Saturday, March 12, 2011

Japan Quake Reminds Us We Exist At Earth's Pleasure


Yesterday morning, I awoke to the news that Japan had been hit by an earthquake and a tsunami, but the magnitude didn't really hit me until I saw the video.

Usually, I spend Saturdays on this blog on something humorous. That's not going to happen this Saturday because there's nothing funny about a disaster.

As I sat watching the video of the decimation, I was struck by the notion that there's no terrorist like Mother Nature. You can take that however you wish.

The truth of the matter is that Japan was, as we've heard several times over the last few hours, "the most prepared country on the face of the Earth" for earthquakes and tsunamis, but we still see the tremendous devastation and loss of life.

It's not over, either. Now, we hear that Japan's nuclear power supply may be in danger of meltdown. That could be a disaster of a whole other magnitude.

This was all because Mother Earth hiccuped. She had a slip of the plates and all hell broke loose.

We spend so much time worrying about what people can do to us and to our country, but we don't pay any attention to the force of nature. Mother Nature doesn't care about countries or borders. She doesn't care about politicians or even humans. Mother Nature doesn't care how rich or how poor a country is. One of the richest countries in the world was just hit by a megaquake just a little bit over a year after one of the poorest countries in the world was laid low by another quake.

Mother Nature cares about Mother Nature. And, she has a way of making you stand, mouth agape, equally, at her beauty and her ability to create tragedy.

These multi-million dollar megabuster summer movies that destroy the world every summer movie season seem trite and predictable sometimes. Yesterday, though, as I watched the video of that tsunami devour the countryside, I was struck by how it looked just like the movies.

It's why I don't believe man will ever end this planet. Mother Nature will. Someday, she'll decide that she's had enough of us, and we'll be cast aside like fleas in a flea bath. Humans will someday become just a memory, and the next inhabitants of this planet will find us fossilized in the Earth.

So, while Japan tries to rebuild and the rest of the world tries to help them, stop for a moment and thank Mother Nature for allowing us to be here on this Earth for just another day.

After I do that, I will send nothing but my best thoughts to the people of Japan. If there is a population of people that can overcome this, it is them. Japan's economy is robust, and they will be even more prepared next time an earthquake hits. Japan's resilient, and I see them coming back even stronger.

1 comment:

Paul K. Ogden said...

Jon,

This is one of the best things you've ever written. You are very correct. If you study climate history, cataclysmic events happen all the time. We've been just lucky the last several thousand years. That's not the norm. We could have the planet hit by a meteor, a volcano could go off and millions if not billioins of people could die or man could become distinct.

That earthquake/typhoon was nothing compared to what could happen, actualy what WILL happen some day.

Even slower moving events...like another ice age would have devastating consequences. (I think we have a lot more to be worried about with an ice age than global warming.) Imagine Chicago, Indianapolis and all the northern cities under sheets of ice. We are talking a major relocationof people and a devastating impact on our crops.You also had an ice age once when the entire planet was supposedly covered with ice.

I don't think there is any doubt that Mother Nature will destroy the planet long before we do.