Japan’s Great Irony

As if the things we can control in our lives do not provide us with enough challenges, things that we cannot control are always there just waiting for the chance to alter our equilibrium even further.

Japan: a nation that experienced a nuclear holocaust 65 years ago.  Japan: a country with no energy resources of its own, like oil or coal, turned to nuclear power plants over 40 years ago.  Japan: a highly competitive, disciplined and orderly society.  Japan: perhaps the most prepared nation on earth for earthquake and tsunami readiness.  Japan: reeling now from one of the most horrendous natural disasters ever to hit the face of the earth.  The irony is astounding.

My heart goes out to the Japanese people.  The staggering devastation is not comprehensible.  The secondary destruction, nuclear in nature, may eclipse the awe of the initial events of the quake and tsunami.  This nuclear danger will probably take weeks, if not months, to play out.  The media, who would love a China Syndrome quick story, is probably not going to get it here.  Unfortunately, the damage from the tsunami will get short shrift in favor of the more dramatic character that a nuclear disaster brings to bear.

Even the most altruistic, competent government (if you can find one) cannot handle the scope of the events that have occurred in Japan this week.  This is not a time for finger-pointing.  Educated choices have to be made on an ongoing basis as to the best way to run a country.  Energy options, economic policies, social principles, no matter how well-thought out, researched and implemented, all fall to the wayside when a huge catastrophe hits.

If human beings are subject to this uncertainty, then governments are also.  As fatalistic as this reality is, we must still carry on and try to do the best that we can.  Life is a precarious balance that is often, even in hindsight, not something that always makes sense.

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One Response to “Japan’s Great Irony”

  1. NatalieR Says:

    It often makes NO sense. Either nature kicks us in the teeth or we kick ourselves in the teeth by not understanding science, believing in tooth fairies and making war in their name.

    I am perplexed!

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