On 30 May 2011, Germany formally announced plans to abandon nuclear energy completely within the next 11 years. Some seven nuclear power plants closed for maintenance will stay so and nine more currently operational will be phased out in another 10-11 years. Coming in the wake of the recent nuclear disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, Japan the reforms are not all welcome by neighboring nations. Some nations are skeptical about the increased consumption of coal to offset the gap in German power production. Some are wary of Germany’s proactive measures seeing it as mere politicizing. Germany itself is optimistic about being forced to research renewable energy resources as a result of this decision.
Nuclear power has always been the centre of controversy. Some are positive about it while the sanguine keep their fingers crossed. Dangers associated with nuclear power are so many that they offset more than the advantages proposed. Advocates argue on the single point of almost nil CO2 emissions, which is a critical factor in modern times. But, also critical is public safety and environmental concerns about nuclear waste disposal. Worldwide, nations are struggling to handle nuclear waste. Some have even created underground geological depositories (huge mine-like hollow structures where the waste will be stored). When one begins to comprehend the huge shadows of danger lurking overhead, one’s false hopes of a green planet crash. Imagine a planet which is green and clean but permeated with nuclear radiation. What good would it be?
When will this shortsighted madness stop?
Can we not just stop demanding more and more electricity? Can we not just cool our heels and stop this mad lust for consumption? Seems next to impossible. So, what is the solution? Resign ourselves to the decisions of mindless short-sighted scientists who are comfortably confident about nuclear power being the answer for all our energy needs?
We have to think and re-think—how much is too much? How much should I consume? To my heart’s desire? To limits of my intelligence? To the thresholds of necessity? Where should I stop? One option is to mindlessly consume whatever is affordable. Another option is to afford only what is needed to be consumed. That will leave some free time to engage in introspection? Who am I? What am I doing here? Why don’t I get satisfaction when it is guaranteed with every product that I buy every month?
Maybe I need to open some books and check out some age-old wisdom. Current-age wisdom is so short-sighted. What is good today is bad tomorrow. Why am I delaying opening the Bhagavad-Gita? Why am I delaying understanding that here lies the truth open for everyone who is ready to read?
Then, even if danger strikes, I am prepared. Decay is already happening—but of my consciousness. Let me stop it. If I don’t, then radiocative decay will get it. Let me open the scriptures and meditate.