[LINK] electromagnetic fields effect brain activity

Stewart Fist stewart_fist at optusnet.com.au
Tue Jan 9 11:40:27 AEDT 2007

Re Fred's "Nuclear Nightmares"?

I only saw a few bits of it.  It seemed to be a rehash of a lot of dubious
material that I'd seen before.

It seems to me that both sides are playing the public for suckers in the
Chernobyl debate (as they also did in the Bopal debate).

Both exaggerate their figures, and make unsustainable claims.

I spent a lot of time looking at the Chernobly figures a few years ago, and
came to the conclusion that I couldn't trust any of them enough to make a
decision either way.

Everyone in this nuclear area is already so committed to one side or the
other that it would be very difficult to find a group that you could trust
to make an intelligent inquiry.

Personally, in these cases I always follow:
1.  the Precautionary Principle (assume the worst, if the potential is
2. Russel's Dictum (that when scientists are in dispute, the layman is wise
to sit on the fence),
3. Rumsfeld's Rubrik ("We don't know what we don't know)

On the question of " low dosages may actually have a beneficial effect".
This is called Hormesis in the literature.

It is a theory that radiation below a threshold (not approached by
cellphones) imparts a statistically significant increase in resistance to
cancers among humans.

The Neo-con technical guru George Gilder has proposed this as an explanation
for his claimed reduction in cancer rates in developed countries.

Unfortunately, the main scientific and evidential support for his theory is
pretty close to zero.

The idea was also promoted by the tobacco companies -- suggesting that
environmental smoke in offices may have a protective effect against
cancer-causing air pollution.  And by some water polluting companies who
dumped toxic waste into aquifers.

Stewart Fist, writer, journalist, film-maker
70 Middle Harbour Road, LINDFIELD, 2070, NSW, Australia
Ph +61 (2) 9416 7458

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