Japan says “Sayonara tomari!”

Fear forces us to sometimes take irrational decisions; decisions that on the face of it might protect and safeguard us, but might cause greater problems in the long run. Weren’t we taught as kids that the best way to deal with fears is to confront them rather than run away?

Japan shut down its last nuclear reactor, Tomari, last week as a result of the country’s fall out with nuclear power after last year’s disaster at Fukushima. Nuclear power accounted for 50% of the country’s power before the disaster; what is the alternative now?

The Japanese government has declared its intention to speed up the deployment of renewable energy like Solar and Wind, which will realistically take at least 5-8 years to come onboard. In the meantime, Japan is importing coal and crude oil from around the world to fill in its energy shortfall. At a time when the need to reduce carbon emission cannot be stressed enough, this means technologically advanced countries like Japan taking two steps backwards rather than forward. Countries like Germany are following suit, with France rethinking its energy strategy too.

Are we making a mistake by trading a potentially dangerous situation with one of slower but definite impending doom?

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