Splitting Radiation Hairs

Radiation exposure at 10 mrem? 15? 25? Small fractions of what everyone gets from natural background? These being hypothetical exposures (outlined in “Nuclear Activists Raise Concern Over Vermont Yankee Quick Fix,” April 27-May 3, 2017) to the single, most exposed individual, calculated using ridiculously conservative hypothetical analyses — translation, nobody will actually get even a 10th of the calculated values. These exposure levels are orders of magnitude lower than that required to have any measurable effect on cancer incidence. Natural background levels vary by factors of several, and nobody worries about it, and a correlation between background levels and cancer incidence has not been established.

These limits are an insult to the intelligence and an insult to science. Nonsense like this is why nuclear has gotten so expensive, and why it is now being replaced by fossil generation. You know, the fossil generation that actually has tangible negative impacts such as almost 10,000 deaths per year in the U.S. alone, along with global warming.

-Jim Hopf, San Francisco, California


Photo by Jerrey Roberts

Noam ‘Bummer’ Chomsky Speaks the Truth

I just read your blog post about hear Noam (“That Time Noam Chomsky Scared the Bejesus Out of Me,” April 14, 2o017). Welcome to the club. His incisive, powerful analysis has been a force to reckon with for decades. As he correctly observes, we’re blazing toward the precipice, yet before you resign yourself to blissful ignorance, recognize that we’re actually in a great position to do something about it.

Those of us with access to elite institutions, be it internet audiences, academia, or positions in multinationals, can influence the course somewhat. And of course the fall back is organize, organize, organize! I’d also recommend the works of Howard Zinn.

-Neil Slagle, Kirkland, Washington


Save the Planet: Eat More Veggies

As thousands across the U.S. get ready to protest environmental budget cuts, each of us can also help with our driving, our recycling, and our diet.

Yes, our diet. A 2010 United Nations report blames animal agriculture for 70 percent of global freshwater use, 38 percent of land use, and 19 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

Carbon dioxide is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and by fossil fuel combustion to operate farm machinery, trucks, factory farms, and slaughterhouses. The more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are released from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.

Moreover, meat and dairy production dumps more animal waste, crop debris, fertilizers, pesticides, and other pollutants into our waterways than all other human activities combined. It is the driving force in widllife habitat destruction.

In an environmentally sustainable world, meat and dairy products in our diet must be replaced by vegetables, fruits, and grains, just as fossil fuels are replaced by wind, solar, and other pollution-free energy sources.

Let’s cherish our environment with eco-friendly plant-based eating. Your next trip to the supermarket is a great starting point.

-Eddie Buster, Easthampton