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Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:46 PM

Glenn Garvin: The left’s science deniers

Virtually no nuclear-power plants have been built in the United States during the past four decades, the result of continuous left-wing scare stories. Australian physician Helen Caldicott has become a folk hero — 21 honorary degrees and a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize — for her anti-nuke campaign, the centerpiece of which is that the explosion at the Soviet Union’s Chernobyl nuclear reactor led to nearly a billion deaths and countless hideous birth defects.

Actual death toll, according the U.N.’s scientific committee on nuclear radiation: less than 100. Actual birth defects: zero. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences says that the chances of radiation-induced changes in human sperm and eggs are so low that it has never been detected in human beings, “even in thoroughly studied irradiated populations such as those of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” There may be good reasons for opposing nuclear power — mainly, that the industry is a bloated corporate welfare tick that cannot survive without massive government subsidy — but science isn’t one of them, which is why a 2009 Pew Research Center survey showed 70 percent of scientists support it.

But scientific consensus, invoked like clockwork whenever lefty activists and their journalist friends talk about global warming, is mysteriously irrelevant when they’re discussing nuclear power or genetically enhanced crops. In 2005, the International Council for Science — a coalition of 140 scientific organizations — reviewed more than 50 studies and declared flatly: “Currently available genetically modified foods are safe to eat.”

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/02/25/3253577/glenn-garvin-the-lefts-science.html#storylink=cpy#storylink=cpy

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Response to Peregrine (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:54 PM

1. The death toll from acute radiation poisoning might be <100

but that's not the whole picture. There will be increased cancers down the line clustering around irradiated populations.

"Downwinders" in the southwest have had a significant increase in a cluster of diseases. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downwinders Premature deaths above the statistical norm need to be included in mortality statistics.

Ionizing radiation is not good for us. To deny that fact is to throw the whole article into the "corporate bullshit" bin.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:58 PM

2. +1000



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Response to Warpy (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 08:18 PM

3. Yup - anyone who believes the death toll is <100 is anti-science - and gullible. nt

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Response to Peregrine (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 08:35 PM

4. Is this the same Glenn Garvin that writes for the Washington Times and Reason Magazine?

http://reason.com/people/glenn-garvin/all

Glenn Garvin
Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Glenn Garvin is the author of Everybody Had His Own Gringo: The CIA and the Contras and (with Ana Rodriguez) Diary of a Survivor: Nineteen Years in a Cuban Women?s Prison. He writes about television for the Miami Herald.


http://www.amazon.com/Everybody-Had-His-Own-Gringo/dp/0080405622



<snip>

Veteran newspaper correspondent Garvin ( Washington Times ) presents the Nicaraguan war (1979-91) from the vantage point of the contras --a legitimate political movement that in his view accomplished "nearly everything they were fighting for."

<snip>

Garvin, who traveled among the contras for six years reporting for the Washington Times,

<snip>

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Response to Peregrine (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:25 PM

5. Human beings, regardless of political orientation,

have a propensity to ignore facts that contradict what they *want* to believe.

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Response to Peregrine (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:45 PM

6. It is not denying science, it is acknowledging the reality of waste disposal and safety issues

How many billions have been spent on nuclear waste cleanup? The Nuclear energy industry likes to pretend that they can just run these plants and the waste magically disappears. They always neglect the real, long term costs of disposal, which STILL haven't been resolved in this country. And all it takes is one accident, like Fukushima or TMI, and all the profits ever accumulated by a company go poof.

Nuclear energy is not cost effective when all costs are considered.

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Response to Peregrine (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:38 PM

7. There are science deniers on both the right and the left

of the political spectrum, and in many religious cults.

On the Republican right of course are the majority of Christian fundamentalists, who more or less equate Darwin with Satan. Around the world there are many Muslims who would agree with their assessment.

In the bad old USSR the Godless Communist Atheists (as some of their detractors called them) claimed to be scientific, but they also worshipped Lysenko, whose anti-Darwinian dogma made Soviet biology into a bad joke. That was because Stalin wanted to believe that Soviet crops could be made to evolve in useful directions. This is the worst example of "the left's science deniers" I can think of.

People who understand what science can and cannot do have always been a tiny minority, here and elsewhere.

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