The crisis over future energy supply has ratcheted up as a result of the Japanese nuclear power plant disaster, after the fifth greatest earthquake ever recorded, which also caused a massive tsunami in northern Japan.
This, plus the British Petroleum Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico make it very obvious that the United States is faced with a major problem with no easy solution.
Can we really expect nuclear power plants to be safe enough with the danger of a nuclear accident as at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979, and the Chernobyl disaster in the Soviet Union in 1986?
Can we really find a solution to nuclear waste, finding an appropriate location in our nation for an extremely dangerous supply of material that no one wishes to have in their state boundaries?
Is Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee correct in saying we should not turn against nuclear power because of Japan, because after all, we don’t turn against airplanes because of a plane crash? Are these two tragedies, a nuclear disaster in an earthquake zone, and a plane crash, equivalent?
The answer to all of the above is obviously NO, and when one realizes that if there was an earthquake in California or New York or many other locations, millions upon millions of people would be in harm’s way, and unable to evacuate out of the danger zone!
Nuclear power cannot be the answer to our energy crisis in the future, and we had better learn from what has happened in Japan, but will we, since the motivation of profit governs everything that politicians consider, including public safety!
Meanwhile, however, it is obvious that the BP Oil Spill demonstrates that we have to be prepared to destroy wildlife, our water supply, our soil, in the name of having oil companies earn obscene profit in the name of their shareholders, instead of considering the danger to the environment and human beings!
The answer is that we must, somehow, utilize wind, water and solar power in the long run, and spend the investment money to make these cleans sources of energy the future!
If we could go into space and the moon within a decade, why can’t we invest in research to get away, over time, from oil, whether from oil drilling off our shores or supplies from other unstable countries; and also move away from nuclear power, before it destroys us completely in an earthquake disaster certain to come, at the least in California and the Pacific Coast, or in the Midwest, or even in the New York metropolitan area, all places where it could indeed occur!
The energy crisis requires strong, innovative leadership to think of the long term future, not just short term profits!