How to help Japan

Japan needs your help after the earthquake, tsunami, and complex nuclear accident.


George Takei on the Japan Quake and Tsunami. Hat tip: Claudia Sawyer

I don’t think the amount of heart makes as much difference as the amount of the donation, but it’s a nice sentiment.

The truth is, Haiti needs your help more. A very large percentage of the people of Haiti who were rendered homeless from the earthquake there are still homeless, and the situation in that region is probably worse in many ways than it was the day after the quake. Missionaries are in there picking up the slack, which of course a very bad idea. So give something for Haiti, please.

But right now, it is appropriate and necessary to help Japan. Here’s a small selection of secular organizations that are mediating the transfer of funds to places where money can help:

Civic Force Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami Appeal.

Japan Center for International Exchange Earthquake Relief and Recovery

Japan Society Earthquake Relief Fund

Over the next few days you’ll see a lot of appeals on Scienceblogs.com to help Japan. I’m sure there will be many other excellent options from which you may chose.

So far there is this:

Dean’s Corner: Think Japanese March 18 日蓮系諸宗派

For more information and essays about the Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Reactor problems in Japan CLICK HERE.

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Comments

  1. #1 Jeffrey Toney
    March 17, 2011

    Thank you for this. You raise a valid point about Haiti. As a nation, we tend to have a short term memory regarding regions in crisis. But you’re right – it is appropriate and necessary to help Japan now when the need is acute.

  2. #2 Spanish Inquisitor
    March 17, 2011

    And if you need a little motivation, read this:

    http://tinyurl.com/4j32gq6

  3. #3 Giliell
    March 17, 2011

    I am, to be honest, a bit put off by the fact that they seem to care more about their stock market than about their citizens. I’m also appalled by the fact that they seem to be unable to provide basic things like food and water, but on the other hand are pretty reluctant to let foreign helpers enter.
    I understand that this is worse than anything they expected, but from the outside it really looks not very well organized.

  4. #4 Stephanie Z
    March 17, 2011

    Gileill, follow Spanish Inquisitor’s link. It will put what you’re feeling about the organization in Japan in perspective, or it should.

  5. #5 Giliell
    March 17, 2011

    @Stephanie
    I don’t see how those things have anything to do with each other.
    So the Japanese were very generous towards the victims of Katrina, where the organisation was even worse to non-existent.
    Apart for the general compassion I feel for the suffering of all human beings, I have no emotional bonds with New Orleans or the USA, so appealing to any “deeds” we have to repay to Japan doesn’t work.

    The Bank of Japan is half owned by the state, which means that the Japanese will have to pay for the subsidies for the stock market when they’re at the same time hungry and freezing.

    And it doesn’t change a thing about the fact that organisation seems to be non-existent. Today I heard a report that there are still people who can’t leave the evacuation zone, but they’re not letting supply trucks in either.

  6. #6 Stephanie Z
    March 17, 2011

    Giliell, missed the point by a mile. It has nothing to do with whether Japan helped the U.S. It has to do with what relative organization and disorganization look like. Katrina made the news on an international scale on that score, which is why we needed the aid.

  7. #7 Giliell
    March 17, 2011

    Giliell, missed the point by a mile.

    Yes, and I still have no idea what you’re aiming at.
    That, just because they’re not as bad as the USA when dealing with Katrina, they’re doing a good job?
    Or do you think that they don’t need the international help?
    Honestly, I don’t get your point.

  8. #8 Stephanie Z
    March 17, 2011

    You’re talking in absolutes: good job or bad job. I suggested you gain some perspective.

  9. #9 Michael
    March 17, 2011

    Also I’ve always found GiveWell to have really excellent evidence-based charity analysis (important in a sector where we tend to let our skeptical guard down, possibly because of the emotions involved).

    Here are their recommendations:

    http://blog.givewell.org/2011/03/15/update-on-how-to-help-japan-funding-is-not-needed-we-recommend-giving-to-doctors-without-borders-to-promote-better-disaster-relief-in-general/

  10. #10 Giliell
    March 17, 2011

    You’re talking in absolutes: good job or bad job. I suggested you gain some perspective.

    No, you are setting up a strawman.
    A job badly done doesn’t become a job well done just because somebody handled theirs worse. It’s still a bad job and doesn’t become any better by the fact that it could have been done worse.
    Yeah, maybe I could call it a mediocre job, or give them grades like in school, only I think it would mock the seriousness of the situation.
    “It could be worse” really doesn’t sound like the appropriate sentence to say.

  11. #11 Stephanie Z
    March 18, 2011

    Actually, Giliell, as far as relief efforts go, it’s pretty damned good. The biggest problem the Japanese are having is distributing relief cross-country, which won’t be solved by a bunch of foreign bodies on the ground. (For the record, the best practice in situations like these is to route as much aid as possible through local organizations. See here: http://www.alnap.org/blog/6.aspx) Contrary to your assertion that the Japanese are excluding outsiders, those supplies are largely now being moved into place by U.S. military planes and helicopters. Search and rescue teams from the U.S. and the U.K. have also helped out, although their usefulness is coming to an end.

    There is a problem just outside the exclusion zone, which is slowly being solved by a widening of the zone as officials discover their hopes for the nuclear problem being over in a day aren’t going to happen and by foreign troops getting permission to bring supplies in closer. However, the ring around the exclusion zone is nothing like the majority of relief efforts.

    Now, you’re more than welcome to decide that anything short of a perfect response is worthy only of your disdain, despite your lack of correct information and your inability to put what information you do have into context. However, since you’re incapable of taking a hint, kindly go do it somewhere else. In case you haven’t noticed, this blog post was put up for people who feel a need to do something productive about a situation they can’t control. Half-assed pessimistic armchair quarterbacking is neither productive nor particularly welcome amid people already feeling helpless.

  12. #12 Stephanie Z
    March 18, 2011

    SHARE also has a Japan donation page: https://secure3.convio.net/cfi/site/Donation2?df_id=2000&2000.donation=form1 They’re working through Doctors Without Borders, which is operating mobile clinics.

  13. #13 Giliell
    March 18, 2011

    which won’t be solved by a bunch of foreign bodies on the ground.

    Contrary to your assertion that the Japanese are excluding outsiders, those supplies are largely now being moved into place by U.S. military planes and helicopters. Search and rescue teams from the U.S. and the U.K. have also helped out, although their usefulness is coming to an end.

    I don’t have to contradict you. You’Re doing it very well yourself.
    Unless, of course, you don’t consider the US military to be foreigners since they own the world.
    Oh, and yes, by the way, rescue teams from other countries were also there. But I also notice that the usual disaster relief squads are still at home. You can google a bit and you’ll find news releases of, for example, Canadian specialists who are ready to go but still waiting for an invitation.
    Those people aren’t idle get-in-the-way-know-nothings, they are highly trained specialists.

    However, since you’re incapable of taking a hint, kindly go do it somewhere else. In case you haven’t noticed, this blog post was put up for people who feel a need to do something productive about a situation they can’t control. Half-assed pessimistic armchair quarterbacking is neither productive nor particularly welcome amid people already feeling helpless.

    Ooh, I’m sorry I hurt your precious little feelings by not agreeing with you. But since I didn’t see a hint that tells me “this is only for people who agree with Stephanie and critical questions are not allowed”, I feel free to criticise as I feel fit. This blog post itself is quite critical, in case you haven’t noticed.
    And it’s nice for you to go for ad hominems. Surely, everybody who’s disagreeing with you must be an incompetent idiot. Because clearly, disagreeing with your infinite wisdom must surely mean that I must be an imbecile.
    And just for your information: I regularly donate to organisations like Unicef and Doctors without Borders and also the organisation in my own country that is specialised in disaster relief. If you think that’s not enough, that’s your problem.

  14. #14 Stephanie Z
    March 18, 2011

    I consider the U.S. military to be in the air, not on the ground. I also consider them to have been invited in, contrary to your statement.

    As for ad hominems, read this: http://plover.net/~bonds/adhominem.html If that’s too long for you, the short version is that calling you ignorant after I’ve shown how your argument is wrong isn’t a fallacy. The fallacy is in relying on the label to make the argument.

    I’m well aware you feel free to criticize. It’s the fact that you’re spreading wrong all over the place while you do it (including missing that the post isn’t particularly critical) that pisses me off. If you don’t want to donate at this time, for whatever reason, no big deal. However, there’s no virtue in showing up just to tell us how this particular cause isn’t worth your attention, and less when you get it wrong. That’s just pointless sneering, as are pretty much all your contributions to this thread.

  15. #15 Giliell
    March 18, 2011

    You know, if this wasn’t worth my contribution, I wouldn’t worry about less than optimal relief operations.

    And yes, you are comitting an ad hominem by constantly trying to portray me as somebody too stupid to understand the facts and therefore not having a point.

    Fact is that I gave reasons why I think so. You can agree with me or disagree with me, no big deal. But it doesn’t mean that you’re right and I’m wrong.
    And if your aim was to convince me that I’m wrong, you should probably have gone for information instead of attempted insults.
    And before you say “oh, I gave it”, yes, you supported your point and I supported mine (yes, I gave reasons why I think what I think, only you chose to ignore them).

    But I’m done with you, because you are surely not worth my time and attention.
    You have no idea what I do or don’t do. There’s also no virtue in cheering when there’s no reason to cheer.

  16. #16 Stephanie Z
    March 18, 2011

    Well, at least we’ve gotten that perspective. We’ve gone from “appalled” to “less than optimal.”

  17. #17 dfgdffd
    March 18, 2011

    links and information related to helping japan
    Please help Japan

    http://helpjapanbeinghuman.blogspot.com/

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