We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore LappĂ©, Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Japan's Nuclear Calamity Compounded by History of Neglecting Safety, Downplaying Accidents

by Kevin Gosztola from OpEd News

Capitalism works the same the world over: corporate profits trump every other consideration. Why capitalists are allowed to run dangerous nuclear facilities like any other profit oriented business is quite astonishing to me. But then, why should I be astonished? Capitalists own and control their governments.
...BBC reported years ago, "A pervasive culture of secrecy that is commonplace in corporate Japan, and traditional hostility to whistleblowers, make it hard for the industry to change." It seems like it was going to take a disaster of this magnitude to shock Japan into changing or maybe an international diplomatic crisis brought on by WikiLeaks to alter how the industry functioned in Japan.

In another report, the BBC expounded on accidents & secrecy in Japan. Satoshi Fujino, public relations officer at the Citizens' Nuclear Information Centre in Tokyo, mentions an "extremely lax" safety appraisal process and "very haphazard" inspections carried out after the process all make the industry prone to accidents.

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