We object to some of the general attitudes that appear to underlie this paragraph. As one major example, the paragraph fails to mention its beneficiaries as major determinants of schemes for their own benefit. As another, we note that there are problems that cannot be fruitfully solved with money. The subject is politically more complex and philosophically more sophisticated than this paragraph indicates.
But if we place great reliance on CONAES’S study projections (which are in reality ranges of possibilities), we may well turn out to be wrong, with far-reaching consequences.
By this risk is meant the probability times fatal consequences, both delayed and prompt, integrated over the full spectrum of possible accidents. If the probability distribution of each event is assumed to be log normal, then the mean is much larger than the median, and hence the mean fatality rate is sensitive to the width of the error bar attributed to the accident risk calculations. The events that make the greatest contribution to the mean risk are those that lead to small incremental exposures over background to relatively large populations; hence the mean risk is also sensitive to whether the linear dose-response hypothesis is adopted.
The energy/GNP ratio of the United States started to fall in 1923 (Figure 2– 2). Six years later came the Great Depression, which continued until World War II started in 1941. Is this significant?
It is most unfortunate that this document nowhere gives adequate attention to the role of population growth as a primary variable driving the growth of GNP and energy use. Over the last 100 years, population growth has been roughly equal in importance to increasing energy use per head in producing the growth of total U.S. energy demand. In the most recent part