Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Legal Limits and Life As We Know It

Last year included, among many, many other things, an early humanitarian crisis in Haiti as the result of the January 2010 earthquake - and then, another aquatic/biological crisis from the "Deepwater Horizon" and/or BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico (April 2010).

This year the earthquake in Japan has lead to this news today as that catastrophe unfolds:

April 5, 2011, 4:39 a.m.
The operator of Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear plant said Tuesday that it had found radioactive iodine at 7.5 million times the legal limit in a seawater sample taken near the facility, and government officials imposed a new health limit for radioactivity in fish.

The reading of iodine-131 was recorded Saturday, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. Another sample taken Monday found the level to be 5 million times the legal limit. The Monday samples also were found to contain radioactive cesium at 1.1 million times the legal limit.

The exact source of the radiation was not immediately clear, though Tepco has said that highly contaminated water has been leaking from a pit near the No. 2 reactor. The utility initially believed that the leak was coming from a crack, but several attempts to seal the crack failed.

There are no easy answers to our continued need for consumption - alongside the natural functions of earthquakes and tectonic shifts, winds, waves, tsunamis, and the like.  These things are intensely complex - involving huge facilities, international economies, national powers and more.

In the midst of it, though, we must begin to think of better ways to consume resources such that - when natural disasters normally and naturally come - we are better equipped to mitigate the large-scale, long-term, pollution and radiation that make places permanently uninhabitable. 

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Monday, April 4, 2011

Peace Rally in OKC

Oklahoma City University Hosts Human Rights Rally

Oklahoma City University will host a rally called "Building Peace for a Just World" at 10:30 a.m. April 9 in the Quad Lawn in the center of campus to promote social justice and human rights.

The rally will include music and guest speakers and is being held in conjunction with other rallies taking place throughout the world.

Student groups from OCU are partnering with other organizations including the Peace House; Peace Education Institute; Oklahoma Center for Conscience; Church of the Open Arms, United Church of Christ; Mayflower Congregational Church, United Church of Christ; and student groups from Oklahoma City Community College.

We with the Eupan Global Initiative have requested opportunity to participate.  Probably too late for us this year - but we will hope for future events and intentional connections for the future! 

For more information or to participate, contact Joe Meinhart at jmeinhart@okcu.edu.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Seams - Separation - and Coexistence

The Museum on the Seam - located in Jerusalem - lays claim to the "origin" of the famous "COEXIST" bumper sticker.

A Polish graphic designer, Piotr Mlodozeniec, designed the first coexist image. He created the design to participate in an art contest hosted by the Museum on the Seam for Dialogue, Understanding, and Coexistence in Israel to promote religious tolerance.

I had opportunity to visit the museum while I was in Jersusalem. Their print information notes:

The Museum on the Seam is a socio-political contemporary art museum located in Jerusalem. The Museum in its unique way, presents art as a language with no boundaries in order to raise controversial social issues for public discussion. At the center of the changing exhibitions in the Museum stand the national, ethnic and economic seam lines in their local and universal contexts.

The Museum is committed to examining the social reality within our regional conflict, to advancing dialogue in the face of discord and to encouraging social responsibility that is based on what we all have in common rather than what keeps us apart.

I recently replied to several questions from a long-time friend about a T.V. episode he had viewed involving a Television Political Talk-Show Media Figure - who was predicting future events based on both Christian and Islamic traditions.  (Personally, I do not tend to watch political-characters in the news - and try to read news from across media sources from the interent, where the nuance of bias can be less flavored - though it always carries a bias.)

The conversation with my friend and his anxiety and emotion invested in "the news" he heard - caused me to be reminded of several things - only one of which I will share here.

While I am a person of Christian faith and Christian identity who believes deeply in the claims of my faith, I can live in charitable and favorable ways with persons of other religions and I do not have to - and perhaps am not even permitted to(!) demean, belittle, harass or act against other faith claims as I embody and reflect the claims of my faith.

No doubt, the world would be a better place if, instead of promoting religious intolerance and religious violence, we promoted the best peacemaking traditions of our faith as we attempt to coexist toward a better world.

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative