• A special kind of bravery

    Reading about the ongoing struggles in Japan, I feel compelled to second this:

    Another rupture at a second reactor, releasing radioactive steam. Worse, the attempt to cool the reactors from the air has been aborted, given high radiation levels. But, in the miasma of nuclear news, we’re told that the second ruptured reactor may not be a severe one, and that the number of emergency workers at the plant has now doubled.

    We use the word “hero” these days rather promiscuously, sometimes becoming a synonym for veteran. But these workers, essentially sacrificing their future lives to save millions of others, seem to me to fit the description in inspiring ways. In this darkness, their light flickers.

    I, too, don’t like to throw around the word “hero”, but I agree it applies here.

    • Most heroes are ordinary people thrust into extraordinary times. These workers in Japan are true heroes and we should all thank them for their efforts regardless of the outcome of this disaster.
      There will, no doubt, be many post-mortem analyses of the many errors that went into creating this situation. However, it is doubtful that the politicians and corporate leaders who created this monster will bear any of the responsibility or consequences of their short sighted decisions. It is left for the workers to make the ultimate sacrifice.
      How many energy disasters from fossil and nuclear sources do we need to make a commitment to clean renewable energy? Fossil and nuclear energy are only cheap if we ignore the health and environmental damage they cause.

    • I stand (OK, sit) in awe as I watch news story after news story that show how the Japanese people are dealing with this catastrophe.

      This is truly an example of shared sacrifice. The entire USA should take great stock of this – and learn from it. We are all talking in political circles about the need for “shared sacrifice” to figure out how to address our debt problems. Or insurance system. Or health care system. Just talking.

      Japan is a wealthy country. I applaud them for what they have done in the few days since this terrible act of God. They will figure out how to clean up, bury their dead, rebuild, etc. They will be stronger as a result.

      The USA is also a very wealthy country. Through true shared sacrifice we could figure out our problems, too. But will we?

      In some sense, you can say that Japan didn’t have a choice – at least for this particular incident.

      The USA has a choice. I hope we can learn how working together is the key to solving difficult problems.

      Keep up the good work here with this blog. Kudos.

    • “…sometimes there’s a man… I won’t say a hero, ’cause, what’s a hero? But sometimes, there’s a man…Sometimes, there’s a man, well, he’s the man for his time and place. He fits right in there.”
      The Big Lebowski