So everybody is talking about this terrible tsunami in Japan and people are sending theirthoughts and prayers. We’re all feeling so bad about this thing.
We all know that Mother Nature is a real force to be reckoned with (unlike that alleged God you might be praying to and whom, if he does exist, passively allowed this to happen… just so long as we’re clear). But I’m not going to rant about a fictional character. My focus is on Nature.
Human beings have contributed to this little thing that 99% of all scientists have agreed upon called Global Warming. Now, I know there are plenty of denialists out there and they are mostly conservatives who have more faith in their unprovable/unknowable God than in science and mathematics which just so happen to be the two pillars of indisputable proof that Global Warming exists… but fine, enjoy the bliss of ignorance. Deny factual data (http://climateprogress.org/2010/06/03/nasa-giss-james-hansen-study-global-warming-record-hottest-year/) if it makes you feel warm and cozy (which you will increasingly become, fyi, as the Earth continues to heat up).
There are some people that point out their windows and say “But we’ve had such a snowy winter this year! Al Gore is full of crap!” It takes a truly ignorant person to base the entirety of global climate change on what they see in their own backyard. The whole science behind global warming is that as the global temperature of the Earth increases, weather patterns become increasingly unstable and erratic. Your abnormal snow fall doesn’t disprove but actually supports the scientific consensus that all rational people accept and acknowledge.
So that’s my first point. We’ve been fucking with nature, screwing up weather patterns, and then we act shocked and surprised when Nature kicks us in the balls? The global community, especially America and China, has yet to take the threat of climate change seriously and there are consequences because of it.
But there is more to it than that. Global Warming has merely amplified the threat of natural disasters, which have occurred throughout history regardless. So why do I still not feel terrible about the one that just struck Japan? The same reason I don’t feel bad when a tornado or hurricane wipes out beachfront homes in Florida. These tragedies areavoidable.
It’s amazing to watch a hurricane or a flood take out homes and lives, then owners and relatives/friends cry for their losses, then rebuild in the exact same place. Five years later the same thing happens again and the cycle repeats itself. Over and over and over and over. Eventually you need to take an objective step back and recognize that some human beings suffer because they are… wait for it… stupid. Just plain stupid. Take a look at the history of tsunami’s in Japan:
Aug-10-1901 Japan (Sanriku) – 18
Jul-07-1905 Japan (Fukushima) – 41
Jan-12-1914 Japan (Seikaido) – 35
Sep-01-1923 Japan (Tokaido) – 2,144
Mar-07-1927 Japan (South-West Honshu) – 325
Mar-02-1933 Japan (Sanriku) – 3,000
May-29-1938 Japan (Hokkaido) – 1
Aug-02-1940 Japan (Hokkaido) – 7
Nov-18-1941 Japan (Seikado) – 2
Dec-21-1946 Japan (Nankaido) – 1,997
Mar-04-1952 Japan (Southeast Hokkaido) – 33
May 16-1968 Japan Trench – 52
May-26-1983 Japan (Noshro) – 103
Jul-12-1993 Japan – 120
Mar-11-2011 Japan – ?
Some might even be missing from the list, I’m not entirely sure. But that’s as much as I could find during my short time of researching.
You can see that there is a general pattern of tsunamis in Japan. Maybe they should have considered their own country’s history before they set-up shop, right? Maybe? Or perhaps they did and decided it was worth the potential sacrifice, in which case Irespect them but they certainly do not have my sympathies.
The extremely cynical side of me must also point out that the human population is forecast to surpass seven billion this year. Call me an asshole, but I think our species can afford a relatively small loss of life, especially when those people weren’t very bright to begin with.
In summary, it’s just hard for me to feel bad for a stranger that steps in front of a truck. I’m more concerned about teaching those that are still alive to look both ways.