Thu, Jun 09, 2011 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTERS ]

Cellphone radiation fears

While the WHO cautioned the other day that radiation levels emitted from cellphones could put them in the same category as other cancer-causing agents such as lead and chloroform — otherwise known as carcinogens — it could take years before the long-term effects are actually known.

By then, most of us today will be dead — from natural causes.

To summarize the 20,000 screaming headlines that made their way around the Internet, the WHO reported that “over the past few years there has been mounting concern over the possibility of adverse health effects resulting from exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields [REF], such as those emitted by wireless communication devices.”

Government officials and educators are now worried about this issue, too, especially in terms of how it affects junior-high and high-school students.

Readers might remember US lawyer Johnnie Cochran of O.J. Simpson fame, who passed away in 2005 at the age of 67 from a brain tumor. Now his daughter is saying she wasn’t surprised to hear about the alleged link between cellphones and cancer.

Noting that her father practically “lived” on his cellphone, Tiffany Cochran recently said her father’s neurosurgeon has always felt, and still believes, that Cochran’s cellphone use might have caused the tumor.

“My father’s doctor has always believed it,” she said. “And he’s always said it may be one of those things where research needs to catch up to societal use of the cellphone.”

DAN BLOOM

Chiayi City

I’m green and pro-nuclear

I am a bicycle-riding, clean air, anti-scooter activist, so people are often shocked when they learn about my pro-nuclear stance regarding the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant. I say follow the global trend of using thorium-based reactor cores and fire that baby up! It is already built — let’s turn the damn thing on! If greens really want to be anti-nuclear, let’s focus efforts on preventing a plant No. 5.

Taiwan’s so-called “environmental” non-governmental organization, the Green Citizens’ Action Alliance (GCAA), recently protested against nuclear power when President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) visited the Wugu Wetlands (五股溼地), its members holding up a banner that read: “Mr President, abolishing nuclear power can reduce carbon emissions too.”

Really? I challenge the GCAA to produce any peer-reviewed science that backs up what I am calling out as a disingenuous, delusional and bogus claim.

What Taiwan’s ill-informed and reactionary anti-nuclear groups fail to notice is that Taiwan imports 99 percent of its energy needs, according to Bloomberg.

Although the proportions change on a month-by-month basis, Taiwan’s nuclear generators provide 13 to 24 percent of Taiwan’s electricity, while 26 to 37 percent comes from burning oil and gas and 29 to 41 percent from coal, according to statistics from the Taiwan Power Co.

If the GCAA is suggesting that we generate less electricity from nuclear and more from coal and oil, it is in fact going against the very eco-message it is trying to promote. Are the GCAA’s members trying to slow down man-made climate change, or not?

The Fourth Nuclear Power Plant would use advanced boiling water reactors and supply 6 percent of the nation’s electricity once it is up and running.

On the other hand, coal, according to eco-champion George Monbiot, is the most carbon-dense of all the fossil fuels and the primary driver of climate change.

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