Apocalypse and hysteria needs to be another category here, it seems. Brendon O’Neill has a good rundown on the phenomena as Fearmongers Go Into Nuclear Meltdown. There is another story, quite different, along these lines as well. It is about the wikileaks source being abused by military prison officials as he awaits trial. Both issues are being used to try to whip up hysteria and panic on a false premise.

The speed and gritty determination with which Western reporters and experts myopically turned their gaze to the nuclear power station in Fukushima in northern Japan has been extraordinary.

And it has been driven not by hard evidence that there will be a devastating radioactive leak, but by a culture of fear which feverishly seeks out the worst-case scenario; by an almost pornographic apocalyptic outlook unsatisfied by the images of waves of water wiping away towns and villages – no, it needs a nuclear component to this tragedy too.

Yes, the situation at Fukushima is serious and still unpredictable. But the things that we do know for certain suggest that the Western media’s obsession with what is happening there is seriously overblown and reveals more about us and our fears than it does about the reality on the ground in Japan.

why has there been such an outpouring of media-led panic about a possible radioactive fallout that could spread through Asia and even as far as Europe?

Because this coverage is being driven more by the politics of fear than by rigorous analysis.

Because our apocalyptic mindset is insatiable; it needs even more than the terrible images already coming from Japan.

And because the post-tsunami problems are being disgracefully exploited by environmentalist groups opposed to nuclear power, including Greenpeace, which published an article on Fukushima called “The myth of nuclear containment”.

The result is that the Western focus is mostly on one nuclear power plant in a country in which entire towns have been destroyed and thousands of people killed. The politics of fear has made us so irrational and self-obsessed that we risk becoming deaf to the already occurring horrors in Japan.

Now compare those issues, the earthquake and the prisoner, to the union brouhaha. In that one, there is a looming disaster being denied and the hysteria is that “rights” will be taken away from the unions. For some folks, human disaster is just a tool; a catastrophe just an opportunity; a society just a free lunch. And, it appears, those folks trying to escape from reality and the consequences of their desires have friends in the media.

Comments are closed.