It's been 2 weeks now since disaster struck Japan. Every day, American news media report in their typical over the top sensational manner about what might happen, could have happened...and do we really know what happened?
The beginning of my blog takes me right back and is eerily familiar:
"It was the environmental disaster of Chernobyl in 1986, and the overall nuclear threat that motivated us enough to opt out of the rat race and start afresh in Ireland. After Chernobyl, in Germany fall out levels were dangerously high. The government discouraged people to feed milk to their children, not to eat fresh vegetables --and this was early summer- and our new Geiger counter measured excessive radiation levels in our children's sandbox. Ireland had escaped almost unscathed due to the prevailing weather pattern in the 2 weeks after the disaster in Ukraine."
Radiation was measured yesterday in Hawaii, the West coast, even in Colorado. Depending on prevailing weather patterns - that merry-go-round of thermodynamics and the big unknown that weathermen never seem to get right- the whole world might be in for a few u-turns and imponderables, unforeseeables, and God forbid the unexpected. Imports from Japan have been banned widely. But what do the poor Japanese do?
After Chernobyl, we went to a country that was minimally affected to grow our own healthy food. Twenty-five years later, a massive new scare.
BTW, do you know the half-life of Plutonium or Cesium? Surprise, surprise, remnants are still lingering in Ukraine. Regions unfit to live in for thousands of years--except for those unfortunate who cannot leave the area and have to stay put. They still suffer the horrible consequences.
European Journal , a show broadcast from Germany on PBS -thank God for public radio and TV- reported about big nuclear accident before Chernobyl, an event even I had never heard about: MAYAK, 50 years ago. Guess what: People there and their children and children's children are still exposed to the radiation caused then and suffer from horrific congenital diseases. Because the half-life of Plutonium 239 is 24,000 years! Geiger counters still go crazy in that area. If the Mayak area has a hot summer again, people will swim in the Techa River yet again and soak it right in.
So what can a single person do who wants to let his species survive? Or an organic farmer?
Martin Luther said, "Even if I knew the world came to an end tomorrow, I would still plant an apple tree today."
Ursula Siebert, originally a German teacher & lecturer turned businesswoman, lived in different European countries before coming to the USA. She is now a free-lance writer. Often tongue-in-cheek, she sees life and politics in the USA from the (more...