Some recent examples, news about troubles far enough back to allow a little perspective but near enough to be fresh in memory: First, updating Fukushima: http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/S...-Plants/Fukushima-Accident-2011/#.UVstQkr_rKY Now I chose that link specifically because it is firmly industry friendly, a solid and eager proponent of nuclear power, and delivers all the false reassurance possible - everything downplayed, everything low key, all unknowns estimated favorably (they claim the plants suffered no damage from quake itself, no one anywhere has been seriously radiation afflicted from it, etc). So we can prudently and conservatively take alarm at anything alarming in it, be surprised at anything surprising. And we read the following: two years after the tsunami, nobody knows yet where the cores of the three meltdown reactors actually ended up, or where the leaks we have noticed are coming from. (We recall that it took ten years to obtain that information at Three Mile Island - the fact that some twenty tons of the core had melted and flowed from the reactor vessel into the outer minor debris containment shell, that what saved us from a Chernobyl in 1979 was five inches of steel not designed to take the stress it seems to have by some miracle withstood, was not established by the experts until 1989.) Elsewhere in the account we can read that Fukushima Daini, the sister set of reactors a few miles away, despite being hit by a much smaller wave, lost all cooling power except from one diesel generator by chance installed on higher ground, and for a few days it had been a "major challenge" (their term, in a consistently understated account) to prevent meltdown in those four reactors as well. We can read that 23 of the 24 radiation monitors at Daichi were taken out by the wave - no radiation release "information" from the immediate aftermath of the wave was or is based on actual instrument readings. And so looking back on what the industry and government experts were saying in the near aftermath of Fukushima, we see that they were pretty consistently misinforming us about most of the serious stuff. Just as the they were after Three Mile Island. And just as they had been about the safety and reliability of nuclear power plants for fifty years running. Do you recall the blow by blow accounts of the tense battle to save Daini from joining Daichi in meltdown? Neither do I. - - - - - - Honeybees : we read in last Friday's news that the continuing affliction of mysterious mass death in honeybees is worse this year, at least in the US and particularly among the bees scheduled to pollinate California's fruit and nut trees and other produce. The reason I mention this is to bring in the role of experts in the matter. Because the honeybee is one of, if not the, most thoroughly studied and researched organisms on this planet. And among the various proposed possibilities for the cause(s) of this affliction (which include pesticides, GM crops, etc) we find supposedly thoroughly studied areas of industry endeavor, about which we have been receiving high volumes of reassurances from experts (and of their mockery of critics). And yet these factors remain proposed causes, possibilities, unknowns: when serious trouble hits in the dead center of their fields of expertise - of a kind long predicted by these mocked critics and amateurs, btw - these experts not only did not predict and forestall it, they don't even know what's happening or what to do. They plan on researching the matter, and getting back to us - which would be an improvement on the actual misinformation we get from the nuke experts, if they were not still promulgating the very reassurances their current bee bafflements invalidate. So the question becomes: can we, finally, in the wake of the latest (those two are clear, but not exhaustive), competently approach the topic of risk in an area of valuable but unavoidably and visibly biased, inadequate expertise? Can we establish some acceptable and reasonable and adult way to keep inadequate expertise in its properly limited and advisory role, subservient to prudence and clearheaded recognition of the scope of the unknown?