Sunday, March 27, 2011
  Confidence vs panic 2

Following up on Civil Defense.

Various "experts" on radiation exposure are throwing around all sorts of different measurements. Millisieverts, millirems, picocuries, Becquerels... All unfamiliar even to scientifically literate people, and obviously there's no agreement on which unit is best.

When you're dealing with such unfamiliar measurements, made by instruments that most people have never seen or used, there's all sorts of room for panic and fraud.

Again, back in the days of fallout shelters these measurements were more concrete and familiar. Example: Around 1962, Manhattan HS sent students through K-State's experimental reactor. We got a closeup look at the core and the pool containing spent fuel rods. Before entering the reactor room, each of us got a little disposable dosimeter that clipped on your shirt. It was a little card made of something like photo film that would change color when exposed to radiation. We were required to look at the dosimeter before and after, and compare with a dosimeter that had been given a significant dose. We got a solid feel for the idea of exposure over time, without any numbers at all.

The Geiger counter had a similar concrete sensory output in the form of clicks. You could hear each high-energy particle hitting the detector tube. No numbers needed.

Dosimeters and Geiger counters were common in schools and public facilities, and many people knew how to use them.

Now, as far as I can tell from Googling, you can't buy those disposable dosimeters anywhere. Couldn't have an informed and confident public, could we? Nope, have to leave the abstract numbers in the "capable" hands of the "experts" who are always correct ... if too high by a factor of 10,000 counts as correct.

It's the Carbon Cult all over again. Never let the peasants read the graphs, never let the peasants make their own measurements. Keep the books under lock and key, only available to the High Priests.

Another point of intersection: The great Art Robinson has been trying to restore the truth about both subjects for many decades. His efforts are finally bearing some fruit on the Carbon Cult. It's probably too late for a restoration of Civil Defense. By the time a significant number of Americans come anywhere near the French level of common sense, we won't have any resources or money left to do anything at all. We'll be just another primitive third-world colony sending coal to China and burning our own shit for fuel. Oh pardon me, Carbon-Neutral Biofuel.
 


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