« Banks Cancel Student Loans at Non-Rich 2 Yr Colleges | Main | McCain Hires Advocate of Bush's "Dictatorial Powers" »


Didn't we pretty much kill the nuclear power industry because it was so goddamn dangerous?

We killed the nuclear power industry because humans are very poor estimators of comparative risks (we tend to fear big terrible events all out of proportion to their actual risk, and to ignore small common risks even though they are what kills us). And because many of us are completely innumerate and science-illiterate.

Radon in basements kills a lot of people.
Living at high altitude or near large amounts of granite exposes you to considerable radiation. We don't care about those, because they are so pedestrian.

Yes, if you're really really stupid, (Chernobyl) you can make a really big mistake with nuclear.

But coal mining and burning, the oil industry -- these kill many of us every year directly, and a whole bunch more indirectly, and we pay them no mind. No one was injured by Three Mile Island, and we regard it with horror.

I'm not an advocate for nuclear, and I'm a pretty deep environmentalist. The Hanford Nuclear Reservation fills me with horror -- but then so do the pit mines for metals, the contamination of the Clark Fork, and the Exxon Valdez. I think we'd be a lot better off working the conservation angle, molten-salt solar, wave-power, wind generation, etc. And really, we want to find a just and humane way to arrive at a far smaller global population.

But much of the historical opposition to nuclear power in the US was and continues to be based on hysteria and ignorance rather than any rational consideration of its potential benefits and costs.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Bang for the Buck: Boosting the American Economy

Compassionate Conservatism in Action


  • "We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war."

  • Photobucket


  • "[O]ur time, our energy, should be spent in educating, agitating, organizing our fellow citizens in the workplace, in the neighborhood, in the schools. Our objective should be to build, painstakingly, patiently but energetically, a movement that, when it reaches a certain critical mass, would shake whoever is in the White House, in Congress, into changing national policy on matters of war and social justice."


  • "True religion will not let us fall asleep in the comfort of our freedom. Love thy neighbor is not a piece of advice, it's a command. ...

    God, my friends, is with the poor and God is with us, if we are with them. This is not a burden, this is an adventure."

The Reverend Al Sharpton

  • Ray wasn't singing about what he knew, 'cause Ray had been blind since he was a child. He hadn't seen many purple mountains. He hadn't seen many fruited plains. He was singing about what he believed to be.

    Mr. President, we love America, not because of all of us have seen the beauty all the time.

    But we believed if we kept on working, if we kept on marching, if we kept on voting, if we kept on believing, we would make America beautiful for everybody.


  • ''With adequate profit, capital is very bold. A certain 10 percent will ensure its employment anywhere; 20 percent will produce eagerness, 50 percent positive audacity; 100 percent will make it ready to trample on all human laws; 300 percent, and there is not a crime which it will not scruple, nor a risk it will not run, even to the chance of its owner being hanged.''

Join Us!

  • Member, Project Hamad

Happy 71st Anniversary Social Security!

  • Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Become a Proud Member of the Guppy Army


Count Me, Damnit!

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 01/2004

Oh, I've Won Awards

alternative hippopotamus

Paperwight's Fair Shot

Your Liberal Media