Yeah, yeah, it's a sign of the times. People are rushing to get iodine tablets and know where the nearest nuclear plant sits. So far as I can tell, it looks like central northern Wyoming might be your safest bet, if but if you don't see a real industry there to draw you to it, just invest in some iodine tablets and sit where you are.
Well, I hear a lot of people saying this is some sort of sign that all hell is breaking loose. First of all, these disasters have been happening forever and even to the extreme of wiping out the dinosaurs, so let's quit bellyaching.
We've had plagues and natural disasters always. The problem now is that a huge majority of the people in the ring of fire live near the water where there will be the quakes and the tsunamis. In the old days, perhaps a small village went. Nowadays, it's likely to be an entire industry that's obliterated or an enormous population. Truth be told, it only seems horrible because now everyone has cameras and cell phones and satellite dishes and we can see it all as it's happening. In the old days, it happened, but we had no clue it did.
This whole horrible set of events in Japan had me thinking about how there's not a generation that hasn't undergone some horrible trials and lots of fearfulness. My parents told of the depression era and prohibition.
I hate to show my age, but I recall in my earliest elementary school years being told to duck under the desk as they ran the siren for a practice for what we do in a nuclear event. I grew up knowing that at any moment some big “boom!” could make me and everything around me turn to dust in seconds. Having that looming over the background of your happy childhood is not a pleasant thing, especially when your parents watch Vietnam war on their TV during suppertime and grumble about the USSR and what the Reds are up to next.
We have so many cautionary things through our lifetimes. I remember the threat of the bunny man, a 6-foot tall man in a bunny suit who supposed diced up people with an ax. The 70s hailed a lot of fear about pollution and its ramifications resulting in some creepy and weird movies like “The Prophecy,” “Food of the Gods,” and “Day of the Animals” where the Earth attacks.
Do you remember fear of 2000 and computers going berserk and losing our grid? Remember our color coded warnings following 9-11? Remember Anthrax? Bird Flu? I still have duct tape, plastic, surgical masks and gloves. I stored up a crap-load of foods for the Millennium. Oh, and during Anthrax, there was the time I took the reporter's advice and threw my mail into the microwave only to have my TV Guide blow up and catch fire because there were metallic designs on the insert pages.
Okay, so it's inevitable that every generation must have its cautions and warnings, threats and fears. Terrorism and jobs seem to be the ones for this generation coming up. It will only seem more and more pressing as we live in a more crowded world in which one incident can knock out many lives and threaten even more, where cameras are everywhere to document it.
I say take a deep breath, feel secure in your own capabilities to discern a threat and then plan accordingly. That time hasn't come in my lifetime of (blank) years, but I will tell you that it didn't in my parents' lifetime either and likely not in our kids' lifetimes. There will just be many topics of obsession whether it is global warming, lack of resources, natural disasters or war. The reason man has made it so far is that he learned to beat that which killed him, as we made cures for diseases that knocked out generations long ago and learn to build buildings that can move with earthquakes and allow for less damage. We only learn when we have to. Then, we excel. We're just on the cusp of excelling again.