Thoughts on Japan

The newly resurrected spinningwheel.net is already on the robot list. I got this comment yesterday, in response to my thoughts about suffering and caring. And clearly it was a bot, because the commenter doesn’t get the gyst of my post. In which I agree with the commenter.

It’s not difficult at all for a lot of people to just switch off the TV and forget about the horrible things that happen in this world. I, however, do not believe in closing my eyes to the suffering of others. Post-Sendai, there are many Japanese left without food or shelter. Not all of us are fortunate enough to be able to spare the money to donate, but any contribution that you could make would be appreciated! If you don’t have money to spare, please keep the Japanese in your heart and spread the word along to your friends!

Ok, aside from the annoyance of robot responders, which I will address at a later time. And I will. I do have some thoughts on the crises in Japan.

First, like anyone with a pulse, I am horrified by the earthquake and resulting tsunami. And terrified by the nuclear collapse that’s happening right now. I’m not watching it on TV, though, because that just makes me anxious and unable to act. I agree with the commentbot that donating to reputable organizations (the commenter link goes to a site that lists Red Cross, Mercy Corps, etc.) is a fine and noble thing to do in such crises.

Japan, though, is a rich country. And while Red Cross tents might be a useful loan in the short term, they don’t really need us to give them back the money we borrowed from them at this time. They’re making money off the interest.

What Japan needs, and the world needs, is to get off these toxic energy sources. Oil, nuclear, coal, and even gas, are just toxic. Period. The stuff is dirty, with dirty, filthy waste, and the industries are largely run by dirty, filthy people. What Japan and everyone else NEEDS to do is open our eyes to this fact, and the fact that we have a clean, essentially-eternal source of power in the sun, the wind, and the ocean currents. Instead of toxic nuclear plants that are being feverishly cooled with ocean water, if Japan switched to using those currents as their energy source, there wouldn’t be a radiation problem to worry about. I know some will say the middle of a crisis isn’t the time to criticize, but when the crisis is over, attention will turn away. The world survived Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and now Fukushima is melting down, and we’re still considering nuclear power in the United States. Europe is undergoing emergency inspections and halting new plants. We must do the same. We’ve just got to stop this stuff.

I’m not a historian, but I play one in knitting books. The Fukishima plant is owned by Dai-ichi, which is one of the giant Japanese megacorps, with subsidiaries in countless industries. (Pharmaceuticals, Fishing, Nuclear energy, Hotels and hospitality, Insurance, to name a few. Just Google Dai-Ichi or Daiichi and see what you find. I believe this is one of the companies that survived WWII to become an equivalent of Rayovak in the US. A huge, bloated, bazillionaire, life sucking corporate entity.

Japan doesn’t need your money. Japan needs to hold Dai-Ichi responsible.

As a closing note of irony. Click again on the Dai-Ichi Life Insurance link. Read that headline. Thinking People First. Under the Corporate Citizenship page, the company brags about its recycling and green energy initiatives. This is the worst kind of greenwashing imaginable. A sibling company touting its green practicies, while the nuclear plants are melting down. How long do we as world citizens put up with this?

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One Response to Thoughts on Japan

  1. Joanne says:

    I must say that one of the first comments out of my mouth when I heard about the terrible nuclear meltdowns was….this can’t happen with windfarms or solar power.

    I feel bad even saying that right now, but I think you’re right. We need to think about other energy solutions…

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