Mark Z. Jacobson, a Stanford University prof and serial producer of methodologically dubious anti-nuclear studies, has come out with yet another anti-nuclear study, this time claiming to quantify the health impacts of the Fukushima meltdowns that happened in March 2011. In spite of shoehorning the numbers and cherrypicking data—Mark Lynas does an excellent job of showing how Jacobson skewed his methodology toward a preferred outcome—Jacobson is forced to admit that the number of statistically modeled casualties from Fukushima is less than the number of actual deaths caused by the panic mass evacuation of people out of the Fukushima prefecture when it became evident that the reactors had indeed melted down.
In other words, in Jacobson’s own study the real world trumped his imaginary one.
Regardless of that, Jacobson apparently thinks the evacuation casualties were worth it. In the press release announcing the imminent publication of the study, Jacobson is quoted as saying
You still have an obligation to evacuate people according to the worst-case scenario.
The problem is, the worst-case scenario is whatever Jacobson and fellow anti-nuclear lobbyists can dream up. And he has a predilection, evidenced in a previous report, for unbridled flights of imagination: in that previous report (available from the web site of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, a gas-industry funded anti-nuclear lobby group) Jacobson includes, in his estimate of the carbon impacts of civilian nuclear energy, the carbon emissions from cities vaporized during a nuclear war (p. 17). On what basis? According to Jacobson, nuclear weapons are the direct result of nuclear electricity. Therefore any nuclear war can be attributed to nuclear electricity. Logic, and knowledge of history, are clearly not his long suit. I’ve seen more competent argumentation from marijuana-addled teenagers.
The Fukushima meltdowns occurred 1000 days ago. Jacobson’s amateur-hour statistics notwithstanding, there have been absolutely no casualties from the radiation releases from the meltdowns. The only meltdown-related casualties were caused by the panic evacuation, in which elderly and sick people were herded out of their safe homes into a maelstrom of chaos brought on by the earthquake and tsunami.
And why the panic evacuation? Because people like Mark Jacobson have spent their paid professional careers deliberately fanning the fears of nuclear energy.
And here he is today, essentially telling the world that the nearly 600 actual deaths from the ill-advised panic evacuation are preferable to the entirely imaginary 245 deaths that his statistical model burped up.
The world needs to ignore this incompetent, irresponsible ideologue.