My own take is to caution people against having their own takes too quickly. Marsall’s words are possibly the wisest: “There’s so much we don’t know yet about the situation in Japan.” And what we want before any rigorous political debate is just that: information to fill in what we don’t yet know. Most of us have been spending our days just trying to figure out how nuclear power plants work (and fail), simply trying to understand the reports coming out of Japan—see here, here, and here for English major-friendly explanations. And with each new report, explosion, leak, drying pool etc, the story becomes more complex—and, at least to my untrained eye and ear, more frightening. We really don’t know what will happen here. And we thus don’t really know what it means.

Until the outcome is known, it might be best to “put the brakes” on the punditry.

If you'd like to get email from CJR writers and editors, add your email address to our newsletter roll and we'll be in touch.

Joel Meares is a former CJR assistant editor.