Wednesday, November 06, 2013

How dare those Japanese! Letter to the editor

Here's a copy of a letter to the editor of the Santa Barbara News-Press that I sent today. I'll update this post if/when it's published.

Update: The letter was published on November 8, 2013.

We've just learned from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that more than a million tons – a million tons – of debris from the earthquake and resultant tsunami-triggered disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, windblown over the waves of the Pacific for two and one-half years since the event, is now approaching our coast. According to NOAA models, this diffused, enormous pool of trash – of unspecified content, except that most of it is indestructible and likely carries life forms alien to American ecology, to say nothing of an unknown quantity of radiated matter – has by now traveled five-sixths of the way from its catastrophic origin and will begin to invade our western – including Central California's – shores in 2014. And because the pool is so enormous, its debris will continue to wash up here for years.

How dare those Japanese, we cry out, build such a dangerous power plant immediately beside the Pacific Ocean, and directly along what's long been known as the "ring of fire" for its proclivity for Earth-shattering earthquakes! What idiots! What monsters! Why, you'd think the folks who planned it were of the same mind (same corporate structure and mentality) as those who built a similar nuclear power plant along our own Pacific coast – along our own historically active segment of the ring of fire. I speak, of course, of the nuclear power plant ninety miles to our north, at Diablo Canyon.

And, of course, you'd be right.