I woke up in the morning of Friday (March 11, 2011) to be greeted with the devastating news. The pictures of the fifth largest earth quake and tsunami in Japan were all over the media. Houses swept like match boxes, cars and trucks floating like cardboard. Life and property was reduced to a rubble. University, schools, homes whatever came in the way of the angry waves, were engulfed. The two and a half ruthless minutes, as if, lasted forever.
And then news that “ Japan asks for international help from the international community.”
This is a country which was the most prepared for tsunamis owing to its location on the fault lines and has been bearing innumerable jolts of earthquakes and tsunamis, off and on.
More disturbing are the daily news since Friday of one reactor or the other bursting and causing spillage of radiations to the outside world.
Japan is a country that had been through the worst calamity that world can fathom—of nuclear bombing at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
After the incident, Japan had decided to stay away from nuclear or conventional weapons. It’s post war constitution forbid it to have offensive military forces and the three Non Nuclear Principles which asked for no production, possession or introduction of nuclear weapons. The constitution also vowed to have ‘ land, sea and air forces as well as other war potential will never to be maintained”.
Although Japan is said to be just a ‘screw drivers’ turn” away from developing a nuclear bomb, but it chose to harness the immense power of nuclear energy only for peaceful purposes.
Probably through Japan, the world learned a practical lesson 65 years ago that aggression and war leaves a country with an army of cripples and an army of mourners.
If the other nations failed to follow it is another matter. But Japan did.
Is it not tragic that today a technological giant that was known for its technological might and an advocate against war and nuclear weapons is now at war with the nature and again battling to save yet another generation of Japanese from the over dose of radiations.
The gushing waves took just a couple of minutes to wash away our delusions that technological advancement had made the mankind a master of this world.
Ironically tsunami itself is a Japanese word derived from two words meaning ‘harbour’ and ‘wave’.
Yes Mother Earth has shown its fury once again. But is it just a rage or is there a reason for her to be so furious?
I am no expert to judge the real answer, but my learning from the various debates on climate change makes me wonder if we human are the real culprits?
Climatologists and the vocal advocates of climate change, have been at logger heads with those who consider that climate change is a hype.
The scientists speculate that “Quakes, volcanic eruptions, giant landslides and tsunamis may become more frequent as global warming changes the earth’s crust,”
In a scientific conference on Climate change held in London in September 2009, Professor Bill McGuire of University College London had remarked : “Climate change doesn’t just affect the atmosphere and the oceans but the earth’s crust as well. The whole earth is an interactive system. In the political community people are almost completely unaware of any geological aspects to climate change.”
They fear that there is strong evidence piling up on the hypothesis that ‘the world could be in for shocks at a vast scale’.
Al Gore a vocal advocate of climate change and a Nobel Laureates has remarked:
“Global warming is by far the most serious manifestation of the collision—and Mother Nature is making the evidence ever more obvious.”
He also claims :
“The debate is over! There’s no longer any debate in the scientific community about this ( climate change). But the political systems around the world have held this at arm’s length because it’s an inconvenient truth.”
And the irony of all ironies is that now it is this natural disaster which is turning into another nuclear disaster for Japan. With the fourth nuclear reactor now reported to have had a blast barely an hour ago. There is dangerously high level of radiations in the surrounding area and feared to reach Tokyo in next 10 hours.
I wonder if after the massive earth quakes in Kashmir, then Haiti, the two recent tsunamis and the ever increasing hurricanes the world over, and the accompanying nuclear radiation spillage, if we need more evidence from the scientific community that it is us the mankind, which has abused the Mother Earth so much that it is turning out its fury back on us.
Although it is time to grieve for the victims and the sufferers of this devastating natural and nuclear calamity, it is also an occasion to reflect on why is the Mother Earth not only turning it’s fury back on us but also more often and with more severity than ever before.
Probably once we come out of this ‘shock’, the world will again realize that Japan again teaches us yet another lesson—this time lesson of “the consequences of abusing the Mother Earth for our greed”.
Sadly enough, the whole world abuses her but this time Japan has to bear it. If this ‘environmental abuse’ goes unabated, only the Mother Earth knows who’s next to face her fury?