In Norway there is a saying that accidents seldom travel alone, and this is certainly the case in Japan at the moment. As if a tremendous earthquake, devastating tsunami, huge amounts of debris and earth slides were not enough, even the most prepared nation in the world now has to face the possibility of nuclear meltdown disaster. It is proven yet again that whoever said that ‘nature is dead’ was a fathead.
For me the most unnerving part at the moment is not even the fact that so many people are missing, which is of course awful and unnerving, but that for so many days already we’ve all been glued to what ever screen we use to hear news that at least that situation has resolved. It hasn’t yet. In Europe at least, the fear is another Chernobyl. In Japan, no doubt, the fear of radioactive emissions stems from a big Little Boy and a Fat Man.
We mustn’t lose our heads though. Power plants sure can be dangerous, but remember that it has gotten a lot safer since 1986, and that these are rare, point source events. I think fossil fuels deal at least as much damage, even if it doesn’t all happen in one go.