Sunday, March 20, 2011

Editorial Round Up

Nicholas Kristof over at the New York Times offers a tribute to the Fukushima workers:

The selflessness, stoicism and discipline in Japan these days are epitomized by those workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, uncomplainingly and anonymously risking dangerous doses of radiation as they struggle to prevent a complete meltdown that would endanger their fellow citizens.

[…]

I hope that some day Japan will erect another symbol of loyalty and dedication to duty: a statue of those nuclear plant workers.

I do too. There have been many, many heroic deeds performed throughout Japan over the last week – perhaps the Fukushima workers can stand as a symbol of the “selflessness, stoicism and discipline” displayed by so many.

Kristof has a larger point to make about what Americans could learn from the Japanese, but I found that part less interesting – the ideal combination of human qualities has yet to settle on one culture. But making it a personal project to adopt qualities one admires is never a bad idea. Read the whole thing for Kristof’s whole argument.

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More, from the Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press Democrat:

While many within 50 miles of the facility have fled the area, an estimated 180 workers were still at the site late last week. Wearing protective gear, they have been pumping seawater into the heated reactors, trying to run new power lines, dumping water from helicopters and doing whatever is possible to try to prevent fuel rods from overheating. They’ve been working in short shifts inside the plant to limit their exposure to radiation. Japanese authorities had to raise the maximum radiation exposure limits to allow them to do so.

Dreadful cartoon illustrating it though.

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The Knoxville News weighs in:

Nuclear power is essential to the future energy needs of the country. Safety is essential to the future well-being of area residents. The Obama administration has a responsibility to review and, where necessary, improve the safety of the nuclear power plants in our midst.

This seems to be the prevailing theme in many editorials. Nothing to disagree with here. Var897Here’s another example, from the Greensboro News-Record:

But over-reacting now could jeopardize steady progress the nation has made toward reducing unhealthy air pollution linked to dated coal-fired power plants. Environmentalists blame thousands of deaths on emissions from their smokestacks. The timing couldn’t be worse for the Obama administration, which seeks congressional funding for a low-emission nuclear system to replace the dominant coal-stoked facilities.

You could call this the somewhat pessimistic version of the theme. The concern and interest is more than appreciated and a lot of editorials, however they come at, all focus on the qualities that nuclear energy brings to the energy conversation.

1 comment:

Fred Z said...

What I find ironic about the Kristof comment is that this sort of selfless heroism is actually far more commonplace than we routinely acknowledge. Every day across the globe millions or tens of millions of people do necessary jobs that involve daily risk to life. People rock.