Now they have a new reason to go on a bender about nuclear power. An article at CounterPunch.org by Janette D. Sherman, M. D. and 'epidemiologist' Joseph Mangano claims that more babies are dying due to...the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant - 35% more.
Where do they get those numbers? It's all about framing. They are both in the 'we hate nuclear power' business, which certainly resonates with their target audience in the pacific northwest and they get to use science-y sounding data - as long as they only use some of it.
Their source is the always comprehensive Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports which, like all good data, can be used for good or evil. When I wanted to show that Alabama religious people are more accepting of science than atheist hippies in Seattle, the CDC let me do it by showing their shockingly low levels of vaccine acceptance for children.
The authors foment their hysteria by carefully picking 8 cities and comparing the average deaths of babies the month prior to Fukushina with the deaths since. Result: Fukushima radiation is already killing babies.
How? Fixing data and mixing in a healthy dose of confirmation bias saves the day once again for the anti-science contingent of the left wing.
Michael Moyer at Scientific American has the takedown.