One year ago today, one of the strongest earthquakes in recorded history occurred less than 100 miles off of the north east coast of Japan. About 30 to 40 minutes after that massive movement of the earth, a series of 7 large waves rolled in from the ocean to cause massive damage along a long swath of coastline.
Barriers that were supposedly supposed to protect people and infrastructure failed dramatically, resulting in nearly 20,000 deaths, the displacement of more than 300,000 people, and the destruction of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of assets including factories, homes, roads, railroads, automobiles, and other personal possessions.
Pipelines exploded in flames, toxic materials and other refuse from an industrial society was widely distributed and at least one large oil refinery was engulfed in towering flames and billowing black smoke that did not stop until March 21, ten days later.
However, the people [...] supplying the world with titillating news [...] all decided to distract the whole world from that tragedy and to focus our attention on the events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. [...]
The fact remains that not one single person – either in the public or in the plant work force – was exposed to enough radiation to cause more than a minor reddening of skin. [...]
We are doing a huge disservice and causing real, current, measurable harm by allowing anyone to believe that there is any doubt about the safety of small amounts of released radioactive material. We have been studying this topic for nearly 100 years. We know that small doses do not result in any health risk that is distinguishable from the risk of simply being a mortal human being living in an inherently risky world.
See also Fukushima - Level 7, including links at the bottom of the post to a large number of blog entries I published at the time of the unfolding crisis.