Friday, March 18, 2011
(Photo: Talking basketball or shooting geese while the world burns.)
I don't watch action or "hero" movies.
I don't believe in Superman, Spiderman or that Bruce Willis will save us from the next catastrophe.
But, if ever we needed some real heroes, it is now.
But, we need them in leadership.
There are, of course very real and genuine heroes literally putting their lives on the line to walk into and try to work on what are surely death traps in Japan.
"The Fukushima Fifty" are a group of courageous, self-sacrificing souls doing everything they can to try and thwart a potential nuclear disaster of epic proportions.
One cannot even imagine the kind of guts and fortitude it must require to walk into nuclear plants spewing out toxic radiation and on the verge of meltdown.
How does one beat down the normal instinct to survive? How does one embark on what surely is a suicide mission?
Not being any kind of hero, I cannot answer those questions. I can only thank God there are people willing to put themselves in such horrid and likely lethal situation for the sake of humanity and the planet.
So yes, there are genuine heroes subjecting themselves to the tortures of the damned to try and save us. But, these people are so far, nameless and faceless.
What about the heroes in leadership?
That, we tragically are not seeing.
It is almost one full week now since Japan has been hit with the triple catastrophe of earthquake, Tsunami and perhaps worst of all, threat of full blown nuclear disaster.
The first two of course were not preventable. The third one was.
But, it is too late now to talk of, "would haves, could haves, should haves."
But, one truly wonders if the leaders of both, Japan and the United States have been somewhat "out to lunch" over the past week?
Almost as soon as the catastrophes occurred, I wrote in this journal that we needed to gather the greatest brains in the world and put them to work to figure a way out of the potential nuclear calamity.
But, did that happen?
It seems not.
Instead, we have been watching Japanese workers trying to drop buckets of water over the rapidly heating up nuclear reactors.
One nuclear physicist likens that to "trying to put out a forest fire with a water pistol."
We have the brave Fukushima Fifty trying desperately to get the reactors plugged into electricity once again with the hope that water can again be pumped into the systems.
But, what happens if this is not successful OR the workers are forced to vacate if the radiation becomes too intense to even attempt work in?
No one seems to have an answer to those questions.
All these unknowns. And all the unfathomable consequences if these efforts ultimately fail.
Consequences that could be far worse than Chernobyl.
It is shocking and extremely disappointing that with all this chaos and human tragedy occurring, our President was talking basketball on Wednesday and entertaining Irish musicians yesterday at the White House.
I am second generation Irish. And even I didn't go to the parade yesterday or bother to wear green.
Moreover, I am not the President.
Now there is talk of the U.S. sending in special and powerful hoses that could pump water into the reactors in a last ditch effort to prevent them from melting down.
Why did it take so long?
Because Japanese leadership didn't apparently ask for our help in this until now!
Well, maybe we should have suggested it a week ago. Or, better yet, insisted on it to the best of our capabilities!
This is not after all, just about the people in the immediate vicinity of the reactors. Its about the ultimate health of the earth, the oceans and the 7 billion people on this planet.
Mind you, I am not even mentioning the flora, fauna and animals on the planet.
I am not even talking about the geese who one nation has targeting for destruction shortly following an earthquake ("Blame the geese!") and who are now the main subject of this blog.
We desperately need the leaders of this world and all the great brains to step up to the plate and avert what could be cataclysmic tragedy unlike any other we have known. We need them to learn from and use this tragedy to avoid future nuclear disasters (presuming we safely get out of this one).
Its not the time to talk basketball, listen to music, plan vacations or shoot and gas geese while the world burns.
Its the time for real leadership.
Its the time for heroes who can make the difference between averting a catastrophic crisis or falling headlong into one while we talked sports or shot at geese. -- PCA