Monday, May 2, 2011

Japan's Nuclear Crisis: No Longer Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

I would first like to say that we need to pray for Japan and the teams responding to the catastrophe at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.  May they be spared from further devestation for the good of life on planet Earth.

Japan's nuclear crisis is highlighting the question of whether nuclear power is sustainable.  The answer is an emphatic NO.  Humans are neither capable of safely operating nuclear power plants nor are they prepared for such adverse natural disasters, much less geologic changes throughout long periods of time.  There is too much risk in using nuclear power, which the Fukushima crisis is sadly illustrating.  If we cannot adequately deal with the downside of using a technology, maybe we should not be using it.  Research and design is one thing, arrogance and ignorance are another. 

International institutions should see what options are available for substantially reducing energy consumption.  Like a holistic doctor might prescribe a patient, we need to address core issues affecting the health of our world by redacting the amount of abstraction the current energy economy generates.  Conservation will have to reassess the viability of nuclear power plants that are currently in operation.  We must close the gaps between our means of sustaining life and the pitfalls of fossil fuel and nuclear energy dependency.  In the past year, we have experienced the Deepwater Horizon explosion, unrest all over the Middle East and North Africa, which affects OPEC production, and now the Fukushima nuclear crisis - all huge events that are directly related to the structure of energy economy.  We are sustaining ourselves on technologies and processes that we cannot control, much less claim we can.


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