Japan’s Nuclear Reactor Disaster: Another Failure of Human Foresight

Japanese authorities are still struggling to contain the meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, and it could be weeks before the situation’s under control. Like BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Japanese disaster discredits Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Japan's Nuclear Reactor Disaster: Another Failure of Human Foresight

Last July, as the Deepwater leak continued to spread, I pointed out that the explosion and subsequent catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico disproved Hobbes and Rousseau’s respective theories about foresight being one of man’s greatest attributes. If that were the case, then Americans, executives and lawmakers would have anticipated Deepwater’s dangers and planned accordingly.

Now that Japanese officials are facing a similarly shocking, though just as predictable situation, we humans are again confronted by our collective failure. I mean, building nuclear reactors next to the ocean in an earthquake and tsunami-prone region isn’t the brightest idea, and someone somewhere should have concocted a plan for a meltdown. It’s just common sense.

No one knows how this nuclear nightmare will end, or what long-term impact it will have for Japan and the rest of the world. Hopefully everyone’s realizing, however, that just because we can do something, like harnessing the power of uranium, doesn’t mean we should.