Chicken Little is Alive and Well (Libertarian Commentary on the News, #13-50A)

Chicken Little News – Everyone’s going to die!!!!
Dramatic decline in industrial agriculture could herald ‘peak food’
(Raw Story)

Mama’s Note: Couldn’t scare anyone with “peak oil” anymore, so they’ve moved on.  Of course, people are not using something like 80% of the planet yet… wars and political crap prevent an awful lot of agriculture, and we’re still paying farmers not to farm…. notice none of that is mentioned.

Nathan: This is one of a series of news stories and commentaries that have been sent to me by several folks this week, that I am putting in my “Chicken Little” file.

Here are some other examples, triggered by a blog from a friend (permission to quote in part but not to name my source):… the disastrous results following the April, 2011 earthquakes that damaged the Fukushima nuclear reactors in Japan.  Reports now indicate large areas of the Pacific Ocean are contaminated with radioactivity.   The water has not only poisoned U. S. Navy sailors on the USS Ronald Reagan who drank desalinated sea water before they knew it was radioactive but is also believed to be poisoning sea life, as well as waters along western U. S. and Canadian shores.

I have glanced at these stories, but they do not make sense.  The Reagan and other modern nuclear-powered warships use techniques such as reverse osmosis and flash desalination which do not allow radioactive particles larger than a water molecule (MW 18).  It is much more likely that their exposure (if indeed, it IS radiation exposure) was through some other route, especially since it was the Reagan that responded to Fukushima.  If the ship’s water supplies were contaminated as they claim, then it would be more than just 51 people who would be affected; but there are photos of these people (or so it is claimed) decontaminating the ship in makeshift protective gear.  Smells fishy to me. The stories in the Examiner and the Daily Mail just don’t add up.  The other reports sound equally exaggerated and hysterical in nature. The amount of fallout and radiation exposure from the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and from the massive nuclear tests conducted by the US and French in the Pacific over forty years, was far greater than these being reported.  To read these stories reminds me of the horror stories and predictions after Exxon Valdez,  the big spill in the Gulf, and others in the 1970s and 1980s.  None of their claims have proved out.  We need to encourage folks NOT to panic, and NOT to not trust what government or media says. At the same time, we need to also recognize that it is NOT just government and media that exaggerate and lie. The people filing the lawsuit seem to be as prone to exaggeration and lack of reasoning (assuming the articles are reporting them correctly) as the media sources are.  It just does not make sense that if the entire water supply of the ship was contaminated with radioactive particles, that only 51 of a crew of thousands would be showing the symptoms, especially when it is supposedly the same people as shown decontaminating the deck wearing what appears to be makeshift protective gear.  Yet the lawsuits are claiming that the USN was acting in good faith, and only the TEPCO and Japanese Government were acting in bad faith.

But what about contamination reaching the West Coast of the US from Japan, and the radioactive contamination reported in cans of tuna?

Nathan: As for the coasts, and the potential, Debby and I were stationed, and our older son was conceived, in northern Germany during the time that the fallout from Chernobyl was drifting across the area.  There were severe effects in and around Chernobyl, but the effect even 500 miles away, was never what was claimed would happen.  Again, radiation is normal – it has been part of earth since Creation, and has been a problem since the time of the Flood.  (One reason argued by many people for the significant reduction in lifespan.)  But sources of radiation like x-rays and TSA screening and things like that are much more of a concern than what is being seen from Chernobyl or Fukushima except on a local scale.  In reality, more radioactive materials are released by mining and burning of coal, on a daily basis, than was released at Chernobyl.  And probably Fukushima, although that is still to be seen.  Remember all the hideous panic over Three-mile Island?  The EPA estimates an added dose of 0.3 µSv per year for living within 50 miles (80 km) of a coal plant and 0.009 milli-rem for a nuclear plant for yearly radiation dose estimation. Nuclear power plants in normal operation emit less radioactivity than coal power plants.  It is difficult to compare dosages because of all the different measurement units used.

I figure the reports about canned tuna having “radioactive contamination” are true.  But what these stories do not point out is that there has always been a certain amount of radioactive material present in tuna (and ALL seafood), just like there has always been OTHER metals (gold, lead, etc.) present in seafood, because all those metals are present in seawater.  And they do not provide very good comparisons of what they claim is an increase, because they know how people panic over “radiation.”  Just as around Hanford, Washington, where people are warned to not eat the wild asparagus, which grows along the river banks.  Because asparagus draws heavy metals out of the soil, and the soil there is contaminated from the decades of uranium and plutonium processing.  But the increase, though significant as a percentage or original background radiation, is NOT significant when compared to normal exposures and dosages.  But every few years, somebody “discovers” the “awful truth” and “exposes” the horrors there, or at Los Alamos, or Savannah Plant in South Carolina. They “forget” this, from Scientific American.

Yellowstone’s Molten Magma Chamber Much Larger Than Previously Thought
(The Weather Channel)… article last week reporting that the magma chamber below Yellowstone National Park is much larger than originally believed.   According to a new study that measured seismic waves from numerous earthquakes in and around the park, scientists mapped the magma chamber underneath the caldera as 55 miles long, 18 miles wide and from three to nine miles deep, which is some 2 ½ times larger than expected.

Nathan: This story I in particular find hilarious.  Talk about “yesterday’s news” !!!  I took most of my courses in geology in the mid- to late- 1970s, at Colorado School of Mines (a minor little trade school “for the criminally bewildered” down in Golden, where the smell of beer from Coors drifts across the campus and kills brain cells)  I recall quite definitely that at least two of my professors (one in structural geology and one in environmental geology) quoted figures very similar to this – in 1977 or 1978.  And had maps, based on seismic investigations and mappings done in the 1960s and 1970s, that showed this 50-60 by 18-20 by 5-10 miles thick (not deep), and showed past and potential future impacts from a fresh eruption.  But the media wants to sensationalize everything (as do the political scientists) and cannot be bothered to go back in their own files, much less anyone else’s, to find the truth.

By the way, I was involved in a test well drilled not too far to the southwest of the magma chamber in 1978, near Star Valley, which went down to 115,000 feet below surface (that is nearly 22 miles deep).

Scientists believe a volcanic eruption from the site will take place, though they don’t know when.  However, predictions indicate it’ll be huge and will circle the Earth, causing massive destruction.

Like Tambora in 1815 and Krakatoa in 1883.  Funny, somehow, civilization survived.  Everything eventually circles the earth, from WW1 war gases to WW2 nuclear fallout to Cold War nuclear fallout to ash from Mount Saint Helens and Novarupta (1912) and Mount Pinatubo.  The world will end when God makes it so, in His own time.  This seems to be an attempt by media (ABC News and others) to sensationalize an already sensationalized National Geographic report by a self-serving, political-scientist type at the University of Utah, who is claiming things that were first measured about 40 years ago.

There are many other examples of Chicken Little (or Crying Wolf, if you prefer): especially those old bugaboos of global cooling and global warming, and the “we are going to blow ourselves up with all our nukes” and “the Russians/Muslims/Japanese/Germans/British are going to conquer us all” hysteria.  All seem to have similar motives:

(1)  To sell advertising and books and such:  We have such a fascination, and the media knows what sells.

(2)  To panic people into supporting one or another political or religious platform – usually the platforms that increase and centralize government/church control, provide for more power and wealth to an “elite,” and give more excuses for theft by government/priests/other con-artists.

(3)  To denigrate and isolate certain segments of the population, whether it be farmers or Jews or Gypsies or Christians or whomever.  This is, of course, closely related to #2.

The point to remember is: predictions of doom rarely prove true except in small numbers.  Usually they are lies or falsehoods triggered by irrational fears and emotions in general.  We are NOT going to get rid of them: these have existed throughout human history.  But we can keep them from harming us (and our liberty, lives, living, and community) if we understand and recognize them, and don’t get railroaded into jumping on the bandwagon.

About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (a christian), Pahasapan (resident of the Black Hills), Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer, Evangelist. Successor to Lady Susan (Mama Liberty) at TPOL.
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