My heart goes out to all of my friends and colleagues in Japan at this difficult time. First of all, I want to say how touched the outside world has been by your remarkable composure and dignity in the face of such a serious crisis. Across the world, people have been amazed by the peaceful and respectful behaviour in Japan. At a time when, in many countries, there would be looting, friction and breakdown, you have managed to maintain the social fabric in an admirable manner. You are a great and inspiring model for all of us.
I sincerely hope that this crisis will lead to a profound reassessment of the direction of development and progress in your country. I hope that people will wake up to the absurdity and cruelty of an economic system that demands an ever-increased consumption of energy. Around the world our minds have been clouded by a political and economic system that traps us in a blind pursuit of global growth through ever-increasing consumerism. This economic growth is anti-thetical to biological growth in the living world. It stifles the very foundations of life, the infinite diversity of the living world, imposing instead a deadly monoculture.
I hope that this outdated and corrupt notion about economic growth will not continue to overwhelm us, that we will find guidance in common sense and wisdom, and in listening to our hearts. What has happened in your country has hopefully shaken the firmament of those who have blindly held to their belief in economic progress, and simultaneously strengthened the conviction and the collaboration among those who affirm instead, the very principles of life itself.