Here is some scary footage from the tsunami that hit Japan on Friday:
The news media is fixated on the potential for meltdowns at three Japanese nuclear reactors. Even if that were to occur, the result would have only a modest impact on public health, due to the better containment technology nowadays, and the precautions that have been taken so far to move people away from the sites. It is not, repeat NOT a reason to stop developing (and accelerating the development of) nuclear power in America. We need to be doing that, and faster.
Meanwhile, the most "low-tech" of horrors... water... has likely drowned tens of thousands in northeastern Japan. This is typical of how we think nowadays: we worry about marginal, hypothetical, far-fetched harms (global warming, pollution), and we neglect the real horrors that are always around us (drought, starvation, war, natural disaster).
For now, prayer for the Japanese victims and survivors is necessary, as always, but the best place to send donations for the relief effort in my opinion is Catholic Relief Services. To donate by phone: 1-877-HELP-CRS. To make a donation on line, go to www.crs.org. To write and mail a check:
Catholic Relief Services
P.O. Box 17090
Baltimore, Maryland 21203-7090