Geoff Russell writes: Re. “Geiger counters, empty playgrounds: dispatch from Fukushima” (yesterday, item 4). Reading Dr Peter Karamoskos’ dispatch from Fukushima sent my rage meter through the roof.

How does anybody in the anti-nuclear movement sleep at night, being the cause of so much suffering?

The article took a long time to get to the nub of the cause of the problem, which isn’t the Fukushima nuclear plant which saved the lives of many people (at least the 400 or so workers on duty) when the tsunami hit, but the fear mongering of anti-nuclear activists who have blown tiny risks of cancer into massive risks. 10mSv … 20mSv … what’s 1 in 1000 when 400 are going to get cancer anyway? And most of those could be avoided with some simple healthy environmentally friendly lifestyle changes.

Wood dust causes cancer. Diesel fumes cause cancer. But is there mass panic when a truck passes people in the street? No. There is mass panic over radiation because of fear mongering. Consider. Japan used to get about 20,000 bowel cancers annually. Now they get more than 101,000.

Work it out … even allowing for the small population increase, this is almost 80,000 extra bowel cancers every single year. And 3.4 million over the next 40 years. What’s Fukushima radiation going to do compared with that? Sweet FA. If people want to worry about an environmental contaminant, then consider the meat on a barbecue, and the barbecue. Aussie meat is a bigger risk to the Japanese than Fukushima radiation. The extra coal fumes they are now producing is probably a bigger risk.

The panic, the trauma, that’s nothing to do with radiation and everything to do with anti-nuclear fear mongering.

CRIKEY: The above comment from Geoff Russell appeared in today’s email as “Geoff Russell, Animal Liberation SA, writes…”. Geoff has informed Crikey that he is no longer an unpaid committee member of Animal Liberation SA.

Lies, damn lies and editorials:

David Griffin writes: Re. Yesterday’s Editorial. The little engineer/scientist/statistician part of my brain exploded upon reading your editorial.

“Count the countries that spend more on education than Australia” it should read “Count the countries that spend a higher proportion of their GDP on education than Australia.” These two statements are related but quite different.

For instance, Mexico’s per-capita GDP is $14,ooo, while Australia’s is $65,000 (USD, Wikipedia IMF data). So in reality Australia’s education expenditure is close to four times that of Mexico, instead of Mexico’s expenditure being slightly higher.

I am not taking into account purchasing power and local wages so we can assume the Mexicans are getting more bang for their buck but still …