Today officials announced that the Japan nuclear crisis has matched Chernobyl in severity. Not surprising, really – I think we’ve all been expecting this news as we’ve watched the natural earthquake and tsunami disaster unfold into a man-made nuclear one.
In some ways Japan’s crisis reminds me of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The hurricane itself was among the strongest and most deadly in history. But who can forget what happened in New Orleans, when the levee failed and flooded 80% of the city? Looting, rioting, violence, a poorly designed levee system, and a flawed government response made this disaster much worse.
Like New Orleans, Japan faces two stages of this disaster — The first stage is a completely natural event that insurance policies call an “act of God.” The second stage is man-made.
But we can’t blame the Japanese, not really. Had humans not abused fossil fuels to the extent that we even need nuclear power plants, this might not have happened. Better yet, if humans weren’t so greedy and arrogant in their need for control and profit, the world as a whole would use less energy and perhaps this might not have happened.
In Obadiah 1:15 we read that “The day of the Lord is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.”
Unfortunately, nuclear fallout fits the bill quite literally. Radioactive particles in the air descend on surfaces and remain there, invisible cancer-causing toxins just waiting to mutate DNA. But it’s not just about the environment.
It’s about the heart.
Nuclear reactors were first used in the military, as a way to conquer. To win. As we saw in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, winning comes at great cost. Nuclear weapons are the ultimate war-time trump card.
But nuclear energy doesn’t have to be all bad. Now we use nuclear energy as an environmentally-friendly way to sustain our way of living. To sustain our increasingly indulgent, technology-driven, competitive lifestyle. To conquer and win – in the home, in business, in the stock market, and in world politics.
How is that any different?
As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.