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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Philosophical Thoughts

The major earthquake in Japan got me to thinking about how we humans mess up the environment and how Mother Nature still controls the big stuff. The earthquake was 8.9 magnitude - a biggie. Japan is no stranger to earthquakes; in fact, the country was born of earthquakes, and that's why for centuries the Japanese lived in, "paper," houses. If an earthquake knocked the place down, you swept away the rubble and built anew. What happened Thursday was something that we, humans, had no control over. The Pacific Plate slammed into the Eurasian Plate which shifted Japan about eight feet to the west. We can stop burning fossils fuels, we can go to organic farming, we can rely on rain water for our crops and terrible things will continue to happen. One thing we can do to prevent disaster is stop building so close to water! Back in 1985 when my husband and I were looking for a house in
Trenton, the real estate agent showed us a lovely place in The Island neighborhood; I loved it. It was right on the river, lovely views, you name it. My husband said, "NO!" It was too close to the river; the agent assured us that there hadn't been a flood since 1955. My husband's answer was, "All the more reason to avoid this place; you're long overdue for a flood." So we bought the place in the South Ward. Close enough to river, but about a quarter of a mile from the flood plain. Which is why I can feel sorry for those who face the mess of a flood but continue to wonder why people insist on defying Mother Nature. We can build all the dams we want, all the levess, all the sea walls, but in the end the water will win. Remember Hurricane Katrina? New Orleans may be a great port, but it is no place to build a major city. We cannot stop Mother Nature - you name the river and it will flood when it is damn good and ready. Just like the various plates will continue to slam into each other and cause earthquakes. Just random thoughts on a Saturday morning.

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