Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Nuclear Energy, Conservation and Love - Just Thinking

 I have been thinking a lot about my reaction to the earthquake in Japan and the resulting malfunctions at some of their nuclear power plants. This has led to thoughts on how little media I actually absorb, but how it seems to be enough for me. Which has led me to think more about leading an insulated life which our family does live to a certain extent and then to what my reaction should be when I do have strong views about something.

When I first heard the news about the problems and dangers of what was going on at the nuclear power plants, my first feelings were those of anger. How short sighted people are to build such plants without taking into account natural disasters, problems that will someday occur but are ignored because the percentages of them occurring do not match the benefits of providing power to the people. Nuclear power simply makes no sense to me. Then again, neither does so much of the coal mining and oil drilling. So what is the answer?

These strong feelings overwhelm me at times even with only NPR as my media source and our local newspaper which doesn't really cover national events. Jules recently wrote about her thoughts on this. I have yet to see an image from Japan of the devastation and I don't want to. With an aunt and uncle living in Tokyo, having no other choice but to sometimes drink the drinking water contaminated with radioactive iodine (the government has assured them it is ok to drink for two months), I am well aware how the natural disaster has reached nearly every citizen of Japan. I cannot imagine how those who watch television or look at news clips online can handle all of the sadness - do they become numb?

I know I do not feel numb but instead am so affected by what I hear. I rarely hear talk of conservation and less consumption. Even the "green" energy alternatives are not truly green. We have a large wind power colony coming just a few miles down the road that will devastate the mountain range. The hydro electric plants destroy a way of life for Native Americans in Canada and disrupt natural habitat.

Why is there so much destruction? Shouldn't our actions only be agents of love and peace?

Do I, as a mom of many children, take the time out of my days to actively oppose nuclear power? I worry about the earth we will be leaving our children and grandchildren. Shall I write my elected leaders? Do I organize a rally? Do I write editorials about conservation and living with less? Or do I simply continue to live my days by taking small steps by conserving and being with my children and loving them? How far do we go with conservation? Can I manage some combination of activism and living deliberately? Do we go back to having a block of ice to cool our food and wash our clothes by hand? Adrie recently wrote a wonderful blog post about not being able to do it all. Is it ok to live a somewhat insulated life? I believe it is. And ultimately I think the best we can do is live what we believe, keep a loving attitude even towards those we oppose and find a balance without sacrificing the love and care we need to give our family and community.

Warm wishes,

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