As the tragedy in Japan continues to unfold, the environmental left is gearing up its hysterics crusade to destroy our economy and send us back to the era of the Pilgrims. Railing against the hazards of nuclear power is becoming the issue de jure for the far left.
If only we would just run our cars off of salt water and power our cities with windmills, everything would be so much better. Yes, and maybe after that all the children of the world could join hands and sing together in a voice of unity. Shoot, have the polar bears and endangered desert asps join them as long as we're going to live in the land of make believe.
But in the realm of reality, Lachlan Markay reports on a little tidbit that they are overlooking:
The dangers of nuclear power, while serious, need to be put in perspective. To that end, here's an interesting fact you won't be hearing from the mainstream press: wind energy has killed more Americans than nuclear energy.
You read that right. According to the Caithness Windfarm Information Forum, there were 35 fatalities associated with wind turbines in the United States from 1970 through 2010. Nuclear energy, by contrast, did not kill a single American in that time.
The meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979 did not kill or injure anyone, since the power plant's cement containment apparatus did its job - the safety measures put in place were effective. Apparently the safety measures associated with wind energy are not adequate to prevent loss of life.
I can hear the left's objections right now: "Oh, but those numbers are skewed! If we used nuclear power as much as we use wind power, it would have far more incidents and problems! It's only because we utilize wind power so much more that it makes it look this way!"
Nuclear accounts for about nine percent of America's energy, according to the Energy Information Administration, and has yet to cause a single fatality here. Wind, on the other hand, provides the United States with only 0.7 percent of its energy, and has been responsible for 35 deaths in the United States alone. So if we're trying to weigh the costs and benefits of each, it seems wind fares far worse than nuclear. Yet no one seems to be discussing plans to halt production of all new wind farms until Americans' safety can be guaranteed.
Obviously, this doesn't mean that we shouldn't be cautious. Markay even goes on to state that very point:
Of course there are potential dangers to nuclear energy that the nation, thankfully, has not had to endure. But when assessing the dangers of a given technology, it usually helps to look at what has actually happened, not what could maybe, possibly, conceivably happen in the event of a Biblical-scale disaster.
In other words, you can create doomsday scenarios for virtually any new development, risk, or experiment. But allowing these fantastic "could-happens" prevent us from every new idea or opportunity, we will cease being a world power and we will cease enjoying the comforts and conveniences we have come to take for granted.
The truth is that the United States nuclear facilities are the safest in the world. We should learn from each new concern that develops to continue to ensure our safety. We should not freak out and start retreating into a cave. After all, think of what that might do to the ecosystems of cave life!