I wish I hadn’t started reading this at 10 pm. The comments are fascinating. More proof that Marxian polylogism  is rampant. C.S. Lewis’s send up of this type of “thinking” (from Book Three, chapter VIII of “Pilgrim’s Regress”) :

Jailor: “You there… what is argument?”

Master Parrot: “Argument is the attempted rationalization of the arguer’s desires.”

Jailor: “Very good… What is the answer to an argument turning on the belief that two and two make four?”

Master Parrot: “The answer is ‘You say that because you are a mathematician'”.


For those readers unfamiliar with Marxian polylogism, a little clarification might be in order. If you go to the article I quote from below (click here), and after reading, peruse the comments, you’ll see a number of trends or patterns.

Here’s one. The blog author (Rod Adams) challenges a number of assertions made by Gundersen on the Internet. One of them is about so-called “hot particles”. Gundersen asserts (I quote here from Rod Adams’ blog), that these hot particles are so tiny that they cannot be picked up by regular radiation detectors and because of this they are extremely dangerous.

Adams challenges this: “Radiation can be measured at extremely low levels, far below the levels that can cause human health effects. There is a reason why doctors inject small amounts radioactive materials into their patients as tracers to assist them in diagnosing organ function – those tracers make bodily systems visible without endangering the patient. If the hot particles are so tiny and dispersed that they cannot be detected, they are nothing to worry about”.


Gundersen asserts, ““Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind,” Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, told Al Jazeera.”

Adams challenges him on this, too:

What he fails to mention is that the radiation and radioactive material that has escaped from Fukushima has not made anyone sick. It is difficult to imagine how a non-fatal accident can earn the title of “biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind” over events like those listed on the Wikipedia page titled List of industrial disasters. That list contains dozens of events that each killed hundreds to thousands of people and often resulted in widespread, long lasting chemical contamination.

One commenter responds to Adams thus:

There have been off-site fatalities from this accident – but this is the minor problem with your argument. Not all damage is due to immediate deaths – to try to reduce everything to immediate death is a sign of some sort of emotion deficiency. People are suffering – people will suffer and many may die slowly from this event. Do you not understand people suffering? Do you really think death is the only bad thing that happens to people?

The commenter fails to grasp the significance of Adams’ point about zero fatalities from radiation exposure so far. If thousands are going to die (or tens of thousands, or millions, take your pick of doomsday scenarios, there’s no shortage of them), this could only be from huge amounts of released radioactive materials. Had such release already occurred, there would already have been numbers of people suffering from radiation sickness and possibly death. Already. There haven’t. Adams takes this as evidence that there has not been releases of huge amounts of highly poisonous radioactive materials and that therefore there is unlikely to be the huge numbers of future fatalities due to radiation poisoning that some are (or have been) predicting.

I.e., if tens of thousands of people were going to die of cancer or radiation poisoning due to what has been released from Fukushima, then there would already have been fatalities or people getting sick. There haven’t.

The commenter fails to follow Adams’ reasoning. He simply says, “Not all damage is due to immediate deaths… People are suffering – people will suffer and many may die slowly from this event.”

How does he know? On what is he basing this prediction? His line of reasoning is not clear. Is there one? In addition, he seems unable to follow Adams’ line of reasoning. People are suffering. Yes, but from radiation sickness? Where? Who? In what numbers? What is the source of your information? None given.

The commenter then goes on to make this statement: “Nuclear proponents consistently apply this thoughtless, and heartless spin to avoid the real risks. I don’t care what your qualifications are – this is a Fail on the humanity front.”

A different commenter makes a similar point: “Everyone understands, that basically you try to protect your own industry, but you do so in a very questionable way.”

Both commenters identify Adams as a member of the “pro-nuclear” group.They then assume that whatever Adams says or writes, his values and his ideas are all coloured by his membership of this group. This is Marxist ideology: Adams’ ideas per se, or his reasoning can both be ignored. Adams works for the nuclear industry so naturally, he must be pro-nuclear. There is no need to examine his ideas or reasoning in detail.

According to this kind of “thinking”, you only need to know what class or group a person “belongs” to. Once you know this, you know, in advance, what their values will be and what they will say on various topics.

Reading through just this (long, but perhaps not representative) article by Adams and his numerous responses and replies in the comments, what strikes me is not his pro-nuclear stance so much as his desire to reveal truth and to disprove irrational thinking, and to keep the discussion (about the effects of Fukushima radioactive fallout, for example, or the preferred future sources of energy) on a rational and factual basis. Whether he succeeds or not, I leave to the reader to conclude.

On a final note, commenter Brian Mays puts the case for the prosecution most succinctly in this comment in which he is responding to an earlier comment (individual comments do not have their own permalink on that site, but you can find it by going there and searching for “Brian Mays” within the page):

what are your qualification to say that “If the hot particles are so tiny and dispersed that they cannot be detected, they are nothing to worry about”?

The “qualification” should be having taken and passed a decent high-school-level physics class, which is something that, I suspect, you have not done.

It’s basic logic. Here, I’ll explain it to you in simple terms, since your cognitive skills appear to be lacking:

If a particle is so “hot” that it is emitting significant amounts of radiation, then this radiation will be detected. If the radiation emitted by the particle is too small to be detected, then it is not so “hot” as to be a problem. This stuff is governed by the laws of physics, not by magic.

What’s your agenda?

Apparently, it is debunking the nonsense put out by paid charlatans.

And here is an excerpt from Rod Adams’ original article about Gundersen.

Arnie Gundersen has been making money by spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt about nuclear energy for more than a decade. His career has received a measurable boost since March 11, when a large earthquake and powerful tsunami successfully peeled off most of the many layers of protection at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station.Ever since that day, Gundersen has been giving scary interviews in a variety of media outlets that include a number of dire predictions. He claimed that the spent fuel pool for unit 4 had gone dry and that he had the video to prove it. That claim remains available on his web site, so he is apparently standing by his early evaluation despite all evidence that contradicts his claim.He has been working with a PR firm to create a series of popular YouTube videos that build on his decade or more as a classroom teacher and as a former nuclear services salesman – he looks so calm, studious and trustworthy as he uses a variety of visual aids to convince his viewers of the provably false statement that Fukushima was worse than Chernobyl.

via Arnie Gundersen going international | Atomic Insights.