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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 19,203

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Almost all rote objections addressed to nuclear energy rely on logical fallacies.

Anti-nukes on this website, with nearly 100%, as may be expected, being very bad thinkers use one particular fallacy a lot:

It's called ad hominem and any fool could google his or her way to thousands of websites describing this.

Here's a graphic from one of the 660,000 hits one gets for "logical fallacies," since I have noticed that many stupid people can only respond to graphics:

The Eleven Most Irritating Logical Fallacies

If I say that Ted Kaczynski "believes" in global warming - as if the verifiable fact of global warming is a "belief" - I have not proved that global warming is not occurring.

Support for nuclear power is found throughout the primary scientific literature in many places in peer reviewed articles with high impact factors. The one I cite most often Prevented Mortality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Historical and Projected Nuclear Power (Environ. Sci. Technol., 2013, 47 (9), pp 4889–4895).

Neither of the authors are well known as right wing nut cases.

The point of the paper, which I also make often, and which is in my view irrefutable, is that we now understand that the deaths from air pollution number in the millions per year, as recently reported in the highest impact scientific journal in the world, Nature in the following paper: The contribution of outdoor air pollution sources to premature mortality on a global scale (Nature 525, 367–371 (17 September 2015)). Since nuclear energy reduces by huge orders of magnitude the onus of this deadly air pollution, which kills every decade more people than died in World War II from all war related causes, nuclear energy saves lives.

One does not have to show support for Donald Trump in order to enter the nuclear engineering program at MIT or at UC Berkeley or Georgia Tech. One does, however, need to be an excellent student in high school and score well on high stakes exams. One needs, in order to complete a degree, to pass a rigorous program involving high level mathematics, physics, materials science and engineering course. For example here is the undergraduate requirements for an undergraduate degree from MIT in any of a number of nuclear engineering program: MIT Nuclear Engineering Undergraduate Degree Options

Nowhere in the curriculum for these degress, available only to highest levels of successful students emerging from high schools around the world, is there listed any courses in "right wing politics."

In my opinion having seen the quality of anti-nukes on this website, I doubt that there is one person among them who could pass any of the courses in the Freshman year.

Now, if I assert that 100% of the anti-nukes I have had the misfortune of confronting on this web site are ignorant, scientifically illiterate, poor thinkers, one may argue that I am engaging in an ad hominem attack. However if I point to elements of their thinking (see the Ted Kaczynski billboard above) and refute their terrible, disastrous, and frankly (since nuclear energy saves lives) deadly thinking by appeals to supportable arguments, I claim that the argument is not, in fact, ad hominem. It is merely a reasoned assertion.

Enjoy the remainder of the long holiday weekend, should one have a good enough job to have such a weekend, and not be working at say, Walmart, where even your holiday pay - if there is holiday pay - will not allow you to dream of a stupid and toxic electric car for billionaires and millionaires powered by solar cells on obscene McMansions.

Nature: China's annual air pollution deaths now stand at 1.4 million per year.

The graphic above comes from a paper in a relatively recent issue of Nature.

Nature 525, 367–371 (17 September 2015)

Some text from the paper:

Air pollution is associated with many health impacts, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) linked to enhanced ozone (O3), and acute lower respiratory illness (ALRI), cerebrovascular disease (CEV), ischaemic heart disease (IHD), COPD and lung cancer (LC) linked to PM2.5 (ref. 8). Many previous studies have been based on air quality measurements, largely focusing on urban pollution3,4,11–14. Atmospheric chemistry and transport models have been used to account for other environments, including those for which no measurement data are available15–22.

Recently, enhanced resolution regional and global models and satellite data have been applied to improve estimates of PM2.5 and O3 concentrations and their impact on air quality19–24. Here we present results obtained with an atmospheric chemistry–general circulation model, applied at high resolution to compute global air quality changes, combined with population data, country-level health statistics and pollution exposure response functions (Methods). Our calculations of air pollution related mortality are based on the method of the global burden of disease (GBD) for 2010 (ref. 5), applying improved exposure response functions that more realistically account for health effects at very high PM2.5 concentrations compared to former assessments8...

Some more details:

...We have calculated premature mortality linked to CEV, COPD, IHD and LC for adults $30 years old, and ALRI for infants ,5 years old (Table 1 and Extended Data Tables 1 and 2). Our estimate of the global PM2.5 related mortality in 2010 is 3.15 million people with a 95% confidence interval (CI95) of 1.52–4.60 million. The main causes are CEV (1.31 million) and IHD (1.08 million), and secondary causes are COPD (374 thousand), ALRI (230 thousand) and LC (161 thousand). Our global estimate of O3 related mortality by COPD is 142 (CI95: 90–208) thousand. Our total estimate of 3.30 (CI95: 1.61–4.81) million people in 2010 agrees closely with the GBD5 . This is in addition to the estimated 3.54 million deaths per year caused by indoor air pollution due to use of solid fuels for cooking and heating5. Figure 1 shows the geographic distribution and demonstrates the locations of hotspots in China, India and many of the large urban centres.

Considering the global population of 6.8 billion in 2010, it follows that the mean per capita mortality attributable to air pollution is about 5 per 10,000 person-years. Of these 5 persons per 10,000 worldwide, about 2 die by CEV, 1.6 by IHD, 0.8 by COPD, 0.35 byALRI and 0.25 by LC. The highest per capita mortality is found in the Western Pacific region, followed by the Eastern Mediterranean and Southeast Asia. The combination of high per capita mortality with high population density explains the (by far) highest number of deaths in the Western Pacific, China being the main contributor (1.36 million per year)....

Of course, not one of these millions of deaths, including the deaths from lung cancer are nearly as interesting as the case of cancer recently reported in one of the Fukushima workers. This is similar to the fact that everybody talks about the reactors, but no one is interested in the 25,000 people who died in the same event from drowning in buildings and things like that. Every cancer death from any nuclear cause is worth tens of millions of deaths, because, well, we don't like nuclear energy, even though in more than half a century of nuclear operations, all of the nuclear events combined, including Hiroshima and Nakasaki will not have killed as many people as will die in the next three months from air pollution.

There are many of us in this party who are content to live (or die) with this situation while we wait, like D'Estragnon waiting for Godot, for the grand solar and wind future, even though more than half a century of jawboning about this grand future hasn't resulted in solar and wind combined producing 5 of the 560 exajoules of energy consumed each year.

It seems that we are incapable of making simple comparisons.

We should be ashamed of ourselves. Really. We deserve what we are going to get.

Have a nice weekend.

Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps. (Self-Portrait)

Kehinde Wiley (1977- ), American, 2005

At the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

My cousin was a Jehovah's Witness.

She used to drop off "The Watchtower" here and there, year after year while I was growing up.

She used to call me "baby" even after I was a full grown man, because she was much older than I am, and remembered me being born and to her, I was always "the baby."

She was a beautiful woman, filled with kindness and grace, who never asked for anything from anyone, but never stopped trying to help other people. She was with me when my mother died, and I swear she kept me from going crazy, or getting arrested, or worse.

I loved her very much, my cousin.

She got cancer some years back, and died, and to be perfectly honest, if she could hand me a copy of the Watchtower once more, my heart would burst with love.

I cannot say much about her faith, except that she lived it, unlike a lot of other people I know who want to tell me about their version of God, she lived the parts of Christianity that are about service, and help, tolerance and forgiveness.

I may not be a Christian, but I miss her very much.

Elevate Me Mama.

1993, Ken Tighe, American, (b. 1959) Oil on Canvas.

Homage to Neil Welliver, 2014

2014, Mel Leipzig, (American, b. 1935, Trenton, NJ).

At the Gallery Henoch

The Rock

1944-1948, Peter Blume, (American 1906-1992, b. Modern day Belarus)

At the Art Institute of Chicago, currently on exhibit in a Blume retrospective at the Philadelphia Academy of Art Museum until April 2015.

Eternal City

1937 Peter Blume (1906-1992), American (b. Modern day Belarus)

Museum of Modern Art, New York, (Currently on display - until April 2015 - at the Pennsylvania Academy of Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA)

Lament for Icarus

1898, Herbert James Draper, English, (1863-1920), Oil on Canvas

At the Tate Modern Gallery, London

The Dream

Henri Rousseau, French (1844-1910)

At the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
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