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.