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Glenn Beck on the "No Nukes" Relapse

Here's a funny clip from late last week where CNN's Glenn Beck weighs in on the return of the musicians from the "No Nukes" era:


gunter said…
This is called journalism?

He is not only wrong he is just plain nasty and cruel. Even he had trouble swallowing his own line as he stammered through this angry monologue.

One of Beck's cruel remark in particular, "nobody died from the TMI accident,not one," is not supported by facts. His writers obviously consulted your shop for this misrepresentation.

UNC at Chapel Hill epidemiologist Dr. Steven Wing looked at the TMI data and found statistically significance increases in lung cancer and leukemia. His peer reviewed work was published in a 1996 volume of the National Institute of Health's prestigous "Environmental Health Perspectives." It is academically unrefuted.

People still die from leukemia and lung cancer.

Beck should apologize for such callous disregard for families who have suffered through such losses until he has conclusive ballistics that their cancers were not caused by the radiation releases from the 1979 accident.
Cartman said…
Hippies. They're everywhere. They wanna save the earth, but all they do is smoke pot and smell bad.
Randal Leavitt said…
Cost is $1.72 per kwh? I don't think so.
bryfry said…
Aww ... Poor Gunter. You professional anti-nuclear spinmeisters are treated so poorly by the media, aren't you? It's so unfair for you guys when reporters actually report the facts, instead of publicity stunts by ancient musicians who's anti-nuclear rhetoric is almost as dead as their careers.

Wing et al., you say? That counts as "facts"? Don't make me laugh!

You know as well as I do that Wing's study was funded by a bunch of lawyers who were involved in a suit related to the TMI accident. Well, the lawyers got what they paid for: Wing manipulated the data to satisfy his predetermined conclusions. Unfortunately, for the lawyers, however, this study did them no good, since it was thrown out of court -- it was blatantly obvious that this study was an unscientific load of manure designed to help the plaintiff's case.

The Wing study was over a decade ago! Surely in that time, some credible organization (hint: NIRS is not a credible organization) has come forward to provide additional supporting evidence or to substantiate Wing et al.'s conclusions. So where is the substantiation? Every credible organization that I can think of has either ignored the Wing study or has dismissed it for using flawed methods.

Nice try, spinmeister. My heart's bleeding for you.

Gunter, it is you who should apologize to all of us for insulting our intelligence.
Nuclear Dreams said…
it is well known that risks of nuclear accidents at power plants (notwithstanding TMI) are far otweighed by those involving industrial pollution and automobile accidents. it is much easier to get killed by car on the highway than by having a nuclear power plant next to your house. a lot of the factual data simply does not support the risks portrayed by the anti-nuclear lobby.
Sovietologist said…
Academically unrefuted, you say?

Obviously, you do not actually read Environmental Health Perspectives. May I direct your attention to:
Evelyn O. Talbott et al. "Mortality among residents of the Three Mile Island accident area: 1979-1992." Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 108, No. 6. (Jun., 2000), pp. 545-552.
gunter said…
Dr. Wing was not peer reviewed by lawyers for the NIH publication.

He is an epidemiologist, not a lawyer.

Yes, this is a ten year old study on the 1979 meltdown.Surely, if it was concocted solely as a legal scheme it is Columbia University that could have refuted Wing's re-evaluation of Columbia's TMI data. They didnt.
Kyle said…
Yeah, honestly, Beck is an idiot even when we agree on something.

"Oil is $9.63 for a kilowatt-hour, natural gas is $6.75 for a kilowatt-hour, nuclear power is $1.72." And he wasn't just misspeaking, because his ticker then put up "Avg. cost of natural gas in 2006: $6.75 per kilowatt-hour"

Now that's some damn expensive energy!

I assume that wherever he's getting these numbers from, he misread cents as dollars.

However, there are two intentional misrepresentations besides that. First, it seems he is going with just the fuel costs and not the total levelized cost of generation (for nuclear it's actually around 3-5 cents per kWh, all told; for gas it's a ways higher, I forget the exact number). Second, he's comparing nuclear to natural gas an oil, rather than comparing it to natural gas and coal.

Much as I support nuclear power, it's not (yet) cheaper than coal. Carbon taxes and new reactor designs may change that. But it would have broken his talking point of nuclear power being many times cheaper than all the alternatives.
Matthew66 said…
Quoted from the abstract of the EHP article cited by Sovietologist:

"The mortality surveillance of this cohort does not provide consistent evidence that radioactivity released during the TMI accident has a significant impact on the mortality experience of this cohort to date. However, continued follow-up of these individuals will provide a more comprehensive description of the morbidity and mortality experience of the cohort."

Beck's rant is not the greatest argument in favor of nuclear power. Mr. Beck is in the business of saying controversial things on CNN so that more people will watch his show enabling CNN to charge more for the advertising time. I would do a fact check on anything and everything Beck says before I accepted its credibility.
Anonymous said…
The show is for pure entertainment, and I found it entertaining. I agree with the spirit of his arguments, and I commend him for voicing the opinion. Republican views presented on CNN still seem strange to me. CNN is far from fair and balanced.
bryfry said…
Yes, Glenn Beck is a clown, and this clip has little more than entertainment value. It is certainly not the real message that I would put out in support of nuclear energy. Nevertheless, Beck is no less of a clown than the musicians and activists he ridicules: Jackson Brown, Harvey Wasserman, et al.

Tit for tat.

Gunter, I suppose that you have not actually been involved in academic research, because if you had, you would realize that "peer review" means very little. As someone who has seen the process from both sides, I can assure you that the peer review process is there to guarantee only that the paper meets the journal's minimum standards. That is, it's there to keep out the "crackpots." There is no careful review of the actual study or in-depth scrutiny of the data or the results.

Real science has only one test: the test of time. The scientific method inherently depends on reproducibility of results. That is, a hypothesis or a theory is not accepted as valid until it has been demonstrated over and over, preferably by independent researchers.

The fact that you cite one and only one study, out of the many that have been done on the effects of Three Mile Island, clearly indicates to me that you are trying to pull the wool over the eyes of those here who are not knowledgeable about the Three Mile Island accident. (That's called "spin" by the way.) Wing's study was not the last study to be performed. That's why I have asked you about other studies: can you produce even one other study that supports Wing's conclusions? Even one?

That you resort to such grim rhetoric as "people still die from ... cancer" and that you actually call for an apology based on your one study ... well ... that I personally find disgusting. But then again, I should not have expected more. It is the standard type of stunt that is pulled by NIRS.

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