Dream wrote:You're really not making any scientific sense here. If your scientific investigations don't prove anything, then they are inconclusive, not proof of a negative. The hypothesis is that known releases of radioactive material from Windscale may have contributed to rates of leukiemia and other cancers in the area being elevated. That hypothesis is perfectly sensible, since we know the pollutants exist in the environment, and we know they are carcinogenic. If studies into the matter have not yielded enough data to establish a link (or for that matter do not exist), that means that the outcome is not conclusive, not that the link isn't there.
You claim the opposite, that the lack of data proves that no deaths are attributable to the pollution. That's bad science, no two ways about it. But even if you could claim that there was data and it agreed with you, you still couldn't show that the pollution hadn't caused any deaths. You could only show that no deaths over and above expected rates occurred. The pollution could still have killed some not insignificant number of people, either within the error bars of the study, obscured by unrelated drops in death rates from cancers of other causes, or passed on through the food chain to other areas or countries.
So drop the claim that "you can't prove there were deaths" means "no deaths happened". This isn't a court, and you don't get presumed right if no-one can prove you wrong. You have to be internally consistent and logical too, and you aren't that.
You are of course correct that scientific method cannot "prove a negative". Of course, the fact that the scientific method cannot "prove a negative" is always seized upon by proponents of anti-technology pseudoscientific crap. For example, you can't prove that cellphones don't cause cancer and kill people, you can't prove that microwave ovens don't hurt people, you can't prove that vaccinations don't cause autism and disease, disability and death in children, you can't prove that fluoridation doesn't hurt people, etc. etc. ..... even if you go looking for positive evidence as best you can and you can never show any meaningful positive evidence of that supposed harm, those mean old scientists still can't prove the negative, while activists with their mommy instincts can still scare people with non-science, non-evidence rhetoric about the positive.
You're likening the release into the environment of known carcinogens to homeopathy?
Ionising radiation is reasonably considered carcinogenic at high
acute doses. It is absolutely without any scientific or epidemiological foundation at all to say that ionising radiation is carcinogenic at any arbitarily small amount of dose
. There's absolutely no evidence to substantiate such a belief.
And anyway, coal-fired power stations give people in the community higher
ionizing radiation dose than nuclear power does. Current anti-nuclear-energy activities in Germany are increasing the ionizing radiation dose that the people are getting.
(And then you can factor in the particular matter, sulfur dioxide, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, and all the other stuff in the coal that creates significant public health problems, not just the radioactivity in the coal, as well.) So if you want to absolutely avoid every little nanosievert of radiological dose that you possibly can, you must not
endorse closing down nuclear power plants and replacing them with coal.