[Marxism] Glow in the dark sushi
davecq at yahoo.com
Wed May 30 09:26:03 MDT 2012
Reading the text of the article Lou linked, I think it was obvious he was engaging in a bit of hyperbole. I took the point of linking the article to be that the speed with which the radiation from Fukushima spread both into the food chain and around the world surprised everyone, even the supposed experts who thought they could predict things like this. This is a chink in the armor of the defenders of nuclear power who claim they know all of the consequences and are very careful, at least now, even if they weren't in the past, and it's very safe, or at least safer than anything else, yada yada yada. The truth is, we don't really know much about nuclear physics, in the big scheme of things. And, as much as we know about it in pristine lab conditions, we know even less about how these isotopes and elements interact with our ecosystems and bodies.
So I remember DW saying, dismissively (and probably accurately), that a certain kind of radiation couldn't penetrate paper. That may be true as a kind of short hand. (I didn't double-check him; I'll take his scientific knowledge as genuine.) But in reality we're talking about just a very high likelihood that it won't penetrate it. Plus, what happens when the paper is exposed to and absorbs several types of radiation, over a period of years, and to other chemical and environmental conditions? And then add in the fact that we're not talking about paper in a lab, but animal and plant life. Our food supply and our building material and our clothing. We can talk all about background radiation as dispassionately as we want, but that doesn't make it any better when a student comes to you distraught after being diagnosed with cancer at age 15. Was it Fukushima, or the dental x-rays, or the cell phones, or the sunburns, or the coal plant, or bananas, or the beef fed on genetically modified soybeans from the factory farm next to the power station downstream from the hospital?
In the midst of this complexity, the last thing socialists need to do is crap on a genuine movement of people disgusted with how capitalism has treated them and the environment. We need to be their tribune, pointing out that the fools who run this world know even less about running a nuclear power plant than they do about banking systems.
My opposition to nuclear power doesn't come from Luddism or ignorance, but from a knowledge of our own ignorance. I maintain that "pure" science--without regard to profit and funding sources and weapons production and ideological battles, or rather science whose only goal was the betterment of humanity and the expansion of knowledge--wouldn't have rushed ahead and built hundreds of nuclear plants given our level of knowledge.
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