Much is being made in the news about the Fukushima radiation leakage catastrophe. Yes, it’s bad. It’s troublesome, but it’s currently not global. If it was, we’d be hearing more about it, not from questionable scare-blogs.
First, we saw a graphic of what was said to be radiation spreading across the ocean. That was a myth. It was an old map of wave sizes related to the earthquake-induced tsunami that caused the plant failure. Then, tehre was a map of fallout. Wrong.
Now, we are seeing scary stories of poisoned ocean populations. Let’s find out more about this. This post appeared on Skeptoid blog and was recommended by a marine biologist, David Shiffman, @whysharksmatter on Twitter as a point by point rebuttal of the Gary Stamper piece that got shared by scared people who are concerned this is an epic catastrophe for the world.
To paraphrase an oft-misattributed quote, pseudoscience can travel halfway around the world while good science is still putting its lab coat on. This would appear to be the case for “At the Very Least, Your Days of Eating Pacific Ocean Fish Are Over,” a hysterical blog post alleging that all fish out of the Pacific will be unsafe to eat forever because of leaking radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear plant.
The piece was written by Gary Stamper, who runs “Collapse into Consciousness,” a website devoted to surviving the supposed coming collapse of society. It went up on August 14th, and has been reposted on numerous blogs and Facebook pages since then. It’s clear that a lot of people have read it (Stamper claims it’s gotten half a million views) and become extremely frightened. Should they be? Is there anything to Stamper’s claims of animals being burned, fish becoming inedible and thyroid cancer skyrocketing?
The short answer is no, there isn’t.
The piece goes on to pick apart some of the “facts” but mostly rumors going around in the media today. There is “hyperbolic hype”, mistakes about leaking radiation vs bomb fallout, factual inaccuracies, conspiracy mongering, warnings about injured and dead animals (even in California where the radiation has NOT reached).
The author of the Skeptoid piece likens the Stamper rhetoric with the Gish Gallop, a rapid fire barrage of words that are so meaningless and illogical you can’t even follow but sound impressive. Get the informed view about this environmental problem before playing a role in spreading misinformation and fear to your friends, family and facebook.
Check out Snopes myth busting on these two related stories.