Typhons, Cyclones and Tsunami's - Oh My!

by pittcaleb Email    3907 views

A few years ago, a massive Tsunami hit the Indian Ocean region. It devastated parts of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand, completely wiping some towns and their residents off the map. It was horrible.

One of the chief complaints at the time was the lack of pre-Tsunami help the western/civilized world gave to the stricken 3rd World region. Specifically, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center sent them a bulletin regarding the earthquake which would trigger the Tsunami, stating "THIS BULLETIN IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. NO ACTION REQUIRED"

Earlier this week a Cyclone hit the coast of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). Myanmar is a small xenophobic coastal nation that has rejected all foreign help before this natural disaster and continues to do so afterward, refusing or delaying visa's for rescue and assistance workers.

Most interesting though to me is the fact that India tried to warn them a full 2 days in advance of the coastal hit:

It certainly was not too concerned when the cyclone approached the Burmase coast. A spokesman for the Indian Meteorological Department revealed yesterday that it had given Burma two days’ warning of Cyclone Nargis. “Forty-eight hours before Nargis struck, we indicated its point of crossing, its severity and all related issues to Burmese agencies,” he said. Weather systems in the Bay of Bengal are tracked by India by satellite.

But here's my sad take on all this. First let me say, the loss of life from the Tsunami, this Cyclone or desert starvation is horrible. I wouldn't wish it on anybody, I feel for the people and pray for their salvation, but...

The reality is this - these low-lying coastal areas that today are still very much 3rd world in nature, people living in grass & bamboo huts, lack of modern civilized road, water and power infrastructures - these areas have been hit by Tsunami's, by Cyclones and other natural disasters for hundreds and even thousands of years.

Civilizations build in these areas due to the access to food sources and trade routes. They build their society, do their business and then every now and again something wipes them out, kills off most of the people, and then the cycle repeats. It's "the circle of life."

It sucks, but the reality is without advanced technology, buildings such as those we have in Florida or other prone areas, this will merely happen again. Stopping or reversing Global Warming (tm Al Gore) will not stop areas like this from being hit again and again over the next century or millennium.

Is this possible here? Probably not. Should we care for the human lives lost? Definitely yes. Can we do something about it long term? I sincerely doubt it. For all the liberals/evolutionists/darwin "survival of the fittest"'sts how can they see what happened as anything other than both inevitable and repeatable. For the compassionate and the Christian our response should be to help, but to also build up and educate, not merely to re-build in structures that will be washed away with the next wave.

There was a comedian back in the 80's, Sam Kinison, who had a thing about all the starvation going on in Africa. He said, "We have deserts in America. We just choose not to live in them!" (Video) The reality is every place on Earth has a level at which it can sustain life. In Africa it's one level, in the plains of Iowa with fertile fields, it's another. On the coast of Sri Lanka or Myanmar, it's another. And for each place, the Earth will "self correct" to put things back into balance occasionally.

What happened in Myanmar is not stoppable. We can help them clean up, we can work to make the military-based government more open to Western ways, but in a dozen years, maybe two dozen, maybe a century from now - another cyclone will hit and repeat everything all over again. That area was not meant for long-term permanent human settlements. It's not the fault of Global Warming, it's not because you used too much hair spray back in the 80's or because God hates the Burmese. It's merely because that area is prone to some pretty nasty weather.

Just like building a city of 2 million people below sea level in a Mississippi delta is a bad idea, so too is placing 100,000 human beings on the coast of Myanmar. Stinks for those killed, injured and displaced, but still, a bad idea in the first place.