Saturday, March 19, 2011

Wake Up World

I was listening to a video clip on the Democracy Now website which featured an interview with Ralph Nadar. He made the following comments which pertain to the nuclear crisis in Japan and what Americans should learn from it. "What we're seeing here is 110 or so operating plants in the United States, many of them aging, many of them infected with corrosion, faulty pipes, leaky pipes and combustible materials...Why are we playing Russian roulette with the American people for nuclear plants whose principal objective is simply to boil water and produce steam?...This is institutional insanity and I urge the people in this country to wake up before they experience what is now going on in Japan." Ralph Nadar is a consumer advocate and a longtime critic of nuclear energy, so his remarks are not surprising. But many people are concerned with the crisis unfolding in Japan and many people (especially parents) are questioning the building of nuclear plants near earthquake fault lines and fault zones. That doesn't make sense. Also, Indian Point nuclear power plant in New York is only 38 miles north of NYC and 20 million people live within a 50 mile radius of the nuclear plant. I'm grateful that Gov. Cuomo on Wednesday declared that Indian Point should be closed, after a federal report noted that it is the most vulnerable to earthquakes in the nation. Apparently, reactor #3 is built on a fault line (a fracture in the earth).
I understand the need and challenge in supplying and meeting energy needs. It is a difficult problem. I agree with those who would like to see money and ingenuity spent on renewable sources of clean energy such as solar, wind, hydropower and geothermal heat.
We have to care for God's creation and be good stewards of the Earth. We have to use common sense and expand our thinking about renewable energy sources. The ongoing crisis in Japan is a wake up call. Parents are concerned for the future of their children. No one wants nuclear power plants that can't be turned off in an emergency or shut down. And then there is the problem of nuclear waste. There is much we can learn from the nuclear crisis in Japan.
The Earth is a precious gift from God and it should be treated with respect and great care.