I have a lot of thoughts about what is currently happening in Japan. In the wake of a natural disaster, an even larger disaster is slowly beginning to form. As I’m writing the fire in the 4th reactor has been extinguished and there is so much more happening and to be done.

My news feed on facebook has been inundated by the news of the disaster. Comparing it to Chernobyl. The word has seemed to magically reappear in our consciousness as a people. Chernobyl. 25 years ago in just a little over a month now. This project which once felt so obscure has been forced into the limelight and pushed back into our social conscious. In a way I’m thankful for that. Not for the disaster and for the lingering impacts, but that people are talking about it.

People didn’t talk about Chernobyl in the immediate aftermath. There wasn’t a large international dialogue about what should be done or what the potential lasting impacts will be. While it is extremely unfortunate that most of the Japanese cannot watch the news due to power outages and other issues, it is incredible how much I am seeing about Japan and Chernobyl right now.

Someone asked me what my opinion was about Japan and the impending nuclear disaster. I wasn’t sure what they were really asking about. Was it my opinion on nuclear energy? I don’t talk about that. Was it my opinion on how it’s being handled? Maybe. The person clarified their question, asking me if I thought Japan was going to be the “next chernobyl”. What a loaded thought.

In some ways what is happening now will never be Chernobyl. Technology is more advanced  and we are in the USSR in 1986. Will the environmental and social impacts be as bad? Preliminary calculations have suggested it may be or it may not be.

For now, the world watches and waits.

For now, I read my facebook feed and am happy Chernobyl is being spoken about. I just wish it was under much better circumstances.