Guest sarcastic commentary by David Middleton
I’d like to assume Ross Pomeroy’s title was sarcastic…
Humans Are Worse for Wildlife Than Nuclear Radiation
By Ross Pomeroy – RCP Staff
In the wake of the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster in March 2011, at least 164,865 people were evacuated from their homes as far as thirty kilometers away. Most have now returned, but some 40,000 people are still unable to do so, as the government prohibits lodging in areas where the annual radiation dose exceeds 50 millisieverts, roughly equivalent to three full-body CT scans.
But where humans are absent, wildlife has flourished.
University of Georgia wildlife biologist James Beasley and a team of colleagues recently set up 106 cameras in Fukushima’s evacuation zone and captured more than 267,000 images of animals over 120 days. Wild boar, hares, macaques, pheasants, foxes, raccoon dogs, martens, bears, and civets were a few of the many creatures spotted. Beasley and his co-authors found no evidence that radiation exposure had harmed animal populations.
What Beasley noticed around Fukushima echoes what scientists have already discovered around Chernobyl, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster: where humans are absent, wildlife thrive.
[…]Real Clear Science
This immediately made me think of a scene in Avengers: Endgame (Spoiler Alert)…
May 7, 2019
The Science Of ‘Avengers: Endgame‘ Proves Thanos Did Nothing Wrong
JV Chamary, Contributor
I write about science and technology
At the end of Avengers: Infinity War, the villain Thanos acquired the infinity stones for a gauntlet that let him snap his fingers and turn half the population to dust. In doing so, Thanos believes he’s achieved his goal, a universe free of suffering. His reasoning is simple: on a planet with too many people and limited resources, the survivors have more than they need, solving the world’s problems.
Spoiler Alert! This article contains mild spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.
The idea that Thanos did nothing wrong has become an internet meme, but the joke does have some truth to it — and Endgame provides the proof.
During a conversation between Captain America and Black Widow early in the movie, five years after the events of Infinity War, Cap mentions crossing the Hudson River in New York and says, “I saw a pod of whales when I was coming over the bridge.” That one line implies a bright side to Thanos’ actions: they were beneficial to the environment.
Thanos believes he’s performing a necessary evil that’s required to achieve a greater good, actions with the side-effect of promoting long-term biodiversity on Earth. Why would the Avengers want to reverse the effect of the snap? (READ: The Confusing Timeline of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Explained)
The Avengers are guilty of putting the grief of survivors above the health of our world. From the planet’s point of view, it’s the superheroes who are the bad guys. Reversing Thanos’ actions is a selfish endeavor that reflects the fact we humans put ourselves at the center of everything, a philosophical viewpoint called ‘anthropocentrism‘. Nonetheless, we can still ask whether a smaller population would reduce suffering in the surviving people.
Technically, Thanos didn’t just wipe out half of all people, he wiped out half of all life in the universe. So, his actions weren’t good for all wildlife… But, these two articles lead me to a few conclusions:
- Wiping out or drastically reducing the human population on Earth, would probably be good for wildlife… Who fracking cares? It would be really bad for people and domesticated animals.
- The planet doesn’t have a “point of view.” Just ask George Carlin.
- The government’s reaction to Fukushima killed more people than Three Mile Island, Fukushima and Ted Kennedy’s driving… combined.
- If not for NIMBY’ism and irrational fears about radiation, most of our electricity would be generated by nuclear power plants… And Earth’s average surface temperature wouldn’t be significantly different than it is.
- Godzilla and all of those classic radiation-mutated movie monster movies were actually just science fiction.
- It’s a crime against humanity that Avengers: Endgame only received one Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects. It may not have quite been Return of the King… But Robert Downey Jr. and Alan Silvestri deserved nominations respectively for Best Supporting Actor and and Original Score.