Thursday, March 17, 2011

Japan: The Calamity

Japan survived the shaking of the earthquake just fine. They have built marvelously. I've seen videos of shaking outside a supermarket where the windows of that building did not even break. The telephone poles outside did not shake at all. Nothing fell or broke all around. No dust clouds even! Then I saw a Tokyo train station. It rocked back and forth. No damage, no cracks. The elevators worked the whole time the quake was shaking the whole building structure. The elevators went on as if there was no quake. The people calmly held on to the rails in the middle of the station and rode it out. No panic. The train was shut off automatically and sitting there the whole time during the quake. After the quake, the doors opened and people came out. All automatic.

In another video, I saw the earthquake and tsunami readings update right away on the tv while the quake was happening!

Whole villages/cities wiped out, some with over half missing or dead. Infrastructure laid out and designed for earthquakes in the 7 range cannot handle the repercussions of a 9.0 earthquake.

Let this be an example of business getting in the way of life. I see scientists and engineers being on top and business and finance as subordinates on the layer underneath. The organization chart is completely backwards right now. Why do businessmen/finance have a say over scientists and engineers? Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Decisions and planning should be based on what scientists and engineers say, not what the business or finance men say. Someone should have listened to those engineers that resigned in disgust at GE over the building of these nuclear reactors. Either they meet the requirements provided by the engineers or it does not get built. Those should be the two options for everything. We would see a different society altogether if he adhered to this structure for an organization.

So for example, the specs for Japan's infrastructure and its nuclear reactors should be able to handle a 9.0 earthquake and all of what it invites such as tsunamis. The nuclear plants should be able to handle a tsunami generated by a 9.0 quake. If the nuclear plants cannot be built to these specs, they should not be built. Ok, so Japan can't have cheap energy. They're smart enough to find alternate technology such as solar, wind, or thermal. They'll have to also use much less. No more shipping food 1000s of miles. Hey, if we can drill miles down to get to oil, surely we can tap into magma that can heat steam for geothermal. Suddenly, land around volcanoes becomes a hot commodity.

The other thing is should houses be built in the middle of a tsunami plain? If the event happens once every 100 years, it's still imprudent to build in the path of a tsunami. They should be built on top of hills. Or maybe the types of homes that can be built should be out of concrete and steel so they don't get washed away by a tsunami. And nobody can live on the first 3 floors. Concrete structures survived the tsunami in many of the villages.

So there you go.. Business and finance has taken over all aspects of life. Now live through the repercussions. Whose word should be believed? Whose wisdom should be followed? Business/finance or scientists/engineers? In what way should life be lived? What shall we do with all that the Earth provides?

[Youtube] Japanese Tsunami 2011

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