Writer challenges anti-nuclear energy advocates to show evidence

The Guardian‘s George Monbiot is distressed at the lack of scientific evidence provided by the anti-nuclear movement — spearheaded by Dr. Helen Caldicott, the world’s leading anti-nuclear campaigner — to back their positions:

The anti-nuclear movement to which I once belonged has misled the world about the impacts of radiation on human health. The claims we have made are ungrounded in science, unsupportable when challenged, and wildly wrong. We have done other people, and ourselves, a terrible disservice.

When he asked Caldicott to send him sources for some of her claims, she couldn’t provide one document from a scientific publication. Caldicott and others have railed against what they say are hundreds of thousands of deaths and illnesses caused by the Chernobyl disaster, but Monbiot says their claims are false, not based on any real data or valid scientific observations.

Although you won’t find me wanting to move within a 50-mile radius of a nuclear plant, Monbiot’s call for evidence should give experts and lay observers pause:

Failing to provide sources, refuting data with anecdote, cherry-picking studies, scorning the scientific consensus, invoking a cover-up to explain it: all this is horribly familiar. These are the habits of climate-change deniers, against which the green movement has struggled valiantly, calling science to its aid. It is distressing to discover that when the facts don’t suit them, members of this movement resort to the follies they have denounced.

We have a duty to base our judgments on the best available information. This is not only because we owe it to other people to represent the issues fairly, but also because we owe it to ourselves not to squander our lives on fairytales. A great wrong has been done by this movement. We must put it right.

Read the entire article here.

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Zoe Romanowsky is writer, consultant, and coach. Her articles have appeared in "Catholic Digest," "Faith & Family," "National Catholic Register," "Our Sunday Visitor," "Urbanite," "Baltimore Eats," and Godspy.com. Zo

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