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From: Keith (
Subject: Re: Tsunami disaster
Date: December 29, 2004 at 7:04 am PST

In Reply to: Tsunami disaster posted by EC on December 27, 2004 at 8:42 pm:

I expect that some of the lack of discussion about it is due to the season: many people are away from home or busy with visiting friends and relatives. Partly, I suppose, it's because, other than "that's terrible!", what can you really say?

I don't believe in an "end of the world", so I automatically discount all such prophesies.

While not discounting the appalling suffering that the tsunami has caused, it is important to keep it in geologocal perspective. Really, these things happen all the time. About once every 500 years, there is a quake of this magnitude off the Oregon-Washington-British Columbia coast, known as the Cascadia subduction zone, producing a similar tsunami. (The last one was in 1700.) There are other subduction zones that are much more active, plus all kinds of volcanoes and other tectonic activity all around the world.

This week's event, while horrible in its human consequences, it typical. These quakes have been happening for millions of years, and the world hasn't ended yet. Neither has life been wiped out by them.

The human suffering caused by this tsunami is greater than in the past due to population increase. Now there's a global catastrophe for you!

Even global warming won't bring life to an end. It will likely cause the biggest mass extinction ever, and may well wipe out human civilization or our species, but other life will survive to take our place.


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