lunedì 14 marzo 2011

Lessons from Japan

The terrible disaster occurred in Japan has driven me to make a number of considerations, some of which I include here below.

1) If a similar event was occurred in Italy, we could have suffered millions of casualties. Our lack of preparation, corruption, individualism push us to severe risks in case of natural disasters. In Japan, buildings resisted to the earthquake while the tsunami actually produced major damages. Japanese reacted with dignity and control without panic, with sense of organization and adequate preparation in case of emergency. Without this approach, the number of casualties could be probably huge. The enormous waste of public fundings, lack of organization and preparation, individualism, incapability and lack of interest by politicians, abuses and fraud as system of political government are a bomb on which we all are still sitting in Italy. In case of a definitively less strong earthquake in Italy we will suffer more and more damages and dead. Just thinking about the area of Vesuvius, one of the higher risk area n Italy, presently full of illegal houses for the general abuses and cheats with the political support of many local politicians: it is something really shocking.

2) Nuclear plants are definitively a high risk option in area exposed to earthquakes. Nuclear energy is thus a not practicable choice in such areas, like Italy. There are no advanced technologies capable to cope with similar extreme events. The nuclear business of course has no interest in investing huge amounts of money to deal with extreme events considered, by statistical data, as "low probability cases". The disaster in Japan has showed that these low probablity events may occur, despite of statistical previsions.

3) Statistical surveys, if bad interpreted, may drive to very bad choices. When founding political decisions on statistics when public health could be put at risk, may become very dangerous. If certain decisions are made just because for example an 10.5 earthquake is a very low probable event cannot make us quiet at all, because as Japan has shown, these rather impossible events can actually occur.

4) Italian political discussions are ridiculous, but the disaster in Japan has made them even more ridicolous. When, watching TV in these days, I've seen the italian political debate after the reports from Japan, the general squalor of italian politics clearly emerged.

5) A similar event confirms how fragile is human existence on our planet. We are addicted by technology and no-use commercial gadgets and we forget the weak balance governing life on Earth. Everyday we live a dream, an illusion to be able to control natural forces on Earth, to exploit natural resources with no limits. If considering how easily one of the most technologically advanced country in the world has been wounded by the force of Nature, we should think about our weakness despite of our technologies. We need more respect for Nature.

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