It may have escaped your notice that there has been a tsunami in Japan. To date it is known to have killed 6,911 people ; 10,692 are registered as still missing; 2,611 are injured and around 400,000 people have been forced from their damaged homes or had their houses disappear completely.
There is pain, real pain along the north east coast and yet, at the moment, all the attention is focused on the Tokyo Electric Company’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant where a cooling system failure, caused by the quake and exacerbated by the tsunami, has caused a week long series of fires, over heatings and explosions.
Of course the fear of radiation leaks is real: the reactor is exposed and over-heating, and problems such as explosions at these kind of places should not ever be taken lightly which the Government of Japan and the power generation companies there have sometimes been accused of doing when they are not covering up accidents completely. And yet the reporting of the nuclear contamination problems of Fukushima and the perceived threat they pose to Tokyo has been excessive to say the least. The Japanese government has even taken the foreign media to task about its sensationalist reporting, fearing that the constant barrage of rumour, hear-say and misinformation is stopping real efforts to inform people of any real dangers. More seriously too it is drawing the focus away from the people who have lost everything in a real, measurable and overwhelming tragedy on the tsunami coast.
When governments around the world spend millions evacuating their citizens from places that are considered, by expert accounts, not especially dangerous just to appease a bullying press or take part in some form of compassionate “keeping up with the Joneses”, this is money that could have been spent helping rescue, rebuilding and returning those areas of Japan that the events of March 11th unequivocally did affect.
Makes me angry.
Makes Daniel Kahl angry too.