The recent Japan tragedy brings into sharp focus the ongoing debate concerning nuclear power.
The loss of life and vast property destruction to a global economic power brings into focus with increased acuity the longstanding debate over nuclear power and the right's insistence that concerns about its inherent danger is a non-existent canard being promulgated by the lunacies of a panic stricken left.
Concerns about the potential danger of nuclear power are met with the same measure of ridicule as trepidations about climate change. All too often points raised by scientific sources are trivialized by talk show noise and false bravado. It is given traction by the ranks of listeners who derive comforting assurance by such verbal broadsides.
Rush Limbaugh has been a voluble and persistent source of comments to a sea of faithful listeners eager to devour such appetizing morsels. In the cases of such disturbing instances of global tragedies occurring through climate and nuclear dangers, comfort via an "ignorance is bliss" scenario can be more understandable than other subjects in the Limbaugh lexicon.
It is easy to see why Limbaugh has seen fit to ridicule concerns over global warming and nuclear power meltdowns. Here is a former male nurse working in Sacramento, California who caught a break in the form of becoming a radio talk show host. He soon learned that tuning in to the disgruntled precipitated huge audiences.
Limbaugh marketed right wing anger so well that he moved from status as a local Northern California phenomenon to national syndication, decreeing his New York City studio with the lofty title of Excellence in Broadcasting, or EIB for short.
The Cape Girardeau, Missouri born and bred Limbaugh has no training or expertise in science, but this was of no consequence. Books, papers and pronouncements from the top scientific minds in the world, including numerous Nobel Prize laureates, were ridiculed and scoffed at.
When Limbaugh trained his verbal guns on nuclear power he found a kindred spirit that he quoted frequently. Dixie Lee Ray was an ardent champion of nuclear power who had been President Richard Nixon's chairperson of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, the first woman to hold that position. Ray would later serve a term between 1977 and 1981 as governor of Washington.