I am super excited to have a guest post today!!!!! I met him on Twitter and asked him if he would guest post for me. I have never had a male guest post for me before and I was excited to finally have one! After reading his post here go and check out his blog!
As of this writing, 3/16/11, the Japanese death toll is over 4,000, with countless thousands missing, and an estimated $200 billion in damages has already occurred. This ongoing tragedy is really a tale of three horrific events, an earthquake, a tsunami, and the looming threat of a nuclear catastrophe. Because Japan is located in the Ring of Fire region, it has a long history of earthquakes and tsunamis. The shifting of geographic tectonic plates beneath the Pacific ocean causes the earthquakes. This in turn causes the tsunami in the Pacific’s vast waters. Wikipedia lists major earthquakes in Japan going back to November 684 A.D. This current earthquake, measured 8.9 on the Richter scale, is the strongest earthquake of those listed.
Like Karen Zacharias’ well written and moving play, Legacy of Light, these events model a dance between past and present. In Legacy of Light, the philosophy and physics of 17th century Voltaire and his former mistress Emilie du Chatelet are juxtaposed and intertwined with related individuals and events in our present time. On a much more horrific scale, the earthquakes and tsunamis of Japan’s tumultuous geographic past are becoming intertwined with the most powerful force unleashed by mankind in history, atomic power.
Japan has 55 nuclear power plants, with several more planned. The US has 104. The most significant nuclear meltdowns to date have occurred in the US, 3 Mile Island, and in Russia, Chernobyl. The Japanese power plant in its’ Fukushima plant is now confirmed to be in a meltdown situation. The damage was initially caused by the earthquake and tsunami, but has now taken on a life of its own. In the past, this third stage of the disaster would not have occurred. But now, it could ultimately be the most devastating part. Somehow in our modern, sheltered world of computer, smart phones, and SUVs, we forget where we come from. We forget the power of nature and we can barely conceive of the consequences when the past dances with the present.
By Steve Mallis