Friday, March 25, 2011

Fallacious Fuckwits

I’ve paraphrased a very excellent article   (yes I’m aware of the double superlative) that a friend posted on Facebook recently because it so mirrors my thoughts on the panic that seems to be overtaking,  particularly the US, in relation to the Japanese Nuclear Plant disruption. 

I do however acknowledge that Australian media also have the propensity to talk total uninformed shite and have been trying to terrify everyone into believing that the apocalypse is nigh. I believe the sale of nuclear bunkers in the US has gone through the roof and the purchase of iodised salt has soared in China. Fortunately, Australians with their intense apathy aren’t swallowing it.  I wish, as a result of being well-informed rather than more truthfully, laziness. 


While recent events in Japan are awful with 23,000 confirmed dead or missing. The earthquake they could have survived but the tsunami did the real damage. However what’s truly appalling is the media coverage of the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant claiming it is the ‘next Chernobyl’ about to render Tokyo a post-apocalyptic ghost town through to radiation threatening the US West Coast.  


I have a friend over there who’s more concerned about the earth moving than nuclear radiation which given recent events in NZ, then Japan . . . who knows, perhaps the old SA Fault is about to slip ‘n slide. But I digress. Where do these media people get the nerve? Anyone else who lies to the public, (with the exception of politicians) has to bear the consequences. However, the media (and politicians) are it seems, allowed to report anything and everything based on heresay.


Exactly one person died on the site of the plant . . poor bugger fell off his crane when the quake hit.  Thirty more were injured due to the hydrogen explosion and exposed to a tiny amount of radiation. Less than that you are exposed to by a chest x-ray. There’s a very interesting chart here which puts the issue of radiation into perspective.


Perhaps the journos and doom mongers should have had a look at that before sprouting their prophecies of slow death by radiation poisoning. At the height of the ‘disaster’ the radiation levels in Tokyo were lower than the current American average at 1753 microsieverts pa compared to the US average of 3000 pa.


Quoting John Evans from Tech Crunch
“Disaster there was averted by genuine heroism and desperately hard work. Nuclear power is potentially extremely dangerous and raises many serious issues, and it’s important to debate them in a well-educated way. Instead we got a crowd of fear mongering idiots, each trying to shriek louder than the last. As a result, Fukushima was the first major world story for which the best way to stay well-informed was to tune in to the knowledgeable blogosphere—and tune out the so-called 'mainstream media.' We all know they’re dying. Now I’m starting to wonder why we should care”


Couldn’t agree more. Fuckwits all of them and those who believe their crap. At least the Japanese know how to put it into perspective for their school children:




Phew, got that off my chest . . . Have a lovely weekend folks. 

28 comments:

Brian Miller said...

i hear you...wrote my own little rant similar that i will post on sunday....ugh...whatever keeps the cheeks in the seats and the tvs on...

Don't Bug Me! said...

Hear hear! Thanks for that rant - you have saved me from having to do it!

nick said...

My knowledge of radioactivity is close to zero, but I always assume scare stories in the media are precisely that - scare stories that are probably unfounded. You could have mentioned all the radioactivity in food - from both natural and artificial sources. Funny though, nobody's refusing to eat because of radioactivity.

Wally The Walrus said...

Were I still blogging, this is the post I would have written.

Too bloody right.

And the thing is - these are old, old nuclear reactors. The new generation are much safer, much better designed, and generally about 40 years of lessons learned have gone into them.

There is no reason at all we should be avoiding a few nice big nuclear power stations in Australia - geologically pretty stable, well understood technology, oodles of space to build a few out in the boonies. Instead we will struggle to ever manage this because of ill-informed morons.

River said...

"Australian media....talk...uninformed shite"

See, this is why I prefer comedy to news programs. The scare tactics are enough to have people bolting doors and windows and never setting foot outside ever again.
Yes, I'm shallow.

Roy said...

Hear, hear!

Alan Burnett said...

Like most of the others, I totally agree. The death and destruction created by the earthquake and tsunami completely overshadow the rather self-absorbed fears resulting from the nuclear incident. Compared with the hundreds killed and injured hewing coal out of the ground, nuclear energy has always appeared to be a rather safe form of energy production to me.

Ces said...

But how would you really know? We have family and friends there too and now some of them are back home and here in the US. The USDA has detected radiation in food imports from Japan. It is right to be cautious. I don't think Japan is truly being forthcoming, they do not want people to panic yet even their citizens are clamoring for information to be able to make educated decisions. The winds could always turn and it may blow south. What then? Radiation has been detected from seafood. While they horde iodine, no one has really taken it and my friends in the west coast are still going about their business. People will always tend to prepare for the worst. There is nothing bad about that. So for a while, the sale in iodine was brisk. There is, however, a need for aid to the people of Japan. The impression that it is an affluent country is making aid come very slowly. Our economy is interdependent and a plant is closing in the US because the auto parts were made in the plant affected by the nuclear power plant. The computer devices in many home appliances are made in Japan, even cell phones like Blackberry. This is not just Japan's problem. It is our problem too. We ought to be helping the people of Japan instead of spending on bombs for Libya. Talk about fuckwit, what about that Coalition of the Unwilling and Incompetent. But that's another post. Haha!

unstranger said...

Baino, reading you're take on issues is a welcome tonic. You do see things quite clearly.

California Girl said...

I find it difficult to sort through the many avenues of information now available to me. I mean, if you are correct and the entire nuclear damage is overblown, this means I cannot trust the NY Times or Washington Post to tamp down the hyperbole.

We have so many sources of information in this new, interactive, social media world; yet, we seem to be more confused than ever.

I know I am.

Janice said...

Good rant! My best friend, when the news comes on, is my remote...just in case.

Pisces Iscariot said...

"Australian media also have the propensity to talk total uninformed shite" A bit harsh to single the Aus media out : have you ever watched the BBC?

Ropi said...

In Hungary there was a little panic as well, but people above a given age are a bit paranoic about such issues because of Chernobyl.

Tom said...

there is the potential for really really really horribleness with nuclear power...but hey, for big rewards ya gotta take some risks, eh? We get a lot of our electric from a nuclear plant less than 100 miles north--i'm not concerned in the least

PattiKen said...

The media is indeed into panic mongering, not to mention the mongering of a whole host of other news-unrelated emotions. But that said, a comment on something Jon Evans wrote in his piece...

Fox News? OMG, that is the last place I'd go for anything. For one thing, the very name is an oxymoron. But beyond that, there are few media outlets as dedicated to the dissemination of fallacious falderol designed to stir up the emotions of the viewers. Even watching only for any entertainment value to be found in what Evans called "their idiocy" just encourages them. Gah.

i beati said...

I worked at West at home amnd free lance writing for sometime..elance is the co

Let's you and i invent something and make millions. I have ideas.

Megan said...

Well said (paraphrased or no)!

Ocean Girl said...

Your rant is genius, it speaks for most of us. I wish I could rant like you and past clear and precise message across.

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

This was my understanding of the situation too, until I talked to my mother and brother today, who told me that the people living nearby have been tested as having a million times more radiation in their bodies than the official safe limits. Then I began to wonder.

It's good to read your down-to-earth take on it. I guess we won't know the truth of this till it's all over, but my concern is the radiation entering seawater and therefore sealife, including the food chain. And of course relatively small amounts of radiation overdose can cause problems years later.

But it's a HUGE disaster, which ever way you look at it - even taking 'just' the earthquake and tsunami. No need to blow it up (scuse the phrase) into something worse.

conortje said...

oh what a great post - the media needs someone like you. Seriously. This is the best piece about Japan I have read in ages and I fully agree!

Anonymous said...

Alan B. The figure for coal mining deaths, in China alone, is estimated to be in the 13,000 per year range. The bodies that try to monitor these appaling statistics have put the estimate, over time, as somewhere between 7,000 and 20,000 so my average would be sadly about right.

Anonymous said...

Hello, hello, fuck-up alert. I've just revisited the sites that gave me those figures and discovered that they are from about twenty-five years ago. The latest figure for mining fatalities is just under 2,500 in 2009. Not at all an insignificent number but a long way from my first piece of misinformation. Apologies to all.

Mim said...

I don't know what to believe anymore. Either they are lying to keep us hopped up or lying to keep us calm. Either way - someone's lying to someone else.
I'm not a fan of nuclear power, but I say that with full understanding that I am sitting here in a well lighted room, working on my computer, with the heat from the fireplace blowing out at me. I don't like the thought of NP, but I won't give up my comforts. Rather ridiculous I think, but so be it.

Carolina said...

Hmm, I agree with you on the media not always being very realistic in the way they cover a news topic. The video you included is at about my level of comprehensive capacity. I mean, I can almost understand that ;-) But I've read in a newspaper that the radiation level in Fukushima is extremely high. Not a healthy place to be me thinks.

Darlene said...

I agree that the media are not to be trusted; so go to the scientific sites for information. If there is no danger that isn't news. So the media dramatizes it to get the attention of the viewer.

I am opposed to Nuclear power plants and will remain so until they find a safe was to store the spent rods.

Pam said...

"I can't hold my poo any longer!"
Not what I wanted to hear. The fishes, crops and people wish you would Nuclear Boy!...and from what I remember Chernobyl Boy was the most unpopular kid in the classroom!
I'm with Darlene. Gives new meaning to the concept of "disposables".
Thanks for your visit Helen! Wishing you a great weekend and lovely break ahead. Good post. I like the concept of the cartoon, but am sad for its necessity, if you know what I mean.

kj said...

i don't know what to think. i want to believe you, hells. i was just on the west coast in southern california and the concern is real.

nuclear power makes me nervous, no doubt about it. i believe i would give up SOME comforts for a nuclear free world (accord) but maybe the word 'some' is the problem and the challenge.

myself i wouldn't make the comparative choise between aid and libya. i would rather make the comparative choice between aid and corrupt financial systems.

soon to hear from you i hope. it's just about april....

love
kj

Quickroute said...

Bad news = viewers = ad revenue (sad but true)