Saturday, May 27, 2006

The 'paralysing fatalism' of Greenpeace

Last year the UN published it's scientific report into the accident at the nuclear facilities at Chernobyl. The 600 page report concluded that the people of Ukraine and the surrounding region have been affected by over-the-top, exaggerated fears rather than by radiation exposure. Indeed, the report argues that the people in the affected area have suffered a 'paralysing fatalism', due mostly to the 'myths and misperceptions' spun by environmentalists organisations throughout the West.

I'm not quite sure what's worse, 'paralysing fatalism', or death - in human terms, there pretty much the same. Eco-worriers like Blake Lee-Harwood from Greenpeace, told the BBC, that the nuclear industry had a 'vested interest in playing down Chernobyl because it's an embarrassment to them'. But, hold on a minute, Greenpeace also have a 'vested interest' in hyping-up Chernobyl. It stands to reason, if the world's worst nuclear disaster wasn't really all that, then there's no good reason why we can't build a new generation of nuclear power-stations over here.

But, Greenpeace couldn't have that, they hate anything to do with nuclear science, I don't know why they just don't come out and say it - at least it would show some honesty. Rather than the un-scientific opposition towards nuclear science which Greenpeace is basing their case on. Where is Greenpeace's evidence that 93,000 people will die as a result of Chernobyl?

The cry of 'vested interest' by Greenpeace, is, in fact, a sick joke. The idea that the Russian Federation, the government of Belarus and the Ukraine, the World Health Organisation, and various other UN agencies, are somehow in the pockets of the nuclear industry is risible. The truth is, it's Greenpeace who has the 'vested interest' in maintaining the 'paralysing fatalism' that surrounds the issue of Chernobyl and nuclear science.

Picture: Radiation reading from outside Chernobyl - AFP


At 5:18 PM, Blogger Matt M said...

I think you're basing a lot on what was essentially one remark in the report. The impact of the Chernobyl accident was certainly horrific - 4,000 deaths and more than 300,000 relocated. Not to mention the mental trauma and affect on health.

That the effects were exaggerated is understandable, but I agree that Greenpeace (and other such organisations) are far from unbiased when it comes to things like this. However, they're important when it comes to raising issues and problems that governments and (to a lesser extent) international bodies might overlook or not devote enough attention to - for whatever reason.

They're a special-interests pressure-group, and just one of many.

At 1:50 AM, Blogger Roland Dodds said...

While I agree with your general assessment, I do think the social impact of Chernobyl is extreme and called into question our concept of power and control. I do think that organizations like Green Peace are fatalist and often lie to further their own ends, but Chernobyl does reflect an aspect of our modern society that should be debated.


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