developments surrounding Fukushima (and there have been many) for more than 4 months.

Sticking with a story rather than treating it as a one-time thing, particularly a very long-term and slowly developing story such as this one, is crucial, and on that note too, Goldy has had significantly greater journalistic integrity.

I don't mean to criticize Mr. Golob too heavily, but if your goal is to inform yourself properly of as much as possible surrounding what has occurred and is continuing to occur at Fukushima, following Goldy's posts and his numerous links (which are never to alarmist claims like Busby or others) will give you an excellent overview of what has been going on, certainly superior to following Mr. Golob and his sometimes colossally poor choice in citations.
Posted by Captain Wiggette on August 31, 2011 at 4:01 PM · Report this
Captain Wiggette 18
@15: That is a search for all of the "Japan's New Normal" posts.

Can you cite any particular statements? Or do you just find the information presented by Goldy to be alarming?

You said: "You just happen to err on the side of OMIGOD WERE ALL GONNA DIEEEEEE more often than not. And by that I mean always."

Can you link to any single post that made claims that were anything like that, or that lacked: knowledge, objectivity, and nuance?

Because it seems to me that you are full of shit.
Posted by Captain Wiggette on August 31, 2011 at 4:05 PM · Report this
Captain Wiggette 19
@16: To make this point painfully explicit: that argument is 100% total bullshit.

"What people are saying is that torture may be less damaging to humanity than continuing to suffer terrorist attacks. No doubt innocent people were (and are) brutally violated and killed by the use of torture, but if more people end up being saved by preventing terrorism, then torture might be the way to go."

Fuck off, goober.
Posted by Captain Wiggette on August 31, 2011 at 4:09 PM · Report this

You really should just get the Stranger IT department to create a script that see's any slog post you write with the words "Japan" and "Nuclear" in it and automatically pastes:

"See, I told you guys so. NYAH NYAH NYAH NYAH!" the end.

Or maybe hire a developer that could create some sort of Markov algorithm filter that mines the latest internet outrage to generate defensive Straw-men argument strings.

Strings peppered with the usual panicky adverbs and knee-jerk buzz words. I picture the headline like:

"Radioactive pit-bull digs misogynistic tunnel over monogamish fat girl."

And the first sentence would always lead with a insecure straw-man argument , like:

"For those who think I should stop exposing the truth about tunnels dug by radioactive pitbulls..."

The entire Slog staff could get all their writing done in like 5 minutes instead of the usual 8.

Wait. I think I just made my first million.

Posted by tkc on August 31, 2011 at 4:12 PM · Report this
blip 21
@19, etc. I think you might be taking this a little more seriously than I am. My apologies/condolences.
Posted by blip on August 31, 2011 at 4:15 PM · Report this
Captain Wiggette 22
@21: "I'm taking my ball and going home! You meanie-poos!"

Posted by Captain Wiggette on August 31, 2011 at 4:30 PM · Report this
Fukushima is MUCH worse than Chernobyl:…
Posted by Anastasia Beaverhausen on August 31, 2011 at 4:33 PM · Report this
blip 24
Sorry but unlike you I’m not here to solve the Fukushima crisis, I only provided a pithy meta-analysis of the commentary on Goldy’s Japan series, and I stand by my initial comment above. If this subject as raging-important to you as your feverish commenting in this thread would imply, might I suggest you take the time to read through Goldy’s previous posts and see what others had to say? If nothing else, at least give your fingers a break.
Posted by blip on August 31, 2011 at 4:36 PM · Report this
Link to story:…

That is a really poignant story. It is interesting that the article characterizes Japanese people only by compliance to authority while forgetting about other deep cultural virtues like stoicism and determination. I am not surprised that he chose to stay, and admire him for caring for the abandoned animals. I would wish him peace, but I think he has found it.
Posted by MemeGene on August 31, 2011 at 4:47 PM · Report this
Captain Wiggette 26
@24: That's obvious. You came in here calling Goldy's posts alarmist and ridiculous (as have a number of others). I was just curious why you thought that. Aka, is there anything he's said that's ridiculous? You know, like, do you have any REASON to believe he deserves all that criticism, or are you just pulling it out of your ass? I think I've already read pretty much every single one of Goldy's posts on Fukushima. Care to point out just ONE example of whatever it is the fuck you're babbling about? Otherwise, it's obvious you're full of shit.
Posted by Captain Wiggette on August 31, 2011 at 4:51 PM · Report this
Captain Wiggette 27
@24: for example, see post #23. THAT is an example of unsubstantiated alarmist bullshit.
Posted by Captain Wiggette on August 31, 2011 at 4:53 PM · Report this
blip 28
@26 I've read all the posts as well, I just have a different, much less emotionally charged interpretation of them than you do. You can't see me right now but I'm shrugging. Have a lovely evening.
Posted by blip on August 31, 2011 at 5:05 PM · Report this
the idiot formerly known as kk 30
Yes, Goldy, we liked Japan a lot better back in the 1930s and 1940s when they were worried about where they were going to get hydrocarbon energy and decided that they really ought to control Indonesia--and while they were at it--why not the rest of East Asia?

They live on a rocky island with no resources. They surrendered unconditionally to the United States, and then adopted our handwritten constitution and economic order--including the "atoms for peace" bit.

Maybe instead of just going on and on about how much damage a massive earthquake and tsunami can do to any advanced society, you might suggest some alternatives for a population of 100 million packed into a chain of rocky, mountainous islands the size of California?
Posted by the idiot formerly known as kk on August 31, 2011 at 5:43 PM · Report this
prompt 31
Hey Wiggles, out of curiosity, whatever happened to the huge cloud of Japanese radiation that was floating to the west coast?
Posted by prompt on August 31, 2011 at 11:24 PM · Report this
tunanator 32
It would be less humorous if the deniers were defending a viable technology. One that wasn't so outrageously expensive that most investors want nothing to do with it. One which has continually threatened its neighbors, year after year for 50 years? One with an endless parade of promises (vitrification! pebble bed! fusion! uh uh uh thorium!) which are hopelessly theoretical or even more expensive than the last promise.

So why do they keep denying? refusing to see that they've gone intellectually bankrupt defending yet another poison-the-earth-for-all-life technological 'solution'?

Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods. - Einstein
Posted by tunanator on September 1, 2011 at 6:59 AM · Report this
Captain Wiggette 33
@31: As predicted It floated to the west coast and deposited insignificant and thoroughly un-worrisome amounts of material that is measurably of no concern to human health (as far as we know).

It also floated to many other places around the world via, you know, the atmosphere, such as Scotland:…

But that is not a health concern. The health concerns are limited to residents and visitors of Northern Japan, and consumers of foods from that area, and seafood from the seas all around Japan. What those health impacts might be is unknown at this point.
Posted by Captain Wiggette on September 1, 2011 at 9:34 AM · Report this

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