Distant Shores

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North Coast of California, USA

Turns out that we do share the air and the water with Japan. We also share humanity. And their problems are our problems. The earthquake, tsunami, and power plant devastation are heart-breaking.

We knew that our atmosphere and the oceans circulated and that we were connected in that way. But we on the west coast of the USA have been reminded of this connectivity. We knew it, but we didn’t think about it very often. The Pacific Basin is so big ….

If you live downwind of Chernobyl you were reminded previously. You lived through the uncertainty and lack of information. To a greater or lesser degree we are all downwind and downstream when these events occur.

We don’t know yet how the struggles at the power plants will turn out. Radiation has been released. It may get much worse or it may be partially contained. But the long-term outlook for people near those facilities is horrible. How far away is safe – across an ocean, in another hemisphere?

It would be easy to panic. There are false and malicious reports circulating on the Internet. Fake radiation maps and other catastrophic reports should be checked out at urban legend fact check sites. Sick minds can be creative too.

There are some things that we do know and actions we can take. In far northern California and continuing up into British Columbia the Gorda,  Juand de Fuca, and Explorer Tectonic Plates are pushing to the east and subducting under the North American Tectonic plate. Earthquakes resulting from infrequent abrupt movements of these plates can cause huge and widespread damage. At a minimum, every household should check the recommendations of the Red Cross and have emergency supplies and shelter. Are you prepared for natural disasters where you live?

It is hard to talk about travel photographs and cultures today. Across that ocean there is so much suffering and loss. Each time we hear of a natural disaster we are shaken. We think of the people in New Zealand, Australia, Haiti and each place where disaster strikes. And each time the natural disaster is compounded by man-made disasters that are also instigated.

We know that the tectonic plate under this ocean is pressing toward us. But we don’t know what else is coming our way. Today is another day to appreciate what we have and to treasure the people who are important to us.

Oh, and it’s also a good day to work on that emergency supply kit!!

Or you could put it off until this weekend or next month. Nothing is really going to happen here ….

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