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On Nuclear power

The Economist has a new debate in which they believe that the world would be better off without Nuclear power.

For philosophical and economical reasons, I have denounced their position as inhuman and irrational.  Here’s my comment and please share yours in this important debate.

Dear Sir,

“Ecology as a social principle… condemns cities, culture, industry, technology, the intellect, and advocates men’s return to “nature,” to the state of grunting subanimals digging the soil with their bare hands.” Ayn Rand

Nuclear energy, as a social principle, created the cleanest and most efficient source of energy that Humanity has ever seen. To deny the facts of reality is environmentalists’ first step to condemn Humanity to times of darkness and subanimal life.


National Geographic videos on Tsunamis and Earthquakes

Here are some videos from NatGeo on the origin and effects of tsunamis and earthquakes.

Video: Tsunami 101

Video: Earthquakes 101

The economics of disaster after devastation in Japan

“Japan will be poorer, for this disaster,” said Peter Morici, a business professor at the University of Maryland.

Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest automaker, tumbled 7.9 percent after saying it would suspend manufacturing at its domestic plants through Wednesday — a production loss of 40,000 cars. Other manufacturers forced to halt production, such as Sony Corp. and Honda Motor Co., also slumped.

Much has been said in the aftermath of the earthquakes (the biggest with an intensity of 8.9 in the Richter Scale) and tsunami (with waves >10 meter high) that hit Japan last Friday.  First, the headcount of deaths has already reached 10K people and thousands more are still missing.  The first estimates on the economic impact stroked world’s stock markets and the price of petroleum fell in estimations of Japan’s industrial paralysis.

However, some economists would argue that the destruction caused by these natural disasters had something positive at the end of the day. Such is what had previously said Lawrence Summers, president emeritus of Harvard University that “It may lead to some temporary increments, ironically, to GDP, as a process of rebuilding takes place. In the wake of the earlier Kobe earthquake, Japan actually gained some economic strength” Many other economist believe the same as Mr. Summers and the reason is that an enormous influx of liquidity is to enter Japan’s long stagnant economy.  Already, Japan’s central bank pumped a record $184 billion into money markets and took other measures to protect a teetering economy today, as the Tokyo stock market nose-dived followed the devastating earthquakes and tsunami.  Afterward, large scale reconstruction plans are to start and billions of dollars would be pumped to reconstruct the country.  Overall, this huge reconstruction investments could trigger the recovery of Japan’s economy.

So, is everything going to be better?

Japanese culture and attitudes toward disasters has always been identified with the adjectives “pro activity, benevolence, cooperation and honesty”.  As such, looting has not occurred and reconstruction has started after only 3 days of the disasters.   However, the economy is not going to recover positively from this disasters no matter how much money is pumped into the economy to reconstruct by private companies or public investment.

Why is that the economy will continue suffering?

The destruction of business and public services had been working efficiently under market laws. This means that there is no relation to “creative destruction” and destruction occurred because of natural disasters.  Creative destruction applies only to businesses that were not competitive and as such, disappeared to open new investment in new industries and technologies.  A good example of creative destruction was how American Car Industry should have disappeared after the 2008 financial crisis to allow for more competitive companies (bailouts avoided it causing long term inefficiencies and economic loses to the US).

The reconstruction of Japan will require billions and this would surely ignite the tentacles of governmental interventionists agencies under the fallacy that the earthquake and tsunami were good things for Japan.  Government interventionism always deems disaster good to the system since it allows them pump more taxes and extort more money from private businesses.

Rebuilding Japan will be a hard and difficult work and estimates of the are at up to 15 trillion yen ($183 billion) — about 3 percent of gross domestic product.  Credit Suisse’s Shirakawa said in a report the direct economic losses such as property destruction could total 6 trillion yen ($73 billion) to 7 trillion yen. Indirect losses such as lost production will probably be higher.  The costs of reconstruction are at a high loss for the Japanese people and the rest of humanity.  This historical moment will again open the doors for collectivist ideologies that consider the sacrifice of individual rights to benefit the public good.

Evidence and history has shown that reconstruction and investment is more quickly, effective and has better long term effects if kept private and in respect of individual’s rights.  Lord Acton’s essay “The fallacy of the broken window” is a great example of how destruction is not always positive and of how reconstruction should be organized by a government that respects an individual’s right to his rights and property.  It is now our obligation to remind this to leaders of world governments.

Here’s a great video explaining it,

Video: The broken window fallacy

Imágenes en vivo de los terremotos y tsunami en Japón

El día de hoy viernes, 11 de marzo a las 05:46:23 UTC (02:46:23 PM en el epicentro) tuvo lugar el terremoto más grande de la historia japonesa con una intensidad de 8.9 grados en la escala de Richter.  Este terremoto ha sido seguido por más terremotos y temblores con una intensidad superior a los 5.5 grados y un tsunami ha arrasado con las costas del país.  Alertas de tsunami han llegado a todos los países con costas en el océano Pacífico.

Les compartimos el link a noticieros en vivo sobre los eventos en Japón para que puedan seguir lo que está ocurriendo en este momento en el continente asiático:

Por el momento ha habido 98 eventos telúricos desde el terremoto del día de hoy y en este video pregrabado de pueden ver ya los efectos que ha tenido,

Listado de terremotos más fuertes ocurridos hasta el momento:

MAP 6.1 2011/03/11 08:31:08 37.428 141.200 25.0 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 6.5 2011/03/11 08:19:24 36.200 142.000 19.9 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 6.2 2011/03/11 08:15:41 37.034 144.612 27.8 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 6.2 2011/03/11 08:12:05 36.606 141.557 19.8 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.5 2011/03/11 08:10:31 36.394 140.631 30.4 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.9 2011/03/11 08:01:59 37.071 142.734 22.6 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.6 2011/03/11 07:56:16 37.130 142.305 34.0 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.7 2011/03/11 07:54:45 37.742 141.565 45.3 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.8 2011/03/11 07:42:55 36.406 141.919 29.9 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.9 2011/03/11 07:38:27 39.250 142.783 29.1 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 6.1 2011/03/11 07:28:12 36.802 141.911 24.0 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 6.1 2011/03/11 07:25:33 37.916 144.621 15.0 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 6.3 2011/03/11 07:14:59 36.648 141.811 25.0 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.9 2011/03/11 07:13:47 36.051 142.347 28.5 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.8 2011/03/11 07:11:00 37.899 142.734 30.0 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 6.3 2011/03/11 06:57:15 35.758 140.992 30.2 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 6.3 2011/03/11 06:48:47 37.993 142.764 22.3 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 7.1 2011/03/11 06:25:51 38.106 144.553 19.7 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 6.8 2011/03/11 06:15:40 36.186 141.192 35.0 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 6.4 2011/03/11 06:07:22 36.401 141.862 35.4 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 6.4 2011/03/11 06:06:11 39.025 142.316 25.1 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 8.9 2011/03/11 05:46:24 38.322 142.369 24.4 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN