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Japan's nuclear crisis pales in comparison to destruction from global climate change

As horrific as nuclear meltdowns are, they pale in significance to the global meltdown of climate change. The crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant reminds us of the mortal threat we pose to the living earth itself. The good news? We can do something about that crisis.

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The ongoing nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan hits particularly close to home for me. But I have come to see that crisis as sign and symptom of a more universal peril.

Watching the nuclear disaster unfold this week, I felt an unexpected personal connection to the events in Fukushima prefecture, a large state about 130 miles north of Tokyo. My father’s father left Fukushima to come to the United States in the late-19th century, and I still have distant relatives there who are anxiously monitoring radiation reports.

But that is not my only connection to Fukushima.

Japan nuclear crisis: Seven reasons why we should abandon nuclear power

I spent my boyhood in the shadow of the Pilgrim I nuclear power plant in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Like the crippled Fukushima I plant, Pilgrim I is a light water or boiling reactor. The two plants have virtually the same General Electric design. And like the Japanese plant, Pilgrim I is located by the sea.


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