The anguish the people of Japan must be going through in the horrific aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami is unimaginable. Their calm stoicism and amazing resilience is to be greatly admired.
Watching the international community rushing to help, as they have in other recent disasters, is also to be admired and it is deeply moving.
The media have done a fantastic job of bringing this tragedy directly, and immediately, into the lives of every person on the planet and fostering an incredible sense of oneness and empathy with the people of Japan.
However, the tragedy in Japan has raised fresh questions about the safety and advisability of nuclear power in earthquake-prone parts of the world. For instance, the nuclear nightmare currently unfolding in Japan will undoubtedly put the brakes on any thought to expand nuclear power in an earthquake-prone state like California.
That leaves a big question for California: How will they replace the carbon-intensive energy sources they currently rely on without resorting to nuclear power. Solar energy is definitely one clean energy option that California has in abundance, but it is also one of the more costly clean energy sources available.
In the same spirit of oneness and empathy the world feels with the people of Japan, British Columbians should perhaps look to how we can help our nearby friends and neighbours in California meet their clean energy needs. British Columbia has much to offer in this regard because of the great gifts climate and topography have provided us.
There really is no “us and them,” as Japan’s tragedy has shown. There is only us and we. And we must all work together to make this world a better place for all of us.