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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Low Level Radiation - Definitely Not Bad For You

  A round up of some recent stuff via Next Big Future.

    Main article
Cornwall, a popular tourist destination in southwest England, has four times the level of radon as other parts of the country.
The highest level of background radiation is in the state of Kerala and city of Chennai in southern India, where people receive average doses above 30 millisieverts per year, or 3.42 microsieverts an hour,..

In Brazil and Sudan, exposure can reach 40 millisieverts a year or 4.57 microsieverts an hour.
Background radiation is 50 times higher than New York in the Sudan and parts of India.

Background radiation is 5 times higher than New York in India in general

Background radiation is almost 3 times higher than New York in the UK
Radiation levels are also far higher on planes.

Long term studies do not show increased deaths from the radiation

Environmental Health Perspectives - Integrated Molecular Analysis Indicates Undetectable DNA Damage in Mice after Continuous Irradiation at ~400-fold Natural Background Radiation 
RESULTS: Under low dose-rate conditions, we did not observe any changes in the levels of the DNA nucleobase damage products hypoxanthine, 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine, 1,N6-ethenoadenine or 3,N4-ethenocytosine above background. The micronucleus assay revealed no evidence that low dose-rate radiation induced DNA fragmentation. Furthermore, there was no evidence of double strand break-induced homologous recombination. Finally, low dose-rate radiation did not induce Cdkn1a, Gadd45a, Mdm2, Atm, or Dbd2. Importantly, the same total dose, when delivered acutely, induced micronuclei and transcriptional responses.
CONCLUSIONS: Together, these results demonstrate in an in vivo animal model that lowering the dose-rate suppresses the potentially deleterious impact of radiation
  Not not sufficient evidence or questionable evidence but "no evidence" to support the LNT claims.

  The point about planes is valuable because records of aircrew flight times are obviously available making establishing exposure an arithmetic exercise. And we find:
No extra deaths for air crews who can get flying long haul routes for ten years would get 30-90 milliSv (30,000 to 90,000 microsieverts) and for 20 year would get 60-180 milliSv

  Going to the abstract of the article
Exposure to cosmic ionising radiation, in addition to other specific occupational risks, is of concern to aircrew members. Epidemiological studies provide an objective way to assess the health of this occupational group. We systematically reviewed the epidemiological literature on health of aircrew members since 1990, focusing on cancer as the endpoint of interest. Sixty-five relevant publications were identified and reviewed. Whereas overall cancer incidence and mortality was generally lower than in the comparison population, consistently elevated risks were reported for breast cancer incidence in female aircrew members and for melanoma in both male and female aircrew members. Brain cancer was increased in some studies among pilots. Occasionally trends of increasing cancer mortality or incidence with increasing estimated radiation dose were reported. Ionising radiation is considered to contribute little if at all to the elevated risks for cancers among aircrew, whereas excess ultraviolet radiation is a probable cause of the increased melanoma risk.

  You can see from the way this is written that the intent was to confirm the official position. When you start pointing out that a few cancers are above average you are pointing out the obvious. With hundreds of different types it is statistically certain that some will be above average and some below. Even here, being good scientists reporting results they didn't want, they have the honesty to say that there is a reasonable explanation for one of them.

    But the killer is the "generally lower than in the comparison population". That is not zero evidence for the official theory it is significant evidence for hormesis in human beings.
   It is not, on its own, conclusive evidence for hormesis. However it is not on its own. Professor Cohen's study of the effects of geological background radiation across the USA showed a beneficial hormetic effect equal to half the negative effect of smoking. Also there has been a century of laboratory proof on cells, microbes and plants. There are many many others listed by me here. The aircraft result is merely the cherry topping, but nonetheless important. Even if a few are questionable the overwhelming amount of evidence is conclusive.

   All the moreso since there remains zero, not very little but zero, for the politically maintained theory that low level radiation is harmful. A theory for which there is no evidence is technically called a hypothesis, one for which there is only overwhelming evidence that it is wrong is technically called bullshit.

   The LNT bullshit is not science. No "scientist" promoting it can, by definition, actually be a scientist though in a world where Madonna claims to be one a number of "Cabala scientists" reducing radiation levels by prayer, such government fed leeches, like SEPA, will doubtless continue calling themselves such.

   Without the LNT theory the entire anti-nuclear scare is baseless. Indeed the nuclear industry is the only one which, through its "pollution" has net saved lives. The anti-nuclear fraud has cost the world decades of serious wealth creation and 10s of millions of lives.
  And fortunately an increasing number of real scientists are willing to put their heads above the parapet to say so.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Does Anybody Dispute We would be Out Of recession in Weeks With UKIP's Economic Policies?

   Last night the BBC's This week devoted some time to letting Simon Jenkins promote his lunatic scheme to get out of recession.

   Print £500 worth of notes for everybody in Britain and give it to them.

  As a Spitting Image send up of Keynesian economics this might be worth the airtime though I think it would be too silly for Johns Bird and Fortune to rip apart. It is reminiscent of Keynes' non-serious remarks about burying bottles of £ notes and letting the free market dig them up but omits the stimulus of actually letting the market do the work of digging.

   Such is the BBC. However by comparison I have noted that, even though UKIP occasionally are allowed to appear on abstruse subjects (Nigel Farage being presumably the only politician they could find willing to say that the Mau Mau rebellion is not a current issue). But we never get invited to explain UKIP economic policy.

    I take some pride in the fact that no politician, economist or journalist, except Brian Monteith and somebody from the IEA, who broadly approve, have been willing to say anything  about my 24 point programme out of recession in days - let alone disagree in any way (or do anything). This seems to be very similar to the treatment of UKIP's programme. So lets compare them.

1 - Cut government spending - UKIP say roughly the same, being committed to getting the government back to the number of employees before Labour got in.

2 - Cutting Corporation Tax - Yes, though perhaps not with as much enthusiasm as I.

3 - Cut Business rates - not urgently

4 - Gutting the HSE - certainly a strong general commitment to cutting regulation though again not with quite my glee.

5, 24 - Nuclear Power plants and shale gas - Yes.

9 - Quit the EU. Check.

10 - Almost unrestricted housebuilding using modular methods - UKIP support modularity but not simply letting people build anywhere. Perhaps this is partly local since Scotland has more empty land than London.

11 - Cutting "environmental" restrictions. Yes.

12 - No longer relevant.

13 - X-Prize foundation. YES

14 - When the deficit is ended cut taxes rather than raise government spending. Yes, unlike the rest (e.g Nick Clegg's "I didn't get into politics to balance the books")

20 - Stop subsidising windmillery. Check.

6,7,8,15,16,17,18,19,21,22,23 - Improve roads, adult education, automate rail, artificial floating islands, encourage mass production of nuclear plants, read Pournelle, encourage private X-Prizes, aim to get 2% of GNP into X-Prizes, HVDC international electric grid, call for evidence for the Linear No Threshold radiation theory or its abolition, Orion nuclear rocket programme -- No formal commitment.

   So we are almost at one on the basics. On the particular high tech items they have no formal commitment, with the exception of the immediate X-Prize foundation. However none of these are things on which (A) it is necessary to have an immediate opinion because they would only be started when were beyond the immediate insolvency problem; (B) while some are important they are all subsets of programmes we do have and need not therefore be spelled out; & (C) they are not formally against any (though I admit the Orion programme would require quite a bit of selling, by anybody including myself).
   So basically if nobody can dispute that my programme "would get us out of recession in days" (as I have regularly said on Redwood, Carswell's, Hannan's and a range of other sites) then it seems certain UKIP's economic policy could, at the very least "get us out of recession in weeks".

   Which makes it all the more surprising that the broadcast media simply will not allow discussion of it, while giving space to the purest big state print and spend lunacies.

   Or, assuming the BBC is simply a propaganda organisation with no interest in its legal duty of balance, perhaps it explains it perfectly.

   You will have noted that even where we somewhat differ in not one of these cases is any other BBC supported parties closer or even as close to my view as UKIP. Granted the Tories and Labour both nominally support allowing some new nuclear but in practice 15 years of their rule has not allowed a spade to be turned. No wonder we are in recession.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Vaclav Claus' Defenestrates The EU Bureaucracy

   Czech President Vaclav Klaus' 8 point programme for Europe:
1. Europe has to get rid of the unproductive and paternalistic soziale Marktwirtschaft, “augmented” (which means further undermined) by the growing role of the green ideology.

2. Europe should accept that the economic adjustment processes take time and that the impatient politicians and governments usually make things worse. The politicians should not try to mastermind the markets, to micromanage the economy, to “produce” growth by government stimuli and incentives.

3. Europe should start preparing comprehensive reductions of government spending and forget flirting with solutions based on tax increases. The reductions must dominantly deal with mandatory expenditures, because discretionary spending cuts are – as a long term solution – quantitatively more or less insignificant.

4. Europe should interrupt the creeping, but constantly expanding green legislation. The Greens must be stopped from taking over much of our economy under the banner of such flawed ideas as the global warming doctrine.

5. Europe should get rid of the excessive centralization, harmonization, standardization of the continent and after half a century of such measures start decentralizing, deregulating and desubsidizing its society and economy.

6.Europe should make it possible for countries which are the victims of the European monetary union to leave it and to return to their own monetary arrangements.

7.Europe should forget such plans as a fiscal union or a banking union, not to speak about antidemocratic ambitions to politically unify the whole continent.

8. Europe should return to democracy which can exist only at the level of nation-states, not at the level of the whole continent. It requires returning from supranationalism to intergovernmentalism.
  I wish our Prime Minister had 1% as much understanding or indeed principle.

  Underlinings are my own. This does fit with my 24 point programme. Mine has more specific technological solutions (nuclear power, X-Prizes, modular housing, automated rail) and thus shows more space for statism than his more broad principles. But I doubt if he would disagree with any of them, it is just that such a speech is not the place for so much detail.

   The Czechs are the most civilised and all round comptent nation south of Scandanavia. It is their great historic misfortune that they are largely surrounded by a sea of Germans while we are surrounded by one of open water.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

  A useful article on Forbes "lists the mortality rate of each energy source as deaths per trillion kWhrs produced. The numbers are a combination of actual direct deaths and epidemiological estimates, and are rounded to two significant figures."

Energy Source Mortality Rate (deaths/trillionkWhr)

Coal – global average 170,000 (50% global electricity)

Coal – China 280,000 (75% China’s electricity)

Coal – U.S. 15,000 (44% U.S. electricity)
Oil 36,000 (36% of energy, 8% of electricity)
Natural Gas 4,000 (20% global electricity)
Biofuel/Biomass 24,000 (21% global energy)
Solar (rooftop) 440 (< 1% global electricity)
Wind 150 (~ 1% global electricity)
Hydro – global average 1,400 (15% global electricity)
Nuclear – global average 90 (17% global electricity w/Chern&Fukush)
So nuclear is conclusively the safest.
However that is the "epidemiological" number of nuclear deaths, which means they are using the LNT theory of radiation damage. However that is indisputably evidence free and thus nonsense. In fact there was a conclusive figure for the beneficial effect of hormesis it would almost certainly turn out that the number of deaths was negative.

  However if we simply ignore LNT effects total deaths over the last generation total under 60 (51 for Chernobyl, 2 in an accident in Japan & zero at Fukushima).

   Nuclear electricity has amounted to about 20,000TWh average over the last 25 years. so that gives us 500TWh.

So that should read:

Nuclear - Global average 0.2

Is there any significant industry in human history that has been remotely as safe as that?

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

British Growth Prediction down to 0.2% - Test - Is There Any Part of the MSM Not 100% Censored?

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), has slashed its growth forecast for the UK economy to 0.2% in 2012 (from 2.3% in its June 2011 forecast) and 1.4% in 2013.

Last summer the IMF predicted economic growth of 2.3% this year. Since then the UK has experienced a double-dip recession and if the predictions by the IMF are to be believed, the economy is now not set to recover for at least another year.
           The government's alleged policy to get us out of recession is clearly in taters with the IMF announcement that they expect growth over this year to be 0.2% (about £3 bn in an economy of £1.6 trillion).

           However this is not so surprising since none of the officially supported parties in Britain are actually intent on achieving growth. They all claim to, in the same way they all claim to want a "bonfire of the quangos", to cut immigration, all promised us an EU referendum over the Lisbon treaty, all claim to believe in catastrophic global warming.

           Throughout what has been reported as the "world recession" of the last few years, the world economy has been growing at 5%. If we exclude the EU portion, the rest of the world economy has been growing at 6%.  There is no question that if this is being achieved by even average countries it can be achieved by us.

            All that is required is to allow the free market to work. The correlation between growth in electricity use and the total economy is as close as any relationship in economics. A free market in energy, allowing shale gas & nuclear to develop and not pouring 10s of billions into windmills would, over time, cut energy costs by over 90%. %0% of the money in Britain is spent by the state, which not only produces nothing but whose regulatory busybodies destroy the effort of many millions of productive workers. A free market in housing would allow modular building and cut housing costs across the board by 75%. EU Commissioner Verheugen years ago admitted that EU regulations alone destroy 6% of the economy of the member countries. And so on and on.

          Every serious politician and tame journalist in Britain knows we could be out of recession in days if such political parasitism were ended.

         By definition this means that every politician or tame journalist who denies that we could be out of recession in days if they would end this parasitism cannot be trusted to tell the truth on any other subject either.

         I have just watched a BBC "news" discussion involving representatives of what the polls show are the 1st, 2nd & 4th parties (Labour, Conservative & LibDem). Absent from what the the BBC, untruthfully, call a "debate" was any representative from the sole party willing to put the case for real growth - UKIP.

        Such censorship of political debate is incompatible with any claim that our state broadcaster is maintaining the "balance" legally required under its Charter. A monopoly of broadcast news (70% is an official monopoly & the state broadcasters together easily exceed it in news coverage) is , quite obviously, incompatible with a real democracy.

        The OECD recently suggested the Russian elections weren't fully democratic because the government owned considerably less than half the media and the smaller parties were only guaranteed 21 hours of airtime. How much further from democracy must Britain be?

        One example of how the government could actually help growth, rather than just getting out of the way, is in the commercial space industry. This is growing at £1 billion a year, which means it will make up 1/3rd of the entire British economic growth this year unless the IMF estimate is downgraded again. Yet the total promised future support to our most successful industry will be £10 million - barely token compared the £200 billion to be wasted on windmills. Once again only UKIP - with its promise that the money we give to and is wasted by the European Space Agency, instead be put into technology X-Prizes for the industry. Nobody in any other party even disputes that this would give us a British space plane, but not one of these useless MPs support doing so.

    It appears I one again underestimated the uselessness of our current leaders a few days ago when I suggested growth of 0.5% and thus that the space economy would be just under 20% of our total growth. Clearly it will be about 30%.

   If anybody on the "left" thinks this can be disputed as less than fully truthfiul without making themselves look ridiculous one of them or of my self appointed nemesii will doubtless try.

   If  I find it published, even in a severely edited form (which I have specifically allowed) it will be evidence that there is some part of the British media which is not 100% censored. I will let you know if this proves to be the case.

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Mind of Humanity

  I find this from Kurzweill's site, to be a very beautiful picture. Many thousands of times better art than Damien Hurst's sharks in formaldehyde.  It is a graphic of the links between patents "helps forecast emerging technologies, thanks to an innovative data-mining technique. Developed by Péter Érdi at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest and colleagues, it works by analyzing the frequency with which prior-art (previous patents) are cited by other patents. Plotting how the frequency of these citations changes over time shows that patents can be grouped into related clusters. These clusters evolve, sometimes branching into new disciplines, sometimes merging with one another.

   That we are not only making new discoveries but now starting to learn how the process of making new discoveries works, and thus how it could be encouraged is a 2nd order of progress. I doubt if there are enough prizes won yet but it would be interesting to see patents which won prizes, or were involved in winning prizes, were placed. If prizes are as useful as I think we would expect them to form the longest extensions from the main body of knowledge.

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