Saturday, March 12, 2011

waterside



yesterday: instead of the usual friday, a drive to lake constance. so good, to return to its waterside.

and parallel to it, the terrible news from Japan. such devastation and destruction and death. it was one of the days that makes me grateful for the fact that my home never was torn apart, and that we live in a time of peace in this country that has seen so many dark times in the past.

then today, on top of all, the crisis of the nuclear plant. i really, really hope the technicians there succeed in their sea water plan. i just read a CNN article on it that started with the helpless official lines: “A meltdown may have occurred at at least one nuclear power reactor in Japan, the country's chief cabinet secretary, Yukio Edano, said Sunday”.

the drama is headline news across all German newspapers and tv stations. even more so as Germany is deep into nuclear power, too, with a long debate happening at the end of last year, when the government prolongued reactor life times of older nuclear plants. with it, Germany has now the 3rd-oldest reactor fleet in the world. the energy companies stated yesterday that of course, the German reactors are safe. the response to it from several politicians, journalists and bloggers was that of course, until 2 days ago, everyone in Japan would have said the same about their reactors.

truth is that all technology has a human factor included, and that there are outside circumstances beyond our control. on the other hand, there is the human dream of progress, of technical possiblities, of flying to the moon, creating amazing things: cars, planes, computers, skyscrapers, stock markets, love parades, a modern world, a better place. only that each of it comes with an own life, with risks, with consequences. and our minds are masters in downplaying this fact, in creating safety features that create the illusion that we are in charge.

2 comments:

jkdavies said...

very poignant... I just returned to germany from Poland, which was just about emerging from an ordinary winter, and you had the feeling that the whole land was trying to recover it's strength. waiting for news on our colleagues in Yokohama too...

Brigita said...

I believe that if anyone can solve a nuclear plant crisis it is the Japanese. Judging from the way they reacted calmly and poised to the enormous catastrophe that befell them, I think they will do everything in their power to prevent the worst. It's just that sometimes nature is too powerful to fight against it.