Why would an energy-craving nation (the U.S.) that also demands a pristine environment put the kibosh on a limitless form of power (nuclear energy) that produces no air pollution and no emissions environmentalists claim cause global warming?
It stems essentially from two massively-publicized incidents that plague our imagination: Three Mile Island in
For the answer go back to 1986 in the former
UPI’s immediate death toll was 2,000 while others used far higher figures. "Late Word From Inside
But a voluminous new report assembled by the Chernobyl Forum, comprising 8 UN agencies, shows not only that the accident’s immediate impact was grossly exaggerated but that even delayed cancer deaths will prove miniscule compared to the outrageous predictions.
The actual number of immediate deaths? Not 30,000 but rather 47 says the report. All were among plant personnel and emergency workers, none among the general public.
Delayed cancer deaths estimated in the new report? Not half a million but about 4,000. This though five million people received excess radiation exposure. Yet the report also admits that although there’s been plenty of time for cancers to start showing up, researchers are having trouble finding enough cases even to justify the 4,000.
But even for the cancer most linked to radiation exposure (leukemia) and for those with the greatest such exposure (cleanup workers) it found studies repeatedly showing no increased risks.
Tragically, women as far away as southern Italy aborted their babies because of environmentalist propaganda essentially claiming they’d be born with three eyes and tentacles. Yet the report finds no evidence for excessive birth defects.
Indeed, “the largest public health problem created by the accident” is the “damaging psychological impact [due] to a lack of accurate information,” the Chernobyl Forum found. “These problems manifest as negative self-assessments of health, belief in a shortened life expectancy, lack of initiative, and dependency on assistance from the state.” As FDR might have put it, these poor people have nothing to fear but fear itself.
Yet all of us suffer from nuclear hysteria – if not our own, then from those who force the hands of policy-makers. It’s why no new nuclear power plants have been ordered since the late 1970s and more than 100 new reactors have been canceled. Never mind that nuke plants supply 20% of our energy and yet have never harmed a single American, nor that there’s never been an accident in
Never mind that accidents caused by natural gas, petroleum products, and accidents and black lung disease from coal take a steady toll of lives each year. Never mind that we’re constantly bombarded with radiation from above (the sun) and below (the earth).
And never mind that even
Environmentalists think cheap food and housing are great, yet somehow affordable energy from any source is evil. Saintliness, to them, is achieved by paying through the nose for extravagantly inefficient power sources like windmills and solar panels.
Well, let them build a windmill in their backyards. The rest of us need an exorcism from the demons of anti-nuclear hysteria.
Michael Fumento is a, journalist, and attorney specializing in science and health issues as well as author of BioEvolution: How Biotechnology is Changing Our World .
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