The pace of change is quickening exponentially, while our ability to contain it falls further behind. The idea of being in control of everything is being replaced with the recognition that, in truth, we are in control of very little.
No one can be so ridiculous as to suggest that some sort of miserable, bearded Christian deity was just sitting around, bored out of his mind, and suddenly decided, on a frustrated whim, to flick his middle finger against the Pacific plate.
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Should a magnitude 9.0 earthquake strike the Pacific Northwest tomorrow, the initial damage would in all likelihood be at least as bad as the devastation in Japan, and the aftermath far worse.
Nearly two weeks after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit northeast Japan, the Tokyo area suffers power cuts and reduced train service, d...
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.