Sunday, March 13, 2011


Like I am sure many of you, I have been glued to my TV the past few days as the scenes of what has transpired in Japan has unfolded. I wanted to write a post on Japan, in part to document and in part to try and process what is happening.

Certianly apocolyptic scenes being displayed on live TV isn't new- we saw the devastation of Haiti and the 2004 tsunami that both killed so many. But for some reason Japan has affeceted me a little differently. I hope I do not sound callous when I say that- my heart broke for the people in Haiti and of course in all those island countries as thousands lost their lives.

And  my heart is wrenching again for the people in Japan, but in a slightly different way. I think I have narrowed down in two ways why this particular disaster has been so difficult for me to process:

1. The news footage is so graphic because everybody in Japan has cell phones to record what was happening literally as it happened- certainly that has played a factor

But, I also think this is another reason:

2. Japan is not a third world country- they are like us. When I see devastating images of a third world county, it is horrific and depressing, but somehow not entirely a surprise because they don't have the infrstructure or the resources of a first world country. But, Japan spends billions of dollars a year (more than any other country) protecting itself against what happened- and the destruction is still unimaginable. It hits home for me just a little bit more, because it could just as well be us that it is happening too.

As Ben told me last night, "no matter what you do, you can't beat Mother Nature."

Granted, of course, without their infrastructure thousands more would have died- so thank goodness they have done all that they have done to protect themselves.

But this disaster reminds me yet again of the importance of doing all we can personally to prepare- both spiritually and physically- because Mother Nature can strike at anytime and anywhere- not just in third world countries.

Now excuse me while I go back to the TV.


  1. I'm actually glad I don't have TV to watch all of this unfold. Living on the pacific rim, these sorts of things really terrify me. It's the reason I get so heated about the people trying to stop the current tunnel project in Seattle in favor of "fixing" the viaduct or waiting until we have a better solution. I don't care if it costs zillions of dollars, if that thing flattens like a pancake and people are on it (like what happened in SF) we will all feel horrible about that kind of loss of life. (end rant)
    What I am finding interesting is how the nuclear reactors are so unstable. Perhaps nuclear power along the pacific rim is also a bad idea?
    My heart goes out to Japan too. They face such interesting problems related to this, like so very many elderly people who live high up in high-rise buildings who simply can't get home because they can't climb the stairs. 1st world or 3rd world, these natural disasters affect people in life-threatening ways...
    Do they have earth quakes in Colorado? I wouldn't think you'd be too in danger there.

  2. We actually are on a massive fault line, but it has been pretty dormant. The biggest things we have to worry about are snowstorms, tornadoes (though those are less likely in the cities and more likely on the plains), and droughts. I don't think we would have to worry about a tsunami...but now I'm nervous to visit Seattle. I remember being the Alaskan Viaduct once and I thought of SF and said, "I will never go on this again!" Definitley scary stuff.

  3. Well, it'll be down by 2012 now, parts of it are actually already dismantled as the tunnel is under construction.
    Tsunamis in Seattle are *highly* unlikely. The conditions would have to be just right and that's just not something to spend a lot of time worrying about. Unless you are at sea level (which almost nobody is due to the hills) it wouldn't be a huge issue anyway.
    I wish there was someplace to live that was free of natural disasters, but I don't think there is...