While it may seem a distant tragedy, the global nature of contemporary business means that the earthquake off the coast of Japan and its attendant destruction very much impact us as consumers of technology that is manufactured in Japan. Believe it or not, that list is considerable. Endgaget’s intriguing post “Japanese quake will likely affect the global supply of gadgets” explores this topic. Reuters and The Wall Street Journal weigh in similarly.
It’s not merely the manufacture of components that is to be interrupted, but the supply of electricity to major markets in the country will be rationed; dramatic reduction in electricity production is a result of the explosions and attendant nuclear contamination of the Fukushima power plant. Gizmodo provides a synopsis of developments on this topic.
Consider how Libya, which ships just 3% of its oil to the United States, stands at the center of a crisis that we consumers can witness at the pump. Prices seem to increase daily.
And how about the crisis of faith with the safety of nuclear power? While the United States relies on nuclear for about a fifth of its own power production, countries like France and South Korea are more highly invested than even Japan. The manufacture and distribution of much more than technology is at risk.
We can minimize the inconvenience of a more expensive or even unavailable iPad 2, but the tumult of recent events – from freedom fighting to natural disasters – brings these issues to life.
While our access to technology may be highly interwoven with global issues, technology may also help connect uswith solutions. Telecom companies are offering free calls and texts to Japan from the United States. Even online gamers are joining in the effort.
Today, our thoughts and concerns are focused on Japan and the people suffering as a result of natural devastation. As was shown effective with Haiti, consider using your everyday technology to make a donation to organizations aiding in the recovery effort. Just be careful when you do so.