Galileo discovered that the sun does not revolve around the earth, but that the earth revolves around the sun. Then a short priest came to him. The short priest says to Galileo who snorts him. “I grew up as the son of a farmer in Campagna. The farmers there are simple people. They don’t know anything about the olive tree, but they really don’t know much else.”
The short priest says: The difference between the geocentric and heliocentric theories is not a mere theoretical confrontation, for farmers sitting by the fireside eating a piece of cheese, chopping firewood with wrinkly, bent hands, and working in the fields. It is a matter of whether or not there is meaning in that difficult and exhausting life. Galileo’s heliocentric theory does not give power to the people. Rather, it will take away the meaning and hope of life.
“If I tell you that they are standing on a small lump of stone constantly orbiting another star in midair, on one of many stars, really on nothing, what will my family say? What is now necessary and useful for such great patience and reconciliation in the midst of deprivation?”
German playwright Bertolt Brecht. Through , one of his representative works, he raised serious questions about the role of intellectuals. Intellectuals do not work. He is a non-productive person. Instead, he devotes himself to intellectual activities, and fulfills his use in the world by spreading the truth he learned so far to the public.
The problem is right there. Unlike intellectuals’ self-confidence, what if the ‘people’ don’t want the truth? What if they only want ‘storytelling’ that makes their hearts flutter instead of stark and cold facts based on science? It is the mission of intellectuals to awaken the people. But if it is ultimately to provide a better life for the people, wouldn’t it be better not to tell the truth sometimes?
Today, the fact that the earth revolves around the sun is no longer a subject of debate. It has been a long time since even the Vatican expressed its will to apologize and reflect on the trial of Galileo in 1633. However, the confrontational structure that Brecht dramatically embodied is still the same. Those who hide or do not tell the hard scientific facts, and ‘short priests’ who believe that it is more right to talk about what the public wants to hear instead of conveying the correct information to the public, are walking around pretending to be intellectuals. .
Let us recall the controversy over the contaminated water at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Fukushima plans to release 22 terabecquerels (22 Tbq) of tritium into the Pacific Ocean each year. It sounds terrifying, but in reality it’s so bland that it’s almost disheartening. Radioactivity is also part of nature. Between 50,000 and 70,000 Tbq of tritium are produced in the atmosphere each year. In the Pacific Ocean, tritium with an activity of 3 million Tbq already exists.
The contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant heads to Canada and the United States first, then returns to Fukushima by circling the Pacific coast, and rarely reaches our sea due to the influence of other ocean currents. Meanwhile, as of 2018, the Kori nuclear power plant has released 50 Tbq of tritium into the East Sea every year, but our sea has not become ‘radioactive’. Compared to the radioactivity produced by nature itself, it is only a minor level. It is as indisputable a scientific fact as the earth’s orbit around the sun.
Of course, public perception does not change easily. Even today, there are people who believe that the earth is flat. There will be people who still adhere to the geocentric theory. Even considering the aftermath of the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear accidents, nuclear power is the safest and most environmentally friendly energy source. It will take more years and more enlightenment for the public to accept these scientific facts as common sense.
The problem is those ‘short priests’. Just like the priests who used the authority of the pope to scare the people by mentioning hell, collecting tithes, and selling indulgences, they are agitating anti-Japanese and anti-American movements under the guise of an anti-nuclear movement. Over the contaminated water from the nuclear power plant that is diluted with seawater, they repeat only the peripheral vows of ‘can I eat it’.
Numerous progressive intellectuals and scientists who admired Brecht and followed Galileo kept their mouths shut. I would be grateful if he did not help out with the Democratic Party’s political offensive. Whatever they say, the truth is clear. Still, the currents turn.
Tags: #50Tbq Kori Nuclear Power Plant #22Tbq Fukushima .. Inciting Fear blind eye facts-