Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sustainability in Practice- Moving Forward

I realize the last blog post was on the situation in Japan and while I do not want to be exhaustive, I believe this terrible disaster has great potential to have devastating effects world wide. While the country is still under strict media attention, we know this will fade, as did Haiti and the BP oil spill. In the coming weeks and months it will be important to remember what has happened and realize that the country and people will be hurting for a long time. It will be interesting, however, to see if the media attention will continue because of the nuclear fall out threat.

The latest count I could find reports more than 8000 dead and nearly 13,000 people still missing following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Keep in mind these deaths have occurred, mostly, due to the actual quake and tsunami. We have yet to see how many people will be fatally affected by this disaster as a result or radiation exposure, hunger, sickness, etc.

I was reading an article this morning that reported crops and water supply in the surrounding area have been contaminated by nuclear fallout. Also, cows at a diary farm had been contaminated. All of these instances render the material unusable for any sort of consumption. In addition, rain and dust from the area have been tainted and it is not yet known how far the radiation will travel via these two channels.

Another area of concern as far as food contamination is concerned, is the seafood Japan produces every year. Seafood export is a $1.3 billion dollar industry annually and much of that seafood ends up on store shelves across the world, bringing this scare closer to home than many would like to think.

This morning I received an email from my mom who has a friend living in Sendai, Japan right now. She reported a feeling of peace as she watches the people of Japan come together in this time of disaster. She said there is a feeling of uncertainty, but at the same time, one of being united and coming together as neighbors.

As Kasey mentioned in her blog post, are nuclear power plants worth their cost? In times like these, the entire stability of the eco-system of Japan is under threat. Soon, the effects and threat could be a lot more wide spread. Maybe then the world will begin to ask the same question. While disasters like the one in Japan are devastating, I can't hope that something positive will come from it. If it could possibly be a nuclear free world, It could lead to a much more stable, sustainable world.

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