[ RadSafe ] [IR]rational Thought, Busby, and Goethe: was, RE: Rational Thought

Stewart Farber SAFarber at optonline.net
Wed Oct 5 13:15:37 CDT 2011

Hello all,

I appreciate C. Busby feeling the need to explain the nature of his [now
former] yacht which he enjoys sailing, as listed on page 25 of his current
CV, but to paraphrase a famous Brit,  "the man doth protest too much". I
don't know much about sailing, having only taken advantage of some of my
lawyer yacht-owner friends to go sailing. Of interest, Busby mentions in his
current CV also enjoying "sailing" his "65 ton 1903 Dutch Barge Marius
(which belonged to Susan Ross of New York) based in France in which he is
creeping south". How many m^2 of sail does  it takes to propel a 65 ton

Also, who is Susan Ross, the former owner of the 65 ton Barge owned and
sailed by Busby,  other than the name of a character on the Seinfeld TV show
based in NYCity? And no matter who she is or was, what is the point of
mentioning the former owner of one of their recreational possessions in
their CV? I know Charles Dickens' publisher paid him for his books by the
word and this is partly why Dickens' books are so long. But is Busby
compensated from his CV, by the word? I suppose this case could be made
since it is used for him to attempt qualification as an "Expert Witness" in
legal proceedings.

Busby asks what I do for fun.  I enjoy bursting balloons. On point, one of
my favorite quotes is by the Spanish philosopher Georges Santayana:

"To knock a thing down, especially if it is cocked at an arrogant angle, is
a deep delight of the blood"

I have spent some time writing about our favorite foil Busby [and certainly
he to many on radsafe  much to his apparent enjoyment and psychic
gratification since he so craves the limelight in promoting his "science"].
My motivation is my belief that Busby is doing great harm to society by
promoting false fears about certain radiation exposures of small risk, and
claiming major radiation risks that don't exist. I wonder what the "right to
life" movement would think of Busby as he describes on his CV being a member
of many "Learned Societies" [including the Royal Society of Medicine ] if
they understood how many women across Europe [after Chernobyl], or now in
Japan [after Fukushima] aborted their fetuses, because of their having been
scared out of their wits by Busby and other scare-mongers that trivial
radiation exposures would lead with great certainty to their delivering
children with gross mutations. 

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe [1749  –1832 ], the German writer, artist,
biologist, theoretical physicist, and polymath stated:

"There is nothing more terrifying than ignorance in action."

How true. It's also noteworthy that some refer to Goethe today as the "18th
Century Busby".

Attention, either positive or negative, is something craved by any
narcissist so I can see why Busby writes that he is "flattered" by the
attention he's  received on Radsafe -- a discussion board intended for
science based issues, not science fiction. But unfortunately, science
fiction can have a real negative impact on society. In the short term, think
of the radio broadcast by Orson Welles of "War of the Worlds" which kicked
off a widespread public panic, accidents, and injuries. Long term, think TMI
[a "disaster" in which no one died], but foolishly led to the cancellation
of 100 nuclear power plants in the US alone, at a cost to the US of over a
trillion dollars looking at just integrated power costs. 

Today the energy demands of nations have been at the root of many recent
wars leading to large loss of life on all sides and squandering many, many $
trillions of societal resources, both in the present and future. It is a
fact that the greater cost of an Iraq war for example remains to be paid in
the future, after the fighting stops. Any society, whether the US or Iraq,
must care for its badly injured veterans or its citizens who were injured
but did not die in the course of war because of modern means of emergency
care. Many now survive with injuries and disabilities that would have lead
to a larger death rate following injury in prior wars, resulting in
protracted suffering and lifelong costs. 

The 100 US nuclear plants on the drawing boards in the mid-1970s with many
more to follow, would have ensured a very much larger non-fossil electric
supply today. The emissions  of greenhouse gases, mercury and other air
toxics, acid gases, etc. etc which are the result of the large expansion of
coal fired electric generation due to the deficit of nuclear electric
generation from 1980 forward would have been reduced. 

Yes, anti-nuclear fear-mongering does have serious negative consequences
affecting public health and safety, and needs to be opposed. The false fears
and false hopes promoted by anti-nuclear activists are ignored at society's

During the 1988 US Presidential race between Michael Dukakis and George
Bush, Sr.,  I authored a well-received, and widely published, satire about
the health hazards of "strepdukakis antinucleosis". Subsequently,  I was
invited to give a talk to the New England chapter of the ANS on a topic of
my choice, and made a presentation:   "Nuclear Power and Public Information:
Suicide on the Installment Plan"/

This talk reviewed how the nuclear industry had failed so miserably in
countering anti-nuclear nonsense, or even presented any case about why it
should be allowed to exist. However, I gave a few examples of  how negative
press and anti-nuclear activities could be successfully countered if parties
to the fray were willing to leave their trenches, and act in their own
defense. How to do this more involves than space permits here.

Unfortunately, 23 years later little  has changed.

I'll have to post a link to a lengthy Letter-to-the Editor I authored in
1988 to the ANS Nuclear News which the publication titled "Pounding Satire
into Swords". In this letter,  I proposed the formation of the Scientists'
Committee Opposing Radiation-related Nescience" [SCORN]  and wrote: 

"The facts, if they are properly presented, can be used to embarrass
antinuclear propagandists. 

The prior letter was not totally tongue-in-cheek and may be of interest to

If interested, write me off list for a pdf copy of the SCORN letter. Some
may also enjoy my initial 1981 "Loss of Blade Accident [LOBA]" satire about
an actual fatal accident where the President of a wind turbine manufacturer
fell to his death from a wind tower after the wind turbine he was
inspecting, supplied by his firm, at a wind farm in California threw a
blade. There were many letters which followed, some not recognizing the
intended satire in my LOVA letter to the editor, but many finally got it,
and the satirical LOBA letter "went viral" making a useful point on
comparative risk assessment.

Stewart Farber
SAFarber at optonline.net
-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Busby, Chris
Sent: Wednesday, October 05, 2011 8:37 AM
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List;
The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Rational Thought

My yacht Carefree cost £4500 on ebay 5 years ago.It was built in 1953 and is
made of wood: people are afraid of wooden boats nowadays, they want plastic.
But I can fix boats and lived on boats for many years on the River Medway,
including big boats. At one time I was a registered inshore fisherman (54
Ton vessel MV Renovate) and at another was skipper of a 250 ton coaster (MV
Oceanic)  moving ballast. 
I sold Carefree last year for £5000 after recaulking it and various other
So it cost me nothing but some paint, caulking cotton, mooring fees. 
And I had a lot of fun.
Get a life Steven. So much time and effort you spend on me. Im flattered,
but I wonder what you do for enjoyment?

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at agni.phys.iit.edu on behalf of Steven Dapra
Sent: Wed 05/10/2011 02:33
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Rational Thought
At 09:39 AM 10/4/2011, you wrote:
>It is not obvious to me from any of your emails that you know 
>anything much at all.
>Since the wind energy is free any loss of efficiency has to be 
>considered in that context. What is the efficiency of a sailing 
>yacht? It gets you from A to B without any outlay on fuel.


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