Monday, March 14, 2011

Japan, briefly...

 It calls for someone of greater eloquence than I would claim, a greater depth of empathy, to come up with any words to comment on what has transpired in Japan. The devastation and cost in human life leaves me speechless.

Speechless and angered I am, too, by the way the German media are dealing with the event. The biggest headlines and the lead stories on the news shows are being devoted to the debate regarding the role of nuclear energy here in Germany. Fears are being exacerbated by the tabloids, politicians are posturing in specially extended talkshows, know-it-alls are delivering soundbites on the rolling news channels.

Nobody as far as I know has brought up the incontrovertible fact that of all forms of energy generation it is the hydroelectric projects which have been the cause of the most fatalities, destruction and hardship.

"On August 8, 1975, Banqiao Dam in China collapsed. 26,000 people died in the floods, according to the official death toll. After the flood receded, 145,000 people died from epidemics and from famine. Some estimates put the total death toll at more than 220,000. The number of people affected by the disaster exceeded 12 million. A Discovery Channel show on May 28, 2005, rated the Banqiao Dam collapse No.1 on a list of the "Top 10 Technological Catastrophes of the World," beating the Bhopal toxic gas leak in India on December 3, 1984, and the Chernobyl nuclear accident on April 26, 1986."

No comments: