Posts categorized as Risk RSS feed for this section

More on the Ukraine

With the Crimea voting today on whether to secede from the Ukraine, and early returns indicating strong support for secession, the following perspectives on the crisis are particularly relevant. As before, I am emphasizing unusual perspectives not because the mainstream view (“It’s  Russia’s fault!”) doesn’t have some validity, but because it over-simplifies a complex issue. […]

Reducing the Risk of Russian-American Standoff

Editor’s Note: Dr. Martin Hellman, Adjunct Fellow for Nuclear Risk, professor at Stanford, and an expert on crisis risk reduction, asks that FAS members and others who read this post to consider contacting their elected representatives about the crisis in Ukraine. Dr. Hellman sent the following letter to President Obama and his Congressional representatives.  I […]

lastpage

In closing

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled. Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, in an appendix to the report on the loss of the space shuttle Challenger.   The first post in this series was put up a little more than two years ago and I’ve written […]

The post In closing appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

drought1-300x235

Nuclear Winter (2)

Editor’s Note: Please refer to previous post for a correction as noted in the Editor’s Note.  Last week’s post reviewed the basic science of nuclear winter – the short version is that the explosions themselves will put many tons of dust into the atmosphere, and the fires that are started by the nuclear explosions will […]

The post Nuclear Winter (2) appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

Emerson

A foolish consistency

Consistency is good – there’s a sense of security in knowing that some things will generally remain constant over time. We can always count on gravity, for example, to hold us firmly to the ground; politicians are typically pandering and self-serving; I can count on radioactivity to consistently decay away; and so forth. Of course, […]

The post A foolish consistency appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

radioactive

The Mexican radiation accident (Part II)

A highly respected colleague and friend of mine says he no longer refers to “lessons learned” but, rather, to “lessons recognized” because he has noticed that we don’t always learn our lessons. It’s not too early to recognize some lessons from the Mexican accident of the other week, but the fact that this accident happened […]

The post The Mexican radiation accident (Part II) appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

Source and truck

The Mexican radiation accident (Part I)

Most news stories involving radiation are, to be blunt, overblown. Radiation can be dangerous, but the risk it actually poses is usually far lower than what the media stories would have us believe. So my first inclination when I hear about another story involving “deadly radiation” is to be skeptical. And then every now and […]

The post The Mexican radiation accident (Part I) appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

fracking

That Fracking Radon

Although there continues to be a great deal of comment-worthy material about Fukushima (including the latest idiotic suggestion that a collapse of the spent fuel storage in Unit 4 might call for the evacuation of California) I’d like to take a bit of a break from the apparent never-ending story. Partly I’d like to cover […]

The post That Fracking Radon appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

Don-Quixote

Once more into the breach

I’d been planning on waiting a little longer before returning to the topics of Fukushima and radiation health effects, but a particularly egregiously bad New York Times op-ed piece deserves some attention. So once more into the breach. Writing in the October 30 New York Times, pediatrician and anti-nuclear activist Helen Caldicott used the nuclear […]

The post Once more into the breach appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

The 60-mile diameter Manicouagan impact feature in Canada

Defending the Earth

As astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has pointed out, we live in a cosmic shooting gallery. Less than a year ago a good-sized chunk of cosmic rock exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk with a force of over 400 kilotons – over 30 times as powerful as the bomb that flattened Hiroshima. The impact was […]

The post Defending the Earth appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.