24 Hour Radiation?
I think its time to get away from 24 hour news.
<<chuckle>> I can hear you saying “Just turn off your TV,” but its not that easy.
I used to be addicted to 24 hour news – literally, although I dislike attaching that term to it. It seemed like an addiction, though. Breaking news alerts on my computer. Breaking news alerts on my cell phone. Turning on the television when I got home even before setting down my bags and taking off my coat. And, if I missed something – if someone heard about something before me – I felt guilty. I should have known it.
What does this have to do with radiation? It is the constant need to report that, for news companies, has led them down a slippery slope of reporting what isn’t news, but is only speculation, and of making a doomsday headline out of nearly everything to get ratings because they are competing with all other 24 hour news reports.
I read an article the other day that had this statement “This could have caused a major radioactive spill.” It was followed shortly by this statement “This could have resulted in a spill of up to 12,000 gallons of high-level radioactive waste.”
But it didn’t.
Experts can predict that we could all die of a very large tidal wave as a result of global warming. But we won’t.
Predictions of future events need to be taken as guesses; some of which are based on history, some of which are based on nothing other than someone’s opinion.
Some predictions have obvious outcomes and we agree with the prediction because of our experiences.
I predict that ripe bananas will turn brown after a week when left out on the counter. Give or take a day, that prediction is likely to come true. We know this from experience.
I predict that one day there will be no cars. Only public transportation, biking or under your own power will you get around. This prediction is probably unlikely, but who knows? I’m sure I could come up with some research to support the theory, but the point is, I don’t know what I’m talking about when it comes to getting rid of cars.
Have you noticed that we are being fed (through news reports) predictions of dire consequences and emphasis on what is not working. Today, we actually live in one of the safest times in recorded history, but we are afraid of everything.
Cancer statistics are similar. It is estimated that, over a lifetime, about one in five of us, or 20 percent of us, will die from cancer. This is a stunning statistic, but it also means that 80 percent of us won’t die of cancer. Actually what kills more of us in the United States are diseases associated with the heart. Cardiovascular disease kills about 100,000 more people each year than cancer.
What’s my point? Predictions for the future are guesses; dire predictions for the future are pure speculation often distorting reality. Dire predictions for the past (“This could have caused a major radioactive spill.”) when nothing happened and all safety systems worked as intended, are meant to scare and not to inform.
Be careful. When it comes to safety and living safely, we need to keep in mind the “real” things that can be a harm to us if not used/done safely (swimming, biking, crossing the street, driving, getting in and out of a tub, etc.). There are some who would like to scare us with terrible predictions of death and destruction, but we need to realize that, even if we put those awful things on our list to worry about, they can be placed way at the bottom. Most times, that is where predictions of what radiation can/will do to us should be.