]]]]]]]]]] THE PRO-SCIENCE ACTIVIST'S BOOKSHELF [[[[[[[[[[[ 5/29/88 There are, of course, all kinds of activists, but the type I have in mind is the one who reads AtE: the activist who makes himself heard defending science and technology and busting politically and ideologically motivated superstitions. Nuclear power is a particularly drastic case of contempoorary brainwash (also one in which I am more at home than in, say, genetic engineering), but by far not the only one. The activist of this type has two weapons that CANNOT be beaten except by cover-up, silencing and drowning out with deafening din -- and even then not always. They are FACTS and LOGIC. In addition, your point becomes persuasive if you can show that your opponent is using the debated issue (safety, health, environment, peace) as a cloak for another agenda. Facts alone won't do it. It is not enough just to tell people that the gravitational force making things fall to the floor is the same for all things. You must also be prepared for Aristotle's counter-argument that bigger rain drops fall faster than smaller ones. And if you have no leaning tower of Pisa to demonstrate, you must be prepared to explode false premises. (Let's tie a wooden and a leaden ball together. Will the wood, which you say falls more slowly, retard the lead, which you say falls more quickly? If so, the combination falls more slowly than the lead alone: the heavier, the slower -- the conclusion refutes the premise.) Here are the books that will equip you with both the facts and the logic: NUCLEAR POWER: P. Beckmann, "The Health Hazards of Not Going Nuclear," $7.95, Golem Press, Box 1342, Boulder, CO 80306; B.L. Cohen, "Before it's too late," $13.95, NCEB, Box 7732, Louisville, KY 40207; J.H. Fremlin, "Power production: What are the risks?," $17.45, Oxford University Press, 200 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016. CHEMICALS, CARCINOGENS, AIDS, BIOTECHNOLOGY: E. Whelan: "Toxic Terror," $16.95, (book); also pamphlets (25 cents each): B.N. Ames, "Six coommon errors relating to environmental carcinogens," T.H. Jukes, "The tragedy of DDT," "Garden of Eden Revisited," "Selenium. Paracelsus and Cancer" J.G. Edwards, "Silent Spring, Broken Spring," "Saving lives with Pesticides," J.R. Dunn, "Asbestos - let's get the facts straight" (All of the above authors are Ph.Ds, and most of them university professors). All of these titles can be obtained from National Council of Environmental Balance, Box 7732, Louisville, KY 40207. HEALTH: All of the booklets of the American Council on Science and Health (47 Maple St., Summit, NJ 07901, $2 each) are authoritative, easy to understand and outstandingly well written: "Antibiotics in animals", "Pesticides in your home and garden", "Ethylene Dibromide (EDB)", "Dioxin in the environment", "PCBs: Is the cure worth the cost?", "Diet and Cancer," "Does nature know best?", "Answers about AIDS", "Malignant Melanoma," "Biotechnology," and many more (write for list). [Note that their excellence in science does not translate to politics: they have a pro-government-reguklation tendency.] POPULATION, ENVIRONMENT: J.L. Simon: "The Ultimate Resource," Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ 08540 (was $14.50 in 1981). J.L. Simon, H. Kahn, "The Resourceful Earth," $12.95, NCEB, Box 7732, Louisville, KY 40207. POLITICAL AND IDEOLOGICAL: The classic here is "The Coercive Utopians: Social Deception by America's Power Players" by Rael Jean and Erich Isaac (Regnery-Gateway 1983, $7.45 from NECB, Box 7732, Louisville, KY 40207). Altnough it is now five years old and does not include many of the later leftist sabotage groups (such as the Christic Institute), no activist can be without it for fundamental orientation. To stay informed on these rapidly changing and developing matters, read THE AMERICAN SPECTATOR, POLICY REVIEW and (discerningly) THE NATIONAL REVIEW. Some of the basic articles published by the Isaacs since their book: "Games antinukes play," Amer. Spect. Nov. 85, reprint from USCEA, 1776 I St. N.W./#400, Washington, DC 20006; "Sanctuary Scoundrels," Amer. Spect. Apr. 86; "The nuclear test ban hoax," Amer. Spect. May 87; see also D. Brock, "Christic Mystics and Their Drug-Running Theories," Amer. Spect., May 1988. But the main weapons remain: KNOW YOUR FACTS AND ASK YOUR LISTENERS TO USE THEIR HEADS.
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