The Tsunami and the Future

Mitchell, Lincoln A.

The stories from Japan about the damage the tsunami has done are tragic. For many Americans, this tsunami feels even more upsetting because the country hardest hit was not some far away and poor country, like Haiti which an easily be dismissed as irrelevant to our lives. Japan is, like the US, an affluent northern country. The tsunami also should remind everybody of the increasing environmental frailty facing all of us. Earthquakes and tsunamis are not the kinds of extreme weather events to which global climate change contributes, but as climate change continues it is likely that hurricanes and other storms, for example, will become more frequent and stronger. The damage to the Japanese nuclear facility, which has not yet been controlled, is an even starker reminder of the risks involved in continuing a lifestyle oriented around increasing consumption.

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Academic Units
Harriman Institute
Published Here
May 18, 2012