SALT LAKE CITY — A bill sparked by a KSL investigation into Utah’s non-existent radon gas laws will not make it through the legislature.
The bill’s sponsor, Senator John L. Valentine, R-Orem, said the Radon Gas Provisions bill request hasn’t even been drafted. It’s apparently stuck in line at the drafting office with hundreds of other unprocessed bill requests.
“We made budget cuts over the last number of years just like all the agencies did, so we’re seeing a very slow process in getting bills through our offices,” he said. “It’s very much jammed in the system.”
Now, instead of a law to help protect Utahns from exposure to radon gas, Valentine has crafted a concurrent resolution asking for voluntary compliance.
“I don’t like to do laws just to mandate laws just for the sake of mandating. I do like to have people do voluntary things that are in their best interest,” Valentine said. “I think that’s where we start with the concurrent resolution.”
Garbage in, gospel out
As an environmental engineer in the radiation engineering consulting industry during the mid-1990’s, I was directed to use similar conservative assumptions to complete risk assessment reports. These final reports were forwarded to the EPA, then to the public. Some of us remember a term invented by computer nerds like myself back in the 1980’s: “garbage in, garbage out.” This means that when inputs to the computer were unreliable, the output should be considered to be unreliable as well. As scientists, we often joked that the term should be “garbage in, gospel out.” It’s easy to arrive at a more dramatic bottom line via computer when you feed in more “conservative” assumptions.
Being conservative is what environmental professionals are expected to do. The reasoning is that it’s better to be conservative — even perhaps extremely conservative — than to have your work called into question for perhaps understating the risk.
SNIPPED: The recent reactor meltdowns in Japan have ignited passionate worldwide debate about energy and the future of nuclear power. PANDORA’S PROMISE is a feature-length documentary that explores how and why mankind’s most feared and controversial technological discovery is now passionately embraced by many of those who once led the charge against it. The film is anchored around the personal narratives of a growing number of leading former anti-nuclear activists and pioneering scientists who, in the face of considerable controversy, are directly challenging the anti-nuclear orthodoxy that is a founding tenet of the mainstream environmental movement. Their stories and ideas will be brought to life through a combination of incredible archival footage from 1945 to the present and original filming across the globe.
Operating as history, cultural meditation and contemporary exploration, PANDORA’S PROMISE aims to inspire a serious and realistic debate over what is without question the most important question of our time: how do we continue to power modern civilization without destroying it?
For the climate change buffs (and skeptics) – here are some resources collected by the host of the below link: