2008-03-14

Bio-Lab in Athens Creates Concern - WNEG TV

If we get this, I'm putting my house on the market.

10 comments:

Adrian said...

Fraidy cats.

Model Consumer said...

I haven't watched the embedded video yet, and I will, but first I wanted to say: I really think that a lot of the criticisms (at least judging by the signs and slogans) of the proposed lab are very reactionary and based on fear mongering rather than facts and a critical evaluation of them.

Also, it is NOT a "Bio terror" lab. So as far as I am concerned, those signs are just ridiculous. Perhaps you may think that we do not need to fund the study of animal diseases, but to me, this seems like a very reasonable enterprise for our government to sponsor.

I am a pretty liberal dude, politically speaking. (Just ask Adrian!) However, I am a bit alarmed by the reaction of many of my would-be ideological allies on this issue. It's completely anti-intellectual.

Maybe the proposal is a good thing, and maybe it's a bad thing. In reality, it is almost certainly a mix of both. However, name-calling, and scare mongering lower the level of discourse to that of Fox News and Karl Rove, et al. And that sucks.

Model Consumer said...

Interesting video, thanks for posting.

What I'd like to hear, is from "experts" who are not involved in this proposal or with the government.

What makes NBAF different from the CDC? (other than the obvious, that nbaf studies animal diseases...) What I'm getting at, is that certainly the CDC deals with deadly pathogens also, presumably at least some of which have no known cure or vaccine. Yet we are all content to have it located in the Atlanta area and (correct me if I'm wrong) there hasn't been any outbreak of disease caused by an accident there. Why do people assume that NBAF would be any different?

Adrian said...

I know almost nothing about the proposal, so I don't have an informed opinion. However, I will not be accepting information from the FAQ group because they have projected themselves as less than credible with their reactionary and abrasive style.

Mike-El said...

If there was a leak or a breach (and those big, four-legged pathogens started wandering around campus), I think the "negative economic impact" would be about the last thing I'd be worrying about.

Model Consumer said...

@Mike-El: Fair enough. What "negative economic impact" are you referring to? Was that mentioned in the news clip? (I did watch it but I don't remember.) I only ask because you use quotation marks but I don't see anyone who commented here having brought up that issue.

As far as a breach, etc. Again, this assumes that it would happen. Or, to put it another way, it begs the question: is it really impossible to have a secure NBAF? I repeat: if the CDC can be secure, (and it is, is it not? Correct me if I'm wrong), then what's to stop the NBAF from being secure?

I would like to try to clarify something here, in case there are people actually reading this besides us few (and proud) Athens World regulars, I am NOT necessarily in favor of having the NBAF in Athens. However, I'm not necessarily opposed to it either. And that's my point. And, I think a lot of the public debate about it thus far has been based on fear and speculation not based on facts or sound reasoning.

Mike-El said...

Yeah...the last sentence in the posted clip is about the potential "negative economic impact" of a leak or breach.

I was pretty much just being an impish little centaur with my comment. Build it...don't build it. I don't really have a four-legged pathogen in the fight, what with Winterville being protected by its antiseptic Bio-Dome.

Hebbard said...

If they build this place, I'm moving to Canada!

Chad said...

Hello??? Have you ever heard of the CDC in Atlanta?? It houses some of the only stocks of deadly viruses in America, like the Ebola virus. Athens has only 113,000 citizens whereas Atlanta has 430,000 in the city alone! This is the 21st Century, I think we can handle a deadly virus without danger.

1Voice May Represent Many said...

I'm very opposed to it. A former employee of the EPA in Athens wrote a newspaper article listing its many dangers. There are plenty of other ways to provide jobs here without the bio lab.