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Friday, September 25, 2009

ABC report an unqualified success


Jennifer Marohasy has previously observed that some fairly well qualified scientists who are climate sceptics are often referred to in the media as unqualified, whereas completely unqualified alarmists get a free run.

With this said, see if you can fill in the blank as to who the latest ABC report uses as their expert:
... is sounding alarm bells about the risks from radioactive dust from the planned expansion [of a uranium mine].
a) A Nobel Prize winning nuclear scientist
b) An internationally respected mining expert
c) A fully qualified TAFE science teacher or,
d) An Academy Award nominated documentary maker.

The answer, naturally is here.

The contentions made by this expert are all, unsurprisingly, pretty much a crock. An obvious one is his "grave concerns about BHP Billiton's ability to contain the 70 million tonnes of radioactive tailings he says will be dumped at the mine site each year."

Tailings, let's not forget, is the material left over after the uranium has been removed. The tailings from the mine will probably contain less uranium than the soil it covers.

Another of his many bloopers: "It will have a much bigger impact than the Maralinga atomic tests that the British chief scientist assured us would not have an impact on our population and women in their 50s are now paying for it with breast cancers."

In fact, Maralinga - like Hiroshima and Nagasaki - is perfectly safe to visit in calm weather or during a sandstorm and no link between Maralinga and increased mortality has been established.

It's not a good idea to inhale it, and dust can be radioactive, but so can beach sand, granite kitchens, caves, air travel, bananas, brazil nuts, and human beings - to name just a few things.

2 comments:

blogstrop said...

As I have said (ad nauseum) it's a case of another day, another interview with a pet expert.
This holds true for almost any subject, but particularly climate (cue John Connor), Australian Politics (van Onselen), American Politics (E.J. Dionne), but strangely not Henry Ergas on anything to do with the economy. Ross Garnaut, however, can range across climate, economics, and Australia's reputation among Diplo-nerds as if he's some sort of roly-polymath.

Egg said...

Aunty needs to clean the dust from her blinkers, they're silted up ...