25 March 2011

Perspective

After listening to the news lately about the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan and all of the panic it's causing about nuclear energy I found this article by Seth Godin very interesting.

Deathratewatts

For every person killed by nuclear power generation, 4,000 die due to coal, adjusted for the same amount of power produced... You might very well have excellent reasons to argue for one form over another. Not the point of this post. The question is: did you know about this chart? How does it resonate with you?
I had no idea! It's interesting to really think about the consequences for our energy-hungry lifestyles. If you think about people actually risking their lives so we can flip a lightswitch-- makes me think twice before using energy when I don't really need to.

Not included in this chart are deaths due to global political instability involving oil fields, deaths from coastal flooding and deaths due to environmental impacts yet unmeasured, all of which skew it even more if you think about it.
Ummm... BP oil spill anyone?

It makes me think a lot about how the world is so scared of change, people still think that nuclear energy is so dangerous. I'm still kind of deciding how I feel about nuclear energy but the chart helped put things in perspective.

2 comments:

  1. Very cool article. Thanks for sharing. I especially like this line: "Vivid is not the same as true. It's far easier to amplify sudden and horrible outcomes than it is to talk about the slow, grinding reality of day to day strife. That's just human nature."

    Do you remember a couple summers ago when all they could do was talk about shark attacks? We the number of people that were injured or killed was so incredibly small that I can't believe anyone ever talked about it. Not to mention shark attacks in that year were no higher than any other year. Just the way the media works which is why it's so important to watch where you get your media from. Lv ya :)

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  2. Agreed! Is that shark thing from the Tipping Point? I know you love your Malcom Gladwell!

    I blame shark week.

    -S

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