People & disasters

Miki has returned from Chile and Argentina, and I’m going into my fourth week of IV antibiotics, I’m feeling a whole lot more like my usual self, so my world has been up-righted. In the meantime…

The tragedy of Japan continues to unfold, as more bodies are being reclaimed from the rubble left behind by the twin devastation of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, while thousands more remain unaccounted for, presumed to be also dead. Radiation continues to seep out from the damaged nuclear reactors, affecting food and water supplies in nearby areas, while continuing to keep the specter of a full nuclear meltdown in the minds of everyone concerned. As engineers heroically battle to cool damaged reactors at the risk of their own lives, we are left with our growing unease about the safety and wisdom of nuclear power not just as a local but a global issue. Can any nuclear plan be built to withstand an earthquake of 9.5 magnitude (the largest recorded quake that hit Chile in 1960) and the tsunami that’s likely to follow? Can human error, and the desire for profit over safety, ever be designed out of any future reactor? Are we now going to rebuild and redesign our current nuclear power systems to meet the greater safety standards that (hopefully) will come from the lessons of Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and now Japan? If history provides a blueprint for the future, the answer, sadly, is “not likely.” (In one of the not much reported ironies of this tragedy, a documentary movie made by a female Japanese filmmaker pointing out the safety issues uncovered at the currently damaged nuclear plants was playing in Tokyo as the earthquake struck the country.)

Japan relies on nuclear energy for thirty percent of its current power requirements. In some countries, such as France, that number is significantly higher. Unless a hitherto undiscovered means of energy production were to be found, the world at this time is not able to realistically eliminate fission power without major reductions in energy production. For as long as we continue to double our population at the rate we have been doing, we can expect to face not only further energy crises, but also looming disasters in the areas of food production and the rapid destruction of irreplaceable natural resources. In what is a zero sum game, the likelihood of economic and physical conflict will continue to grow, with the stronger wresting from the weaker that which they require for ongoing survival.  The longer people, governments and religions ignore the threats that over population creates, the less likely we are to find an answer that will assure the peaceful survival of mankind.

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5 Responses to People & disasters

  1. Beth Marie says:

    Wonderful news to read that you are feeling better and that your wife and friends have returned home safely.
    My thoughts and prayers are with the people affected by the disaster in Japan and that you continue to make a full recovery.

  2. thebuzz16 says:

    I’m so happy you are here, I was afraid I’d lost touch with you! I haven’t checked my feeble attempt at a blog here in several months, but today I decided that I needed to write and would try the blog I started here in October and, lo and behold, there you were in my comments.
    Jorge, I’m so sorry to hear that you are ill and it sounds serious! So happy to hear that you are responding to antibiotics. So good to hear your wife is home and you are not alone.
    I haven’t been to Chile since 2000 and I miss it. Hope I get to go back one day. I could so easily live in Chile and right now that looks good!
    Again, happy to be in contact with you again. I’ll check in on you often.

  3. Holy says:

    I’m glad she’s back but 4 weeks on IV? Double wow.

    We are living in a world where eyes wide shut is the modus operandi. Where ever can we be headed, mewonders?

  4. truleeyours says:

    A little sunshine can be very healing. I’m glad you have raised the issue of population threat to humankind. I like this post.

  5. Jana ♥ says:

    you wrote this post so well but it is very disturbing post and I don’t see any repair to that problem. Overpopulation is controversial as the most advanced countries are actually loosing population, at least in Europe and I know for sure in my country Czech Republic as well. On the other hand the less fortunate countries are overpopulated and face a big problem. Plus people who needs to have power and money. As you said, I don’t see any bright light from it.
    Four weeks on antibiotics sounds too much! I guess, as you didn’t mentioned anything in your last blog that you must feeling better. I hope I am right.

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