I’m not talking about the movie of the same name, though I must admit I’m an Arnie fan. It’s not because of the muscle, or the eco-friendly policies he’s supposedly backing up – I don’t know and I don’t think it matters. I don’t live in California; I don’t vote there either, I’m not even American. But I just love the lines from his movies. It’s the accent. Perhaps it all boils down into how you just say things, or to be more exact, how things sound like.
Hear me out.
The earthquake and the subsequent tsunami in Japan has already caused at least ten thousand deaths, and the number will inevitably rise. What is happening though at the Fukushima nuclear plant seems to have more of an impact on the world media. After all, the tsunami’s gone now, and it’s just a matter of days until the water completely subsides. But the radioactive threat, that’s just gotta sting, right?
It seems people tend to become addicted to fear of everything. There’s always been ample audience in theaters showing movies with eschatological or apocalyptic plots (just like Arnie’s movie that’s in the post’s title). Seems like people just have to witness the earth dying, human civilization wiped out, and our species turned into cockroach food; the choice of snack is left to the viewer’s discretion.
But when it comes to people really getting killed, we’re all just glad we weren’t as unlucky, and get on with our lives, bitching and moaning about the little things. That might unfair to the victims of Japan’s natural catastrophy but that’s just life, and life will go on in one way or another. There have been countless other catastrophies in the last couple of decades: war, famine, and nature’s wrath is constantly around us, it’s just that a very small percentage of the so-called developed world feels the wrath of it.
But now that the nukular (sic) threat might once more affect other people’s backyards except from the Japanese, we really have to condemn nuclear energy, TEPCO (the energy provider in the Tokyo area as far as I know), the Japanese government for going with nuclear back in the 60s, BP for the Gulf tragedy, NASA for the Space Shuttle tragedy, and so on, and so on. Now, hold your horses everyone cause I think we’re all hypocrites in these affairs.
I think the world’s become multi-schizophrenic. Not only are there so many difference in wealth, education and living conditions from country to country and continent to continent, but there’s such an intense struggle of what could be called the collective mind that we really can’t decide whether or not we would like fries with that (the plethora of choices always boggles the mind).
We’d all want cheap gas to run our multitude of vehicles on, but we do hate oil spills and condemn them accordingly. Also, people in legislation, the judicial system and generally in every point in the system where they could have pulled BP’s ears for being slack with security, just let her be. Was it simple oversight or simple payoffs, it doesn’t really matter. That’s the way with the system.
Then again now, you got yourselves a nuclear accident in a reactor in the 60s. Does that make nuclear energy the demon that need to be smitten for ever? Basically I’d need a whole other post to explain this fully, but search Wikipedia a little bit and you’ll see my point. Just because the first steam engines were a little hectic, slow, and prone to explode, that did not stop the railroad. The complaints about the noise, the smoke, the changes in the landscape, that did not stop the railroad. The technology improved, the people used it and relied on it, and now you’ve got maglev trains doing 400km/h, and all the noise’s coming from the rush of air.
What I’m saying is that just because the power companies needed to rush a product like nuclear reactors into the market back in the 50s and 60s, that does not make nuclear power bad in itself. Not when there’s a multitude of technologies that eliminate control rods, pressurized water and all that active safety mechanisms. There has been such technology since the invention of atomic fission but it just doesn’t scale good, so it’s not very profitable. Check the pebble-bed reactors, and the emerging thorium reactor technology. Fusion might not even be possible, but fission is already real. All we’d need to do is make sound choices.
Is it Japan’s fault that she was practical destroyed in World War II and the rebuilding called for immense industrial growth? A bid to surpass the victor in economic terms? An almost single-minded yearning to become number one, in everything that seemed to matter? You need cheap power for that. There’s no such thing as cheap green power in the gigawatt scale. Not something centralized, not something you setup once and just works for 50 years.
Yes, nuclear power is the only realistic choice for emerging nations. Japan was such a nation in the 50s. Now there’s China and India. That’s three billion people. Do you expect them to run on coal? Should you expect them to go full nuclear? Yes. Should you expect them to pollute more than the US? Not in 20 years time, they won’t.
I’m jumping from topic to topic, I utilize the think-many-write-once approach. If there is such a thing. All I’m saying is, try and see what has been going on around us for the past few decades. The world is crumbling under fear. All the while, Libya is being torn apart because it seemed an opportune time for everyone involved in the matter because for some reason, Kaddafi’s regime just became brutal and inhuman.
I mean, in the past decades he must have been a really nice person and an inspiring leader. But he must’ve gone berserk only lately. It must be contagious.
People never seem to learn. Perhaps it’s just life. Perhaps it’s just us.
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