Herald Sun, as reported by Terry McCann.
We’ve seen such things before — irrational taboos on everything from fish and pigs to uranium and genetically modified crops. The Nuer people of Sudan and Bena Bena of Papua New Guinea, for instance, would go hungry rather than eat chickens or eggs. Tasmanian Aborigines starved rather than catch scaled fish, a taboo brought in some 4000 years ago and not shared by mainland Aborigines. Hawaiians banned women from eating bananas and coconuts until 1819.
And Jews and Muslims will not eat pigs for purely religious reasons.
All such taboos seem to make no sense and only make people poorer, while the powerful use them to show who’s boss — and who’s more moral.
But, while the modern hipster — freed from faith — may scoff at them now, they now bow to the kind of taboos we once took as a sign of the primitive. Uranium and nuclear power have been made so taboo that we still ban nuclear power stations. In fact, Western Australia has just voted in a Labor Government promising to ban new uranium mines, just as Queensland does.
That is despite nuclear stations safely producing 14 per cent of the world’s electricity, while emitting virtually none of the gasses blamed for global warming.
And, no, nuclear power is not at all as dangerous as greens claim. The one nuclear power plant catastrophe occurred 33 years ago in Chernobyl, in a badly operated and dated plant.
Moreover, the death toll was estimated by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation in 2000 to be only 30 over the following weeks, with studies of the surrounding population showing “no increased risk of leukaemia” and “no evidence of a major public health impact related to ionising radiation” other than a rise in thyroid cancers in young children, which is treatable.
So you’d think we’d woken up to such stupid taboos. Yet now we face the terrible consequences of falling for two more. On Wednesday Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull tried belatedly to deal with the grim consequences of the latest — on fracking for gas. He called an urgent conference to stop the country from running out of gas supplies that don’t only fuel your heaters and stoves, but gas-fired plants for electricity.
Much of this crisis comes from exporters selling much of our gas overseas for bigger prices, but another significant cause is our politicians giving in to green claims that fracking is dangerous.
Fracking is a technique to break rocks deep underground with water and some chemicals to release trapped gas. It’s unlocked vast gas reserves in the US, but activists claim it pollutes the groundwater and even puts gas in your taps.