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Published:March 15th, 2011 14:10 EST
Japan, In the Eyes of Fear

Japan, In the Eyes of Fear

By Ani Gyulamiryan

The latest 2011 9.0 earthquake in Japan has been devastating to Japan as well as to the world. Regardless of the horrible circumstances and the continuous emphasis of the media on the needless spreading of fear amidst the public, the Japanese seem to have taken the natural disaster very rationally and understanding. This also seems to be true of the Japanese government.

Despite its first encounter with a nuclear meltdown, the Japanese government seemed focused on making other `countries` help welcome. We now know that the US air support troops moved further once some levels of radiation were detected in the air after a blast at one of the nuclear plants on the ground. For those who have seen the movie "Valkyrie", starring ever so great Tom Cruise, will recognize the sentence "I am engaged in high treason with all means available to me." So, the question remains, why haven`t the United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) helped more? Have they done everything possible? 

Of course, Japan will carry the blame for a nuclear disaster that will hopefully not exceed the level of danger posed by Chernobyl disaster. Meanwhile, the news coverage reports from primary sources that the nuclear plants in the United States are very safe and are designed to withstand a number of natural disasters. I am aware of the old infrastructure of the gas pipes in the US that pose some risks, and the effects that a nuclear disaster can have. In my opinion, a time of national emergency is the least compatible time for raising awareness in the people, as they will become increasingly aware of the impending doom. The first and foremost focus should be paying attention to the best means of aiding the unfortunate events in Japan from further developing in the wrong direction.

Or is this how it should be, and have we passively accepted on a subconscious level what has become the nickname for the coming year of 2012 -  Apocalypse?  Today, in the chat box next to the live stream of NHK-TV, comments abounded such as that Chernobyl happened, but the people survived it nevertheless. I do not wish to be a survivor of another nuclear event, nor do I wish such an event to categorize the legacy I carry of my generation. However, the best that can be done is the aiding of the nuclear plant risks in Japan by the best means available. It is unfortunate, that the media is unable to provide coverage of the full support provided by the US and the IAEA in this matter.

The earthquake had global impact on the planet Earth. It occurred 15 miles below the sea floor and stretched across area 186 miles long and 93 miles wide. It`s strength on the Richter Scale has been updated from 8.9 to 9. Various sources say that the area moved 8, or 13 feet closer to the United States. The numbers vary less about the shift of the Earth`s axis, which is claimed to have shifted 6.5 inches.

The day was shortened by 1.6 microseconds, which is explained by the faster rotation of the Earth due to the changed arrangement of the tectonic plates. The water from the tsunami waves will not completely recede from the Japan`s flooded shorelines, because the coast has been sunk downward by about two feet. This is not the first earthquake to have shortened the duration of the day, as the tectonic mass moves closer to the center of the Earth as a result of strong impacts. However, all the microseconds that have been taken off the day`s duration will not make us live too much longer on Earth, and we must continue to battle for our survival and the survival of our planet Earth. 2011 marks the year of international year of forests as declared by the UN.

The movie "Home" and a short film on forests (by Yann Arthus-Bertrand) are very informational sources on the extent of human activity and its true impact on Earth. I encourage everyone who has not seen these to experience the gorgeous cinematography on the movie homepage online available to the public for free.

In closing, perhaps we will never know whether the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which floats westward on the Pacific Plate, facilitated an earthquake of a greater magnitude in Japan. Perhaps we will not find out about the extent of active engagement of governments and experts in aiding further damage. History tells the truth, and time reveals it. Let us not stop asking the crucial questions about our society and helping it embrace itself in positive ways.