Sunday, June 19, 2011

Truth, Fact, and Misinformation

Something else is bothering me about that post with the fraudulent Fukushima video. I’m seeing misinformation swaying people I respect, and there seems to be a feeling that misinformation is all right in “a good cause.” You can see some of this in the comment thread here, but I have experienced it in other venues. At a speech by Helen Caldicott, a friend said, “Don’t fact-check it, but she’s good.” As I followed up to make sure I understood him, it became clear that he knew her “facts” were dodgy, but he didn’t care. Or, from the comments,
That said [agreement that the claims for the video were bogus], there really isn't any defense for nuclear power when other means of generating power without the horrific risks exist... and much more cheaply.
What bothers me about this approach is that it’s, once again, begging the question. Nuclear power is bad, therefore it doesn’t matter if its opponents fabricate and misinform. But if the idea that it is bad is built on what those opponents say, then it is built on fabrications and misinformation and thus probably false.

I’m a bit stuck on how to proceed from there, because I don’t know why people want to believe something that they admit is not true. It’s an indirect admission, to be sure, and sometimes people don’t notice stuff that’s too indirect. But if I’m bothered by the unending spew of lies from Republicans and Fox News, then I have to be bothered by lies from those who would eliminate nuclear power. And many of those who dislike nuclear power also dislike Fox News and its tactics.

An article in Al Jazeera that quotes Arne Gunderson (no, sorry, not going to link and help to boost its “authority.”) is another piece of misinformation that I’ve received from people I respect. In it, Arne builds up his excitement to the thought of twenty (twenty!) reactor cores being spread far and wide over hill and dale. The article presents Gunderson as a nuclear expert, but this twenty core stuff, combined with his previous claims of fires in the spent fuel pools, shown in drone video over the last week to be intact, and his interpretation of fog as smoke in that other video should be enough for anyone with any basis at all, or any other sources, to begin to question him a bit more closely. But it’s been clear that the MSM like hair on fire better than getting stuff right.

Rod Adams does a good takedown of Gunderson here. Please, please, MSM, don’t quote this P. T. Barnum again!

I’m sad to see people I like and respect being taken for a ride. I’m sadder to see fact being set in opposition to truth, or what some would sell as truth.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are nothing more than an idiot. If you have been poisoned by radiation then you would not post anything that is negative about people trying to alert us to the dangers.
Recall - There is absolutely no safe radiation. Radiation kills. Radiation causes the DNA to split and mutate. Anyone who wishes to alert us to the dangers is a hero. Our govt even blacked out news about Nebraska. We are in danger. You do not think the FEMA coffins are going to be thrown out with the trash do you? They will be used to cremate the millions who will die from radiation.
The govt owes 14 trillion plus. The govt has 3.8 trillion coming in. The govt cannot make money appear - printing money - inflation. selling bonds recession. Too many benefits - too many people.
The obvious answer - get rid of people. Less Fica, less unemployment, less everything.
What is wrong with you? I fail to understand how butchy women who know nothing and who lack empathy or sympathy manage to stay happy and functioning. We are going to die. Hot particles are already in Seattle. Do you know anything at all about radiation? Dear God the country is full of stupid people.