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Posts Tagged ‘energy security’

Debates Around Offshore Drilling and Oil Subsidies Heats Up, Is There One Right Answer?

by May 17, 2011

High gas prices infographic 350.org via Good.is

High gas prices infographic 350.org via Good.is

With Congress’ recent vote against [52-48] on increasing oil company taxes and a bill to rapidly expand offshore drilling, the oil-fueled bipartisan spirit is yet again filling the air. I happened upon these brewing debates after seeing an intriguing infographic on GOOD Environment, which they take from the advocacy group 350.org.

At Dialogue Earth, we believe in finding a way to cut through the polarizing rhetoric, for example by seeking areas of agreement in the relationship between offshore drilling and gas prices, and moving forward from there.  This way, we will become a trustworthy source of factual information, divorced of the special interests and biases that may affect other sources.

By promoting this infographic, 350.org helps to illustrate the complexity of a piece of the U.S. energy system.  It shows many different aspects that must be taken into consideration when making decisions that end up potentially shifting the foci of where our energy comes from and also, our energy security.

Ultimately, an important goal for Dialogue Earth is to facilitate the creation and connection of a wide range of broadly endorsed, non advocacy information.

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How To Weigh Fairly the Health Risks of Nuclear Energy?

by May 5, 2011

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Photo credit, Sakucae

In her recent op-ed in the New York Times entitled “Unsafe at Any Dose,” physician Helen Caldicott presents a compelling health-based argument against nuclear energy. Specifically, she argues that the long-term consequences of nuclear plant disasters, like at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, are often understated. She argues that medical doctors should be consulted more frequently about cancer risks, rather than policymakers and others relying on evidence provided by physicists. She feels this is particularly true in relation to the risk of cancer from radioactive material that is ingested, such as would happen when foods are contaminated.

As I pointed out in this earlier post (Having A Rational Discussion in the Wake of the Fukushima Daiichi Disaster), weighing the costs and benefits of nuclear energy will obviously have to take into account health risks from radiation following inevitable malfunctions. Caldicott’s piece certainly gives me pause, because of the challenge to get our arms around some of the long-term risks that she cites. (more…)

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