Disasters

I wrote this post a while ago, but didn’t publish it because it seemed too negative. But then again it is facing the truth, they are coming thick and fast…

Disasters are in the nature of things. Life is evolution and change. Galaxies collide, solar systems merge, orbiting objects crash into each other, storms and subterranean events cause cataclysmic events on planets. So however stable things might seem, it is inevitable that disasters will occur.

california wildfire
Wildfire, Ventura, California, December 2017, NY Times

So is it any surprise that disasters are also caused by human beings. However, we do seem to be particularly good at creating the conditions for them, e.g. we:

  • invest in new sources of fossil fuels that we know are not sustainable, thereby exacerbating the global warming we know is happening – and continue to prevaricate on taking effective action to minimise and mitigate its effects.
  • degrade our soil and food with chemical-based farming, when biological and organic methods are the only sustainable way.
  • base our economic system solely on growth, regardless of the quality of that growth and its ecological non-sustainability.
  • propagate increasing inequalities that history tells us are not sustainable and result in conflict, yet refuse to contemplate alleviatory measures, such as taxes on financial transactions, wealth and land.
  • elect those who base their campaigns around separation and collective illusions, such as making countries ‘great again’, standing above others.
  • fill our seas with plastic, to the extent that our food coming from the oceans includes increasing residues of it.
  • cut down forests to create more land to feed animals for food or grow more oil, thereby removing the planet’s lungs (analogy).
  • globalise everything such that (with climate change) diversity of species is drastically reduced.
  • invest in escalation of arms including nuclear, chemical and biological weapons that no sane person would wish to see ever used.

The entrenched status quo appears to be manipulated by the main beneficiaries (the rich and powerful) such that any rapid change of direction is not possible.

grenfell tower fire
Grenfell Fire businesstimes

The only possible result is more disasters. It is mainly disasters that really force change in democracies, and probably other systems. This appears to be how we learn. See, for example, Grenfell Tower in London (but has anything changed?).

On the plus side, we know that when disasters occur, the best side of people comes to the fore, we pull together, try to help each other and learn the lessons. But the inertia of moving back to the old ways is strong.

So be prepared for a rocky ride ahead. The next seventy years are unlikely to be as stable as the last 70 since WW2. That was the mother of all disasters, but have we forgotten the lessons?

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3 thoughts on “Disasters

  1. The fight between avarice and altruism will always be won by greed. The greedy are willing to kill, destroy, pollute, and thieve in order to satisfy their rapacious, shallow needs. The altruists, on the other hand, are not nearly so vicious and merciless. Fortunately, natural disaster does not distinguish one from the other, and, if large enough, will tend to take from those who have more.

    Liked by 1 person

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