By Jacob Darwin Hamblin

Don Quixote attacked wind power and failed. (art by Gustave Dore)

The earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan is a potent reminder of how vulnerable humans are to the shrugs and twitches of nature.

Nuclear power advocates are quick to say that the compromised Japanese reactors were of an old design. But Japan is a sophisticated, technologically savvy nation. If a nuclear catastrophe can happen there, it can and will happen anywhere. And it raises again the question of the kind of energy we should encourage on a state, nation and world scale. But for all the talk about safety, design, clean air and energy consumption, what’s often forgotten is a much deeper issue: the passage of time. (read more at

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