Thursday, March 17, 2011

Journalists Don't Just Misunderstand the Church...

I just finished reading this article by Dr. Josef Oehmen, a research scientist at MIT. It's really interesting (okay, I was a science and math geek as a kid, so I realize that "interesting" is relative and that what I might find interesting my husband and many [most?] other people would find brain-numbing):
"I repeat, there was and will *not* be any significant release of radioactivity from the damaged Japanese reactors.

By "significant" I mean a level of radiation of more than what you would receive on - say - a long distance flight, or drinking a glass of beer that comes from certain areas with high levels of natural background radiation.

I have been reading every news release on the incident since the earthquake. There has not been one single report that was accurate and free of errors (and part of that problem is also a weakness in the Japanese crisis communication). By “not free of errors” I do not refer to tendentious anti-nuclear journalism – that is quite normal these days. By “not free of errors” I mean blatant errors regarding physics and natural law, as well as gross misinterpretation of facts, due to an obvious lack of fundamental and basic understanding of the way nuclear reactors are build and operated. I have read a 3 page report on CNN where every single paragraph contained an error..."

Read the entire article here.
I'll admit, my first thought when I read the final paragraph was "Wow, that many errors? And the report isn't about the Catholic Church (and more specifically the Vatican?)?" A three page report on CNN where every single paragraph contains an error? I bet we could beat that...

But I digress. The article is, in itself definitely worth reading.


  1. Actually, for anyone to loudly proclaim "ex cathedra" there is no chance of radiation risk reminds me of the words of the captain of the Titanic...,"Not even God can sink this ship".

    Good luck on the left coast.

  2. You're right in that I'm sure it's possible. The part I really found interesting were all the steps taken to make sure it didn't happen, the in case this fail this happens, and on and on. I do hope he's right!

  3. And now it is coming out that some radiation may be beneficial. Go to and read her article from today. That throws me for a loop, because when I had radiation biology in college we were taught there was no exposure level below which was not harmful.


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