First please take the time today to read the following link:
It’s VERY long. PLEASE take the time to read it some point when you can. This was written by someone who knows what they are talking about and most importantly who explains it in a way we can all understand. Even if you don’t feel less worried after reading it at least you will know more about the realities of the nuclear reactor in Fukushima than 99% of people right now.
Few things to pick out to ease the mind:
There was and will *not* be any significant release of radioactivity.
By “significant” I mean a level of radiation of more than what you would receive on – say – a long distance flight, or drinking a glass of beer that comes from certain areas with high levels of natural background radiation.
I was talking about this last night with my friends. I’ve sat in metal trains in Tokyo (and elsewhere) with over 100 phones fired up and broadcasting. I’m still here, I’m still healthy. I haven’t gone green yet (i think). I’m also sure some smart dick will comment that mobile radiation has nothing to do with this. Fuck them.
Japan is looking at an INES Level 4 Accident: Nuclear accident with local consequences. That is bad for the company that owns the plant, but not for anyone else.
Believe what you want about the japanese gov hiding information. I’ll take a gov facing its greatest natural catastrophe in history, the fourth greatest earthquake in recorded history and a nuclear situation that threatens not just lives but power consumption to the rest of the country over a bunch of foreign media seeking to cash in on a situation that will feed their 24h news machine for the next week. Hell I wouldn’t blame them for partially hiding the truth. What is it they say about crowds? The collective intelligence of a crowd is divided by the amount of people in it right? All it takes is one person shouting some bullshit for everyone to run like lemmings.
I believe the most significant problem will be a prolonged power shortage. About half of Japan’s nuclear reactors will probably have to be inspected, reducing the nation’s power generating capacity by 15%. This will probably be covered by running gas power plants that are usually only used for peak loads to cover some of the base load as well. That will increase your electricity bill, as well as lead to potential power shortages during peak demand, in Japan
And that is exactly what my friends and I were discussing this morning.
Last night I was talking with someone who’s lived here for 3 years, and has been in a similar situation as me with regards to work, integration and feelings about the country and its people. What came out of the discussion at one point is that I am actually happy – despite how horrible that may sound – to be here right now with this happening. Why? Because I love this country, I love its people and I have so many friends here that if I was stuck on the other side looking in I don’t think I could cope. To be here in the midst of this with my friends, surrounded by the country I feel spiritually connected to makes me feel safe and stronger and makes me believe that I am here for a reason – whatever that may be. I don’t know yet but i have six weeks to find out. The kindness of the people in this country right now is probably one of the most under reported elements. The Japanese are treating us – foreign people living here (or like me stuck/here for a reason) – with the same compassion and love they have for each other, and in return the best we can do is show them that we love their country and appreciate their kindness.
I’m making some music right now to donate to the situation, the only thing I feel I can do right at this point to do my bit – so is the person I’m staying with. I’ve sent some money yesterday via red cross and I will try and donate blood tomorrow if I can (they have rules about foreigners giving blood). After that once the madness dies down I’ve signed up to a Tokyo group that will pull together efforts to help the people in the north in any way we can. If you have a moment today, please donate. See here for a good round up of donation methods from my friend Sarah: http://www.japansubculture.com/2011/03/updated-list-how-to-donate-to-relief-efforts-in-japan/
The last thing I’ll say to echo someone on Twitter earlier today (the always on point @Ia) is that everyone should think positive, because we don’t need prayers, we need positive energy. And pass this link to as many people as possible. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. And right now that is the only thing we can all do, regardless of location.
PS: While it’s true that Twitter was at first a good source of information, and still is to a degree, it’s become increasingly difficult to filter the good from the bad in recent days as people seemingly are just spreading any old information they come across regardless of its value. I’m still finding the best information bits there, like the one above, but I guess it’s the nature of the beast – crowdsourced information – and further proof that it has yet to reach the maturity of things like blogs, which as Seth Godin put it today are far from dead but have rather matured to become truly useful. Case in point the article above.