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I'd say the opposite. Many technologies have always been too dangerous to use, starting from coal onwards.

In the past they were used regardless and the health risks and environmental consequences were simply ignored. Victorian England was a prime example of this, with non-existent sanitation, slave-like worker conditions and a permanent smoggy haze that must have killed millions. But politically very little changed until after WWII. And even then some industries - nuke especially - have been in a permanent reactionary cover-up mode to pretend that the risks don't exist.

Now it's slowly seeping into public awareness that technology has its costs. The difference between then and now is that then it was possible to pretend that the costs were irrelevant.

Now it's becoming obvious how untrue that is.

Awareness is still patchy and it may be 25-50 years before it becomes the consensus. But Fukushima and the rest are helping make sure that change becomes possible.  

What's missing are similar changes in politics, finance and economics. Those worlds remain steadfastly Victorian in outlook - to everyone's detriment

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 05:52:00 AM EST
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