Friday, December 16, 2011

More disappointment with Debito

I mentioned he went into meltdown some time ago, and the picture hasn't got prettier since. Some recent rabble-rousing on his blog drew this comment, which I objected to. Or at least tried to, because Debito has been censoring my comments. After AJ and Debito posted explicitly asking me to back up my contention that the previous comment was nonsense (funny how he didn't ask them to show that it was remotely credible) he simply refused to let me post my reply, so here it is:

AJ, I agree that some of the temp workers are poorly treated and probably subject to a significant risk. That's a far cry from the general population being measurably affected. Even if you don't trust the Govt figures, there are lots of people looking for contamination across the country and basically finding very low levels - even when safety thresholds are met or exceeded, these are still set at very conservative levels. I'm happy that people are checking these things, but when I eat a Fukushima peach, the risk of choking on the stone vastly exceeds the risk of radiation-related harm. And don't get me started on mochi, especially in ozoni :-)

Listen guys (and girls), I agree that TEPCO and the Govt are culpable and have been incompetent in various ways. But that doesn't actually mean there is a significant risk to the general population from the situation. To those who say "one cancer is too many", I seriously doubt they make the same (unrealistic) demands of power from coal-fired stations (coal has substantial radioactivity), or their consumption of pickles and salt in their food - there's a good reason why Japanese stomach cancer rates are among the highest in the world (of course, the diet is extremely healthy in other ways, which just goes to show that there are always trade-offs and absolutist positions are rarely reasonable).

It seems a strange sort of cowardliness to explicitly ask for a response (Debito is the bold writing following on the end of my comment), and then refuse to post it, but there you go. He seems determined to cultivate a clique of tinfoil-hatters, perhaps it's to make himself feel good about his apparent decision to leave Japan, but that is just a guess.

UPDATE: The comment has appeared, after apparently being stuck in the spam trap (see Debito's comment here).

I might have some more to say about Fukushima itself some time, but to be honest there isn't much of importance to report. TPTB have decided that it is now in a "cold shutdown" situation, though the only basis for this announcement seems to be that they said months ago that they would achieve cold shutdown by the end of the year. It is still a mess, mostly contained, but with a growing waste water problem - they are trying to just pour some of the dirty water into the sea, but that is not entirely without objections...


Arudou Debito said...

Arudou Debito here. Sorry James. I don't know how, but this perfectly reasonable comment (thanks for it) was found in the spam folder. I have approved it, of course, and it can be found here:

Again, my apologies. Debito

James Annan said...

Thanks, I've amended the post.

David B. Benson said...

Of course for a damaged core what one means by cold shutdown is not the same as for an undamaged core. But once both senses of cold are achieved there seems no reason not to announce that.

Here is a more sober take on the matter: