A Clean Energy Future Is Possible: A Message for Fukushima Anniversary

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Just ahead of the four-year anniversary of the Fukushima disaster, five organizations have issued a message that the only way to avert climate disaster is by embracing a clean energy future.

It was March 11, 2011 when the Great East Japan earthquake caused a massive tsunami which triggered a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and destroyed thousands of lives and livelihoods.

Signs that the disaster is ongoing are clear: nearly a quarter-million Japanese people arestill displaced, radioactive trash has piled up in the affected region, radiation levels remain elevated, and clean-up efforts at the plant continue amid leaks.  And despite public opposition, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe continues his push to restart nuclear plants.

But "there is a better way," the Make Nuclear History website states.

The new site, which offers a humorous new video launched by the organizations—Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Nuclear Information and Research Service (NIRS), Public Citizen and Sierra Club—adds: "There is a way to power our lives without fossil fuels. There is a solution to climate change without nuclear energy. There is a future where we can solve the climate crisis and power our lives from 100 percent renewable sources and energy efficiency. Now is the time to create our fossil and nuclear-free future."

"Now is the time to create our fossil and nuclear-free future."The interactive video shows three energy paths—fossil fuels, nuclear energy and renewable energy—to highlight the problems, like higher carbon footprints and environmental and health impacts, of failing to switch to wind and solar.

The projected future under the fossil fuel and nuclear energy scenarios are depicted as apocalyptic.

"If the goal is heading off climate change, nuclear power and next generation fossil fuels are just an expensive and dangerous distraction," the video's renewable champion states.

The new site also invites viewers to take action on specific campaigns from the groups, like Public Citizen's campaign to urge the NRC to enforce a dozen safety recommendations for nuclear reactors that were issued after the Fukushima disaster; and Sierra Club's campaign to urge members of Congress to phase out nuclear power and commit to 100% renewable energy.

"The Fukushima disaster shows us exactly why we cannot and should not try to rely on nuclear energy to solve the climate crisis," said Tim Judson, Executive Director of NIRS. "Japan’s decision to invest in nuclear rather than renewables left the country totally unprepared when calamity struck. Clean, renewable energy sources are abundant, affordable, and ready to go. They can replace nuclear and fossil fuels, which are two sides of the dirty, extreme energy coin."

Greenpeace Executive Director Annie Leonard adds: "The Fukushima disaster is a constant reminder that nuclear energy is a dirty and dangerous distraction from real solutions like wind and solar. We should commit to rejecting costly nuclear pipe dreams and supporting the renewable efforts that can help avert our climate crisis."

This story was originally published on Common Dreams.


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