Is ‘realistic’ view a path of folly?

Seattle

Regarding the Nov. 3 article “U.S. needs Japan to remain nuclear, expert says“: John Hamre, CEO of the pro-nuclear Center for Strategic and International Studies,” tells us: “There can’t be any romanticism about alternative energy. If you’re going to be a modern, sophisticated economy, you have to address this question of making nuclear power a legitimate source of energy.”

I assume he is suggesting that his is a realistic approach, in contrast to that of the “romanticists” who look toward an alternative future of safe, renewable energy sources. …

I would submit that the truly romantic view is the notion that our rapacious, unthinking, economic machine can be maintained indefinitely and still leave us with a livable planet. Those who particularly benefit from this system would, of course, like to see it continue. But I think they are the ones with the romantic delusions about how the real world — the real planet — works.

The disaster at Fukushima has turned a portion of northern Japan into, effectively, a dead zone. It has dumped a huge inventory of poisonous isotopes into the ocean, and thereby into our food supply. Across the Pacific, in Seattle, I have likely breathed hot particles from the Fukushima plant into my lungs.

No one really knows where the melted nuclear cores are at this point, because the site is such a highly radioactive mess. If the spent fuel pool at Unit 4 fails, a radiological catastrophe even worse than what has already occurred may result.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

joel bradbury