On “Banana Equivalent Doses,” Thorium, Science and Green Dogma

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/16/going-bananas-over-radiation/#more-34152

UPDATE: When I referred to the “sun’s radiation” I was referring to sunlight as a form of radiation. I realize X-rays, Cosmic Rays and other parts of the  radiation spectrum are not  healthful to humans.

That is the most “kitchen sink” headline I have written in years, but it sums a few thing up in an untidy way.

I am writing today after a frustrating session trying to figure out WordPress – I won this round, if you don’t count against me for  swearing under my breath, we will see what the next round holds.

And I have the added handicap of my cat, who wants to nestle her head on my hand (or simply sit on my keyboard) while I type. Distracting but very domestic.

So, a “Banana Equivalent Dose” is the amout of radiation given off by a banana. Another one of many facets of science that seen incongrous and even silly at first but have important consequences. Sort of like the fact that the amount of alcohol in a glass of orange juice, a slice of bread and a non-alcoholic beer are all about equal – roughly one-half of one percent.

The BED is important because of the irrational fear radiation evokes. Perhaps this is because most of us (myself included) know so little about the subject. It reminds me of back in the day when a local TV station had a show called “Sunday” that aired on – yeah, you guessed it. A friend of mine had the gig and she went to seasonal, outdoorsy and fun events and asked questions and showed things off. Once she interviewed a well-known former child actor who years later was accused of a heinous crime. Nuclear power was in the news and she asked him about that subject and he said (as I remember) “Radiation in any form is positively anti-life.” I laughed out loud as I watched my teevee because it was a sunny day and even I know the sun’s radiation is the source of all life. There we had it, a posturing, pompous, opinionated and angry statement that was simply wrong! So much of the so-called ‘green’ movement has always emulated such thinking!

So here we are in a world where we eat a minor radiation source daily without ill effect and yet many would be horrified to know that yellow fruit is emitting.  Many would probably stop eating bananas. We are afraid because Green Dogma has substituted dogmatic pronouncement for actual science and has fed into fears to promote an agenda. The irony is we “know” that big corporations are guilty of self-serving acts and environmental villainy, but we assume that ‘green’ folks are actually good in deed and motive. So we sit back and accept the pronouncements from s0-called greens at face value. Yet the evidence is mounting that they are seeking to force us to use the energy sources they approve of and will make money from generating. While all the while making sources of energy they disapprove of more and more expensive. They will batten off of our tax dollars while producing ridiculously expensive ‘green’ energy and making fortunes. Here in California they have even passed some form of cap-and-trade law as the rest of the world runs away from carbon legislation.

Meanwhile improvements in diesel, nuclear power (even conventional uranium based nuclear power is far safer than in the past) and even the good-old combustion engine are ignored while expensive will-o’the-wisps are pursued. Of course  nuclear plants produce clean, cheap energy and thorium based plants can be used to clean up the waste generated from past coal production…but no one in office seems to care.

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