I watched the footage in horror as the Tohoku tsunami and earthquake devastated Northern Japan. From the safety of my home on a separate continent, I observed the ocean roll on land -sweeping away buildings, cars and lives (all someone’s loved ones).The radio and Internet are constantly updating the latest death toll-the tragedy. At least 18,000 dead and close to half a million displaced. Who couldn’t be moved to donate what they can to the survivors?
But the biggest tragedy might be yet to come- there is another catastrophe that is looming in the wake of this natural disaster. Four nuclear reactors are still not stabilized at the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) in Fukushima Japan. Radioactive contamination promises more prolonged damage to life and the environment. On Saturday March 19, the government banned the sale of food within a hundred mile radius of the plant (reminiscent of Chernobyl’s 30 Km of exclusion.) Within the past couple of days, milk has been found to have 17 times the maximum amount of acceptable radiation- the spinach is 27 times the amount. To quell the public’s fears, authorities are saying it is only after radiation is consumed for a long time does this pose as a threat to health, but where else are the people around Fukushima supposed to get their food- especially as Northern Japan attempts to clean up the destruction of the earthquake and Tsunami? What will happen to the vegetable and cattle farmers in the future?
Our earth is finite- already it is being over exploited. This tragic event is an alarm. We as a species need to work on ways to preserve our natural resources, or exploit them in a sustainable way. If we see the earth as a human body (our global community)-the possibility of a nuclear meltdown in any country is the equivalent of a stroke- a section of the body will be unable to function rendering more work on the rest of the remaining functioning body parts.