Apologies for not getting to reply to emails and to the comments from the last post, several will take some time and there are a few one liner posts to throw out in the mean time. This is one.
I've been following the events at Fukushima with some interest, particularly as we live about 15 miles from Sizewell B, the UK's only commercial pressurised water reactor. One of those I've browsed is this one from the NY Times on the subject of the effect of the disaster on the populace of Fukushima city, where anger at the government's handling of the situation is becoming quite extreme.
"A huge outcry is erupting in Fukushima over what parents say is a blatant government failure to protect their children from dangerous levels of radiation. The issue has prompted unusually direct confrontations in this conflict-averse society, and has quickly become a focal point for anger over Japan’s handling of the accident at the nearby Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, ravaged in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami."
Conflict-averse society is an interesting phrase, certainly to me, as I have just started to re-read Malcolm Carruther's book "The Western Way of Death". I read it as a 20ish year old bloke and stopped fitting half-race cam shafts to the engines of assorted Morris Minors and switched to a Volvo when I got the chance. The current MX5 I drive was not my idea and I still try to follow the advice to use a driver's seat as a mobile arm chair.
Carruthers is highly entertaining in his approach to the cholesterol hypothesis of CVD (it's bollocks, I paraphrase loosely). He focuses on the emotional and catecholamine triggers for heart disease, far more in keeping with a hyperlipid point of view. Adrenaline releases glucose and FFAs at the same time, a bad mix if you are sedentary, okay if you are legging it up a tree when you accidentally almost walk in to a white rhino in the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi game reserve. A foot safari is great...
To get back to the concept that Japan is a "conflict-averse society" and Carruthers' hypothesis that aggression, greed and ambition are major drivers of CVD. You have to decide whether the appalling rice based diet of the Japanese is responsible for their apparently low rate of CVD or whether is it their reluctance to indulge in conflict within a highly structured society which provides the CVD protection. A conflict-averse society...
This links straight back to Marmot's paper, based on his PhD thesis, where Japanese emigrants who maintained a Japanese lifestyle but who adopted the SAD of the 1950s were markedly protected against heart disease. Especially compared to those who behaved as Americans but still ate the traditional Japanese diet. Here is the figure which matters
A detailed explanation is here.
This brings to mind the potential for marked injury to the residents of Fukushima, to the point where the injury from anger might outweigh any potential benefits from the hormetic effect of a modest increase in exposure to ionising radiation.
Anger is bad for you.
Fukushima is an angry city. This is far more worrying than the increase in ionising radiation exposure.