More on Nuclear Power and Radiation

I wrote a post about nuclear power on Monday; here’s an article that appeared the following day in the Guardian, which echoes similar sentiments about the “science” practiced by opponents of nuclear power.

Over the last fortnight I’ve made a deeply troubling discovery. The anti-nuclear movement to which I once belonged has misled the world about the impacts of radiation on human health. The claims we have made are ungrounded in science, unsupportable when challenged, and wildly wrong. We have done other people, and ourselves, a terrible disservice.

Kudos to Mr. Monbiot for such a transparent analysis. It’s rare to come across serious and objective introspection of this sort.

Become a war history buff overnight!

An interactive map of every war ever waged.

I love the internet.

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The Cynic’s guide to the Oprah Network

Brilliant.

“Kidnapped by the Kids”: In this reality show, workaholic parents are forced to spend time with the children they secretly despise.

The New York Times

…has been factually incorrect on at least two occasions this week.

The first was just another case of “the boy who cried Kochtopus.”

As for GE and our corporate tax code, Megan McArdle at The Atlantic puts it rather eloquently:

For me, this is an argument against complexity, not an argument against GE.  Sure, maybe you’ll gin up enough outrage to cut back on the foreign tax breaks that GE now takes advantage of.  But they–or something else–will come back.  It takes a constant mustering of political energy to prevent a corporation from getting this sort of thing through; as soon as you let that energy flag for a second, they’ll slip through.  (So will the AARP!)  And not because of campaign contributions, but because congressmen are ill-informed about the many, many, many subjects they must vote on; because these corporations have headquarters in congressional districts; and because there are frequently at least some good arguments in favor of even tax breaks which are, on net, a bad idea.

So… eliminate the corporate tax. The latest Republican budget would lower the corporate tax by 10%, but there doesn’t seem to be much evidence that taking a highly burdensome tax and making it a fairly burdensome tax will greatly affect tax avoidance tactics and heavy corporate lobbying.

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On Nuclear Power

As I’m sure you are all aware, there has been quite a lot of fear mongering in the news about the meltdown of the Fukishima reactor in Japan, in spite of generous scientific evidence that the dangers are hugely overstated. (Here’s to outlawing Brazil Nuts!) See here for a good visual representation of relative radiation dosages. Note that the “extra dose” people near the reactor are receiving is less than one tenth the dose accumulated during an airplane flight from LA to New York.

Robin Hanson points out that hydropower is far more dangerous than nuclear power. More to the point, nuclear power is a clean and relatively inexpensive alternative to “dirty” fuels that get all those greenies seething. It’s puzzling to me why nuclear power is still dogmatic.

Personally, I’m in favor of adopting the miniaturized underground reactor. They can create energy at 10 cents per watt to 20,000 homes, and be placed virtually anywhere in the world. Clean energy need not be achieved through solar cells and wind turbines.

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Rationality Quotes: April 2011 on Less Wrong

This is worth reading, contributing to, and sprinkling with snarky comments.

UPDATE: My favorite:

Theology is the effort to explain the unknowable in terms of the not worth knowing.

– Mencken, quoted in Pinker: How the Mind Works

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The compulsory ‘Hello World’ post

Welcome, all, to my inaugural posting. I am Feckles, and I will be your blogger this evening.

Our special tonight will be a generous portion of healthy pan-fried cynicism, with a side of mixed greens and our very own “Skeptic’s Aioli.” Might I also recommend the Bloated Government Cheese platter – it’s one of my personal favorites, and it pairs quite nicely with a Krugman Cabernet, which has a fruity nose and a tangy, hypocritical body with just the finest hint of toasted stimulus dollars. Krugman Cabernet is crafted by only the finest unionized workers, who have 4-hour workdays and 6-figure wages with untenable pension plans. Those hefty pensions really serve to bring out the flavor of those heavily-subsidized grapes.

For dessert we have our once-popular Obamacake, which is served by national mandate. It’s served with Thomas Friedman’s mostly special sauce. Obamacake is more expensive and less tasty than your typical cake, but have no fear – if you can’t afford it, the government will buy it for you. Just go wait in that line over there. You have to give it a try! No, really, you have to; it’s the law.

Enjoy,

Feckles

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