I had a few articles in mind for the weekend, but the vivid horror of the Japanes tsunami gave me pause. Anything I might say seemd trite, and the tune, or rather chant, of this kept running through my head insistently:
Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
and with fear and trembling stand;
ponder nothing earthly minded,
The terrible events in the earth remind us of the frailty of human existence and the power of the Earth. Of course, there have been worse disasters – it is only two years since an earthquake in China killed perhaps ten times as many. But the technological capacity of Japan to capture and broadcast its own disaster gave it an immediacy to us that forces us to confront and absorb the fact of massive individual human suffering.
I have however been conscious of an undertow of anger at the continual stream of nuclear industry dependents and lobbyists brought on to every Western network to assure us there is no real danger from the nuclear plants and that a meltdown is most improbable.
When the second reactor house blew off last night at least eight people were injured, some seriously. If there were not a serious possibility of major disaster, then they would have not had those workers on site, desperately trying to cool the core with sea water, when it has been fully understood that the hydrogen explosion they were caught up in was likely to happen. They were working desperately and presuming knowingly on what might easily have proved a suicide mission.
Like Three Mile Island, the nuclear industry is hoping they will get away with it on a wing and a prayer (and, in this case, millions of gallons of sea water and boric acid). I certainly hope they do avert disaster. But to pretend everything is fine, and propagandise that to the Western world throughout which the nuclear industry is urgently seeking to regenerate itself, is both sickening an an insult to our intelligence. One of many reasons I am against nuclear power is that in practice it always brings with it government lies, secrecy and corruption.