What is it with the weather? Is it just we have got more interested, so that it is reported more?
Or are all these things going up and up in scale and who knows what might hit us next?
On the grand scale of things there is no doubt the Earth has seen it all before, and more, big time. Meteorites from space, volcanic eruptions daily, everywhere, somehow the planet sorted it all and left us with, well, some pretty good stuff really.
And in some ways, we have got less adapted rather than more, we build on flood plains, we build flimsy houses (castle and moat anyone?), we keep less by, we rely on ‘just in time’ and we ‘really know’ fewer people.
Some of the responses to events are also not too good. Someone in Japan thought that a flood gate system would protect houses against millions if not billions of tonnes of water heading their way fast. Big Mistake. In the UK sandbags are used to ‘protect’ people’s houses against flood water running past their door, yet the sandbags divert water into the house, not away from it, Big Mistake.
In the USA they protect themselves against Tornadoes by building shelters, while the buildings blow down, not realising that buildings blow up from the inside (usually) not down from the outside (the struts in your roof are to hold the roof down not to stop it falling in).
Earthquakes and volcanoes have been around for a long time, but building huge cities where none have gone before, especially in fault zones, seems to be inviting disaster, the earth’s crust is floating, in a fragile way, and loading it all in one place, well, not good engineering?
What seems to me to be rather silly is this idea of having your house on the ground floor. For a start, if there is a flood, you’ve had it. In Queensland the houses are one floor up.
You can grow a lot more food, easily, under your house than on the roof. And of course, on your roof you want our solar panels. You can also put your car under the house, and your bikes, and then use your garden for what it was meant for, growing food!
All in all we seem to have a design problem. Our city/town environment is not designed for weather, bad weather, catastrophic weather, but it could be. To do it we need to understand how things work, real things, like how water really works, like how wind really works, and how people really work.
Building a fantasy world is fine as long as the real world stays away. Unfortunately, it might not be willing to stay away for much longer.