RATS AND MEN

Another tsunami has hit Indonesia, with the current death toll at over 800 now and expected to rise much higher. Aerial photos of the areas hit show flat coastal land barely above sea level, covered in water.

Bangladesh is a great one for floods, the monsoon season starts and the Ganges overflows and sweeps away 10,000, 20,000 people. Then after the waters recede, all that newly vacant land sees a stampede of new settlers rushing to claim a spot. Rinse and repeat every 7 years or so.

Here at home we have places like New Orleans, a city built below sea level, prone to flooding and right next to a lake separated from it by a levee. Along comes a hurricane or big rainstorm, the lake overflows the levee, and New Orleans is flooded again.

In California there’s all the communities covering thousands of square miles of hills that are semi-arid and covered in greasebrush and scrubby pine trees, all of which bursts into flame easily in summertime. So every year California loses thousands of homes to fires, but after the smoke dies away, new homes take their places.

Rats do this same thing, it’s part of why they make such good test subjects. Rats will breed and breed until there’s no room left and no food left and then they start eating each other, and every flood or fire sees them killed off by the thousands too, because they live where we live.

“Natural Disasters” are an illusion. The disasters are always totally predictable. We know that certain areas are prone to earthquakes that generate tsunamis. We know that some areas are high fire danger. Knowing this, we build there and live there anyway, and when people are killed and homes destroyed, that’s a disaster to humans, caused by humans, and is an unnatural disaster.

A natural disaster is when a forest fire wipes out herds of deer, or when a huge chunk of ice breaks loose from a glacier and kills 10,000 penguins. That’s a natural disaster because the animals didn’t create it, they were in their own habitat and Nature took them out. When we breed ourselves to the point that only dangerous places are left to live in, and then danger happens and we die, that’s not Natural, we did that to ourselves.

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