Critical Lesson From Fukishima
July 31, 2012
The Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission submitted their findings in a Special Report to the Japanese Diet on July 5, 2012. From the executive summary comes a very important point that Americans, and in fact all industrialized countries, desperately need to notice. The central point is that the nuclear disaster was preventable, that all of the damage thereby created, was in fact a function of the ways in which we run both our organizations and our economies. All of this very serious Japanese destruction was a function of the mindset used by people to approach problems, challenges, and “bad news.” Consider this direct quote from the cover letter to the executive summary:
“What must be admitted – very painfully – is that this was a disaster ‘Made in Japan.’ Its fundamental causes are to be found in the ingrained conventions of Japanese culture: our reflexive obedience; our reluctance to question authority; our devotion to ‘sticking with the program’; our groupism; and our insularity.”
So what specifically has this message got to do with other industrialized nations besides Japan? We are all dangerously following in the same footsteps as the Japanese — we are all way too passive and accepting of the party-line that we get from the major media. Do you honestly think you are going to get the truth about peak oil and non-renewable natural resource depletion from the major media? In America, we have a profound degree of media consolidation, media concentration, and media integration. When a few large media conglomerates own a vast swath of the media outlets, do you really think you are going to get a wide diversity of viewpoints? When this level of concentration of power exists, do you really think that reporters have the freedom to tell the truth, if that same truth might in some way be perceived to be against the interests of the sponsors or the media conglomerates? Do you really think that anything remotely approaching editorial independence can exist for the news related staff at these media conglomerates?
Anybody who has taken the time to investigate the ownership and actual editorial coverage of the major news media will answer all of the questions in the prior paragraph with a resounding “no.” So what then is to be done about this deplorable state of affairs? The answer: it’s time for us to pay a lot more attention to the “outsiders,” to those who may not be getting the attention they deserve. It’s time for us to seek out the alternative viewpoints, because it is those alternative ways of looking at things that we desperately need to hear right now.
The same is painfully true in the arena of American politics. There the political conversation is pervasively dominated by Republicans and Democrats, when increasingly there is no significant difference between these two parties. For example, both parties consistently look away from the important truths that we desperately need to come to terms with, and among these are peak oil, non-renewable natural resource depletion, climate change, severe environmental degradation, and financial system collapse. There is no significant third political party presence in American politics. It is high time for us to hear from these alternative parties, for the major media to help publicize what they have to say, for the public to pay attention to these different messages, and for many important changes to be made.
But we the members of the public aren’t going to hear about these alternative viewpoints through the major media. The major media are all a part of what President Eisenhower called the “military industrial complex.” They are all tied together in a self-reinforcing stand against the changes that must now take place. There is no question that these changes will eventually take place for they must. If nothing else, if humans do not get their act together in the very near future, nature will reestablish its own order, through earthquakes, tsunamis, plagues, famines, and other mechanisms that will restore balance.
But we don’t have to suffer these severe consequences. If we humans can proactively deal with the truth, and make the required changes now, we will not be forced to suffer through pervasive chaos and overwhelming crisis. If we humans are to avoid these and other dire consequences, citizens must take back the responsibility for management of their governments (on all levels). Citizens must also coral, direct, muzzle, and ethically correct the corporations. If we are to avoid these dire consequences, we the citizens must once again create a government and corporate system that is in harmonious support of all people, animals, plants and other parts of our environment. We the citizens must throw off the shackles of groupthink, we must go beyond the party line, we must stop thinking that everything is “just fine.” In truth, we are now in the midst of massive worldwide changes, and we desperately need to come to terms with the truth of our situation. If we the citizens do not embrace the truth, and do so now, we cannot make the right decisions, and if we don’t make the right decisions, certainly many more preventable disasters like Fukishima await us.
There really is a better way, but that way requires that individuals have the courage to stand-up, speak out, and publicly make themselves known. It requires that average citizens, whoever they may be working for to get the money they need, it requires that they tell the truth, that they take a stand for what is right, and that they speak out for what is going to work in the long run for all those concerned. These individuals must develop a deep connection with the new truth, the grounded and in-the-world all-encompassing truth regarding the big issues about which they are taking a stand. But how will they do this in an era of such massive group-think, in the wake of an onslaught of so much propaganda, in the midst of mass consumer-oriented hypnotism of denial and avoidance? These people — and this author hopes the reader is one, or will soon become one, of them — must seek out the greater truth. We must investigate the situation, must go beyond the easy explanation coming from the military-industrial complex.
Just as the fax machine was once the way that news about the massacre in Tianamen Square was released to the public around the world, the communications technology is now in support of and greatly helping the wider dissemination of the most important truths. It is no mistake that the Chinese government is using censorship to block what Chinese people can see on the Internet. The leadership knows that the truth is dangerous, is a threat to the powers that be. So for all of you citizens that will carry the banner for the truth, to facilitate all the many changes that must now take place, we must embrace the open and widespread dissemination of the truth via the Internet. The net is a great physical manifestation of the larger truth, which is that we are all connected. Use that new computer-linked connection with others, use that access point to the truth, to bring us back to sanity, to bring us back to a world that works for everyone.
Charles Cresson Wood, MBA, MSE, is an independent technology risk management consultant with Post-Petroleum Transportation, in Mendocino, California. He is also the author of the practical book entitled “Kicking The Gasoline & Petro-Diesel Habit: A Business Manager’s Blueprint For Action.” You can reach him via www.kickingthegasoline.com.