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Sunday, May 6, 2012

READERS IN COUNCIL

Global infrastructure crumbling


By RICHARD WILCOX
Tokyo

Kevin Rafferty's May 2 article, "Inviting economic suicide?," is correct on the main points: Japan is in an economic tailspin and this is of grave concern for our well-being. But so, too, is the rest of the industrialized world as the 500-year-old banking system, which is based on fraudulent accounting tricks, comes unraveled.

This process runs parallel to our civilizational technospheric breakdown, witnessed by the crumbling and cracking of global infrastructure. The two issues are related and rooted in a flawed economic model based on greed and materialism, whereby affluence becomes the instrument of global environmental and human destruction.

Rafferty mistakenly says the Japanese public went into a "panic" over nuclear power disasters. People have been waiting a long time to shut down Japan's poorly operated nuclear power system, and if they don't do it now, it may be too late. Of course, it would have been better to be able to transition to greener technologies, but human societies are rarely rational in their long-term planning.

If Japan's population falls back to 85 million people, then maybe people can go back to agrarian lifestyles based on morality and fresh air, instead of the crass, technocratic dystopia we now face.

If Japan's economy does collapse, there will be no way to deal with the hugely expensive decommissioning process for all of those nuclear reactors. They suck up billions of dollars and take decades to dismantle, not to mention that safely storing the nuclear plant waste will require an estimated 10,000 years — using a process that has not yet been invented or paid for.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer's own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.


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