Emanuel Pastreich, Professor at Kyung Hee University in South Korea and Director of The Asia Institute: The basic parameters of the ‘Fuksuhima Initiative’ — which is to say to create a truly global peer-to-peer collaborative effort to muster all the expertise in the world, all the goodwill in the world, and also a lot of man hours from creative and thoughtful people to come up with a real, long-term solution to this remarkable crisis. And to do it with the seriousness equivalent to say, putting a man on the moon, or if you want to reinterpret it, to say something the equivalent of a reverse Manhattan Project to deal with the extremely serious and totally unprecedented challenges.
Layne Hartsell, Asia Institute Fellow: The disaster has continued. When things like this leave the news, they seem to go away in the public psyche and public thought — but actually this is a lot worse right now, or building up to something much worse. Your thoughts?
Pastreich: Well, the news has not been good, as you know, in terms of the release of radioactive water, contamination and the amount of cesium and then strontium more recently. As we talked about in our paper this is really going to be a serious challenge for us. It’s something which the Japanese and others have floated ideas, but we’re really in uncharted territory. What we really want to do here at The Asia Institute is put together the most basic framework for how we would build such a global collaborative effort. [...] There are many grim things I could talk about; actually I’d rather not stress the grimness of this. I hope the people out there understand just how serious this issue is and that really need to come together quickly. This is not something we can put off for another 6 months or a year. We really need it to come together. [...]
Foreign Policy in Focus, Pastreich and Hartsell, Sept. 3, 2013: The Century-Long Challenge to Respond to Fukushima [...] the worst case of nuclear contamination the world has ever seen. Radiation continues to leak from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi site into groundwater, threatening to contaminate the entire Pacific Ocean. The cleanup will require an unprecedented global effort. [...] Solving the Fukushima Daiichi crisis needs to be considered a challenge akin to putting a person on the moon in the 1960s. [...] the situation potentially puts the health of hundreds of millions at risk. [...] To solve the Fukushima Daiichi problem will require enlisting the best and the brightest to come up with a long-term plan to be implemented over the next century. [...] The Fukushima disaster is a crisis for all of humanity [...]
Pastreich at The Asia Institute seminar, Sept. 7, 2013: The Fukushima crisis is a global crisis and it is just a matter of six months or less before it starts to get the attention it deserves. Yet we do not have a single proposal for a global response [...]
Published: October 4th, 2013 at 7:28 pm ET