Monday, March 14, 2011

Looking for the positive in the wake of disaster

I thought I would share a blog post about the events in Japan that I found very enlightening. The author is an ex-Pat living over there running a software business, and he's got a closer perspective on the situation. In short, there is a lot to be thankful for in the wake of the disaster, and a lot of credit is due the Japanese people for their level of preparedness. That's takeaway message #1. Had it happened elsewhere it would have been hugely worse.

The second message is that the mainstream media in the U.S. is spreading hyperbole, and the fringe media, well, they're even worse. They report sensational headlines in large font and all caps, without substantiation and with speculation replacing facts. I don't go near Fox for any kind of information at all (for entertainment I do, however), but even found that what I was seeing on CNN or even MSNBC was grossly different from what more informed organizations are putting out on the disaster.

My remedy? I'm seeking out alternative information streams that hopefully have less to do with making money and getting ratings and more to do with passing along factual information. Seeing my immediate concern when CNN first started reporting the nuclear situation late Friday night my husband found this great site that has a number of news links. One of them is the IAEA, and they also have a Facebook page where there is lots of discussion on the reports coming out.

My heart is aching for those affected by this horrible trifecta of disasters. I wish that all of the news media would work harder to try and find some small bits of good news, like the story of the man that was rescued clinging to his roof 9 miles out in the ocean. Or the stories I just watched on UStream about people being reunited with lost family members. It gives me hope.

This also gives me's update from the nest, newly cleaned:

They clearly like frolicking in the pine shavings, and it's much cleaner in there now that I've raised the brooder up off the catch basin.


Erika Price said...

Totally agree, Patty - thank you for this very sensitive and informative post

The images on TV were awful and heartrending scenes - utter bewilderment, loss and desolation, sorrow and grief - and I wanted to help somehow

Anyway, I searched the internet for advice and found it really upsetting when I saw page after page of sites that were basically just links to other sites - in other words, people were actually using the tragedy to get traffic to their sites. Can you believe that people would do that? People are trying to capitalise on the disaster

So I wrote my own post with the intention of getting the message about the tragedy across to as many people as possible, without hyperbole and without exploiting the victims. I hope you don't mind my including a link here? Erika Price Designs Blog

The only way I can help is to raise money, so I'll be donating all the profits from sales in my Erika Price on Etsy shop to the relief effort, via the Red Cross, for the foreseeable future


Deb said...

Patty - thank you so much for the link to Patrick's blog post.
It has put my mind at ease over something I said to someone the other day regarding Japans ability to recover from this disaster.

I recall reading something a while back about the rate at which Japan replaces large buildings in it's bigger towns & cities more often than most other countries resulting in a huge majority of it's corporate & office buildings being always being relatively new & therefore up to the highest current earthquake standards.I'm sure that this alone has prevented a whole lot of further fatalities.

I only wish that our city had the population that could have provided this sort of frequent renewal. However this city hasn't always shaken the way Japan has (until recently anyway....)

I feel deeply for the people of Japan - they have so much to deal with & I have some pretty good idea of what emotions they will be going through.


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