Fukushima may be out of the headlines

When most people saw the devastation of the Fukushima plants, they rolled their eyes and thought, “just another Chernobyl” and got on with their lives. I, however, saw the beginning of the end as our last big hope for generating large-scale power, which wouldn’t accelerate the global warming problem, goes into meltdown.

The end of the nuclear-powered dream.

The end of the nuclear-powered dream.

If you think you are half a world away from danger, then think again. The blue-fin tuna and other food resources you take for granted will now be contaminated!

For a real sense of the Fukushima disaster, the Japanese authorities asked the outside world for help. For anyone who knows Japanese culture, they would know that this culture does not allow much for asking for help on an individual or governmental basis.

For Japan as a country to ask for outside help with the Fukushima problem must mean the problem is as bad as it gets. In fact, there are no indications that the radioactive elements are spreading and contaminating right across the Pacific region and as far as the west coast of America.

Humanity’s nuclear dream died the day the Fukushima plant failed, and along with it, our future energy strategy for modern civilisation’s path to cleaner energy production. With Japan, Germany, Sweden, Italy and several other energy-hungry states all abandoning the once proclaimed future of clean energy production, this now puts humanity on the back foot with prolonging our society and limiting the greenhouse gas emissions that come with powering it.

Nuclear energy supplies over 12 per cent of our civilisation’s electricity generation, and with such a large percentage being replaced by even more gas, oil and coal burning to replace this technology will be devastating environmentally.

The nuclear-powered dream is over, so our only chance of reducing the effects of the high cost of energy and the ecological disaster unfolding before our eyes now sits at the door of alternative energy technology such as solar panels.

A civilisation stumbling into the darkness

The Fukushima disaster happened at a time when human development is at a decisive midway point in history. As someone who grew up in the technological age of the space race and later the computing race, we seemed to be taking momentous step forward technologically.

But the reality with a splash of hindsight, now shows me that except computing, medical and pharmaceutical advancements, our society is still relying on 100 plus-year-old technologies and infrastructure which still relies on burning stuff.

One other extremely essential advancement is in the field of oil extraction technologies.

To put it bluntly, they have kept our massive demand for oil flowing at a precarious time when newer oil field discoveries are dwindling globally. In other words, humanity has been stretching its abilities to keep up with increasing demand for a while now.

This decisive point comes as peak oil (the end at which the larger easier to extract oil and gas begin to drop away and is replaced by much smaller, harder and financially more expensive to extract oil) starts to become more noticeable in our everyday lives. You can see this with petrol and the increasing cost of heating your home. The people who are responsible for ‘keeping your home powered’ have decided to continue with more of the same. A road that leads down a very dark path indeed.

As individuals, you also have a decision to make. Continue with more of the same too and hope all will turn out alright, or take responsibility for your own families needs and choose an alternative way.

The human party has now reached that drunken part of the night. Once it was confident that it had a taxi to take it through the last half of the night, but instead now finds itself stumbling through the dark with a massive hangover on the horizon and only vague memories of what went before.

As humanity continues to drink after the party while stumbling around in the dark, trying to get to a place of comfort again, ask yourself, would you follow this intoxicated fellow into the darkness or would you make your arrangements?

"Light is life."

Stuart Lovatt 2013-10-16
Founder of Power My Home.