Nuclear lobby will exploit climate

Michael Radcliffe’s March 24 letter, “Nuclear retreat signals decline,” raises some contentious points with regard to nuclear power and the government’s response to the Fukushima accident.

First, why should we trust heavily funded international bodies instead of local grassroot voices?

It is well known that the International Atomic Energy Agency has a pro-nuclear bias, given that its function is to promote nuclear energy. Of course, the IAEA is going to say that nuclear energy is safe, clean and cheap, even when it is clearly not.

Radcliffe’s claim that the Fukushima nuclear disaster caused “zero deaths or injuries” is contradicted by the opinion of professor Shuji Shimizu of Fukushima University, who has stated that “over 1,300 deaths are reported to be related to the disaster” because of the stress of evacuation. The evacuation in Fukushima, which has caused 150,000 people to be displaced, was a direct result of the nuclear incident — not the tidal wave.

Second, Radcliffe seems to believe that Japan should emulate China’s economic [and nuclear-energy] development despite China’s having experienced a massive housing bubble with a large number of ghost cities strewn across its landscape. It is also well known that large-scale environmental degradation and pollution constantly dogs China’s shining model of economic pragmatism.

While I agree with Radcliffe that the use of carbon-based fuels such as coal and oil have serious detrimental effects, it is worth reconsidering the climate change dogma that we are constantly bombarded with in the media.

A few years ago a controversy exploded surrounding the “climate-gate” scandal. Top scientists were caught rigging data in order to prove their point of man-made climate change. While I support the scientific inquiry into causes of climate change, it should be remembered that many scientists believe that natural cycles are at work in nature and do not agree with the theory that global warming is presently being caused by emissions from carbon-based fuels.

Whatever the truth of the matter, you can bet that cynics in the nuclear lobby will exploit climate change for their short-term economic benefit along with the international banking sector, which is forcing through the controversial carbon tax as another way to fleece the public purse for private benefit.

richard wilcox

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

  • GRLCowan

    Wilcox would have us believe there was a Climategate scandal. Should he succeed, advantage to the fossil fuel interests.

    He also portrays harm suffered by Fukushima evacuees as a direct result of the radiation release there. Actually it makes more sense to consider this as an *indirect* result, in that the Japanese government, having suffered increasing losses of fossil fuel revenue due to expanding nuclear energy production in the 2000-2009 decade, was eager to inflict the largest possible black eye on the nuclear power industry, and so rushed those people out with little concern for their well-being and much for its own. His interpretation, again, is advantageous to the fossil fuel interests.

  • Nodes

    Actually, those deaths of the elderly evacuees were largely unnecessary. In order to err on the side of caution, the government evacuated a larger area than necessary. What we see here is that fear of radiation causes more deaths than radiation itself.

  • cloa513

    The standard total evacuation area is unnecessary- its really only hazardous outside. Families and couples with pregnant women would need to be evacuated. Reducing the stress could easy have been done by giving them enough money to start again. The information on who is local is all on government registers- no excuse to stress people.