Wednesday, February 22, 2012

OMG! Radiation!!!!

OK, here we go again. Reports that radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant were detected 400 miles off the Japanese coast.

I have looked at a dozen stories, and all I get is something like "between 10 and 1000 times the normal amount." Which sounds scary. If you have no clue about radiation.

Is it 1000 times more than the radiation you would find in a banana? Or a package of Brazil nuts? (The isotope they are concerned about is cesium 137, and that is found in nuts. At least they told us that much.)

It seems that the entire news gathering apparatus of humanity is incapable of reporting what the levels actually are. Oh, they believe why report it you don't understand the numbers anyway. And besides, 1000 times normal is scary.

For some thoughts on the radiation from Fukushima Daiichi, seen my post on The Banana Equivalent Dose. (I hate to tell you this, but your food is radioactive, and so are you.)

And remember that when the chicken-little folks of the news media are screaming that the sky is falling, do a little fact-checking.


Zendo Deb said...

I filed this under "Media Bias" because I don't have a "Media Stupidity" category.

BobG said...

I live at 4300 elevation here in Salt Lake, so I probably get several times the radiation someone at sea level (California or New York) gets; that doesn't really scare me that much, since it is such a small amount overall.