I happened upon this interesting event during my travels in Tokyo yesterday, a rather large,well-organized, peaceful but very noisy anti-nuke protest march. I took the opportunity to shoot a quick video of the event, sorry for the low quality and also for the fact I was a little bit too far from the march itself to document it very well, but it was certainly of interest to me as I’ve seen a lot of anti-nuke stickers and posters and other forms of more passive complaints but this was the first real protest I’ve seen in the downtown area (in fairness, I don’t get out much lol…I have heard of these protests on the news but this was my first encounter with such).
I’m not quite sure where I really fall on the issue, personally. Of course, I went through a long period of stress and worry last year along with everyone else who lives within a few hundred miles or less of Fukushima. And I can certainly understand the concerns these people have, as I do share them to some extent, although in fairness I have no inkling of what the people of Fukushima are still going through, some of whom had their very lives turned upside down by the disaster.
However, even taking all of that into consideration, I think it is a touch unrealistic for people to be shouting for “no more nukes!” since I really just don’t see that happening anytime soon. The problem is, we modern humans are absolutely voracious consumers of power (just stroll through downtown Tokyo at night for plenty of neon evidence everywhere you turn), and for a country like Japan which is short on pretty much any other natural resource, nuclear is just an inevitable reality given the lack of alternatives. All the trappings that go hand in hand with a modern lifestyle do come at a cost, . So although I can appreciate the sentiment, I just don’t think it’s going to happen and I feel as though it would be better to try and have a more realistic conversation about what we can and can’t do about our need for energy and what we must do to make sure it is conserved as much as possible and made as safe as we can make it, particularly for those who live within range of these power plants of course.
If I lived a good deal closer to the disaster perhaps I’d think differently. I might very well feel as though a complete elimination of nuclear power is the only alternative. There are some people here in Japan who’s lives have been forever altered by this disaster, there’s no questioning that fact, and I certainly wouldn’t be one to go up to them and tell them they shouldn’t be protesting, or even that they shouldn’t be calling for an end to nuclear power. It’s just not that simple though, that’s what keeps going through my mind.
Thanks for reading!