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Author Topic: 2020 Election Commentary  (Read 22618 times)

Trond

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Re: 2020 Election Commentary
« Reply #435 on: October 26, 2020, 06:11:51 pm »

But if anything is labelled as "radioactive" - even at non-harmful levels - then people are conditioned to panic by ongoing cultural portrayals that ignore the science, like HBO's Chernobyl mini-series. In truth, the track record of nuclear power is that it is many orders of magnitude safer than any fossil fuel.


I think you just used “conditioned” correctly. It’s been a while since I last saw that (after years of “we are conditioned to think men are stronger than women”)

By the way I once saw a razor hone that proudly proclaimed to be radioactive. No idea how that would help keep your razor sharp, but apparently decades before Chernobyl people used to think that “radioactive” was a sure win even if it made no sense :)

CRKrueger

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Re: 2020 Election Commentary
« Reply #436 on: October 27, 2020, 12:42:37 am »
I've seen a few critiques about the waste generated by "green" power, like solar and wind. I'm wondering-

1. How much land has to be covered by solar panels to power the entire United States.
2. How much waste is generated by constructing solar panels. I hear it's not inconsequential, and very toxic.
3. How much waste is generated by broken and used up solar panels and wind turbines.

In 5-10 years, are we going to have a "crisis" generated by so-called green energy? Is it going to be a situation where we trade one environmental disaster for another?

Solar Power is very toxic if you do what the Chinese do, and pour the waste products on the ground.
It’s not very toxic, but very expensive the way we do it, because can we recycle the toxins.
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Ghostmaker

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Re: 2020 Election Commentary
« Reply #437 on: October 27, 2020, 08:18:48 am »
Didn't that dude make millions of dollars?
*chuckles* Well played. And I dunno if he made millions of dollars, but he was canny enough to monetize his fifteen minutes into enough cash to put himself through college. So perhaps he's not the best comparison for this.

(Talk about 'upwards failure'. Fuck me, LOL)

The point still stands, though. Pebble-bed and thorium-salt reactors are not Chernobyls-in-waiting.

Manic Modron

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Re: 2020 Election Commentary
« Reply #438 on: October 27, 2020, 12:15:33 pm »
By the way I once saw a razor hone that proudly proclaimed to be radioactive. No idea how that would help keep your razor sharp, but apparently decades before Chernobyl people used to think that “radioactive” was a sure win even if it made no sense :)

People used to put radium in their seat cushions because they thought it was healthy.  Something about invigorating the lower extremities or improving circulation.

Ghostmaker

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Re: 2020 Election Commentary
« Reply #439 on: October 27, 2020, 01:44:23 pm »
By the way I once saw a razor hone that proudly proclaimed to be radioactive. No idea how that would help keep your razor sharp, but apparently decades before Chernobyl people used to think that “radioactive” was a sure win even if it made no sense :)

People used to put radium in their seat cushions because they thought it was healthy.  Something about invigorating the lower extremities or improving circulation.

Or they'd drink it, giving a whole new meaning to the term 'energy drink'.

Unfortunately, there were some rather unpleasant side effects.

jhkim

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Q
« Reply #440 on: October 27, 2020, 02:09:54 pm »
Or they'd drink it, giving a whole new meaning to the term 'energy drink'.

Unfortunately, there were some rather unpleasant side effects.
Yes, people have always been irrational, and have bought into irrational claims. The cure-all "Radithor" was completely unscientific junk which had no backing in the scientific knowledge of the time. It was pure irrational fervor that stuff that glowed was cool and healthy.

While I don't think it's intentional, this is pretty much what I mean by "conditioning". You're not making any logical claim per se about nuclear power. But by bringing up the topic of an obscure radioactive snake-oil from 90 years ago, it has the effect of emotionally reinforcing the association of "radiation = death", which is really strong in people's minds.

Byers was fucking drinking a highly radioactive solution every day for three years! Even if it were a real medicine, he likely would have had horrible side-effects from overdosing on it. No one doubts that radiation can be deadly in sufficient quantity. But that's no different than almost anything. Too much sunshine will give you cancer, and too much oxygen will kill you. Radioactive substances can be harmful, but not moreso than tons of other toxins.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2020, 02:12:35 pm by jhkim »

Pat

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Re: Q
« Reply #441 on: October 27, 2020, 04:44:10 pm »
While I don't think it's intentional, this is pretty much what I mean by "conditioning". You're not making any logical claim per se about nuclear power. But by bringing up the topic of an obscure radioactive snake-oil from 90 years ago, it has the effect of emotionally reinforcing the association of "radiation = death", which is really strong in people's minds.
It's not just irrational fear, the scientific understanding has also changed. During the Cold War, they overestimated the dangers from radiation -- more realistic movies like Threads tended to treat any radiation exposure as a death sentence. But in the 35 years since Chernobyl, they've learned a lot. The effects on the people in the exclusion zone are less severe than they imagined -- there's basically no evidence of an increased risk of cancer, birth defects, or other negative effects, with one exception (increase in thyroid cancer among children). This isn't to downplay the disaster -- the core is a hellish nightmare. But we're exposed to lower doses naturally, all the time.

https://xkcd.com/radiation/

jhkim

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Re: Q
« Reply #442 on: October 27, 2020, 06:05:07 pm »
While I don't think it's intentional, this is pretty much what I mean by "conditioning". You're not making any logical claim per se about nuclear power. But by bringing up the topic of an obscure radioactive snake-oil from 90 years ago, it has the effect of emotionally reinforcing the association of "radiation = death", which is really strong in people's minds.
It's not just irrational fear, the scientific understanding has also changed. During the Cold War, they overestimated the dangers from radiation -- more realistic movies like Threads tended to treat any radiation exposure as a death sentence. But in the 35 years since Chernobyl, they've learned a lot. The effects on the people in the exclusion zone are less severe than they imagined -- there's basically no evidence of an increased risk of cancer, birth defects, or other negative effects, with one exception (increase in thyroid cancer among children). This isn't to downplay the disaster -- the core is a hellish nightmare. But we're exposed to lower doses naturally, all the time.

https://xkcd.com/radiation/

I agree that the science of understanding radiation on the human body has advanced to prove that the LNT assumption is nonsense. Still, even during the 1980s, overwhelmingly the fear was still irrational. The Three Mile Island incident released so little material, it barely registered over background radiation -- yet the uproar was enormous.

The accident at Fukushima came long after Chernobyl, yet if anything, the panic was greater, with people hundreds of miles away on the American coast fearing radiation in the water.

Pat

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Re: Q
« Reply #443 on: October 27, 2020, 06:31:48 pm »
The accident at Fukushima came long after Chernobyl, yet if anything, the panic was greater, with people hundreds of miles away on the American coast fearing radiation in the water.
Well, we've become even more safety-conscious today. Some of this is legit, and the world is safer -- bike helmets for kids, even understanding allergies better. But a lot of it is just fear-mongering. Like stranger danger, fear of school shootings, and nuclear power.

Ghostmaker

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Re: Q
« Reply #444 on: October 28, 2020, 07:56:38 am »
Yes, people have always been irrational, and have bought into irrational claims. The cure-all "Radithor" was completely unscientific junk which had no backing in the scientific knowledge of the time. It was pure irrational fervor that stuff that glowed was cool and healthy.
That happens sometimes. I think Fallout had a call back to it with some of their glow-in-the-dark Nuka Cola recipes.

Quote
While I don't think it's intentional, this is pretty much what I mean by "conditioning". You're not making any logical claim per se about nuclear power. But by bringing up the topic of an obscure radioactive snake-oil from 90 years ago, it has the effect of emotionally reinforcing the association of "radiation = death", which is really strong in people's minds.
Yes, the guy who was suggesting pebble bed and thorium salt reactors less than ten posts back is making claims against nuclear power.

Quote
Byers was fucking drinking a highly radioactive solution every day for three years! Even if it were a real medicine, he likely would have had horrible side-effects from overdosing on it. No one doubts that radiation can be deadly in sufficient quantity. But that's no different than almost anything. Too much sunshine will give you cancer, and too much oxygen will kill you. Radioactive substances can be harmful, but not moreso than tons of other toxins.
Hooray, you've discovered the LD50 concept.

Now I think you owe me an apology, because you blatantly and deliberately misread wry commentary about early misuse of radioactive materials as some kind of attack on nuclear power.

jhkim

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Re: Q
« Reply #445 on: October 28, 2020, 02:18:18 pm »
While I don't think it's intentional, this is pretty much what I mean by "conditioning". You're not making any logical claim per se about nuclear power. But by bringing up the topic of an obscure radioactive snake-oil from 90 years ago, it has the effect of emotionally reinforcing the association of "radiation = death", which is really strong in people's minds.
...
Now I think you owe me an apology, because you blatantly and deliberately misread wry commentary about early misuse of radioactive materials as some kind of attack on nuclear power.
Sorry, Ghostmaker. I have highlighted in bold above how I said it was not intentional. However, I could have been clearer in saying that - and for that I do apologize.

Those of us who support nuclear power have to work to overcome the bias that most people have - including ourselves, which works by subtle conditioning rather than logical argument. I'm not claiming to be above it myself. I know that in the past when I've taught students about radiation, I've scared them rather than overcoming their fears.

Ghostmaker

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Re: Q
« Reply #446 on: October 28, 2020, 04:35:30 pm »
Sorry, Ghostmaker. I have highlighted in bold above how I said it was not intentional. However, I could have been clearer in saying that - and for that I do apologize.

Those of us who support nuclear power have to work to overcome the bias that most people have - including ourselves, which works by subtle conditioning rather than logical argument. I'm not claiming to be above it myself. I know that in the past when I've taught students about radiation, I've scared them rather than overcoming their fears.
Accepted.

It annoys me that we seem to be losing our ability to analyze and weigh risks when dealing with possible dangers. Everything nowadays has to be risk free, bubble wrapped, no sharp corners and God forbid if it has too much Yellow #5.


HappyDaze

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Re: Q
« Reply #447 on: October 28, 2020, 06:56:33 pm »
God forbid if it has too much Yellow #5.
Must be a linked to a weakness in the power rings of the vocal idiots.

oggsmash

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Re: 2020 Election Commentary
« Reply #448 on: October 30, 2020, 05:06:32 pm »
 Popping in to comment quickly on Nuclear power.  It is cleaner and safer than fossil fuels.  The issue, especially in the USA, is regulations are INSANE.  There have been a few incidents that DO NOT get much publicity in the USA, but the most severe (and probably 70 percent of them are at a plant on the Savannah river in Georgia) are at pretty specific places, and usually involve the accidental release of some radiation source (and usually in the big picture a whole lot less dangerous or impactful compared to incidents at coal plants).  The incident at Three mile island, was a pretty simple MASSIVE failure of the people working at the plant (A relief valve was blowing off steam for hours and hours, dont remember exactly and no idea how classified the incident report is now) not so much an inherent safety issue.

  I have a feeling there is more to the regulations against nuclear power than simple public sentiment and closer related to financial/lobby reasons and how much stock that is NOT nuclear power owned by pelosi and mcconnell for nuclear power to be so restricted (takes over 25 years to get a plant built).  I say these things as a graduate of the Naval Nuclear Power Program, and working in and on a nuclear power plant for a few years after that.  I keep in contact with a fellow who was in with me, and he is leaving nuclear power now, because the industry is being put to death by the powers that be, flat out.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2020, 05:08:25 pm by oggsmash »

moonsweeper

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Re: 2020 Election Commentary
« Reply #449 on: October 30, 2020, 08:22:39 pm »

  I have a feeling there is more to the regulations against nuclear power than simple public sentiment and closer related to financial/lobby reasons and how much stock that is NOT nuclear power owned by pelosi and mcconnell for nuclear power to be so restricted (takes over 25 years to get a plant built).  I say these things as a graduate of the Naval Nuclear Power Program, and working in and on a nuclear power plant for a few years after that.  I keep in contact with a fellow who was in with me, and he is leaving nuclear power now, because the industry is being put to death by the powers that be, flat out.

Shhh...you aren't supposed to talk about that... :-X
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