I began this blog on March 11, 2011, but for several days I could hardly write anything, shocked as I was to read the news about the devastating earthquake and following tsunami that struck Japan. I have the aggravation of having lived in those islands for several years (three), from whose people I keep many fond memories and a few friends.

I read on the news that the Japanese do not cry, but journalists do not make it clear that they don’t do it so much in public –neither crying nor any sign of affection– as it is customary in western cultures, but that does not mean they do not feel exactly the same.

Nobody looks any more at the numbers of casualties; 10,000 or 20,000 produce a similar reaction. To the horror of this tragedy is added the nuclear disaster.

I just read that some governments in Europe will shut down those nuclear plants that do not pass a test of resistance. The arrogance of man is such that we still do not understand that there is nothing that is not infallible (except the Pope), nor in nature, much the less in the works of men. Only when we deeply understand this principle we can realize the huge danger that such a high concentration of power entails. Can anyone really keep a plane from crashing into a nuclear plant instead of into a skyscraper? Or prevent that another earthquake or natural disaster will hit any of the nuclear power plants scattered all over the globe?

There should not be places where the concentration of destructive power is so high, because it only takes one accident for the damage to life on this planet being irreparable. Moreover, how would we feel if the ancient civilizations –the Romans, or Aztecs or megalith builders– had left behind hundreds of pools filled with radioactive waste? That will be precisely the legacy we are leaving to the inhabitants of the future, if there will be any.

Nuclear power plants belong to the past century of industrial arrogance, like oil and coal. They only serve to generate an energy that enriches the few who control it. Aren’t you surprised that the most profitable companies are always related to energy? We must step forward as a society to new forms of energy production more democratic, less aggressive, more delocalized, cleaner, and whose wealth is shared by many instead of accumulated in just a few.

Let us not be deceived by those who defend this monster by waving the scarecrow of economic recession, rising prices or unemployment. Their real fear is losing their privileged status.

If each of our homes, cars and businesses were responsible for the energy they consume, what we would see would be an economic boom, many new and different jobs, and a creative healthy competition to achieve cleaner energy sources, more local and friendly to life.

I wish with all my being that the tragedy of Japan will be resolved without more consequences, and that the nuclear disaster will be controlled, but at the same time I wish that this will force us to reflect on the way we live. We, citizens of the world, must raise our voices against the myopia of governments and the insatiable greed of a few.

Advertisements