I wrote this up and sent it to some friends last April 2, when the Fukushima disaster was still in its earliest stages. It doesn’t seem any less appropriate a year later.
What we should be doing
Have been thinking about our reaction to the nuclear disaster in Japan, and realizing that my reaction has been natural to me, but wrong.
I have spend decades watching stupidity, cupidity, timidity [feel free to add any additional “-ity” words that come to mind; they’ll probably be appropriate] create the conditions not just for this problem but for many far worse. For decades – six, if you haven’t been counting – it has been clear that nuclear power can never be considered safe until they know what to do to treat their waste products and make them safe. So far we’ve had six decades of promises and lies and no solutions, no approaches to solutions, no glimmer of a possibility of a solution. Etc., etc. Same thing for reactor safety. The US Navy’s aircraft carrier and submarine record is splendid; the domestic industry’s is mostly lucky and partly appalling.
All this is known to anybody who is willing to know it – so a reaction of outrage and cold fury is understandable enough.
It’s also totally counter-productive.
As in politics, where you look at what’s going on and are tempted to anger, contempt, whatever, there is another more productive choice, and it seems to me it’s time to apply it, at least for those who consider themselves to be spiritual beings having a human experience.
Love, not hatred. Concern, not anger. Sympathy, not condemnation.
Let us pray, or visualize, or intend (or however you define attempting to put your non-physical weight on the scales) :
– that all who work in the nuclear industry resolve to continually do their best to operate the machines safely.
– that our government officials, elected and appointed, take ever more seriously their obligation to protect the public and society at large
– that those making money from the nuclear industry, from whatever services, be inspired to do what is right when it conflicts with what it profitable
– that whatever behind-the-scenes forces are responsible for burying two generations’ worth of energy innovations experience a change of heart
– that law enforcement agencies resolve (and carry through on their resolve) to protect the public and punish carelessness, shoddiness, and crime.
I don’t think that program is soft and flabby, but neither does it lead to hatred. And what good is it to think of yourself as being on the side of the angels, if your day to day life becomes filled with anger and despair?