Sleepy Time Thought 3/11/2012
Today marks the one year anniversary of the tsunami that devastated the northeastern coast of Japan. If ever there were a reminder that we are at the mercy of Mother Nature, natural disasters are it. A hurricane will lay waste to a city. A volcano will burn the entire countryside. A tsunami will kill tens of thousands or, in the case of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake/tsunami, hundreds of thousands.
Yet, we allow private interests to place millions more at risk by building nuclear power plants in unsafe locations without adequate safeguards. We’ve built nuclear power plants on top of fault lines here in the US. The Fukishima power plant was not prepared for an earthquake (9.0) of that magnitude, never mind the follow up tsunami. Yes, such earthquakes are rare but they’re not THAT rare. But it was deemed an “acceptable risk.” Whose risk is that precisely? Is it the shareholder’s risk? The CEO’s? Sure, they lose some money or resign in disgrace. Wow. How horrible.
How about the risk of the people that live nearby? Are they being compensated for that risk? Of course not. They get nothing until something goes wrong and destroys their lives. They receive a pittance for their lost possessions and “inconvenience” assuming they even survive. What about their community? What about the roots they planted in their hometown? Can money replace the home they grew up in? Can it replace the memories of a first kiss on the corner of I Used To Live Here Blvd. and Not Anymore Rd.? All the money in the world cannot replace those moments in time. It’s a terrible thing to have your life erased or altered beyond recognition by corporate greed and irresponsibility. Corporations march to the tune of the bottom line and broken lives pave the road. We’re not against success. We never were. We’re against success at the expense of others.
I will repeat this until I am blue in the face: A “free market” is never free. There’s always a cost and it’s more often than not measured in human suffering.
Sleep tight you filthy liberal scum!