13 thoughts on “Is a Little Radiation So Bad?”

  1. When I was a graduate student in Pathology I got the LNT model for radiation exposure and it is actually based on ignorance: statistical models of toxicity fall apart at low dose exposure hence the no lower limit. Was unimpressed by the statistical logic then and it hasn’t changed over the years.

    What is more interesting is the special DNA repair mechanism for ionizing radiation. It shouldn’t be surprising that this long standing evolutionary adaptation is there. Early earth had much higher surface ambient radiation that the levels today.

    The “tolerance” for ionizing radiation, like other toxins, will vary with the individual and even with that individual’s age. Since the pathology of ionizing radiation is more complex than most toxins the threshold will be more vague for a population. Since any meaningful research in radiation toxicity only dates from the post-WWII era there is still big gaps; and little current work to fill them.

  2. Professor Marcus is right.

    Radiation from the Sun heats the Earth and sustains human life. But wildly
    exaggerated fears of radiation became worldwide policy after WWII, denying humanity access to “powers beyond the dreams of scientific fiction” [See last paragraph of Aston’s 1922 Nobel Lecture].

    A new paper scheduled for publication today, will review the history and development of nuclear energy and show how Chadwick discovered the source in 1932, the Weizsacker-Bethe semi-empirical formula for nuclear mass obscured the source in 1935-36 of energy that powers the Sun and the expanding Universe.

  3. One of the oldest forms if therapy , used for 100’s of years, for every imaginable ailment has been sitting in hot springs, these are invariably radio active hot spots, yet our ancestors used them whenever available, and here we are.

  4. Two, well-known international geo-ethicists have already acknowledged the ethical issues involved when governments used public research funds to hide the source of energy that powers the Sun.

    The London GeoEthics Confetence on Climate Change (8-9 Sept 2016) will
    address this issue in public.

  5. How many relationships in nature are linear anyway.

    The cancer problem is an unusual one due to the weird way cancer works. The burden of proof for making statements about cancer is very low.

  6. Goddard’s Journal reviews the LNT model and decides it’s a reasonable fit based on the last decade of relevant epidemiological studies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xYRvnCBZOM While, as he says, it would be great if there were a lower threshold or if there were a hormesis effect, the studies show no evidence of it. It would be good to know what Prof Marcus’s argument is.

  7. The linear, no threshold (LNT) theory is widely used and is wrong everywhere that I have seen it used. In cancer research it is used against individual molecules. Read “The Apocalyptics” by Edith Efron for hundreds of common materials that cause cancer, according to peer reviewed studies and government reports. All cooking methods are also on the list. LNT is not the only villain: everything is in one of two categories, it causes cancer, or not enough ressearch has been done. Killing LNT for radiation is a good start, but killing LNT in general would be much better.

  8. The LNT model assumes that the body has zero tolerance for radiation damage to DNA, as if there is no immune system and no DNA repair mechanism. This is contrary to all evidence.

  9. We live in a country where one of the largest states has documented claims that a huge list of chemicals CAUSE cancer.
    Not increase the incidence of disease, but cause it.

    We produce HS graduates that have no clue that lead and arsenic are in their water.
    Good thing, because they do not leave the government indoctrination centers with enough knowledge to understand the dose makes the poison.

    So, why not extend the government lies to radiation?
    Most voters won’t figure it out.

  10. Pat, more likely, most voters won’t care. The usual response to such questions is a shrug and a “whatever?. Sigh.

  11. Cap-and-trade’s last auction fell flat. Will it happen again?

    Not that long ago, few politicians would have paid close attention to California’s auctions of permits to emit carbon. Those sales, the fulcrum of the state’s cap-and-trade system, were proceeding smoothly and reaping billions of dollars.

    But uncertainty has since cloaked the landmark climate-change program. The last auction brought in about $10 million, far short of projections. That boded ill for an environmental tool already beset by legal skepticism and facing a political battle over its future. If the businesses who are compelled to buy permits perceive the program is flailing, that could affect how the politics play out. And beyond reducing emissions, cap-and-trade’s health directly affects how much revenue is available for programs like the high-speed rail championed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

    So today’s auction could carry some serious political consequences. About 86.2 million permits are on offer, for a minimum price of $12.73 per. Another skimpy sale could send a signal to business interests about the program’s lack of stability and ratchet up the pressure to get something done in the Legislature. We won’t know the results for another week, but rest assured we’ll be paying attention.

    NUMBER NUGGET: The Legislature’s final weeks of session are a busy time for the hundreds of lobbyists who ply their trade within the Capitol and state bureaucracy. State filings due earlier this month show that the state had 1,810 registered lobbyists as of June 30
    . That compares to 1,822 at the same point in the 2013-2014 session.

    VIDEO OF THE DAY: Get to know Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.

    HUNGRY FOR CHANGE: Cap-and-trade is one of the paramount issues that has lobbyists sweating and lawmakers counting votes in the session’s home stretch. Another is a revived measure seeking additional overtime pay for farmworkers. After the first iteration faltered on the Assembly floor, the second draft has passed a key hurdle in the Senate Appropriations Committee and now awaits a Senate floor vote. The true heavy lift will likely once again be passing the Assembly floor, not the more liberal Senate, but Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, is leading other lawmakers in a 24-hour hunger strike agitating for the bill starting at 8 am Assembly members Joaquin Arambula, Nora Campos, David Chiu, Kansen Chu, Cristina Garcia, Jose Medina, Miguel Santiago, and Tony Thurmond plan to join Gonzalez in forgoing food. They’ll break their fast during a mass tomorrow morning at the Cathedral of Blessed Sacrament.

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