Rational Risk Assessment and Fuel Prices

Jack wrote this in September, 2005:

America’s had a fetish with avoiding risk-taking for a couple of generations now. They don’t want to take any, no matter how minuscule, and they want to go into hysterics when they discover one out there they hadn’t thought of.

I’m sorry, bloggers, but Americans are (selectively) pure, yellow, lily-livered cowards about doing things that might shorten their attention spans this lifetime.  Those red-white-and blue ribbons you’ve got sticking to your fender ought to be pure yellow, not because you support your troops, but because you are a disgusting, craven, sniveling coward.

They destroyed an entire Washington apple crop once because there was a one in 500 buzzillion chance the red dye used on the fruit might give someone cancer (turned out it didn’t)

They indulged in hysterics, first over people smoking in work places, then restaurants, and now almost anywhere because of the risk of cancer from second-hand smoke.

They put airbags on the steering wheels and hired men with guns to make certain everyone fastened his seat belt to keep him safe and reduce risk and run the price up on cars so high a steadily decreasing number of Americans can afford one.

Fretted something awful about motorcycles ridden by guys they hated the looks of (me) riding around without helmets. Even tried to force motorcycle riders to wear seat belts, knowing that would be a sure killer. Finally they all got old and affluent enough to buy full dress Harley’s themselves, and really didn’t care for the idea of being handcuffed to a scooter in the event of laying it over.

And so, ad infinitum.

Somewhere, lost in all that trying to live forever and create a zero risk reality for, not just themselves, but for everyone, they shut down the only near-zero-risk, cheap source of energy this country had.

Nuclear power plants.

If you wet your pants at the thought of nuclear power of the US variety you might find you’re more frightened of the consequences of gasoline at $5 a gallon.

One’s only about a zillion-to-one risk, whereas the other’s a lead-pipe cinch.



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