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Someone with more expertise on this issue than me, please jump all over me if what i'm posting is wrong.

I"m led to believe there remains contested debate amongst true experts regarding the "facts" of ionizing radiation and its effect on the body, perhaps on the ecosphere. xkcd's charts are an excellent overview, but include many points presented as clear and known "boxes," micro-Sieverts, which are actually still under debate. the majority of sources have a stake in the nuclear debate, and there's a whole host of research which holds some of these "accepted" numbers as simply wrong.

In fact, the state-of-the-art of discussion regarding ionizing radiation demands a diary of its own. (Again, i claim no expertise, nor do i regularly review new literature.)

The take-away should be there are far greater unknowns than the chart would have you believe. What i would wish is that some of the experts would use the chart as a basis for discussion, and we could monitor the debate.

I can state my own bias, that ionizing radiation is far more dangerous than corporate science presents, or at the minimum there is far too much unknown to act as if this is a mature science. And i call bullshit on the idea that an accumulation of potassium radiation from bananas has any real meaning when compared to a nuclear accident.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sun Mar 20th, 2011 at 11:14:14 AM EST
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Perhaps i should offer a bit more clarity.

Accepted radiation science comes from the same school which allows poisoning of groundwater and topsoil, spreading throughout the food chain, and claims to be heavily involved in the fight to eradicate cancer. the same science which demonizes tobacco without funding any studies on the effect of burning the 500+ chemicals found in modern cigarettes.

The same "science" which allows diesel engines and coal plants, while soliciting billions/yr in cancer research funds. Which hammers home the points that we are irradiated when we fly, while keeping secret the effects of using depleted uranium to pierce armor.

If there was ever a time to be watchful, neigh vigilant, of the spin on the entire nuclear cycle, it is now.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sun Mar 20th, 2011 at 11:32:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the same science which demonizes tobacco without funding any studies on the effect of burning the 500+ chemicals found in modern cigarettes.

You probably mean the 599 additives, because tobacco alone includes an extreme variety of harmful chemicals, and burning biomass (not just tobacco) produces a lot more. Read this report, which discusses insufficient (but non-zero) research on the effect of additives (p. 44-45). Several harmful chemicals found in the tobacco plant or its burn products, from the most carcinogenic hydrocarbons to the most poisonous heavy metals, are discussed on the previous pages. Later pages discuss other influencing factors, like cigarette paper and temperature and method of puffing. If anything, more research into the effect of cigarette additives when smoked will add to an already bad picture.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Mar 20th, 2011 at 12:17:30 PM EST
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Consequently, actual exposures to and doses of components of smoke cannot be derived from values obtained with machine smoking.

The purpose of my comment was to comment on studies of ionizing radiation and the various biases within accepted science. Let's address cigarettes in another forum.

Despite some perhaps throwaway literary licenses, I wish to remain focused on radiation. Because we all respect the brilliant, intelligent humor of xkcd, we need to focus on the meme presented. and its shortfalls.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sun Mar 20th, 2011 at 12:43:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Despite some perhaps throwaway literary licenses, I wish to remain focused on radiation.

Your throwaway literary license included an implied complete dismissal of research derived from uncertainties in one sub-field, suggesting an exaggeration of the harmful effects of tobacco smoke (and now you added to it before saying we shouldn't debate it here). Your claim about radiation is of playing down the effects.

Regarding some science on the effects of ionizing radiation and their dismissal by certain forums of acceptable science, there are examples in my Chernobyl's Downplayed Victims, including the brain and blood vessel damage.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Mar 20th, 2011 at 01:13:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was not playing down the effects of radiation, quite the contrary.  But i'm barely awake now, so save discussion for later.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Mar 20th, 2011 at 05:51:15 PM EST
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