Are international concerns about Japanese atomic problems skewed? Could our media-fueled worries lead us to poor energy policy decisions?
It seems counterintuitive to think, but consider this chart from ProPublica:
Oil and coal, some of the leading global energy sources, appear far more deadly.
Or these comments from a BBC article:
More than 10,000 people have died in the Japanese tsunami and the survivors are cold and hungry. But the media concentrate on nuclear radiation from which no-one has died – and is unlikely to.
If these observations are correct, then we need to reassess our thinking about nuclear power. Perhaps we’ve become so accustomed to coal- and oil-driven deaths that they are no longer spectacular. In contrast, nuclear terror is more bizarre, more weird, a better media play.