Smash Company Splash Image

March 23rd, 2011

In Philosophy


Coal is more deadly than nuclear power

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:

The eco-system of the Earth can not survive in anything like its current vibrant state, so long as there are 6 billion or more humans on the planet. People live in denial about this fact. People want to have children, and they do not want to face up to the consequences of having children. Like anyone running from an important truth, people get defensive, and they look for scapegoats. The last few weeks have given people a chance to vocalize their concerns about nuclear power. While there are many, many valid reasons to be concerned about nuclear power, very few people are forthright enough to say “I prefer to have the planet destroyed by coal, rather than nuclear power.” Because that is the choice we face. Every society depends on coal, so no society wants to face up to the destructive power of coal. But coal is destructive. It also lethal. Consider this chart:


Check out my book:


October 18, 2018 7:15 pm

From Ahmed O Ali on The multiplicity of truth during the era of the Internet

"I think that the old attempts to unify the truth are the result of power, but today we are going to facts that..."

October 9, 2018 11:18 am

From Justin McGuire on Susan Kare invented the modern world

"I picked up her ICONS book a while back. It's an inspirational little art book, great for a geeky coffee table..."

September 20, 2018 5:23 pm

From Wayne on Have I been shadowbanned from Hacker News?

"Yep. I was also shadow banned from hacker news. Also, I saw a guy get banned from Hacker News for commenting t..."

August 27, 2018 1:04 pm

From Dave Paola on What's wrong with Hacker News

"I agree completely, although HN does support RSS feeds for user comments. I use this to follow people I respec..."

August 21, 2018 11:48 am

From Nanacy on AWS does not protect you from devops

"Very good post. Please have look for AWS and DevOps Training online or corporate ..."

August 18, 2018 4:59 am

From Cat Mara on How to deal with a psychopath

"One of my favorite passages in the book. Like a lot of people in tech, I'm pretty introverted & would do a..."

August 17, 2018 9:37 am

From Richard Caldwell on Poland was shockingly liberal during the 1400s

"We may not have been taught this in school, but it wasn't forgotten by the Powers That Be. Whereas today’s mor..."

August 17, 2018 8:23 am

From Mikołaj Hołysz on Poland was shockingly liberal during the 1400s

"Most of this is not taught in polish schools either. I'm a pole myself and I haven't been taught most of those..."

August 17, 2018 7:01 am

From ignaloidas on Poland was shockingly liberal during the 1400s

"I'm glad to see that people start to learn this part of history. I'm not from Poland, but from Lithuania, and ..."

August 17, 2018 6:52 am

From Tom on Poland was shockingly liberal during the 1400s

"Thanks for this great article. All this would probably be clearer to the world if our magnificent neighbours ..."

August 11, 2018 8:10 pm

From lawrence on Why does anyone use Python?

"I should add, I feel that Python 1.x and 2.x added something to the world of technology. Early Python was both..."

August 11, 2018 10:44 am

From lawrence on Why does anyone use Python?

"Ryan, about this: " the default should be to not try to install packages system-wide". Agreed. I think that is..."

August 10, 2018 8:23 pm

From Ryan on Why does anyone use Python?

"I suspect your problem is that you missed the step in the instructions where it told you to run all those comm..."

August 5, 2018 4:41 pm

From Howard Ormsby on A developer asks for help, then gets angry at those who help them

"This one is very intense reading thank you..."

July 27, 2018 12:04 am

From Just An Observer on Why do women drop out of co-ed sports?

"Many coed leagues require a certain %age of women players, like volleyball 2 out of 5, in a lot of leagues. ..."


March 25, 2011
2:03 pm

By Kelly Janes

This is very interesting, and I have some questions. How is the nuclear “death” rate determined? Are they only counting deaths that happen as a result of meltdowns and emergencies like the one they are currently experiencing in Japan? Do they track the radiation effects down family lines? If my two year old were exposed to radiation from a nuclear facility meltdown and became infertile as a result, would that show up in this chart?
On the other hand, I’m curious to know if the oil and coal deaths include only catastrophic events, or if they have devised a way to estimate all the deaths that occur as a result of our use of the fuels. Many questions!

March 25, 2011
3:14 pm

By lawrence

Kelly, those are good questions. The original article is here:

As it says there:

“The air pollution data is mainly from the World Health Organization and the european study Externe. The World Health Organization compiled peer reviewed health studies on air pollution from many institutions. Occupational health and safety statistics track the deaths of workers in the different industries.”

My sense is that the WHO released a meta survey of other studies. Such studies always need to be taken with a grain of salt. In the end, we can never know for sure how many deaths are caused by any particular energy source. For that matter, we can never know how many people die due to the sun. We have only estimates and uncertainty, as we grope forward in the dark.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>