Japanese Earthquake: Statement from GCI President Alexander Likhotal

12 March 2011

The following is a statement from GCI President Alexander Likhotal following the massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake and consequent tsunami that hit Japan Friday 11 March. 

Now Japan...A new terrible disaster has hit one of the most developed, innovative and well organised nations in the world, which serves as yet another tragic reminder of the perils of humankind's self confidence, arrogance and lack of vision.  
 
Preliminary death toll count in the thousands, the physical and psychological suffering of those directly hit by the disaster or facing its aftermath, material and economic damage still to be evaluated but given the population density in the impact area, by all means, enormous —  naturally evoke  sorrow, compassion and solidarity with the Japanese people.  
 
However we should not fail again to read the "letters on the wall" — it is certainly difficult to trace the root causes of such a powerful earthquake, but it could hardly be a coincidence that the past decade has been marked by the highest during the period of instrumental observations of surface temperature anomalies — the globe's temperature has risen by 0.43 degrees.   Scientific analysis of the drivers and dynamics of climate change and of the paleoclimatic record, supported by clear, documented evidence of change across the world, confirm that it is human activities on an unprecedented scale which threaten to destabilise the climate and the life-support systems of the planet on which humanity depends. No alternative theory has been advanced to explain the evident changes in progress and associated growth in frequency and lethality of natural disasters. 
 
Another point not to be missed in the analysis is the dangers of nuclear power. The nuclear accident of the Japanese nuclear plant demonstrates that safe nuclear power is a contradiction in terms. The nuclear lobby has used the luckily lack of major nuclear accidents since Chernobyl 25 years ago as the "proof" of new generation reactors "safety" to lull the world into self comforting and unsubstantiated delusions. The accident at Fukushima 1 nuclear plant is a shocking reminder of the reality of nuclear power threats, the huge modern technological risks for those living as well as future generations and the vital need to turn the world economy green.