I’m awed at the power and magnitude of the natural disaster — the earthquake which caused a tsunami whose waves washed away entire towns. But what’s utterly perplexing is the man-made disaster, caused by failing to design nuclear facilities (including Fukushima) to withstand earthquakes or tsunamis in a country vulnerable to them. As of this writing, radiation is seeping into the atmosphere, with hundreds of thousands of people at immediate risk.
It’s easy to thank General Electric for showing the world what it cares most about. Ditto Halliburton for doing the same by making news for illegally fracking, just a quick year after the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent three-month “spill.”
Yes, Fukushima and Fracking are related by more than simple alliteration. It’s the never-ending quest not for the grail (of Truth or Light or Connection) but for the lowest-common denominator of more. Ignore the loss of life. Ignore the loss of ways of life. Refuse to plan for seven generations down the line or five degrees of separation outwards.
As cynicism floods my insides, I remind myself just what I believe in.
We never know what will emerge — what appears beautiful may cast deep, dangerous shadows. And we all have a silver lining story.
In the wake of the planet’s anything-you-can-build-I-can-destroy game, Switzerland and Germany have placed replacement plans of its aging nuclear facilities on hold. There are calls for countries in the European Union to run a “stress test” of its reactors. Old die-hards abound, such as Poland. California is also claiming that its facilities are earthquake-proof but Tokyo’s quake measured 9 on the Richter scale; tremors are coming in at 7.2. That strong California? You sure?
At a time when some legislators are actually talking about putting hunters in helicopters to mitigate human migration, we might instead use policy as a tool to help us hunt down realistic solution for our energy needs.
There’s always small shifts we can personally make.
I’m exceedingly lucky to live in a city with adequate public transportation and pedestrian- and bike-friendly attitudes. In fact, I’ve never owned a car, and have designed my life so I don’t have to. (Though with a tax refund imminent, I have to admit I’ve been considering doing so, if nothing else than to get away from the city and into the woods more often. There’s no way around it: every 16 year old knows that a car is about freedom. Thankfully, for me, debt is not and the threat of it has kept me honest.) My electricity is powered by wind farms in Pennsylvania, and most of my daily transportation needs are well cared for by my muscles and bones, which serve the added benefit of keeping me physically healthy and mentally sound. My utility bills are low because of other energy and cost savings tricks I’ve implemented over the years, which I won’t bore you with.
But we likely need more seismic shifts, and that means coordinated planning — and taking the time to make the best decisions possible.
I spent this past weekend on a horse farm in rural Maryland with 7 other people trying to lay out broad goals for a nonprofit over the next three years. I can tell you how enriching the conversations were at times because of our different perspectives and how frustrating the conversations were at times because of the same reason. And what’s needed requires tens of thousands of people working in different industries across many kinds of borders.
There’s something else I keep circling around in my head, about how Reiki’s origins are in Japan, and how if we can find a way to connect to natural energies for personal healing, how do we heal larger fractures using the same energy? I know of people who use Reiki and other sound or light frequencies for environmental healing, but they do this in local watersheds: what do you do when you’re up against splitting and digging and decapitating of the earth itself?
I am certainly waiting to see if the Japanese, with embodied memories of atomic bombings, will stretch in distinct directions than the U.S. did in the wake of the disasters we caused in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico and Appalachia, though I was surprised to learn that they have as many nuclear facilities as they do — all in the name of clean energy.
For the love of all that we treasure, spend your money well upstream so we don’t have to keep paying the price downstream. (I’m thinking switch where you keep your money or debt, and who provides your energy — an excellent start.)
And a special call to send prayers, Reiki, metta and money if you can.
Love & Good Energy For All,
Nicely written, and very valid, all of it.
Thanks my friend.
I always appreciate your thoughts and words. Nuclear sometimes sounds good, until it doesn’t. I went to a ‘summer camp’ near moscow for kids who lived in Chernobyl fallout zones – they couldn’t do much for them, other than give their bodies a short break. I guess we humans don’t learn our lessons because of profit-seeking greed. I guess?
I didn’t know you did that! What kind of healing was being done for them? Did many of them have cancer or other illnesses? Or was it more PTSD stuff from so much exposure to suffering? What was your role there?
And this song just came to mind: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHylQRVN2Qs I have to assume that the GE CEO, Halliburton execs (yes, even Dick Cheney) must love their children too. But when doing scenario planning, they choose quite intentionally to take shortcuts — and even more broadly to support entire industries — that are doomed to cause great harm to planet and people (not to mention our animal buddies and plants and the forests and oceans). For what? It seems super shallow; can’t imagine grown ups being so short-sighted.
Thank you for this post, on levels too numerous to mention. Also, an FYI: DC Environmental Film Fest starts today and runs two weeks. Two films deal with Appalachia/WV mountaintop removal mining, coal extractions effects, etc.: On Coal River (http://www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org/films/show/583) and Burning the Future (http://www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org/films/show/646).
Excellent points Yael…..thanks for sharing this,
I’m amazed that even China is saying “whoa” to nukes at the moment. It’s such a wait-and-see, no?