[Marxism] Greenpeace prolonging tragedies and wants to create new ones in Finland.

Jeff meisner at xs4all.nl
Thu Feb 23 11:59:00 MST 2017

On 2017-02-23 18:03, DW via Marxism wrote:
> No, they are responsible in no small part of prolonging the problems. 
> Read
> the article AND the discussion since Greenpeace is the first 
> commentator...

Well I didn't get to reading the discussion, but a few things are clear. 
The article is correct in saying that the radiation levels near 
Fukushima that Greenpeace decries as unsafe are actually lower than the 
background radiation levels in many places in the world. Therefore, and 
I agree with this, there is no greater "emergency" in Japan than there 
is in many other places where the people never worry at all about 
ionizing radiation as an environmental danger.

However that doesn't answer what a safe level actually is. The level 
cited is 2.5 millisieverts per year. One Sievert is what we used to call 
100 rem (a more manageable unit IMO) and I would certainly not call 2.5 
msv/year a "negligible" level. For comparison, the annual occupational 
exposure in the US is 5 rem or 50 msv, 20 times greater than that. Most 
people working with isotopes in research and medicine or in radiology (I 
don't know about the nuclear industry) get an annual dose much smaller 
than that at work over a year (if more, then they have to stop work). 
Again for comparison, it was always considered (and this couldn't be too 
far off) that a dose of 450 rem = 4500 msv would be fatal to half the 
people receiving it. In any case, the levels we are discussing are much 
less, but not much much less than what would be unquestionably 

The author of this piece is rather sloppy in not once considering what 
is actually dangerous. He casually writes: "but radon exposures can vary 
widely, from almost zero to as high as 340 (yes, three hundred and 
fourty) millisieverts per year." That last high figure he cites 
represents a huge danger and a house that no one should live in! In fact 
radon leakage from the ground into houses is the greatest ionizing 
radiation danger faced in many areas, especially among radiation dangers 
that are (in principle) preventable and is taken very seriously. 
Ironically, improvements in sealing houses for energy efficiency have 
meant much less air circulation from the outside and a greater 
accumulation of radon indoors. The fact that millions of people live 
with such a radon level in their houses is absolutely no reason for 
anyone else to tolerate those dangerous levels if they can help it.

Really the main unknown involved in discussing all these figures, is 
what the effect of "low level" radiation is. In other words, we know 
4500 msv would kill 500 out of 1000 people, but how many would be killed 
by 45 msv? Given a linear model one might conclude there would therefore 
be 5 killed out of 1000. I don't think it's that high. But it isn't 
known really whether further decreases in ionizing radiation levels 
leads to proportionally decreased health effects (linear model), to even 
LESS than that (if the danger only picks up at a particular threshold), 
or much MORE than that (that a very small dose is already dangerous but 
the body responds to limit the increase in danger when it encounters 
greater levels).

It isn't easy to determine that because we're now talking about 
increases in cancer rates which are much smaller than the baseline 
cancer rates. So it is debated among the experts (which I am not) and 
inconclusive. When in doubt it is wise to take the cautious approach and 
assume that low radiation levels are more dangerous than can be easily 
observed. But no, not everyone in Finland should relocate for that 
reason alone. I don't think the word "emergency" used by Greenpeace is 
warranted for the 2.5 msv/year level. But that doesn't mean that we know 
enough to call it "safe" either.

So I don't accept either this article or Greenpeace's judgement 
outright. It appears that in each case the arguments were determined by 
the desired conclusions of their proponents. That is the opposite of 

- Jeff

> David Walters
> On Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 9:01 AM, Dennis Brasky <dmozart1756 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> I must have missed it - was Greenpeace responsible for the high 
>> radiation
>> levels, or is this a case of shooting the messenger?
>> On Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 9:43 AM, DW via Marxism <
>> marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:
>>> A recent Greenpeace news release leads to an inescapable conclusion: 
>>> that
>>> us Finns need to be evacuated immediately, because radiation hazards 
>>> of
>>> living in Finland exceed those encountered in Fukushima evacuation 
>>> zones. I
>>> therefore humbly ask Greenpeace to find a place for 5.5 million 
>>> Finns, or
>>> at the very least for those 549 000 of us who now have to live in a
>>> radiated wasteland where annual radiation doses are at least two 
>>> times
>>> higher than what Greenpeace deems “emergency radiological situation” 
>>> and
>>> “an unacceptable radiation risk” in Japan. If possible, could we also 
>>> find
>>> a place that’s warm and without slush?
>>> FULL:
>>> https://jmkorhonen.net/2017/02/22/hey-greenpeace-could-you-
>>> find-us-finns-a-warm-place-to-live-in/
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