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How Safe Is Safe Enough?

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loadster
User Rank
Gold
Re: intriguing
loadster   5/7/2013 9:53:57 AM
Readers should be incensed. Those Gen I reactors were underbuilt for the location and the underwriters will likely lose their business and reputation for not properly considering the tsunami wave height, critical control points for auxilliary power generation for the storage pools and cooling the piles and having bridging generators susceptible to salt water ingression and destruction. All things powerful and convenient must be respected and defended. The Fukushima operators should not be lauded for being lucky. Their job, compensation and responsibility was to be super terrific 100% of the time. They failed and they know it. Lets not spin it.

Titanic shouldn't have been speeding. The WTCs should have had better sprinklers and elevator systems. Buildings in India should be inspected. And no matter how well we fix the bridge infrastructure around San Francisco and the San Andreas, sooner than we'd like, we'll find out more ways we could do better. Human journey, not a race.

mikec711
User Rank
Silver
Re: Makes you wonder...
mikec711   5/7/2013 9:59:45 AM
As an interesting aside ... after several severe casualties in "sweatshops" in Bangledesh ... workers were asked if they would prefer higher wages or safer conditions.  95% chose higher wages.  So safety definitely is relative and I like the option (I ride a motorcycle for example which is clearly not something that puts safety first).  My fear as people look for gov't to solve problems is a place where the size of your soft-drink is monitored.

 

As for "sweatshops" being in quotes, the conditions and wages are very bad compared to the US.  They tend to be, however, far better than other options in those countries.  So as Nike and others pull out of there for the safety of the people, they will greatly increase misery in those nations.  It is very true that the road to hell was paved with good intentons.

Bunter
User Rank
Platinum
Yup.
Bunter   5/7/2013 10:43:33 AM
NO RATINGS
Great article Charles.

Busybodies (esp. the variety found in the Gummit) love the "if one life is saved..." arguement-but they don't live it.  Would a 25 mph speed limit reduce traffic deaths?  Sure.  Does anyone (Amish excepted) want/advocate one? Never heard of anyone doing so.

Thomas Sowell has an article today on words that substitute for thought.  This type of thinking would fit right in.

We all want to be "reasonably safe", it is agreeing on what that means that is difficult.

Cheerio,

Dennis

Bunter
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Makes you wonder...
Bunter   5/7/2013 10:51:02 AM
Excellent post Mike.  Some of the same covers the "horrible" conditions in the industrial revolution.  People forget that the alternative was starvation for many.

IIRC the population of England was "stable" for several hundred years before the industrial revolution, and then doubled in less than a century.  Mean ol' capitalism has been the only effective method in history of reducing poverty  and starvation.  Socialism has been an effective way to restore it.  Which way is our Gummit heading again...

Enjoy,

Dennis

Intersil_Bill
User Rank
Silver
Re: Auto deaths
Intersil_Bill   5/7/2013 10:53:35 AM
The industry has been under pressure for decades to produce safer cars and they have had amazing success given the price restraints they have to work with.  The problem remains having a 2 ton machine that can go over 80mph being controlled by an organism that can't exceed 30mph on its own and, historically, probably was limited to closer to half that.  Remember that despite clear statistics and years of mandatory use laws, there are still a substantial number of drivers who refuse to use a seat belt and it absolutely astounds me that there are so many drivers who try texting at the wheel.

BillyMoore
User Rank
Gold
Re: Auto deaths
BillyMoore   5/7/2013 11:10:10 AM
NO RATINGS
You want auto safety on par with airline safety?  Easy.  Replace airbags with explosives.  Airline safety is largely predicated on the fact that a crash usually means instant death.  No such deterrent exists in auto travel.  In fact, it's just the opposite.  Cars are becoming larger, faster, more isolated, more capable in acceleration, braking, and cornering.  Result: drivers who drive in a way more risky manner (agressive driving, texting, etc) because the vehicle largely protects them from such irresponsible behavior.  In fact, many specifically select larger, more protective vehicles just so they can operate it in a more irresponsible manner.  And the consequencies of such behavior is largely borne by others.  The airbags, crush zones, seat belts, and vehicle mass do a great job of protecting the irresponsible driver, while the vehicle is wreaking destruction on everything around it.

No, I'm not actually suggesting replacing airbags with explosives, but the situation we have now, with auto related deaths surpassing those from all crime and all but a couple of diseases, is clearly not the answer.  How much is a life worth?  Apparently, not as much as people's sense of entitlement in driving how they wish.  So the "How safe is safe enough?" question, when it pertains to auto safety, is almost impossible to answer, given that improvements in safety are often defeated by human nature.

patb2009
User Rank
Gold
Re: Makes you wonder...
patb2009   5/7/2013 11:26:00 AM
lou

 

if you knew much about radioactive isotopes, you wouldn't be asking these

questions.  Radiation contamination is different from chemical contamination.

Many areas have natural arsenic, chromium, lead, copper, in the water and

it tends to be very stable because it's leaching out of aquifers.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesium-137

 

however radio-isotopes have a half life,  and over most periods of geological time, these half lives go away.  Cs-137 has a 30 year half life, so it's a decay product from 

reactor operations and a few other activities,  

 

if you bother reading the map, it's also a nice distribution of the downwind effects of Fukushima.  

 

the skeptical observer is useful for denying reality, but, for anyone who is consistently denying the reality here, all they need to do to prove their beliefs is start feeding their grandkids food products from Fukushima.

 

ChasChas
User Rank
Platinum
Getting Real
ChasChas   5/7/2013 3:20:31 PM
 

Life in an environment where there were no manmade things was the most dangerous for mankind. They lived short brutal lives.

Manmade things improved the odds immensely, but we still suffer from untimely deaths. Elimination of the odds is impossible and if it were possible , life would be very boring - no thrills.

The balance is where life is the most fun for the most survivors.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Auto deaths
Rob Spiegel   5/7/2013 3:35:13 PM
Good points, Jwa. I recently spent considerable time helping my daughter prepare for driving. She took four months worth of training lessons and I kept a running instruction during before and during her training time with a permit. Given all this, she was surprised by the tons of examples of bad driving she saw -- and often worked to avoid -- by drivers of all ages. So many drivers don't seem to be aware how dangerous driving is. The carelessness I see can only be explained by inebriation or a failure to understand the nature of the danger involved in driving.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Auto deaths
Rob Spiegel   5/7/2013 3:41:44 PM
NO RATINGS
You're right to bring up texting, Intersil_Bill. I have now learned the telltale signs -- doing 20 in a 40, swerving in and out of lanes, a delay in getting started when the light turns green. High consequences have made some progress in driving down drunken driving instances (though not enough by far), perhaps stiff consequences might bring down the accidents, injuries and deaths related to texting.

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