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Ivo Vegter Examines the Media’s Response to Nuclear Disasters

Extreme EnvironmentIvo Vegter, author of Extreme Environment: How environmental exaggeration harms emerging economies, has written about the media’s reporting of nuclear disasters, prompted by a recent article by Mary Mycio about the abundance of healthy wildlife living in the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

Vegter argues that this is only considered surprising news if “you’ve swallowed years of environmental exaggeration and some biased science” and comments on the tendency of the media to pander to sensationalism:

“Surprising”, is how author Mary Mycio describes the Chernobyl exclusion zone, where radiation after the 1986 disaster made the land uninhabitable for humans. Yet it shouldn’t be surprising, unless you’ve swallowed years of environmental exaggeration and some biased science.

Everybody knows the names. They live in our collective psyche as horror stories to remind ourselves of our fallibility and hubris. Fukushima. Three Mile Island. Chernobyl. Deadly disasters that warn of the nuclear wasteland – the China Syndrome – that awaits us if we let corporate greed-mongers and mad scientists dictate our future.

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