Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Thoughts on Japan and Our Small Planet

In the wake of the tragedy in Japan, we must first think of the lives lost. Thousands of individuals have died who are survived by loved ones and friends. Their absence is felt deeply by those who loved them. Many more people have been left homeless and the survivors now have the concern of further harm from radiation exposure. The exponential magnitude of these losses should be understood and we must understand that this will be felt for some time to come even after the rebuilding.

The propagation of waves from the quake and tsunami that devastated Japan is felt and will be felt worldwide. Our planet is small. It’s important to understand that what happens in one location happens to us all.

In the face of this tragedy, the living must still push forward. We must persist onward. We should do this with considerations anew. This is a new era. We feel it. We must look at how we use energy and its impacts on our planet. More importantly, we need to look at how we, as individuals, impact our planet. Our choices affect all that is around us, as we aren’t isolated, but interconnected to each other and every aspect of life on our planet. Every choice we make affects our local ecosystems and can have great consequences on our overall environment. Without this understanding, we cannot fully understand our impacts. This is a powerful concept, as it puts the power and control in the hands of every individual. We choose how to respond to the earth that pushes back on our every maneuver.

Although this tragedy wasn’t the result of climate change, I’m reminded of the potential for future devastation caused by climate change. There are many people who would like for you to believe that climate change is a myth. This simply isn’t the case. It’s important for us to understand this in order to make better decisions in the future regarding energy choices.

We have clean forms of energy such as wind and solar but they are merely supplemental forms of energy. We require fossil fuels and nuclear energy because we don’t currently have a form of clean energy that can meet current demand. By-products from burning fossil fuels such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, sulfur and mercury not only have powerful impacts on our environment, but have a harmful impact on humans and other forms of life. However, the most concerning aspect of continued burning of fossil fuels is the continued damage to our already fragile climate situation.

The recent tragedy has brought out old and new fears regarding nuclear energy. However, nuclear energy provides the cleanest form energy while still meeting the current energy demands. It has its drawbacks in the form of nuclear waste and storage. This is an unfortunate consequence but is currently less substantial than the consequences brought on by climate change.

The tragedy in Japan has brought to fruition the fears of many. In the wake of this, we need to be clear-headed, push forth and see it as a call of duty to react with dignity and responsibility as the profound and thinking individuals that we are. The loss of human life on such a large scale should be a stark reminder for us to start being more responsible citizens of our planet. Our planet demands this of us and we should demand this of ourselves.

No comments:

Post a Comment