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A Japanese Disaster

Image source: Obed Bhatti

The triple whammy of the most powerful earthquake, tsunami and damage to nuclear power plants in Japan has cost the country thousands of lives, billions of dollars in damage to properties, infrastructure and industries, but the most devastating damage from the explosions in the four nuclear power plants will continue. The scenes that we witness on our screens are like science fiction horror films, but in this case afflicting hundreds of thousands of people with the potential of continuous threat to many more. It is hard to say when this daily unfolding horror will come to an end.


Many people of religion seem to believe that this is the wrath of God, punishing people for some wrong-doing. However, the fact is that the movement of the tectonic plates caused this massive upheaval. The question one needs to ask is why the effect has been so overwhelmingly disastrous. Tectonic plates have always been moving and adjusting their positions, causing many earthquakes in the past, but none like this one. Is it because the earth and the environment are being systematically and horribly abused by human beings, who seem to have no regard for the well-being of the earth which provides sustenance for them?


If we look at ancient pagan religions and cultures, we see that the earth was worshipped as a goddess. It provided humankind with everything to enable them to live, and therefore in gratitude they worshiped and looked after it. In Hinduism, the earth is called ‘Mother Earth’ and they have enormous reverence for it. They are obligated to take good care of it and never desecrate it, so that in return it may continue to provide for them. Other scriptural religions too advocate good care of the environment and remind us of the goodness that the earth provides.


However, it is obvious from the recent history of our sojourn on this earth that people and nations have been abusing it massively. They have been bombarding it with the most destructive and poisonous bombs, blasting away vast chunks of the earth. Not content with siphoning billions of barrels of oil from the earth for wasteful consumption, they have been indulging in siphoning more from under the seabed in unbridled greed for profits.


All this intense activity, which voraciously consumes energy but depletes the earth of natural resources, is bound to create an imbalance somewhere, which the earth has to rectify through the movement of the tectonic plates. The earth regulates itself, and therefore man’s phenomenal abuse of it necessitates the restoration of balance, resulting in severe repercussions when the earth moves in the way it did in the Japanese earthquake. To add to all this abuse, nations have embarked on building more nuclear power reactors to supplement their energy needs, not realising that they have been building monsters like Frankensteins which could turn against them one day. Some countries have already been alarmed and have instantly dropped their plans of building such power plants, and are now seriously looking at dispensing with the ones they already have. It may already be too late to roll back the damage caused to the earth because of the destructive practices of corporate organisations, who keep on bilking the economies of the world and paying themselves billions of pounds in undeserved bonuses.

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