Some things that I’m worried about

Posted by in Personal, Politics, Rants, Science, Society | June 25, 2012

There are several things going on in the world right now that I consider worrying enough to write about. These are (in no particular order):

  • Religion
  • WikiLeaks
  • Animal abuse
  • Nuclear power
  • Political corruption in Europe
  • Intellectual property

I’ve started writing about a couple of these (nuclear power and intellectual property), but I never seem to be able to finish because there’s always something new happening that changes my priorities: Julian Assange is denied the appeal for extradition, or a new anti-nuclear demonstration, or the political party that got Greece in all this trouble wins the national elections again.

Since I can’t decide what to write about first, I thought I’d just write this post summarizing what my opinions are, and then decide on a subject based on what gets me the most death threats. Please note that I’m not talking about posting a tweet or two, but writing multi-page posts containing real information about the subject.

So here we go.The following are my opinions.

My main concerns right now are these three:

Nuclear power

I’m pro-nuclear power. I don’t really think that it is completely safe nor clean, but I think that all the other alternatives we have right now are worse. Renewable resources (hydro, wind, solar, geothermal) are almost risk-free, but they are still too expensive and underpowered for our current energy needs. That leaves us with non-renewable (fossil fuel) power stations. These burn coal, natural gas or petroleum to create electricity.

The problem with these is that they produce large amounts of radioactive waste that ends up in the atmosphere, even in normal operation conditions (source). Yes, fossil-fuel power plants are constantly releasing radioactive elements into the atmosphere (mainly uranium and thorium).

In Japan there are 169 fossil fuel power plants (according to this list I could find in the Japanese Wikipedia). These are releasing radioactive elements into the atmosphere every day, yet people are trying to shut down nuclear power stations instead. That, in my opinion, is a big step backwards.

Julian Assange and WikiLeaks

I’m very worried by all that’s happening to Assange. Since 2006 WikiLeaks has been publishing documents showing how governments and corporations have been committing crimes. Instead of being rewarded by showing us, they get sued by banks, blocked by virtually every financial institution in the planet, and Assange faces being extradited to Sweden even though he hasn’t been charged with any crime. Nobody doubts that if he gets extradited he will quickly sent to the USA, where he will just be either killed or sent to Guantanamo Bay.

Right now he’s seeking political asylum in the Ecuador embassy in London, but it is unlikely that he will be able to safely leave the UK because the building is surrounded by UK police (US puppets) waiting for him to come out.

Photo credit:

Summarizing: WikiLeaks gave us proof of criminal acts by governments and corporations, and they’re being punished instead of rewarded. Julian Assange faces a possible death sentence or torture in prison, instead of being given the public recognition he deserves.


I’m an atheist. I don’t believe in god (any of them), but I don’t have problem with religion, as long as believers respect the beliefs of others (or lack thereof). I particularly like Buddhists because they’re usually very nice people who are more concerned about living a good life and improving others’ lives than trying to impose their views on others.

However, that’s not the case with other religions. Christianity in particular is gaining too much political power worldwide through the power it already has inside the government of the USA. Some of the things that worry me:

  • Creationism being taught as fact in schools (a very worrying development in South Korea)
  • Homosexuality and gay marriage: why does the Church think it has the authority to dictate who people want to have sex or spend a life with?
  • Abortion: this is a serious one. The Christian Church wants you to have that unwanted child, even if you don’t have the financial means to give him a future. What’s worse, they don’t even want you to use birth control methods! Meanwhile, people are dying from sexually transmitted diseases (mostly AIDS) because they’re not allowed to use condoms.
  • Obstruction to scientific research: stem cell research is one good example. At least in the USA the government is not providing public funding anymore for embryonic stem cell research due to pressure from pro-life activists, who complain that those embryos are potentially a human life.

These are my opinions. What are your comments?

3 comments on “Some things that I’m worried about

  1. I agree with your opinions but I’m a little ashamed of agreeing with the nuclear one, knowing of it’s dangers. Sure we need power but it’s kind of sad we are not able to optimize another resources until then we must keep with the nuclear one, hoping and praying that nothing goes out of control.

    About the other two subjects, I must say that your opinions are based on pure common sense. :)

    Nice to read you again.

  2. Luen: nice to see you here.

    Yes, nuclear energy has risks. However, my point is that the other options we have now are all worse:

    • Renewables still can’t provide enough output
    • Fossil fuel release radioactive elements all the time, during normal operation (leaving aside the issue of pollution).

    So, the choices I see are:

    a) Use nuclear power. It doesn’t leak radioactivity unless there’s an accident.
    b) Use fossil fuel. Releases radioactivity all the time.

    Between these two, I choose the first one.

    Now, what we have to see here is how likely is it for an accident to happen. Let’s take a look at Fukushima to put things in perspective:

    • The Fukushima Daiichi is a 40-year old power plant, a very old BWR reactor design (PWR is safer).
    • Since the beginning it was plagued with mismanagement by TEPCO: lying in safety inspections, ignoring security warnings, etc (source)
    • It was hit by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, followed by a huge tsunami that killed 15.000 people and that destroyed several towns. Let me say that again: 15.000 people dead.
    • The power plant survived both the earthquake and the tsunami, and only failed later because the cooling systems were flooded. They were in the basement of the plant. TEPCO received warnings that this was a risk, but decided to ignore them.

    So, what I see here is that we have a very old power plant, with retards managing it, that gets hit by a huge earthquake followed by a fucking huge tsunami. It releases Iodine in the atmosphere. Still, nobody dies because of the Fukushima incident (not even the workers and volunteers who were working on site).

    And let me put things in context again: this is in the middle of a natural disaster that killed 15.000 people. How much more reassurance do we need?

    We know that nuclear energy is not completely safe, but I think that we are overestimating the amount of risk (especially the media).

    These are the things I would like to investigate in a longer blog post.

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