Is it reasonable to stake our future on a devilishly uncontrollable, potentially lethal technology? If we did not have other options, perhaps it would be. Could it be that "our nuclear future" is an oxymoron?
I get Rush Limbaugh. He's not the issue. I understand why he says what he says. I don't have to like it. Here's what I don't get: His listeners.
In the current critical moment, the Japanese calamity has shown all the world the harsh downside risks of just a few of the societal compromises we've made. In response to this wake-up call, a shift could happen.
Mother Nature today, yesterday the loss of a job, the illness of a friend or the unspeakable violence of someone wielding a gun in Arizona forces us to re-decide where to place our faith and what really matters.
While each morning's screaming headlines contain terrible words -- "dire," "catastrophic," "ever worsening" -- you can feel the urge not to tumble into the irradiated zone of the nuclear imagination.
On Monday, Tokyo's governor, Shintaro Ishihara, was quoted as saying, "I think (the disaster in Japan) is tembatsu." Tembatsu is a Japanese term that means "divine punishment."
Where some see a vengeful god, I see powerful good. I see powerful good in the brave humans who risked their own lives to save another. I see powerful good in the outpouring of compassion and assistance from people all around the globe.
Job did not get a straight answer to why then. I cannot imagine why we would get one now. So what are we left with? If faith cannot answer the cry of the heart, what good is it?
I sometimes imagine how a world event might be allegorical in my life or the lives of others. Perhaps there is a lesson learned here: are people trying to harness and control the wrong power source?
Between basic economics, security, national competitiveness (the push to a clean economy creates jobs), the logic for a distributed, non-nuclear, non-fossil-fuel grid and transportation network seems very strong.
The only thing that seems certain for Japan at this time is that its people and government must now endure their greatest challenge since 1945. We expect they will do so with characteristic grace and determination.
Much has been written about the Japanese earthquake and the killing tsunami. Nuclear crisis has become a permanent fixture on global headline news giv...
It is at our own peril that we, in the United States, will fail to grasp the importance of making sure that children in this country are protected during and following disasters.
Death is part of the cycles of life and of creation. Mourning is how we acknowledge these losses without giving up on love.
Citizens can build on that information to do everything possible to stop inevitable disasters from having such devastating effects on our communities.
The Japanese people have real problems. And even though they are experiencing the worst of times by any measure, we must still go on.