Posts Tagged ‘natural disasters’

A thought pondered publicly on my facebook page yesterday:

Hard to decide which is worse today … mother nature or human nature …

Since my thoughts were bouncing around between the hell in Japan going on now, the mess in Libya and the safety of friends in Bahrain … and feeling bloody helpless on all fronts … it seemed a valid point to focus upon.

Responses provide perspectives, as always …

Claire: nah – mother nature does not know spite – revenge – greed. She is an equal opportunities destroyer. Human nature picks off the weak, the frial, the least able to defend themselves.

Wow – that was a bleak thought!!

Bill: Gotta vote for human nature. Mother Nature is great. As Claire pointed out, she is equal opportunity. Do something stupid you get what you probably deserve. Act responsibly, sustainable and with the flow instead of against it and you’re golden. Mostly.

Yes, it does boil down to a case of Nature vs Nuture Murder.

There’s so often very little kind in mankind, as today’s world shows only too well. At a time when thousands upon thousands of fellow humans are suffering the consequences of living on our natural world, the best other thousands can come up with is beating the crap out of their neighbors.

Can we even imagine a world where dealing with the mindless harshness of our planet would be a group effort of global dimensions?

We all know shit happens … quakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, fires, floods, droughts, avalanches, polar shifts, incoming asteroids, solar flares, and on and on and on … and that we are frail, furless creatures at the mercy of said shit. Doesn’t it seem that should be enough to bond us together as a species?

If resources were poured into hedging bets against the forces of nature instead of building weapons stores, our response to catastrophic events would look nothing like it does today. We’d live in safer, stronger places, have plenty of food and water set aside for emergencies and take care of each other, our children, and our futures.

After all, are we not sentient beings? Don’t we have the intelligence to see big pictures, understand consequences and make plans?

How can it happen that, given the instability and unpredictability of the rock we spin through space upon, the total stupidity of placing enough importance on ever-so-slight differences of opinion to have us killing each other makes any sense at all to anyone?

Sure, there were times when Japan was as if another planet and what happened there impacted no one else, when some asshole despot could wipe out a good percentage of his population and nobody would be the wiser. That, however, is no longer the world we live in, and we must be really fucking stupid if we think what happens over there can’t be biting our own personal ass within days or hours or minutes.

And maybe that is the answer: We ARE that fucking stupid.

We’ll continue as humans to be perpetually taken unawares when shit happens, to abuse each other in any way seems fit at any given moment, to foul our own dens and kill our own kind over things that don’t matter in the slightest in any big picture. We’ll learn little from disasters, continue making the same mistakes over and over again and suffer the consequences while shocked by events.

Yep. We are THAT fucking stupid.

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May You Live In Interesting TimesHappy 12th of March 2011.

Today is not a holiday that I know of, nor does it mark any specific event. Nope. It just happens to be a Saturday in Seychelles that found me thinking we’re not even a quarter of the way through the year yet, but OH! what an amazing amount of shit has already gone down.

We’re 71 days into 2011 … SEVENTY-ONE DAYS … and already the world has been burning and flooding and rocking and rolling and … well, you know.

Should we be surprised when the first 12 days brought at least:

* Earthquake magnitude 6.9 Argentina-January 1

* Earthquake magnitude 5.2 – Southern XinJiang, China-January 1

* Earthquake 7.1 magnitude Chile-January 2

* More Than 1,000 Dead Birds Fall From Sky in Arkansas-January 2

* Dead fish cover 20-mile section of Arkansas River-January 2

* Uganda yellow fever outbreak kills more than 40-January 3

* Earthquake Near Japan Triggers Tsunami Warning-January 3

* Powerful earthquake hits south-east Iran-January 3

* Earthquake 7.0 magnitude hits northern Argentina-January 3

* Hundreds of dead blackbirds found in Louisiana-January 3

* 10,000s of Birds found dead in Manitoba-January 3

* Thousands of Birds fall from the sky in South America-January 3

* Major Flood in Rockhampto,Australia-January 3

* Dead Birds Found In Kentucky-January 4

* 100 tons of dead fish wash up on Brazil’s shores-January 4

* Hundreds of dead birds found in East Texas-January 5

* Dead birds in Sweden, millions of dead fish in Maryland, Brazil and New Zealand-January 5

* Shift of Earth’s magnetic north pole affects Tampa airport-January 5

* 40,000 crabs found dead on England beaches-January 6

* Heavy floods leave at least 35 dead in Brazil-January 6

* Earthquake 4.5 magnitude in California-January 12

* Huge Waves Destroy Homes in E. Indonesia-January 12

Since then we’ve had floods and fires in Australia and the Middle-Atlantic states of America, monster snow storms in the US and Europe, and far too many earthquakes, including the February devastation in New Zealand and what’s happening right now in Japan.

The shaky ground in Northern Africa and the Middle East came with less warning than the tenuous quake predictions we’ve grown accustomed to, but the damage is huge and the aftershocks will continue for a long time, and although civil war in Africa is no surprise, what’s happening now in Ivory Coast is still a bit of a shocker. And, of course there’s Libya.

That it’s just now that thirty-seven priests are busted in Philadelphia for sex abuse almost figures, but adding it to the ever-growing pile of daily crap going on makes it all smell a bit worse.

Even all this is just a small piece of a much-submerged iceberg when it comes to the suffering going on in the world, and with the global media so busy covering what must be covered today, a lot of what else is going on, was going on, or will be happening soon is off the radar of most of us.

I can’t help having that assumed version of a Chinese curse come to mind:


Translated commonly to go something like this:

May you live in interesting times.

(And by the way, this is thought to be one of three curses, the others being, “May you come to the attention of powerful people,” and, “May your wishes be granted.”)

Interesting times these are, and considering the fact we’re only 71 days into the year so far, my plan is to make the most of what I have, enjoy this lovely view and the ground being still beneath my feet, hope the sky doesn’t start raining dead birds and that we get through this year’s elections with nothing more going on than the usual grousing.

There are 294 days to go … so hang on with me and let’s see what happens on the rest of this ride, shall we?

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All this bird dying, fish floating, mass crab croaking stuff is creepy, and I don’t care how many scientists trot about spouting on about how these are normal events.

Sure, I can understand how finding oneself in Beebe, Arkansas on New Year’s Eve could prompt the mutilation migration that had thousands of birds falling from the sky and nearly 100,000 fish rising to the surface in a nearby river in the days leading up to the holiday, but rural redneckitis doesn’t explain major die-offs in New Zealand, the UK and Sweden. (Although I suspect the Swedish situation may be pinned on broken condoms, but I’m not going there today.)

As some drunken Scot put it: We’re doomed, Laddy.

We’re one year away from 2012, and if predictions are to be awarded their due, apparently the road to global annihilation starts the paving process with fish and birds.

Given that one portent of doom suggests $5 a gallon gas by 2012, my world … where gas is about $7 a gallon … is already up there with the bloating snapper.

We’re also well on our way to learning all the steps to the natural disasters pas de everybody and just the global weather of the past month alone is enough to warm us up for 2012 terrors of the climate kind.

Add to it all things like the birth of a panda cow in Colorado … presaged by that wise woman Christine O’Donnel’s ManMindMouse … and the appearance and immediate shooting of a strange creature in Kentucky and there’s a whole lotta strange goin’ on.

After all, a black man is President of the US of A and it’s now okay to be gay in the army, so apparently hell has frozen over and pigs do fly, so the only horror yet to happen is THE END OF THE WHOLE FUCKING WORLD.

I could make a couple predictions myself from today’s news alone … a Momon nutjob taking over the House Armed Services Committee will result in battles of prophecy fulfillment, or not … thousands upon thousands of people will soon suddenly be unable to identify their location due to Starbucks removing their name from the logo. Yes, creepy things are coming at us.

I’m also guessing strange lights will be seen in the skies, entire nations will mysteriously place idiots in powerful positions and millions will be moved to tears by the news a perfect couple has decided to divorce. Yep … all this over the next twelve months leading to 2012.

I can’t help but wonder when the first time was humans prepared for the end of the world. For sure the predictions have been going around a while and no few religions buy into the idea of Armageddon, but did early man include a sense of total destruction as he painted bison running across cave walls? Could unexplainable events in the ancient natural world have been assumed portents of doom?

I’m guess, yep. I’m also guessing thoughts of surviving such made up a whole bunch of that old time religion that’s morphed into what we have today.

Since we can’t even figure out how to keep oil companies from wasting millions of gallons of their pricy product on useless endeavors like turning the Gulf of Mexico into sludge, much less how to travel to distant, possibly more habitable, planets, what hope could there be in trying to avoid the coming apocalypse?

The only question really then, is: What to do between now and the end of the world?

Of course, a number of options present. We can, for example:

1) Curl up in a ball and do the “Oh, woe is us” thing
2) Turn to a higher power in hopes that gives some leverage
3) Live life to the fullest every day while considering each a gift
4) Figure out a way to make a buck while riding the hysteria wave
5) Ignore all
6) Consider all an adventure and go with the flow

Okay … there are a whole lot more options and I’m willing to hear others, but that’s all the list I have time for right now since there’s no use wasting too much of that on just another bloody blog post, is there?

For my part, I’ll try my best to concentrate on ducking falling fowl, putting one foot in front of the other, having a good time when I can, writing about stuff I find interesting … or amusing … or annoying … taking care of my kids (just in case there turns out to be a world for them to inherit), hanging with my friends, laughing, loving, snorkeling and trying not to spend too much time fretting about stuff I can’t fix.

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