Hurray! Cancer! (Or Superpowers! Let’s Be Optimistic.)

So, it turns out that the fly ash the TVA couldn’t bother to properly contain is full of arsenic and radioactive materials.

Oh well.  When all the people exposed to it get cancer and get sick and maybe die, then they’ll be bearing the full weight of the cost of coal and then maybe they’ll force the TVA to clean up it’s act.  We’ve been skating by for too long avoiding getting cancer from our power plants and that’s made us soft and complacent.  Only once people know the true cost of coal will we…

Aw, fuck it.  That’s why I could have never been Jonathan Swift.  I have the anger, but I can’t carry through with the satire.

I’ll just be awaiting word from the whole “we must feel the full weight of the cost of coal so bring on the suffering” crew about whether cancer and poisoning is too much or if that is just one more thing that has to be borne in order for us to get serious about the environment.  Hell, I’m sure some of the people who are going to get cancer from this mess probably have flat screen TVs, so they kind of deserve it.

13 thoughts on “Hurray! Cancer! (Or Superpowers! Let’s Be Optimistic.)

  1. Hate to say I told you so but ….. I told you so on January 7…. and I told you so … on Jan. 2. … and on Dec. 30 …. etc. etc. etc.

    And here is the great public health emergency with ALL of this stuff:

    A TWRA biologist told me they actually sell this toxic, radioactive coal ash stuff to make drywall and cinder blocks. This is what they are using to build new homes.

    We’re killing ourselves, people.

  2. Most consumers of artificially cheap coal power would whine all day long if their bill included the cost of taking care of people who got cancer from the wastes piled up in a holler somewhere.

    These same rate payers to this day whine about possibly paying a rate that includes the cost of properly storing the wastes produced by their consumption. But if they started paying for the misery endured by those unfortunate to live in the path of decades of coal wastes, then coal would go out of business as TVA sought cheaper alternatives, like solar. But then cancer and the coal industry very mad.

  3. …but then cancer and the coal industry would be very mad. The best way not to make cancer and the coal industry mad is to keep piling up the waste for whoever is around in 50 years to deal with and keep the power coming and coming without charging me for the full cost for managing the waste and the lives it destroys.

  4. > Hell, I’m sure some of the people who are going to get cancer from this mess probably have flat screen TVs, so they kind of deserve it.

    I’m confused. Flatscreen TVs consume less power than CRTs. Why would flatscreen users deserve this?

  5. It’s a reference to a prior conversation (I’d check the archives but I’m lazy) in which someone held up poor people who buy flat-screen TVs as the example of people who deserve their economic punishment because they’re improvident and stupid, yadda yadda…

    It’s related to a strain of illogic that certain people who have bad things happen to them must have somehow put themselves in the way of harm by their own actions or inactions (like living in Tennessee and being too poor to move).

  6. Christian, when the day comes that you realize that the people this is happening to are the very people who pay for it, I will faint from shock.

    Indifferent children, yes, exactly. Christian is unconcerned with rising energy prices here in Tennessee (where 1 in 10 people can’t pay their energy bills) because only when we realize the true cost of coal energy will we change–even though everyone here realizes that coal is expensive and will kills us and we also realize that the TVA has a monopoly and so they can do what they want and we kind of just have to suck it up and take it. And then, if I’m remembering right, he claimed that many people who don’t pay their energy bills are just money wasters who still have flat screen TVs, and I accused him of weirdly driving around staring in poor people’s windows in order to judge them and their consumption habits.

  7. > because only when we realize the true cost of coal energy will we change

    This pushes one of my ‘buttons’: externalities. Businesses ‘externalize’ (push off on someone else) as many costs as possible.

    If you haven’t seen it, the DVD, “The Corporation” talks about this, and other issues related to businesses, fairness, and sustainability. If buying/renting the DVD is difficult, you can watch it online at

  8. Exador, they’ve already raised the rates. And people have frozen. And, more alarmingly, they weren’t noble! They were assholes! Who will speak up for the assholes who still don’t deserve to freeze to death?

  9. Exador, you know that when the day comes when you’re the asshole in danger of freezing to death, you’re always welcome to stay at my house. Shoot, I’ll even make room for you (and the Mrs. if she’s adventurous) in my bed. You don’t have to stay on the couch.

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