Our Greatest Disasters can lead to our Greatest Collaborations
By Jacob Devaney
Every technology comes with risks, nobody ever learned to walk without skinning their knees. This is not an article to argue for or against nuclear power, which is a very heated and divisive debate. This is an article about something we can all agree on… the health of our waters, the people, and the land. If we meet in the middle ground somewhere between panic and denial, the Fukushima disaster becomes a great opportunity for international cooperation and future preparedness.
(Photo: Chief Arvol Looking Horse speaking at the Tillman Chapel of the United Nations)
March 11 marked the fourth anniversary since a giant earthquake and tsunami leveled a nuclear facility on the coast of Japan. Some of the panic has been justified, some has been false fear-mongering, some of the facts have been suppressed by authorities in order to manage public opinion, and all of these factors have led to a largely uninformed public. There still remains a divisive struggle between everyone with legitimate concerns for public safety and health over how to move forward. History shows us that every crisis is an opportunity. What if transparent, and constructive public dialogue could help shape future policy and be a catalyst for global cooperation? Author Mark Heley and many others believe that the answer to this question is a resounding YES!
The earthquake and subsequent tsunami caused approximately 19,000 deaths and destroyed the Fukushima plant. Residents of the area were ordered to evacuate due to radioactive leakage, while food and water contamination grew. The area is rich agricultural lands, and farmers have been asked to grow and sell food that they would not eat themselves. The “acceptable” radiation levels are largely disputed and easily manipulated or suppressed.
Children can now be exposed to 20 times more radiation than was previously permissible. The new regulations have prompted outcry. A senior adviser resigned and the prime minister, Naoto Kan, was criticised by politicians from his own party. -The Guardian
On Thursday, November 14th 2013 at Tillman Chapel Church Center for the United Nations, Chief Arvol Looking Horse presented a statement prepared by leaders of many indigenous nations from around the world. Lookinghorse is the 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe and Spiritual Leader of the Great Sioux Nation. You can read the entire statement here, a portion is printed below:
“We, the Original Caretakers of Mother Earth, have no choice but to follow and uphold the Original Instructions, which sustains the continuity of Life. We recognize our umbilical connection to Mother Earth and understand that she is the source of life, not a resource to be exploited. We speak on behalf of all Creation today, to communicate an urgent message that man has gone too far, placing us in the state of survival. All Life is sacred. We come into Life as sacred beings. When we abuse the sacredness of Life we affect all Creation. We urge all Nations and human beings around the world to work with us, the Original Caretakers of Mother Earth, to restore the Original Instructions and uphold the Creator’s Natural Law as a foundation for all decision making from this point forward. Our collective future as human beings is in our hands, we must address the Fukushima nuclear crisis and all actions that may violate the Creator’s Natural Law. We have reached the crossroads of life and the end of our existence. We will avert this potentially catastrophic nuclear disaster by coming together with good minds and prayer as a global community of all faiths.”
Mark Heley’s book, Fukushima, What You Need to Know, was inspired by the above statement and the author covers some important topics while maintaining a balanced and positive perspective. Areas covered include: overview of the situation, health risks, integrative approaches to treating the effects of radiation contamination in the body, Chernobyl vs Fukushima, the ongoing crisis (that we will be feeling the effects of for decades), and the call for international collaboration/solutions. From the introduction:
“In part it is a response to the epidemic of erroneous, misleading, and downright false information that has been widely circulated online as well as a call for meaningful international collaboration to address some of the very serious and real risks of this situation.”
I highly recommend the book, and all efforts to find common ground in addressing global issues that will affect generations to come. It is fitting that the anniversary of the Fukushima disaster is only a week before World Water Day. There is currently an international movement to bring awareness and healing to our waters.
#LoveWater is in its second year and there will be people going to local water sources for ceremonies, community gatherings, and water blessings. Unify, UPLIFT, and the Shift Network are hosting a telecast, a globally synchronized meditation, and a live video webcast from the sacred Ganges River in India. You can register here. This starts with recognizing the importance of water, making a commitment to bring positive change, and cooperating together across borders for solutions.
And let us take time to honor those who are suffering from the effects of the Fukushima disaster. Let us honor them by coming together as one people to address water issues globally. Let us take this spirit of unity and turn it into action to heal our waters everywhere, to cooperate across borders to prevent disasters like this from ever happening again. Let’s apply this same intention towards all actions that harm our land, and the people, let us turn this stumbling block into a stepping stone that we may look back and be proud of how we responded.
Jacob Devaney is The Founder and Director of Culture Collective, a non-profit organization that produces and develops socially enriching programs and media for all ages with a focus on culture, community, health, and environment. Jacob is an advocate of the power of art to educate and spark dialogue within community and has worked with youth across the country in many capacities over the past 15 years through Culture Collective and his other company, Living Folklore.
Jacob writes for The Huffington Post about his work and issues close to his heart while being an active creator of web-based media designed to spark dialogue, make people think and encourage a positive future with respect to culture and the land.