The tragic events in Japan are absolutely devastating and difficult to fathom given the magnitude of compounding disasters. Over the past week I've received many emails in support or in protest of nuclear energy. The nightmare unfolding halfway around the world has clearly served to polarize public opinion, but I'd like to take this moment to remind readers that now is not the time for debate or knee-jerk decisions regarding U.S. energy policy. In the digital age, anyone with an Internet connection can post an opinion, but we must wait to learn more from informed nuclear experts--and take steps to ensure this never happens again. So instead of jumping to rash conclusions about the future of nuclear development, it is a time for compassion. We must unite as a global community to help those hit hardest by the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis. Here are some ways to contribute--and please add more in comments:
AMERICAN RED CROSS: The American Red Cross is currently supporting and advising the Japanese Red Cross, which continues to assist the government in its response. You can help people affected by disasters, like floods, fires, tornadoes and hurricanes, as well as countless other crises at home and around the world by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Donate here. GLOBALGIVING: Established a fund to disburse donations to organizations providing relief and emergency services to victims of the earthquake and tsunami. We are working with International Medical Corps, Save the Children, and other organizations on the ground to provide support. Our partners on the ground are working hard to provide immediate relief. Donate here. SAVE THE CHILDREN: Save the Children, which has worked in Japan since 1986, has an immediate goal of $5 million to launch longer-term recovery for children affected by Japan's March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Save the Children has opened the first child-friendly space in Japan, protective environments where children can gather to play and share their experiences under the supervision of trained, caring adults. Donate here. SALVATION ARMY: The Salvation Army has been in Japan since 1895 and is currently providing emergency assistance to those in need. Donate here. AMERICARES: AmeriCares and its relief workers in Japan are working to deliver medicines and supplies to hospitals, shelters and health responders to treat and care for survivors. The AmeriCares team began mobilizing within hours of the first reports of the dual disasters, dispatching an emergency response manager to Tokyo to direct the efforts of our relief workers in Sendai, the largest city closest to the impact zone. Our team is in direct contact with local officials, evacuation shelters and hospitals treating the injured in Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate to determine health needs. Donate here. INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS: A team of doctors flew to Sendai, where they will be delivering supplies, assessing needs, and identifying communities that have not yet been reached. We continue to coordinate with local health authorities and partners on critical gaps, providing technical expertise and assisting with logistics. Donate here. SHELTERBOX: ShelterBox responds instantly to natural and man-made disasters by delivering boxes of aid to those who are most in need. The box includes a tent for a family of 10, cooker, blankets, water purification, tool kit and other items survivors need to rebuild their lives in the days, weeks and months following a disaster. Donate here.