Standards

We’ve noted before that we live in a world without borders. Rain, air, seawater, ideas swirl around our planet.  Industries – and their mistakes – know no boundaries, too.

The New York Times reports this morning that Japan has revised safety standards for radiation found in fish.  Sampling of fish has shown levels several million times the legal limit of cesium 137 and iodine 131. “Analysts have said radiation dissipates quickly in the ocean,” report Andrew Pollack, Ken Belson and Kevin Drew for the Times.

As civilization progresses, society and companies should strive for higher standards, not lower standards. Subsidies must end for the nuclear and fossil-fuel industries. Before they embark on new projects, energy developers must post adequate bonds to cover potential accidents, like the wretched damage to the Gulf of Mexico after the BP spill or the coast of Japan after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

Supporters of the nuclear and oil industries suggest that power and energy are essential for modern life. But food and water are even more essential. We cannot allow the nuclear, oil and coal industries to destroy other industries, our planet and the source of our sustenance.

Photo of Japanese paddy field courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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